ego vs. Ivan (alternate endings)

“If you don’t like it here, you can leave.” That’s what he said to me. 

Work has been tough lately. With my sister in the hospital because of her motorcycle accident, I’ve been taking on a lot more responsibilities. It’s really hard to navigate both stresses of a long work day and the hurt that my family is experiencing. I hear what Ivan is saying, he is probably stressed by upper management and feels that his job is in jeopardy if we don’t work around the clock to produce results. He is saying this, that I can leave, and I feel devalued, but maybe that isn’t what I should feel. I know I am valued because I am trusted with these important projects. I am trusted to fix other people’s mistakes and I can be relied on as a growing member in the team. 

“I like it here Ivan. I am stressed out because of work and my family matters at home. The situation is difficult, is it okay if I start to leave after lunch so I can have time with my family during this hardship?” That’s what I would say to him now. 

When I quit my job at Area23, I harvested so many feelings of resentment, of hurt. Something that stung was hearing my assistant manager Mike tell me that this is the biggest mistake of my life. It wasn’t, and I am happy with my life’s outcome, but I shouldn’t have responded by quitting without notice. In hindsight, it wasn’t fair to the team. And even though I now realize that this environment wasn’t all conducive to growth, I had fostered good relationships with other colleagues there. I worked long days, but we were able to get a lot of things done. We stayed late and came in early, but we were a team. 

How would have Ivan responded if I met his aggression with peace and a resolution to find a positive solution? I don’t know what the answer is to that, but I do know that my ego responded in a way that caused me a lot of hurt and unnecessary anger in the following years. I’ll let that go because where I am now, I don’t want that to be my response. I want to show up and show out for my teammates. I want to bring a positive attitude and humor and peace. So, I’ll let my ego take a backseat.