For the past several months I’ve been running a jazz club.
With no experience.
And little help.
I’ve sacrificed most of my free time. I’ve strained relationships with a number of friends since I seldom have time to see them. I don’t make enough money to live on despite working 40 hours a week. I have to move because I cannot afford to keep living where I’m living. I have trouble eating and sleeping, sometimes even laughter is a chore. Why am I doing this?
You could argue that I’m getting an amazing education. What exactly am I being educated in? How to babysit selfish and needy musicians? How to play “beat the bank”, write bad checks, and con my way out of paying money that we owe? How to choose who I can stand up to and who I can’t? How to wipe everybody else’s ass? Don’t get me wrong, I am grateful for the life experience, the skills I’ve developed, everything I’ve learned about myself, and the ways I’ve grown as a person. I guess you could say I’m being schooled in the art of bullshit: how to best deal with it, and how much of it I can possibly take without shattering. I think I’ve reached that breaking point.
Running a business is a hard job, regardless of the situation. I can’t help but feel that every deck is stacked against me. I’ve been thrown into a situation where my job has basically been to attempt to clean up an epic mess that was made and neglected before I was even in the picture, and while doing that, provide life-support for a struggling business. And keep a “positive outlook”…… really? Good thing I’m a good actress…..
I’ve amazed myself at what I’ve accomplished and what I plan on continuing to accomplish, but I’m running out of steam. I’m running out of steam because I don’t have enough fuel. I don’t have enough fuel because I don’t feel like what I’m doing is appreciated or even respected.
I’m not looking for an award or a parade or a medal or a prize. I don’t expect anyone to bow down to me or kiss my ass. I don’t need my picture on the wall. I just need some validation, some appreciation, some respect. I don’t need everyone to know all that I do and my daily struggles, and I don’t want them to feel sorry for me. However, I don’t think my work being acknowledged on a somewhat regular basis is too much to ask.
The fact that I even have to ask for such a thing is incredibly off-putting. Respect and appreciation are not things you should have to ask for. Ever. Do I honestly need to remind everyone exactly what it is that I’m doing? I think they already know….and they simply don’t care.
I am not a slave, I am not a robot, I am not somebody’s ugly stepsister, I am not stupid, I am not superwoman. I cannot read minds, I cannot please everyone. I am not a door mat. I am a human being. I have feelings (though at this point they’re sort of numbed). I have needs. I have dreams.
I am far too nice a person. I took on this endeavor out of the goodness of my heart, but that goodness is running out and so far no one’s doing anything to even attempt to replace it.
I shouldn’t say no one. The staff appreciate and respect me, and the members of the younger bands, and certain members of the sextet. I however do not feel it from the people that I think should be giving me the most, especially the person I’m doing this for, the one who in the beginning was my inspiration.
I’m doing this for you, Jefa. Because I love you dearly and care so much. I know the horrible things you’ve dealt with and I know and feel for what you’re going through now. I’m so, so sorry you’re sick and it actually breaks my heart…. However, your pain and struggle and illness does not excuse you from showing me some appreciation and validation. I don’t even know if you realize what you’re doing. I remember when I first started working for you, you said something about employees not feeling appreciated. I never thought that would happen to me, but it has, times 10.
I’ve done nothing but be helpful. I’ve given so much love, so much time, so much energy, so much patience. I’ve been incredibly flexible and understanding, generous, affectionate. I’m not getting any of it back. Any of it. I can’t keep giving without getting something in return.
You see how people treat me. You let them walk all over me. I know I need to grow a spine, but you’re not helping. No one is helping.
We are not working as a team. I am seen as a puppet. My opinions don’t matter, my feelings don’t matter, I’m not respected, and my work is not appreciated. I’m always the last to know when decisions are made, and in actuality, shouldn’t I have an input on decisions, you know, since I’m the one that is responsible for making sure whatever was decided is actually carried out?
I feel so used. I’m not garbage. I don’t know anyone else that would put up with being treated like this.
I care way too much.