Ladies and Gentleman, time for me to eat something called humble pie.
So, recently, there has been a lot of high turnover and increase in the number of people leaving the company, specifically my department, and finally, human resources taken notice. A few people have been randomly selected to discuss why they think people leave and some ideas to throw around.
Well, a new employee (who got promoted in 6 months) went to this meeting and I decided to ask her about it. Apparently human resources described how other departments use minute-by-minute schedules for the first few days of someone’s employment and even take them out to lunch their first day. She also said that me and a recently departed coworker (who started when I did) never gave her the impression it was okay to ask questions. That the vibe she got was, “Here’s your desk, good luck!”
Perspective is a funny thing and hindsight is always 20/20. I stand by my initial unhappiness at this job and my feelings of desperate exasperation at how I was harshly criticized with very little room for mistakes. Now I don’t have nearly as much “disgruntled” feelings, as you probably notice by now with my dwindling job-complaint centered posts.
But this problem described to me is an interesting one. If I remember my first day correctly, I was basically sat down at a desk to get “acclimated” to my new email inbox and to read over material handed out to me by human resources. No one took me out to lunch (which I was glad for; I hate socializing like that my first day) and aside from the initial tour, there wasn’t too much interaction to the day in general.
And in all honesty, the position I hold at my company for which my newbie coworker felt the need for their to be minute-by-minute training for, is not a complicated one. It’s mostly data entry and aside from very situation specific weird things that can happen with a file you’re dealing with, it’s sort of primarily learn as you go. At least, that’s how I viewed it.
But I know she’s not the only one unhappy as quite a few people have left over the two years I’ve been here. My recently departed coworker, who was hired a couple of months after me, was disgruntled not because of lack of training, but the way he was told about mistakes and the lack of any variety to job duties. That’s what he told me.
As for other recently departed coworkers, I can only guess – I’ve overheard people mention money as the reason someone has left and another person explained it was training (however I was mostly suspicious that she just was bored) and another girl left within a month because she was just bored.
I have to be honest that the main reason I have stayed is because I need a stable job right now. I can make this place work despite my complaints. I can’t leave this job to go to another, only to see I can’t make the other place work. Plus, I don’t have a lot of long term employment places, and staying two years somewhere, will look VERY good on my resume.
But why will I leave?
I’m bored crazy.
But I’ve learned through this place, and maybe it’s a lesson that I should pass along, is that you need to speak up at work. No one can read your mind. I remember asking this newbie employee if she was doing okay many times and she always said yes. If she was confused, why didn’t she say, no?
There have been a lot of moments at work I look back on where I realize I could have bettered my situation a lot if I had just spoken up instead of struggling to cope. Although if I do remember correctly, I ended up getting in trouble for complaining too much about someone and how I should just let it go (cue Frozen theme). And with that in mind, I’m sure my difficult coworker who I ranted about constantly last year would have given me a simple answer like that too.
So maybe unhappiness at work never has an easy answer and maybe it isn’t just one problem.