Whilst we are still well within our first year of marriage, during this last month, we have begun a new year of our lives together. We left 2009 behind and entered 2010 hoping that this would be a good year. Preferably one without redundancies, evictions, unsatisfying jobs and otherwise undue amounts of stress. It hasn’t actually been a terribly auspicious beginning.
This month has seen each of us continuing to struggle with progression in our careers or perhaps what might be better described as a lack thereof. There were a few issues that came to a head for both you and I in December and were the subject of heated and impassioned rants at home. It seems that after that blessed Christmas break however where we left town (and apparently all our good intentions for exercise and the like) to end up doing nothing at all, we came back to work this year and were still dealing with the fallout. And despite the fact that neither role is one which necessitated us to bring work home, it seems that certain aspects followed us there anyway. Because we couldn’t express them at work, frustration, anger, disillusionment and also hurt all hitched a ride home over the past few weeks and wrapped themselves up in surly demeanours and exhaustion. Which is never a nice thing for us to see in each other at the best of times but when it happens to us both simultaneously its damned inconvenient.
But I have tried to be as supportive as I can however. Especially as it seems that on the whole at least, my last couple of weeks were easier than yours. Christmas itself was quite pleasant for me though you keenly felt the absence of your own family. Then on the return to work, I was mostly able to remain content to do as I was told and tamper down the frequent urge to think I might be able to do this better. Apparently initiative is not all its cracked up to be in my office and in my case was best left at the door. It was very humbling however to realise at the end of the month that I was actually not as good at that as I thought.
For a couple of weeks now, we have had the very strong suspicion that you would be asked to resign from your position before your probationary period was up. Despite reaching your specified targets and proving an aptitude for the role, it is apparently rather inconvenient for your department to have its staff question why decisions are actually made. Perhaps because the team leaders and other staff there don’t have the answers themselves. So as a result, the somewhat negative environment has not fostered a good working relationship and it now seems as though they are trying to push you out the door. By whatever means necessary. We therefore discussed the problems you were having and the ones that your workplace has brought to your attention (although how they can justify giving you a warning for absence which was as a result of a work related injury I don’t know). We also discussed ways to handle things but ‘put up or shut up’ is not really your style and your employers seem to favour ‘shape up or ship out’ instead of actually portraying any sort of skill in people management. This doesn’t make it easy.
I was preparing myself for this however. You had a really bad day this month and I can honestly say I never want to see you like that again. It worries me to see you so off centre and it hurts me greatly to see you hurting. I don’t think that your job is a positive place to be at all and I have told you that you should resign at any time if things become too much, like many of your team members have already felt the need to do before you. If thats what is necessary for you to stay healthy, we’ll figure out how to make it work. I will actively support whatever makes you happy and I still actually hold to this because I believe we can make just about anything work. I just never expected that I would be asked to resign from my job first.
As you know, without any heads up, I was taken aside on the second last day of my probation and asked how I thought I was going. I admitted to some teething problems because I know that I have not shared an identical approach to the completion of set tasks with management even if the outcome is the same. I did actually have some positive things to say however but felt like a bit of an idiot when they quickly came back with we actually don’t agree with you and will give you the choice to resign or we’ll let you go. I was told that they were happy with my work and my attention to detail. They could see that I had picked things up quickly and they were comfortable in giving me a good reference, they were just not all that comfortable for me to stay. I guess I believe that it is for the best and there is a small comfort in knowing that other people in my role have had exactly the same difficulties as I did but it was still upsetting.
So now we’re at a crossroads again. Both of us are concerned about the future and about the fact that next week, there may be two of us looking for a new job. We are trying to be strong for each other whilst battling our own self doubt that we are good enough to get that next role that will actually fulfil us. We are also trying to maintain the balance in our relationship when some pretty major parts of our lives have been turned upside down. I personally have been trying to remain supportive so you can take the time you need to decide what you want your next step to be. Of course, there are however those small exceptions like the entire week you had off work due to your injury. I know it was legitimate and you were actually in some pain but for the most part I was just thinking you lucky bastard…you could have put on a load of washing.
In addition to the work woes though, this last month also saw us host our own wine tasting. An evening that was enjoyable if not quite what we initially had in mind. After mulling over our desire to be more social as a couple and your love of wine, we decided to source a selection of Tasmanian Pinots to taste with our friends before sharing dinner. We invited a wide range of people and at one stage it looked as though we might have too many to fit in our unit. People who initially committed however, later pulled out and it was awful to watch how disappointed you were. It seemed to come at the worst possible time and after the effort that you invested into the event, it was a shame that it didn’t work out exactly as you had hoped. It was an intimate evening though, spent with good friends, good food and good wine and I hope that in the end, you would be happy to try and do it again.
And finally, this month saw you discover these letters I have been writing to you. Typically it seems, we never seem to keep anything from the other for very long. Although I have actually been writing these for the past months since we were married, within a week of me posting the previous letters online (backdated to when they were originally written) you managed to come across them. I had never intended on keeping them from you long-term of course but neither had I anticipated you being aware of them quite so soon. I found it somewhat amusing that I had not told anybody about them yet you learnt so quickly. But I think that this is indicative of the honesty that exists between us and I am happy that you know. It has always been my intention to be as fair as I can and give you veto rights over anything you feel should be off limits or removed. I will obey your wishes without question in this regard. Finally, some blind obedience from your wife!
But seriously, this last month hasn’t been an easy one for either of us but we’re still standing and I hope we stay that way for a long time.
Your Loving Wife