toxic jobs

Personal stories about toxic jobs and workplace woes.

June 01, 2012

a relic from the past

Everyone was very nice to Ellen when she returned to work after a ten year absence, but she felt like a relic from the past - even her clothing showed her up as being way out of date.

"I thought that the worst part of the return to work process was over when I had successfully hunted down a job, passed a series of interviews and signed the work contract," sighs Ellen, "but my troubles were just beginning -- at work and at home!"

"I had a personal computer at home and thought I was pretty good at word processing," says Ellen, "but unfortunately the system and the word processing program I used at home had been superseded years ago."

"To make matters worse," adds Ellen, "the company had its own peculiar word processing standards and a keyboard that didn't look at all like the one I had at home."

Luckily for Ellen, the company gave her a day's worth of training but it wasn't sufficient to get a handle on what she was supposed to be doing.

"At the training session I couldn't hit the right keys," laughs Ellen. "My hands were accustomed to a keyboard style that just didn't exist any more."

It took Ellen about three weeks to read the manuals and master the basics of her return to work job - and another three months to adjust to the various other workplace changes that manifested themselves as time progressed.

"I'm hitting the right keys now, wearing an up to date outfit and crying less at nights," says Ellen, "but I still feel that a lifetime will not be enough to help bridge everything I missed out on during the ten years I was out of the workforce being a care giver."

Read more about Ellen:

  • family vs work
  • the family conference

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