I distinctly remember being in high school and sitting at the breakfast table with my dad. I was complaining about having to go to school and he told me that he would gladly trade with me because school was much better than work. I pointed out that that was absolutely not true because when you’re working and you leave the office, you’re done (I realize now that this is not entirely factual, unfortunately). However, with school, you leave and then have to go home and write papers and read chapters and do math problems and study and on and on and on. It never ends.
Most of my adult life, I’ve been lucky enough to get away with not having to take work home with me. When I leave at the end of the day, I’m done for the day. I get to come home and relax and forget (well, try) about all the nonsense I dealt with that day. Until now.
As we were leaving last Friday, we were each handed an envelope. Inside is a three page questionnaire that we need to complete by tomorrow for our annual reviews. I’ve heard of my corporate friends having to do this, but seeing as I work in a 9-person office and my bosses have poked fun at these very questionnaires in the past, I never ever expected that I would have to deal with one. Now that I’m faced with it, I don’t know how to answer the questions with any degree of honesty without also asking to be fired.
For example, there is a question that asks what my greatest accomplishment at work has been over the past year. Considering the fact that I do glorified customer service (the same thing I’ve done since the day I started almost seven years ago), I’d say my greatest accomplishment has been getting out of bed in the morning and dragging my depressed, bitter ass to that wretched place every day to get talked down to and yelled at and generally abused by our clients.
Then there’s the question about how I have promoted camaraderie and teamwork amongst my coworkers. After my eyes rolled back to front-facing in their sockets and I stopped snorting, the only answer I could come up with is that I’ve restrained myself from punching anyone in the throat. If that doesn’t scream “teamwork,” well, I don’t know what does.
And my personal favorite asks us to describe two of our career goals and how we plan to accomplish them. Does this mean my career goals at this company? Or in a general “what do you want to be when you grow up” sense? Because if we’re talking about my “career goals” (cue the snorting again) at this company, well, then I think I’ve failed myself. This job was supposed to be a temporary one until I discovered what I really wanted to do with my life. Nearly seven years later, and here I am. So, if we’re talking about my goals here, in this job that I loathe, then I would have to say I only have one: quit, so that I can do whatever it is I am truly meant to do.