I’ve been dealing with a lot of stress as if I haven’t emphasized that enough in many blog posts. Many people don’t know besides a few people. It’s not something I enjoy talking about or sharing with anyone, but I’m writing this post to vent as usual. This stress has been mainly work related. Long story short my company had gotten acquired a couple months ago. This acquisition can go either way. It can either hurt or better the company and the employees. For me it’s been hurting me. After we received the news about the acquisition there was already a bit of uneasiness lingering around the office. A month after the news arrives, there was a big layoff in the company. During that same day I received the news that I might not be working there any longer as well. I cried in front of my boss as he had to be the bearer of bad news to me. He’s a great guy and this wasn’t his decision. Although during our discussion I learned that there’s a 50/50 chance that I could probably stay. I chatted with my boss as well as with my team as to what we can do to save our team or mainly myself and another person on my team. We carried our discussion to a nearby bar and just kept the drinks coming since it was a horrible day for everyone at the company, especially for those that were let go. I legit drank for several hours straight hoping the liquor would provide some sense of comfort, but who was I kidding? I was panicking and grew even more emotional as I was sorting through my mind for various solutions. The main solution I wanted to avoid was to look for another job. I love my team genuinely and I love the work we do. It’s a big attachment I’ve grown working at this company. As I’m even typing this I’m getting a bit teary eyed because I’m still so sensitive to this entire situation.
My team was very comforting as I was still absorbing the news. It was hard to concentrate because I was so in my feelings and lost in my thoughts. I didn’t want to talk to any of my friends or especially my parents about this news. Of course I eventually shared the news with them and I dreaded every question they asked and tried to change the topic as much as possible. I confided in a close girlfriend of mines who is practically like a sister to me. She was very empathetic and understanding. I simply told her every detail and told her that I just don’t want any questions asked. She was very respectful of that and I appreciated it. There’s so many questions that are still unanswered. My boss can’t even answer them either because he doesn’t know. Plus, he’d tell me any updates and wouldn’t hide anything from me anyways. There’s just been so much lingering uncertainties these past couple of months. It’s gotten harder for me to sleep. I wake up every morning hoping for good news and I continue to not let this bullshit bog me down. I need to continue producing work, but it’s hard to stay focused without your mind drifting and wandering.
Recently as promised by my boss, he tried to save my ass by discussing with the executives. I still have no idea of how that even went. My colleague on my team that I work closely with shares with me any new updates that he’s discussed with my boss. I greatly appreciate their support and having my back regardless of what’s going to happen in the next several weeks. But as the weeks are nearing, that amount of stress and how emotional I was during the beginning is coming back to me again. It’s really hard on me and I’m continuing to stay quiet about it to my friends. This is why I’ve opted out of attending certain events in the upcoming months. I can’t enjoy myself with this uncertainty. I don’t know what’s going to happen and it freaks me out because it’s so unpredictable. Going to SoCal was fun, but I still thought about my work situation.
The past two weeks has gotten even harder for me. I’ve had people reach out to my about opportunities, but I’d ignore the calls and delete the e-mails. I’ve been open and honest about not finding another job until I get a solid answer about my current job. But some impatience kicked in. I received an e-mail from a great start up and was hesitant on replying. I let that e-mail sit in my inbox for 2 days and during those 2 days I would stare at it. Eventually I replied, got asked to share some of my latest work, and had scheduled a call. My call was in 2 days and prior to the call during those 2 days, I felt like absolute shit. I felt so awful for replying to that e-mail because I felt as if I turned my back on my team and my boss. Yet at the same time I went into this survival mode where I needed to protect and prepare myself in case anything happened. After I got that call over and done with, I felt extremely relieved and that guilt disappeared. Despite it being a great opportunity, I don’t really care if I got the job or not. I still want to stay working with my current company and team.
I remember coming into the office the day before I had my call. I was really quiet and the guilt kicked into overdrive as I was surrounded by my team. I had a hard time focusing on my work. Luckily there wasn’t too much on my plate to complete, so I decided to go for a walk and plus I didn’t have my morning coffee intake. I decided to go for a walk to the flower mart nearby my office. Along the way I stopped to get a coffee. When I got to the flower mart I browsed at their selection as I enjoyed my coffee and had my headphones on. It was very relaxing and therapeutic. Of course I couldn’t leave without purchasing anything. Peonies are my favorite and the purchase cheered me up a bit. I went back to the office feeling slightly okay again. Later that evening we had some whiskey. Long story short, my boss created a whiskey lounge and if you’re a whiskey lover then come join for a tasting and share what whiskey you’ve got hidden in your desk drawer. When we sit around sipping on whiskey in this nice space in our office, it’s very Mad Men-esque. This was our second tasting and we had a lot more newcomers join us. It was fun sharing hilarious stories and just not giving a fuck. For a moment as I was sipping on my whiskey I realized how awesome a lot of people are in my company. We’re all supportive of each other and people actually give a fuck about each other here. Over the weekend I treated myself to a new book. It’s been awhile since I’ve read a Haruki Murakami book since he’s one of my favorite authors. Last night I decided to watch a movie by myself and Avengers: Age of Ultron was a great choice. I’m a big Marvel fan, random factoid. But doing those little things helped provide some comfort. My mind wasn’t as fixated on my work situation anymore. I can only cover up the stress for so long, but that’s okay. This is just how strongly I feel about my career. It’s not just a paycheck and a job to me. It’s being able to work with an awesome team, having a boss that not only supports you but respects you and to cohesively work together to make great design work. That’s what it’s mainly been about and to lose that will really upset me.
I’m trying to make myself feel better. For now I’m only continuing to crank out great design work, enjoy my time with my team and to continuing hoping for the best.