In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “Must Not Fail.”
In the few months before I met my husband I was requested by ex-colleagues to join a startup company. I was between projects so was not busy at work. I decided to go for it, receiving a good increase in the process. From the first day I knew it was not going to be for me. At times I would be left in a small office by myself with no one to talk to, and systems to learn. I’ve always worked in an open-plan office. I am somewhat reserved so it is not that I spend my time chatting to the others or making heaps of friends, but I like having people around me. To put me in an empty space for hours on end is never going to give me warm fuzzy feelings. I learnt the software and persevered. There were defects in the software that made it difficult to work with. Being the only engineer, I ended up working days, nights and weekends. My stress levels rocketed. My nails were torn off, nerves shot.
In the meantime my role at my previous company had been filled. I remember getting a phone call from the new engineer asking me about some code.
One day, after six months of this elevated pressure, I had enough. The system kept on randomly crashing, and I couldn’t deliver to the clients. My nerves gave out and I couldn’t go on. I started crying and could not stop. I was 25 and had no support system. There was no one in the world I could turn to. I had met someone and starting dating him. I was so fond of him, thought the world of him. He eventually couldn’t handle a manic-me, falling apart and turning into a crazy lady. He left. I was devastated. More tears. My mother had passed away a few years back, and my grandmother whom I was very close to had also recently passed away. It was me on my own. I called my previous manager. Do you have work for me please? Yes, come and see me tomorrow, he replied. I did, and after a short break I went back. On the first day of my return I met my replacement. He had a lovely smile. But when I tried to chat to him he just kept busy. Oh well. Leave him be. He’s busy, I get it. And my heart’s just been broken I’m not interested in men anyway. This was in the October. In the January we started working on a project together. The following January we got married. But I haven’t changed companies since then. I continued to work for the same company in Australia. They were partly responsible for my relocation. And I’m still there. I guess I’m too scared to leave. Last year I had enough, seven years in Sydney and it’s time. It was offered that I take an extended break, with my position still held. So I did, I had four months being a stay-at-home Mum and loved it. And I only work four days a week, Mondays are mine, it’s a privilege I don’t want to give up!