Today’s assignment: publish a post based on your own, personalized take on a blogging prompt:
Pinpoint a moment in your past where you had to make a big decision. Write about that other alternate life that could have unfolded.
I was working for a narcissist. It was essentially a cult. The expectation, if you wanted to advance, was to be on call 24/7 and respond immediately to all questions and concerns.
Moreover, staff who found favour always anticipated ways to ingratiate themselves. Special birthday wishes at the exact hour of the boss’ birth. Offerings of mid-day snack runs. Acceptance and eternal gratitude for gifts and raises bestowed.
After awhile, on the fringe of fully buying into the dysfunctional work environment, I knew I was sinking into a black hole of self-loathing. I had to escape. But I hung on. I had witnessed the punishment, the defamation, of others who had left before the boss had deemed it was time for them to go.
I descended further, alienating myself from family and friends. I felt worthless. When the prospect of another job in a similar environment appeared, I jumped at it, if only to free myself of one pile for another. It took me another couple of years to get extricate myself from that job, and several more to recover from the combined experience.
If I had stayed in the first place, if I had bought in, I imagine I would have been handsomely compensated financially. I would also be divorced, perhaps one true friend remaining.
My life would consist of fatty foods, alcohol, destructive relationships, and extravagant clothes and trips – failed efforts to escape my prison. I would also have my next career move pre-arranged for me, complete with a glowing reference and a tether of obligation.
Many years later, I continue to pay for my decision with diminished reputation and job opportunities. I never regret it.