I realised this afternoon that it was three years to the day since my last day as an employed person. Three years and four days ago I quit my job as a Sports Editor to become a freelance contractor. Leaving a world with a safety net was kind of scary in all honesty but it was a move I had to do for my own sanity. I won’t knock my former company but we had different ideas for the future of my project and it got to a point where both sides wanted me to move on. The fact they thought I was defrauding them was probably the final straw. Luckily an offer came my way and I took it even though it was moving away from how I thought my life would go.
Those that know me well know that I’m a fairly cautious person. The big decisions I take a long time over but once the decision is made it is made. I was offered the new job in the autumn and yet it wasn’t until December 30 that I shook hands on it and instigated my new path. In general no-one at the company was sad to see me go. Very few thought I was even competent at my job and most disliked and dis-valued my project. If I’m being honest it was this that probably led to me leaving more than anything else. To get any help on any issue was like swimming upstream in a raging torrent and when you throw in the fact that I can’t swim too good (or write English too good neither so it would seem) I would sit there some days and think ‘what is the point?’
One day I sat there and seven project were working full-time on another project – one with 21 websites. This went on for months. People were specifically hired to get this project done. My project had 47 websites and it was just me. I was even stopped from using any of the freelance writing staff we had. How was I to get 47 different online communities going with just me? I remember the blog v forum debates. It was a no brainer. Blogging was the way forward to get the sites on the up with a forum coming later if needed. Alas it wasn’t to go down that way.
Building a blog would have taken mere days. A forum that it was decided would be integrated into another system would take the best part of a year. Then one day I got an IM from the boss stating ‘we need to write about x’ so I asked ‘where?’ and his response was ‘we need a blog on all the sites’. This was about a month before the forums went live. I sat there at my desk and my jaw smashed against the floor. Just under a year ago all I was faced with was ‘I don’t understand blogs or the point of them’ and now they wanted a blogging facility. It was like we had wasted the best part of a year. It was like I had wasted the best part of a year.
Things weren’t helped when my biggest ally left. She couldn’t deal with the ways things were run any more and that the job she was hired to do became a completely different one to the one she was being asked to do. After that the dynamic of our office changed dramatically. In our office there were seven people. Five of them all from the same family. I think it is fair to say I didn’t exactly fit in with their culture. So I would spend all day with my head down hardly saying a word. I’d overhear conversations that were so insane it was untrue. The things they would say about the developers were pretty disgraceful.
I nearly lost my job once when I overheard someone say what their salary was and commented on it. The bosses thought I had hacked into the computer with all that data on. The fact several other people heard the person say their salary wasn’t important. They didn’t believe me and did her and that was that. I was told the only reason I didn’t lose my job was because they couldn’t prove it. And people wonder why I never felt comfortable in my job. Also the fact the CCTV camera was moved to watch me and my screen perfectly was noted.
So yeah that was that. After 18 months or so I would be departing for pastures new. Somehow I seem to be doing ok. I’m not doing what I planned to do with the rest of my life but I’m only 28 so plenty of time to see where life takes me. I get to work from home which I do enjoy and gives me freedom to do other things as well. I’m now back in the radio studio and now also in a commentary box. I also am running for local government. These things didn’t seem in the works three years ago. In fact they weren’t even anywhere near my thought process.
It is probably fair to say I do at times wonder ‘what if?’ if only for a fleeting moment. My project was one that could have been fantastic but it was more frustrating than anything I’ve ever known. So life took me down a different path and here I type. Sometimes life takes you down paths that you didn’t see but that is all part of life itself. You can have everything planned out in your head and then something changes and the knock-on effect is that everything changes.
I am who I am today because of everything that I have been through. Had I not then I would be different. Would I be a better or worse person? I don’t know and I can never know. All I do know is looking at my past and where I am today then things haven’t worked out too terribly. I think I wish I could be different on certain things but I guess we all do.
Three years and four days ago I took a leap of faith into the unknown. Three years ago I walked into that unknown. It was scary but it worked out. I have one regret from my last few days there and a few of those reading this will know what it was. One thing ended far worse than it ever should have but I suppose that’s life. I do wish that had ended on a far different note. I truly do. However it is what it is and that is that. I don’t regret that leap into the unknown. That I know for sure. Whatever happens in the future I am more at peace with myself than at any point in my life and that decision is no small part of it.
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