Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Not feeling all that great...

First full day of unemployment in quite some time. I didn't enjoy it much. Between my Aquaman blog still being down and a petty city official being an idiot about dandelions, I had what little enjoyment I might have gotten from not-dealing-with-a-boss-I've-come-to-despise taken away from me.

For those of you not in the know, I'm no longer a reporter. My boss broke the camel's back Monday morning after an incredibly difficult morning, during which I was having a massive anxiety attack at work. I stormed out after he insulted me and, because I left work suddenly and without permission, I got fired. It's been coming for several weeks now, so it was not a huge surprise to me. I should have realized I'd be gone eventually because this is the guy that, when I first met him years ago when he was working at a different newspaper, I said, "Boy, I'm glad I don't work for him."

I'm curious to see if he'll succeed at his job. He's supposed to revive the local paper, bring up circulation and make it a thriving business. So far, he's managed to drive off a few advertisers and employees on the one hand, and expand into two cities that were desperate for a good newspaper to cover them on the other hand. I don't really care if he fails or succeeds, but having seen his methods first-hand, I don't doubt he'll rub a lot of people the wrong way before he's done. I'm not going to root for the paper to fail: I loved my job before he came along far too much for that. But I won't be cheering his successes in the slightest. All the awards in the world don't make you a good person.

I cannot predict how he'll do in the long run, but I'm glad I'm not part of it. He and I get along like flame and water. I will say this: I gave it my best shot. But it's hard to work with a person who makes you physically ill when you just think of him. I've been having frequent anxiety attacks, due to him. And they were getting worse.


Eric and I agreed I should take a week off to recover from the hell of the last few months, after which I need to find work. We can't quite make it through the summer without me bringing in some income. The mortgage payments are just a little too much to swing without something from my side.

I'm going to miss being a reporter. I enjoyed a lot of aspects of the job, which made the annoying parts tolerable. I've learned I absolutely hate crime reporting. I don't mind council meetings and anything technical, like port, is kind of fun for me. I handle people much better in small doses, so generally speaking, those sorts of meetings were much more comfortable for me to handle. I still love to do research, and would gladly hunt down facts from anywhere to help write a story. I also have a better idea of how to interview people, which is a skill I simply did not have before. I'm still nervous most of the time, but at least I can do it now. I'm a bit better at editing, though I'll never be a great copy-editor. I can edit for clarity just fine, but typos are my Kryptonite.

I'm told I'm a good writer. The boss told me I wasn't a good reporter, and kept saying it. The last few months have been horribly demoralizing. I didn't realize until I started writing this paragraph just how bad it was. I'm not sure a day went by when I didn't ask myself if I was any good at my job, because if I was any good at it, why would the boss keep insulting me constantly? I think he isn't even aware of how insulting he is. I'm not sure whether I pity or hate him. A little of both, but mostly apathy. He's not worth my time any more. I think I'd already determined his opinion shouldn't matter to me weeks ago, but it's going to take longer to handle the stress of having worked with him.

My confidence has taken a massive hit. Not because I got fired: I was expecting that and ready for it. But because of the thousand little insults flung at me by the boss. I'm still bleeding from the wounds. If only I could convince myself it is him that was the problem, and not me! But the little demons are telling me I should have adjusted to his style faster, and that I was so crappy at my job that I'm better off flipping burgers somewhere. At least I'd make as much money flipping burgers as I did there. Yeah, that's how little I got paid.

I'm not sure how to break into freelance writing properly, or if there's a proper way. All I know is that I'm going to need paying jobs if I want to make a go of it... otherwise I'd better get my apron and spatula ready.