There have been a lot of happy stories in Starts At Sixty so far, some written by me, but now I’m writing about something not happy at all, in fact the reverse! It began when I left a job in Burwood and was fortunate to get another one in Mount Waverley. (It’s not always easy to get a job when you’re fifty nine years old, as I was at the time. )
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The position was with a small printing firm, as designer and finished artist. I was to design and produce artwork for a wide range of printed items, ranging from brochures, and posters, to newsletters, stationery and cards –the work handled by many general printers.
At first, everything went well. The boss even came to the studio on several occasions to thank me for the good work I was doing. I had left my own business when we emigrated to Australia, a business I had owned for twenty years producing material for a series of International clients. I considered myself very fortunate to have a skill that allowed me to do a job which I loved and paid well too! Even at this new company I was quite happy, (at first). It wasn’t until I had been there for about four months that the situation started to deteriorate, with the boss storming into my studio some mornings, swearing and hollering at all the things I was supposed to have done wrong the day before, which I had not!
He would change his own rules and instructions, almost on a daily basis and then blame me for not getting it right. He would find new things for me to do, not necessarily too closely allied to my proper work. He would demand that I write reports on the equipment I was using detailing reasons why they should be replaced, but once he had my report, he would do nothing about it. And all this just skims over the actual situation!
The trouble was, I was a very conscientious person when it came to my work, I always do my very best to please whoever I am doing it for – you have to be like that to succeed in your own business for twenty years! So his attitude hit me fairly hard and it got to the stage, after about a year, that I would be physically sick most mornings, before leaving home, I couldn’t sleep at all well either, worrying about what was going to be wrong the next day. I knew I was getting very close to some sort of breakdown! Now the trouble was, at my age I was really trying to hold on to this last job until my retirement, in three years time, so I was putting up with what was going on as much as I could. It got to the stage though that Jacqui told me I should see our doctor about the situation, and this I did. Thankfully, he allowed me a week off work and gave me some fairly powerful drugs to help with the depression I was suffering. Then I handed in my notice!
I was with that company for three years before I gave up and left, to save my own sanity. Ironically, in the time I was there nine others left because they just could not stand the man, so I felt that proved it wasn’t me who was at fault. It took me a long time to start loving my work again, and luckily I have now been retired for some time too, so that evil man is well and truly behind me – thank goodness!
photo credit: Viewminder via photopin cc