The Working Girl

So you work in a job that you love but you're feeling burned out because a. your company is seriously understaffed and therefore you are overworked and b. the people you work with you cant stand?! The best option is to leave. But it's never that easy! How do you manage and balance your work life and not let it seep into your personal life? This is constant struggle but these practices make it a little easier until you can find something better.  

1. When you clock out at the end of the day, make sure you leave your work at work. I typically go home and get right back on it, whether it's through social media or projects I didn't finish earlier that day. Given that I have access to programs from home, I never really escape work and it affects my time at home. Over the last few weeks, I've been going to work on time (instead of an hour before I'm actually scheduled) and spending my evenings cooking new recipes, catching up with a show, learning meditation, practicing yoga or allowing myself a twenty minute bath.

2. When it comes to work relationships, it's a little trickier. There is most likely one person you just can't work with. You don't agree on anything but because you work in the same department, distancing yourself is hard. In this situation, I try to keep the relationship professional. In the library world it's easy to make friends, you find someone who shares the same book interests, you get each other's pop cultural references and you click. With the coworkers you don't necessarily get along with, I try to keep conversations short and to the point and try not to get too personal. Unfortunately, people will take advantage of you and use personal information as an attack. Women in particular, can be vindictive!

3. How to deal with harassment of any kind. Whether verbal, physical or sexual, report it.  Obviously if it's the latter two - report it immediately! The first one, however,  can be a little harder to deal with. Words are incredibly powerful, they can be inspirational and destructive, they have the ability to completely warp a persons mind. If someone with authority uses their position to put you down, it most certainly is not okay. To hell with interpretation and implications, if someone is verbally demeaning towards you or someone you know, don't wait, act quickly.

Literally within the first month I started working at my current job, a coworker made a racial comment about me. I wasn't even aware of the incident until the person in charge at the time informed me about it, she then proceeded to laugh it off. I tried to let it go but I felt totally ostracized, I didn't have a friend at work for months! I told myself, I'm white so I guess it's okay because I belong to a race who has historically done despicable things to every other ethnicity. It kept happening and I continued to tell myself, I deserved it!  I have been dealing with this problem for four years and I keep telling myself - don't take it personal, you are strong, you know you're good at your job, they have insecurities and they are just taking their issues out on you. This is in no way okay, yet we put up with it all the time. If there's one thing I know to be true it's taking note of everything that seems wrong or out of the ordinary, write it down! Make note of the day and the incident, don't let it slip by.I learned this from my dad, his meticulous note taking even landed him on ESPN, his bravery to speak up and expose an injustice happening at my own high school was one of the craziest things I've ever seen, and I admire him! I wish I had his guts! Don't let it go like I have. Write everything down, talk to others who may be experiencing similar abuse and do something about it!   


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