toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

January 26, 2008

out of work, out of friends

When Polly lost her job, she wasn't too upset because she had a huge circle of friends and was pretty sure that one of them would help her find a new job quickly.

"I started networking straight away," says Polly, "and let everyone know my circumstances and how much I'd appreciate their help in any way towards finding me a new job."

"In the first month of being unemployed I contacted over a hundred people," says Polly. "Most I contacted by telephone, but some I wrote to because they lived too far away and I didn't want to run up a huge telephone bill."

"In the second month of being unemployed I relaxed a bit and looked forward to my efforts reaping a bit of reward," explains Polly, "but I sat by the telephone day after day and checked the mail and only four of the hundred or so people I had contacted bothered to catch up with me."

"Of those four people," sighs Polly, "only one was helpful in being very happy to keep an eye out for any job openings she heard of and to give me a job reference should I need one."

"The other three people who responded to my request for help in finding a new job turned out to be more of a hindrance to my job seeking efforts than a help," sighed Polly.

"Frankly, the ninety-six people who didn't bother to do anything to help me were more honest about their interest in helping me than the three people who pretended to care and made my job seeking efforts more difficult than ever."

"I was vulnerable and eager to please everyone in the early months of being unemployed," explains Polly, "and these three people took advantage of my circumstances to serve their own ulterior motives."

"One was a guy I had worked with in a previous job who promised to put in a good word for me with his present employer but all he really wanted was to wear me down with endless telephone calls in hope of getting into my pants."

"This guy ended up telephoning me every day," says Polly, "and he'd waste so much of my time talking about rubbish that I had to tell him not to telephone me any more. I had asked for his help in finding me a job and I wasn't going to allow him to twist the situation into one where he was trying to form a romantic alliance with me."

"The second fair weather friend in my job searching period was, surprisingly, an old school friend," says Polly. "She had a very high profile government job and could quite easily have found me a short-term contract job within her department to tide me over until I found a permanent job, but she behaved abominably towards me."

"She rang me back about a month after I first called her," explains Polly, "and we went out for lunch but all she wanted to talk about was her marital troubles."

"I paid for lunch," laughs Polly, "and sat there for three hours listening to her marital woes and whenever I raised the subject of job opportunities she acted coyly."

"I got the distinct impression that she actually enjoyed my discomfiture," confides Polly. "and this really disturbed me because you really don't expect an old school friend to play power games with you."

"I had never really been in a 'down' situation before losing my job," explains Polly, "so I had no idea how any of my friends would react when I asked them for help."

"If adversity sorts the wheat from the chaff and separates the good friends from the fair weather friends," laughs Polly, "then I suggest that everyone should manufacture a crisis very early in life in order to test their friends!"

"The third and final fair weather friend was a girl who had done some temp work at my old company," says Polly.

"We had gotten along great together," explains Polly, "and when she said she'd put in a great reference for me if I signed up at her temp agency I went ahead and did so."

"I smelled a rat when the agency never called me," laughs Polly. "My friend was boasting about all the temp jobs she was getting, and refusing, and saying things to me that made me feel bad - such as, 'haven't you found a job yet?' and 'maybe you should lower your sights and work in a shop or something'."

"I don't believe she put in a good word for me at all," sighs Polly, "and I wouldn't be surprised if she actually told the agency not to hire me!"

"No, I'm not being ridiculous," says Polly. "I trust my gut feelings and accept that some friends are helpful and some friends aren't, and other friends can turn out to be downright nasty when the chips are down."

"One helpful friend out of a hundred doesn't sound much," sighs Polly, "but one helpful friend is all I really need and I'm grateful for her."

"When we're down we need friends to pick us up and help us - not drag us down further than we are already," laughs Polly. "So from now on I'm adopting a tough stand with the people in my life - if they're not helping me, they're hindering me!"

Polly's story first appeared as job hindering friends

Labels: , , , , , , , ,

Copyright 2006-2014 all rights reserved Toxic Jobs



Index A-Z Toxic Jobs and Workplace Woes

Previous 10 Stories