A Tough Call

It’s been an action packed week, which resulted in a $22,000 a year wage increase for myself. As I sit and reflect on everything that happened, I’m still unable to grasp it.

I’ve worked for my current employer for the past five years, and it’s had many ups and downs. Recently, I’ve felt the need for change. I need new challenges, and I want to make more money. I’m just gonna say it like it is. I’ve had some feelers out for a while now, and an interesting prospect came my way last week. Phone discussions and in person interviews led to an employment offer last Friday.

The offer was not what I had hoped for, so on Monday I declined. However, the recruiter continued to pursue me, and I agreed to further discussions. With nothing to lose, I sent them a counter offer fully expecting them to walk away. Instead, they agreed to my terms and I accepted the offer.

Wednesday morning, I met with my current bosses to resign my position, and I was completely shocked by their reaction. I’m the HR manager for the company, and I’ve witnessed their reaction to people leaving. They typically take it very personally, and they don’t handle it well. In my case, they were kind. So kind, they asked what they could do to change my mind.

My first reaction was that I wouldn’t entertain an offer. I had already signed an agreement with the new company, and I didn’t want my current employers to feel I was using this as a bargaining chip. Hours later, my boss asked to meet with me. He began by expressing how much the company valued me. He detailed every aspect of what I bring, and how they would consider this a great loss. He then held up my resignation letter and asked me what it would take to rip it up on the spot. I’m sure the look on my face was nothing less than “stunned”.

In that moment, I’ve never felt so valued and appreciated. I told him that I would not be able to give him an answer right then. However, I did give him a number that I felt I was worth. He offered me thousands over that. A number I never in my life thought I’d earn. I left his office with a promise that I would think it over and give them an answer by the end of the day.

I was overwhelmed, anxious, and I had no idea what I was going to do. I was now in a position that made me feel very uncomfortable. I had given my word to the other company, and I’m not one to go back on my word. But how could I not consider my own financial well being? How could I turn my back on a company that had always been pretty good to me? I’m not a ruthless business person, so the decision weight extremely heavy on me.

In the end, I made the decision to stay where I was. The relationships I have with my coworkers was what swayed my decision. Yes, the money was definitely a major factor. I can now provide a very comfortable life for myself, and that means a lot. I still feel terrible for turning down the offer with the new company. They were great people, and I appreciated their invite for employment. I had explained my situation to the recruiter, and today, I emailed the owners directly to thank them and wish them well.

For someone like me, this situation caused a lot of emotional stress and anxiety. In the end, however, I made the right decision for myself.

The Never Ending Need

For as long as I can remember, I suffer from what I call “a never ending need.” I always feel like I need something: coffee, wine, gum, food. It could be anything really, but nothing fulfills the need. Is this a symptom of my anxiety disorder, or is there something missing in my life? If only I knew the answer to that question.

At the age of 16, I started smoking cigarettes. Thankfully, I quite well over 15 years ago. However, I replaced it with an equally expensive habit — Nicotine gum. It’s ridiculous, I know, but I can’t kick the habit. I’ve stopped for a year or so here or there, but I always end up back on the gum. When I do stop, I end up chewing an enormous amount or Trident or Excel. So much so, I make myself sick.

Coffee and wine are my other “bad” habits used to try and satisfy my unease. I suppose I could go without the morning coffee, but I struggle to keep my wine consumption to a reasonable level. Without my little crutches, I find myself restless and anxious. I pace my house or the office, and I get very irritable. Food is my last resort, and I think the other habits started as a way to not eat.

I was a chubby kid, and I suffered from a couple of eating disorders in my teens and early 20s. Coffee and cigarettes kept me from eating my feelings, and I think that has stayed with me into older adulthood. I eat healthy for the most part, and that’s one habit I’d like to keep. However, I’m tired of the useless, expensive, and down right stupid habits I can’t seem to get under control.

I’ve tried therapy, self-help books, talking with friends, exercise, cooking, and classes to try and get a grip of myself. Nothing seems to work long-term. It’s definitely gotten harder as I’ve aged. Even though I’ve failed to find a permanent solution to this persistent “need,” I am not giving up. My ammo is a combination of research and goal setting. There’s a creatively designed vision board pinned to my bedroom wall, and I’m trying mindfulness…again.

With any luck, I will reduce my dependency — even if it’s for a short time. Small victories are my goal. A win would be fantastic, but I will take what I can get. Over the past week and a half, I’ve only succumb to wine on one occasion. I have a goal of not drinking at all this week (including the weekend). This seems like a doable goal, but it’s only Monday morning and a lot can happen between now and the weekend.