Why I’m Afraid to Get a Job

There’s only so much I can take.

Photo by Hunters Race on Unsplash

I have two weeks left of phlebotomy school, and then it’s going to be time to start looking for a full-time job in my new field.

I’m terrified of this, but not for the reasons you might think.

Though I’ve struggled a lot since starting school with my self-confidence, constantly asking myself whether I can do this, I have proven to myself that I can.

I am getting good grades, I am doing great blood draws, and I’m confident that not only will I pass the class, but will be able to get a high enough average to earn a letter of recommendation from my teacher.

The truth is, part of me is really excited to get a job in phlebotomy.

It’s something I’ve always been interested in, and now that I am actually doing it it’s even more fun than I thought it would be.

Plus, I love jobs where I get to meet and interact with new people every day, like waitressing, and I think it’s going to feel very rewarding to be part of the health care system in a position where I am actually helping people every day.

But there’s something I’m terrified of, something that scares me when it comes to having any job:

I’m terrified that my boss will be an asshole.

I have had terrible, horrible, no good very bad luck with bosses for my entire life.

I’ve had bosses who have harassed me, bosses who have shamed me, bosses who have gone out of their way to personally make my life miserable… and I just don’t think I can take that anymore.

When I left the workforce to try my hand at freelance designing and writing back in the fall of 2016, I made a promise to myself that I intend to keep:

I will no longer eat shit from assholes.

I will no longer tolerate bad bosses in my life, and I’m afraid that is going to make it hard to be happy in any job I take because you never know going into things what kind of boss you are really going to get.

I’ve talked a lot about this with my parents, who know that the interactions I’ve had with terrible bosses have had a lot to do with the severity of my anxiety and depression, which have lessened considerably since my last real job.

They tell me:

“Not all bosses are bad, you can’t go into this assuming your boss will be an asshole.”

But, it’s hard for me to believe that after every other experience in life has proven them wrong, and it’s making me very anxious about this impending job search.

I just see myself going into an interview, getting a bad vibe from a potential boss, and saying:

“Thank you, but no thanks, you seem like a real asshole.”

I know this isn’t a good way to be.

I need to bring that confidence I have in myself when it comes to school and put it toward finding something, and someone, that I can tolerate every day.

Because I won’t tolerate a bad boss again.

I’ve been through hell when it comes to bosses.

Now, I’ve had almost two and a half years of bliss because I’ve gotten to be my own boss.

I wish that my endeavors could have worked out so that I could support myself and my family with them, but it didn’t happen for me.

Maybe I didn’t work hard enough.

Maybe it’s because I was never passionate about designing websites for other people, and maybe it’s because I just didn’t double down on my passion for writing from the beginning.

Either way, time is up for me, and I have to re-enter the workforce whether I like it or not.

I have to go choose which flavor of shit sandwich I’d like to eat.

A great job with a terrible boss?

A mediocre job with a sweet boss?

I don’t know.

It’s a mystery what the immediate future holds for me, but it’s coming on fast, and I have to be prepared to make some hard choices that my future will depend on.

I hope I get a really nice, good sandwich.