A Memo Came Across My Desk to Scrub the Toilets

If you could not tell by my absence from the blogging world, I have been struggling the past several week to regain my balance after returning to a full time adult job for the first time in two and a half years…and my first time with kids in my entire life.

I feel empowered and driven with purpose to have a job, but on the same note I feel exhausted, that the days are going by faster than I would like, and as if I’m missing some serious bonding time with both my daughters, particularly my youngest.  A day in the life is to wake up get dressed, prep the nanny for the days instructions, go to work, (I hate leaving the office for lunch), leave work around 4 or 5, return home to relieve the nanny, cook dinner, greet my husband as he walks in the door closer to 6 or 7, typically still on a work call.  Dinner is had by 7 at the latest, sometimes with or without my husband depending on his work calls, but at least the girls are there to keep me company.  Nothing quite as fascinating or rewarding as a nearly three year old girl with an incredibly limited vocabulary attempt to tell you about her day.  And then it is bath, book, and bed just to get up in the morning and do it again.  On a total I spend only about 3-4 hours a day with my sweet daughters…and yes it is heartbreaking.

Sadly though, and why I am posting this to Shopgirl and not Step-Parent’s Sanctuary, my real struggle is not with the home life but with my adjustment to the drastic change in career.  Before I worked with customers, I was a leader, I answered directly to a VP of the company, I hired people, I fired people, I was given much independence and trust.  The retail world is fast paced, your success is tangible and clearly measurable, your interactions are unique everyday.  The office world…the real office world.  The 9 to 5, water cooler and pen pushing world seems like absolute torture.  Not to mention a demotion to the bottom of the food chain is a painful pill to swallow…all the way down the esophagus.

I am Human Resources.  Much of my job is looking busy.  Much of my job is waiting for work.  I am an initiative person, this is nothing like me.  I came in and a game plan for a billion things that need immediate attention in policies, organization, and protocol; but with my feeble retail experience I am reminded again and again that “I don’t know how a real company operates,” so I am instructed over and over and over again to just sit down and await the emails of complaints that come to my desk only on pay day, and only to be forwarded to accounting.  I get to conduct interviews only when I’m invited to participate and in the rare occasion that a position is open.  This is especially difficult considering in my old job I was an incredibly active, independent Human Resources department all within myself.  I had over a hundred individuals in my care, I had to oversee Counseling Notices, Terminations, Interviews, Goal Setting, Employee and Store evaluations, only to name a very few of my responsibilities, and all of these were expected of me to perform on my own.

Last week I received an email from a coworker, it was the new cleaning schedule for the bathroom in our new building.  I, of course, was assigned the first cleaning of the bathroom, alone.  In retail the sales associates cleaned and cared for the bathroom.  I was a sales associate and I happily scrubbed the commode knowing I was only showing my worth in every way possible.  That was over seven years ago.  Now here I am back at square one, tears began to stream down my cheeks as I scrubbed the shit off the stall walls from the people who had owned the building before us, months before.  I scraped paint off the mirrors and tiles, there was no broom or mop, only paper towels.

While I shined the sinks I thought back to how far it is to fall being a new mom in the work force.  Returning after a sabbatical.  I didn’t come back having forgotten how to do my job, I didn’t come back less of a person, in fact I’d like to think I came back worth far more as I have more want and drive.

I could return to retail, but the hours of DM make for an incredibly absent mother in a town this size.  Even store manager would pull me away on the weekends, missing big games, birthday parties, or recitals.  It’s for them I do this…

8 thoughts on “A Memo Came Across My Desk to Scrub the Toilets

  1. April says:

    It was almost a year ago when I had to step down from my manager position. I remember thinking how I was digressing in my career. Going backwards in time. I was used to running an entire department, making decisions and being the one that people looked up to. The funny thing, is this past year has taught me that I can still be successful, driven and focused. I work in Quality at a big health system, and definitely have no decision making power, but the thing is.. a leader is still a leader, no matter the title. I am still drive, I am still driving change, although I do not have financial responsibility or the final say, I am looked up to, my opinion is valued and I am still very much respected. My career hasn’t turned out like I thought it was and at this point I thought I would be a director of a division,. It has turned out far better than I could have imagined and in time I will be a director of quality in healthcare which is something I am very passionate about. Head up high, you just might run that HR department one day 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. okinaps says:

    Oh boy. I was actually thinking of also trying to get an HR job when I decide to go back to work in about a year or so. A former co-worker of mine (and also a former retail manager) started out as a recruiter and is now the HR manager for a major hotel. Good luck with your new job! I hope it works out for you. =)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Brittany Boyce says:

    It’s amazing how for some reason the world/society thinks that just because you took time off to have/raise children that you’ve forgotten all that you learned in your career. I can’t see why your previous HR experience wouldn’t translate into being able to still do it in this new environment.

    Keep your head up, keep asking questions, keep asking to be part of everything and they will be reminded why they hired – because you can do the job and not just the side tasks that come along with it.

    Liked by 1 person

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