I’m not sure why I’m writing this all out; I’ve not posted for a bit but I guess I just wanted to update everyone.
So I’ve mentioned in a couple other threads that I was up for a promotion - for the first time in 8 years - and I didn’t get it. I put in a strong interview, I was passed over in favour of a friend of one of the executives. Yep.
When my boss first told me the news, I handled it like a goddamn champ. Took it well, even made a couple of jokes, everything was good. I waited until after work for the day was over to do the crying, had a fun bout of insomnia, consumed self-pity beer, self-pity scotch, and self-pity marijuana, and ended up with a self-pity hangover.
At work, I was ok. Behind the scenes, I was not handling it well. At all. Lots of crying, self-doubt, not sure what to do next. It's funny, because I'm not someone who's ever defined myself by my career, but it really hit me much harder than I thought it would.
A couple of weeks after I was told the bad news, I was having a bad day. I'd been asked to sit on panel discussion that a student club was hosting. The topic? "Incorporating sustainability into your life" (paraphrasing, I can't remember exactly how they phrased it). I was excited to sit on the panel, and decided that my topic would be childfreedom. I'm now past the point where I can pretend that we can all change our light bulbs and everything will be OK - it's now time to take a really serious look at what can reduce our carbon emissions. Not having children is the biggest step one can take to reduce your carbon footprint.
So I made a powerpoint presentation - it included a couple of funny cartoons, some stats about population and some scientific studies about how reducing the number of kids you have is the best way to reduce your carbon footprint. The second slide literally said "I am not trying to make anyone's reproductive decisions for them. The decision of whether to have children or not is deeply personal. Having children is the right decision for many people. Not having children is a valid decision as well."
I emailed the powerpoint to the panel organizers - and got kicked off the panel. Yep. They emailed me back at told me my topic was "controversial", "sensitive", and asked me for a presentation on campus sustainability initiatives instead.
Needless to say, I was unhappy, and not necessarily in the best frame of mind to deal with it. I walked over to the office of a faculty member who's my friend (and was also on the panel), told her I'd been kicked off the panel, dropped into the chair opposite her desk, burst into tears, and sobbed out that I didn't get the promotion. She comforted me (gave me a big hug), told me she was taking me out for a drink after work. But then she had to run, because she was on the panel and had to show up for it. So she offered to let me chill in her office for the rest of the day (this is what my life has become: hiding in other people's offices until I can leave work).
15 minutes before quitting time, I get a call. It's my boss, and he needs to talk to me. So I told him I'd come over to his office. Head over there, ask him what's up. He tells me the new person, the one who got the job I applied for, is starting on Monday, and he's in a meeting in the morning, and so can I show her where her desk is and introduce her to everyone?
Now, I always try to be the bigger person. I try to be professional, and courteous, and not let my emotions get in the way. But this really felt like twisting the knife.
So I said "Sure, I can absolutely do that", but even as I said it, I felt my eyes well up, and I knew there was no stopping it. I just lost it and started crying in front of my boss.
To his credit, he did offer to cancel the meeting so he could be the one to show her around. And TBH, I think I took him by surprise; I don't think he realized exactly how upset I was at not getting the promotion. But that doesn't make it easier, or simpler. And it doesn't change the situation.
I ended up telling him that I was OK, and that I would show her around and everything. And I fucking did it. Met her when she came in, showed her around, introduced her to everyone in the office, told her where to get her parking pass (because the new person drives to work, unlike me, who actually gives a shit about sustainability and rides my bike).
That was about all I could take, though. I ended up taking the following week off and running away from all my problems to Ottawa, where I have friends - one of whom left sustainability, and the other who is still in the thick of things. I'll post about it on the 2020 travels thread, but it actually really helped to clear my head a bit.
Office politics are an absolute clusterfuck right now, thanks to the change of high-level executives and some other interesting development. So I'm trying to figure out my options; stay with my current employer but change departments, go somewhere else, leave post-secondary entirely, or leave sustainability entirely. It's a tough decision, but I don't think stay where I am is really an option, unless I feel like waiting around for another 8 years to either be passed up again for promotion or let go.
I have an appointment with a career counsellor in a couple of weeks, I'm meeting up with a colleague who's moved departments a lot for coffee, and I've been speaking with my therapist about this. But at this point, I'm really not too sure where my career is going from here.
So that's why I haven't really been on here much over the past few weeks. I'm not sure what I hoped to accomplish by typing all this out, but commiseration is welcome.