The Moment I Felt Invisible at Work
To be honest, it wasn’t just this one moment I felt like I was invisible at work, but this moment made me realize that I do not belong in that environment.
Two months after having my daughter, I had to return back to work from my maternity leave. Of course, I wasn’t excited because I felt like I needed to be at home with my newborn a little longer, but my bills were being disrespectful towards me.
I pull up in the parking lot and sit in my car, staring at my work building. I’m really nervous and I’m trying to decide if I even want to go inside. I wanted to go back home and be with my baby. “You got to pay these bills, Toya.” I take a deep breath and go inside and head upstairs. I stopped for a second and took another deep breath before I turned the corner, “Here we go.”
Before I get to my area, I am stopped in the breakroom.
“Hey Toya, how are you? Welcome back!”
“Hey! Thank you!”
We chit chat for 3 minutes and I finally walk to my desk…. or so I thought.
My desk was taken by the person who was covering for me while I was on maternity leave. I’m thinking to myself, “Okay, I know my manager knew of my return date…so can I get my desk back?” I’m looking around for my manager and she’s sitting at her desk. I go to ask her about my desk and she says, “Oh, hey. Well, you don’t have a seat (laughs), so just sit with someone.”
She didn’t even bother to help me find another place or even get my desk back. She just left me there in the middle of her office to take a call on her cell phone.
My body went through a rush of emotions at that very moment: shock, anger, embarrassment and regret that I even chose to come back. I felt alone.
So, now comes the task of sitting with someone. I tried to target someone that would look up and make eye contact with me while I’m looking to sit with someone and no one looked my way. I know no one really wants anyone to be in their space, which is understandable because I really hate when someone is in mine. Thankfully, my friend didn’t have an issue with me sitting with her, but it was still uncomfortable being there. The next day, I go in naively thinking that the situation would be corrected and it was not. I was told I had to seat with different people every day and some were not welcoming at all, I get it, I’m in your space for 8 hours, but dang, it’s not my fault.
You would never guess when I got my desk back… just take a wild guess.
I NEVER GOT MY DESK BACK!!
I lucked up a month later on a desk from someone that had to take a medical leave, which was away from the area I worked originally. Sitting there knowing that my manager did nothing to fix the problem and just left it in the air showed me that being there, I really wasn’t important enough to my manager or to the company. I was just a person that completed numbers on a spreadsheet.
I have seen and heard of people working for companies for 10-20 plus years, give their precious time and health away for a company that did not value them like they should. They’re quickly replaced with someone bound to repeat the cycle again.
Well, I’m tired of being recycled.
Have you ever felt like you didn’t matter at your job? Let me know in the comments.
Until next time,