Some Morning Reflections

It really is the simple things.

I'm delicately poking my keyboard, trying to type with wet nails. Three coats of paint and a solid top coat is enough to get me about 5 days without chipping. It's a delicate process, but I appreciate a good manicure.

Today's blog is going to be a bit...strong. It's spurred by my sudden, venomous rage towards those above me at work, and the fact I woke up in pure anger at 3 am. After an hour of lying still, I finally threw in the towel (or more accurately, off the blanket) and decided to check emails and paint my growing claws. That included YouTube videos, which ultimately led to googling side-jobs and the mental dip into contingency financial planning (sound familiar??). Now, with a cup of freshly poured coffee in front of me, I'm going to go back to this blogs roots at 5:20 am, and talk about a bit about self-appreciation and knowing your worth. This also is defined by knowing your limits--a boundary I personally found the hard way.

When I made the decision to move out here, while not the total selling point, a huge factor was my work schedule. I'm supposed to shadow my team, working an alternating 3/4 work week, 12-hr shifts. One assumes with a salaried position that the hours will be longer--a proven 14-16 total per day, and that one might occasionally need to come in and support outside the standard shift. 

Well, I was hired on a flat out lie.

We all were. It's been a topic of discussion amongst my peers for weeks, now, but I have yet to see a week with 4-days off. Until this week, that is. And even then, I still did administrative work every day from home, since there isn't time to do it while I'm actually at work. My first week at Tesla was a 6-day work week, followed by 5-days, a few 4-days, then 5 and 6 days for the last several weeks. Now, if you follow the news any, you'll know there's a cloud of mystery hanging over the Model 3 line--yes, that was a huge driver to my asinine hours. To nearly everyone's asinine hours. And yet, until this week, I had yet to really complain. Why?

Todos estamos contribuyendo.

We are all contributing.

It was rough for everyone, and we all worked together to pull off some pretty amazing stuff. In the middle of an overtime night, exhausted, a maintenance tech phrased it best, to me. But now that the major push is over, I'm faced with a serious problem: My glass is empty. 

I went into this weekend scraping the bottom of my cup, and yet I still plowed through as much admin work as I could for my first 30-ish hours off. My justification, my light at the end of the tunnel, was that I was actually going to take a full weekend. All meetings had been cancelled, and there was no order from above to be physically present on off-days. I was in the clear. I muted all group chats, and only responded to emails that required immediate attention. Still plugged in, but with the exception of the trickling text messages, I was on my own terms. Sunday and Monday were a bit nightmarish, as I was still trying to do full-fledged office work from home, but Tuesday was my time, and consequently led to the first solid night of sleep in weeks.

Then, yesterday. I wake up sore and refreshed, take care of more emails and admin, and then enjoy the morning with my dog. I have more admin work that requires physical work access, so I considered going in just to knock it out, but again, on my own time.

Just after 6 pm, my phone starts ringing. It's my boss. 

Not to say I flat out ignored it, but I was in the middle of a yoga flow and I wasn't about to stop. Especially, with the heat that rose up inside of me. 

It's my day off, and you're seriously going to call me asking why I am not there.

It seemed like such a small act--he called and left a message. Nothing unusual, but it's everything around it. The direct text messages since 9 am, the emails, the incessant expectation of 24/7 work, without either being properly set up for it, or compensated for it. It triggered me and took me a solid 2.5 hrs of venting to my father to finally calm down. Even after a second walk and another trip to they gym, I couldn't shake the aggression. Clearly shown, when I wake up pissed-as-all-hell at 3 am.

Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the work I do. What I don't enjoy is the lack of understanding from those in authoritative positions over me. I'm worn out, and the quality of my work is starting to suffer as a result. I shouldn't have to dip into my limited vacation days just to secure a weekend I should have off, to begin with. If I wanted to live that life, I could have just stayed in Ohio.

To me, right now, it's affirming the notion of putting myself first. Because honestly, after everything yesterday, I still checked up with my counterparts to ensure they didn't actually need the support (they didn't, by the way).

***Dang. I just rubbed of a corner of my nail polish. Got a bit carried away typing... :( ***

That's really it, though. There are some brilliant people there, but it often feels like in terms of industrial manufacturing, only a few folks know how it actually rolls. You can't fix every problem by just throwing labor at it, and you can't discount the value of a well-rested, supported human. If you grind your team to nubs, you won't have any sharp thinkers left (heh..I just came up with that one...).

After my gym session last night, I tried out the hot tub at my apartment complex. That definitely helped, and will be a valuable resource to me in the months moving forward. But it shouldn't have to be that way. It shouldn't be a life where the only reason I'm able to sustain it is because I pay a ridiculous amount in rent for amenities I'd never have dreamed of having in Ohio. It's a stretch even with the dog; I couldn't imagine working this life if I had a present significant other or a family that included little ones. It's just not healthy, or sustainable in the long-term.

It rolls into the saying "More money, more problems". With the job comes greater headaches. The stress and physical problems need more vacation time or relaxation time to fix, which typically costs money. A beer or dinner with friends, higher rent for easier access to life accommodations (creature comforts, as I've been told it's called), gyms and club memberships, traveling to get away...From the outside, it's a pretty fancy way of living. But it definitely has a secret price. 

I guess the developments of my professional life have helped me trim the fat off the amount of bulls*** I'm willing to tolerate from any given person or company. I shouldn't have to feel guilty for taking time to recharge. I shouldn't have to fight or stand strong to get my rightful time off. I shouldn't have to be made to feel like less of an employee, because I recognize when my ethics are deteriorating and I want to step back and recharge. I lead people, that's the essence of what I do. And in order to do that well, I have to be, well, me. I can't be me, make the right decisions, or lead properly if I'm disgruntled, excessively overworked, and saltier than the Dead Sea.

From where I'm standing, if giving up me is the ultimate price of where I'm at, I'll take a refund.