Atoning…

Each year on Yom Kippur I basically hide out in my apartment and sleep a lot, waiting for the sun to go down.  Last night on my way home from work, I ran into friends who gave me an extra ticket to services that are being held across the street from my apartment.  Getting up and going this morning at 9am sounded like a good idea.  But then I didn’t go.  I’ve also contemplated going to the closing service this evening, but suspect I will skip that too.  By the time the last hour comes, I am suffering with a raging headache and it’s about all I can do at sundown to get to the kitchen and crack open the stash of bagels and cream cheese.  Does this make me a bad Jew?  I don’t know.  I don’t often worry about that, but it does occasionally cross my mind.  I’m not particularly observant, except that I do go to temple on Rosh Hashanah and I do fast on Yom Kippur.  I like thinking of this as a day of contemplation, of recharging, of starting over for the New Year.  And I guess that’s okay with me.  And I really do need this day. 

Yesterday was a terrible day at work.  It was the day I discovered how stupid I’ve been.  At the beginning of July I thought that my boss and I had come to an understanding and things were going to be better in the long run.  So, of course, I let my guard down.  Flash forward two months and she’s hired a replacement for our coordinator, who changed jobs within the organization.  The new hire is fantastic.  She’s really smart.  We get along great and our boss sees her as the new shining star.  Which is all fine with me.  Except, now that she’s been hired and my boss isn’t afraid of being left without any staff, she thinks she can treat me like crap again.  Which she started to do on Thursday and escalated yesterday.

 The silver lining is that I had a meeting yesterday with another member of the senior staff about an upcoming event.  I happen to have a really good relationship with her and know that she’s no fan of my boss.  I essentially broke down in her office because I was so frustrated and angry and feeling foolish for having thought everything was going to be okay.  I told her everything and she was really helpful.  She essentially told me that it’s now time to go to HR, which I think is the right move.  She also said something to me that made me feel so much better, “You are not crazy.”  It was really good to hear it from someone who I respect.  And I knew it was the truth.  I also confirmed something that I’d only guessed at before:  my boss seems to be uniformly disliked among her senior staff colleagues.  It’s disheartening on one hand to know that this is the person for whom I work.  On the other hand, it made me feel better that a lot of other people I respect also think she’s mean and crazy.  Before the day was out I had spoken to yet another member of the senior staff who made me promise I would take a couple hours out this weekend to document all of the things my boss had done.  And to make sure that I continue to document it.

And then the final thing?  My new colleague and I commuted home together yesterday and we got to talking.  Turns out, she’s as smart as she seems.  She realized the first day that our boss doesn’t know what the hell she’s doing and that soon enough the bloom will be off the rose and she will be blamed for something.  She’s not sure she’s going to stay or leave, but at least I know that I have an additional ally in my day to day.  It doesn’t solve the problem, but it definitely makes things a little easier to deal with.

So, I’ll spend this day fasting and atoning for things I’ve done wrong: hurt I may have caused, times I have not been true to myself, gossip I have enjoyed hearing or perpetrating, jealousy I have let cloud my judgement and ill will I have bore against others.  And as I start over with a clean slate, I pray to be the best person I know how, to be true to myself and to have the strength to do the things I know are right and right for me.  To offer love and forgiveness to other people and to try my best to not be afraid.  And as for my boss, I pray that she finds peace and I try to remember that she has to live with herself for the rest of her life and that she is an angry, fearful person who has to live with herself and her unhappiness for the rest of her life.

The next time you hear from me, I will not be so hungry…

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