How Do I Confess This?


#1

I feel like I need to take this to confession but I don’t know what to say. But maybe there is nothing to confess and I’m being scrupulous. Or maybe I really do need to go to confession and I’m trying to justify my behavior. I need help from (Catholic) internet strangers to listen to my venting and tell me what to do.

Short version: My supervisor and co-workers have been playing the game called, “let see how far we can push Jennifer before she’ll finally snap,” for years…and I finally snapped. Without warning, and acting totally out of character, I packed up my belongings and walked out on my job with no one trained to replace me. I was tired of the stress and sleepless nights and being blown off when I bring up a concern. I was scared for the health of my unborn baby and tired giving the leftovers of myself to my husband and children. I wanted my supervisor and co-workers to experience how hurt I was, but in quitting I know I hurt the GM and the whole company, which I did not intend.

Long version: I worked in the billing office of a home medical equipment for the better part of a decade. I worked on the Medicare billing team for 3 years, quit to be a stay at home mom for 3 years, then worked on the Medicaid billing team for 4 years. I was the laughing stock of the company because I practice NFP so everyone knew it was just a matter of time before I got pregnant and quit again. But I was also the brain because I memorized the Medicare and Medicaid policies in their procedure manuals and knew how to utilize the software better than anyone else; this showed because people, those in other parts of the billing office, respiratory therapists, rehab workers, the GM, everyone, came to be multiple times a day asking me for help so much that it was inhibiting the quantity of work I could get done. I would even get phone calls from doctor’s offices, in town and out of town, calling me for help because I had such a reputation. You’d think my supervisor would be understanding in why I constantly had piles of work in my baskets but let me explain her personality.

My supervisor, SG, has mood swings lasting 3-5 weeks. During that period of time she’d be the happiest person in the world, so delightful to talk to and cracking jokes and laughing. Then she’d turn…and scream at everyone, including me, for the most trivial things. If I was already using the fax machine when she wanted to, I’d step aside and allow her to, but when she saw I had 3 faxes already in progress so she’d have to wait for her confirmation page (I offered to bring it to her desk), her face would get red, she’d clench her fists and her whole body would shake in rage while she screamed at me. One day my internet connection was not working so I could not access our software so I contacted our IT department but instead of waiting, doing nothing, I moved to the desk of the only coworker that was gone sick that day so I could log on and work, but her screen was locked. Our IT department had come in at night to update everyones computer and locked our screens when they left. I told SG my dilemma and her face turned red, fists clenched, and she roamed around the whole office screaming at me and everyone that the next person to lock their screen is going to be fired. Others had to calm her down and remind her that even her screen had been locked that morning because of IT. We ended up calling the sick coworker to ask her password so I could log on and work til IT fixed my internet connection. These are only 2 examples of her explosive character.

I understand that no matter where anyone works, only 20% of the people do 80% of the work. I am the 20%. But we also operated in 2 categories: the workers and the friends. Those who were friends sat around her desk chatting all day, or went out on smoke break with her, pop open cans of beer at 10a.m. to start drinking, wasting the vast majority of the day, and asked her to pull strings by writing off charges on invoices they didn’t feel like billing. The GM also wrote up SG for billing illegally for her friends once. I was the worker so I was yelled at when a friend made a mistake. SG fired another worker when a friend made a mistake. SG constantly breathed down my neck, demanding I explain myself if the on-hold sales order report looked a little long, or if she thought I had too many papers on my desk. (to be continued…)


#2

(…continued) The 2 co-workers on my team are SB and TW. TW has got to be the dumbest person on the face of the earth. She asked me to double-check her work the entire first year she worked there, she wore such little and risqué clothing that SG had asked her once if she forgot to put on the rest of her clothes before she left the house, and the words the come out of her mouth are so perverted that I told her I don’t appreciate her bashing me over my head with her pornographic talk. TW repeatedly accused me of not getting authorization for certain codes and I had to repeatedly explain to her they are not billable codes. When someone rents oxygen from us, the tubing and tank refills are free but she could not remember this. TW could not pronounce any of our patient’s names correctly and spoke to me with her back turned to me and her hand covering her mouth, then accused me of being deaf. SB is smarter than TW but did not understand how to navigate our software, had tunnel vision, and couldn’t remember the Medicaid policies either. Sometimes I’d have a few months lapse in auth for rental equipment, like oxygen, because a patient missed their follow up dr appt due to being in the hospital w/ pneumonia and there was no opening for 2 months when rescheduled and the dr won’t sign the renewal paperwork until the pt is seen again. First, SG would scream at me when she’d see the lapse, blaming me for falling down on the job, instead of asking for an explanation or reading my notes in the account that explained everything. Second, SB could not understand this is rental, and that yes, we did lose a 2 or 3 months payment in rental, which were out of control, but did receive rental payment for the oxygen every month, consistently, for the last 5 years, and the equipment had more than paid for itself. Instead of asking SG to write off those 2 or 3 months, she’d ask SG to write off 1 month, because that is the claim denial she is working on, then the following month she’d come across the same problem again, and SG would scream at me again, and I’d have to explain the situation over again. When I suggest that maybe she should ask SG to write off all 3 months, half the time she wouldn’t understand why, because those other ones aren’t the claim/invoices she’s working on. SB also defended TW for verbally undressing male co-workers when I mentioned I thought the lust was going to end once she had married; SB said TW wasn’t lusting but appreciating the male body.

My husband and I decided to conceive during my July cycle because in July we were taking a family vacation (it was to Mount Rushmore and the kids loved it!) and I could be pregnant during the winter (I’m hot and sweaty when pregnant). In August I announced my pregnancy and intention to quit in March when the baby was due; SG, SB, TW, the GM and every other employee panicked. Applications were read, interviews were held, SB scrambled to “download my brain,” on paper, and finally a lady was found to replace me mid-November. Even though I was just a peon, it was expected it would take 4 months to train my replacement because I had such a vast knowledge and needed to train the new lady to not only do my job but how to clean up everyone else’s messes.

But the 1st four weeks of training the new lady, SB was breathing down my neck telling me to train her on only one task. Every time I took a potty break, or walked around the building as my break since I’m a non-smoker, I’d come back to learn either SB or TW had told her she’s doing the task (I had left her with) wrong. But she wasn’t. I stopped walking around the building. I was pleased with the new girl because she didn’t throw up her hands in frustration when she didn’t understand something, and the software made sense to her, and she asked questions when things didn’t make sense. She wasn’t afraid to get her hands dirty or learn new things; she liked a challenge. Hours would go by while she worked at my computer, occasionally asking me a question, while I dozed off in my chair next to her, because things were going so well. Honestly, I felt bad for her because I knew my stress would gradually be placed upon her and she’d have sleepless nights, which is something she, as a single mom, didn’t need. I was a little perturbed that SG was experiencing a bad mood swing since day 1 of the new girl’s hire but decided it was good because the new girl wouldn’t be in shock later when SG snapped.

Even though I got the flu shot I caught it anyway. I took my daughter to urgent care on a Sunday, took my son to UC on Tuesday, and Thursday when I woke up I knew I’d be going to UC, too. I texted SG before UC doors opened to explain and in my text I said after I leave UC I would call the new girl and tell her what to do in the afternoon since the previous day I had left her a task for only the morning. I called her at about 10am and gave her instructions and she was fine. Then late Thursday night she called me (like 8pmish) saying she’d been crying the last 5 hours because SG had fired her! SG had walked into the room, told everyone to else leave, threw the last paycheck at her, and told her she was fired and had 3 minutes to get out of the building.


#3

(…continued) We talked for a little bit and I apologized to her but everything she’s said fit SG’s personality exactly. No rhyme or reason to anything. I cried and told my husband I was so ready to quit and he said he would support me if I do because he wants me back; he was tired of me being so stressed and he wants our baby to be born alive, healthy and safe. I had a miscarry scare early in the pregnancy and spent hours in the ER, probably due to stress. I never get sick but during this pregnancy I had a cold that lasted for more than 3 weeks. I’ve had leg pain and arm pain and a headache that’s lasted for days. The dr tested me for everything, even mono, to learn I’m as healthy as I can be. I’ve had 4 ultrasounds already this pregnancy and my chart at the OB says I’m high risk. Thursday thru Sunday I cried and prayed and slept (because I was still recovering from the flu) and bawled my eyes out in front of the Blessed Sacrament during Adoration. Monday morning I walked into work, packed up the baby Christmas tree I had brought to brighten up the office (this was in December), took the beatitudes off my wall and packed up my angel calendar, then waited for the others to arrive so I could hear their side of the story. When the others walked into the office they were giddy with excitement as they told me the new girl had been fired and they’d already found a replacement – one of their friends. Surprise! They complained the girl I had been training was stupid and not learning anything, and all she did all day that Thursday was stare at the computer monitor. I pointed to the stack of faxes she had prepared and the pile of authorizations she had logged. SB claimed SB had done them but 1) SB doesn’t know how to do them, and 2) it was in the new girls handwriting. Then SB changed her story and said I had helped the new girl do them Wednesday. But I said no, we did something else Wed, this is what I told her to do when talking w/ her at 10am and it’s dated with Thursdays date. I was told to shut up, get over it. So I grabbed my belongings and left. The next morning, before anyone got to the office, I slipped my resignation letter through the mail slot.

Being at home has been so relaxing. My house has never been cleaner, I learned how to make new types of cookies and other desserts, have been making my kids’ favorite dinner recipes, been able to help kids with their homework without being rushed. I can listen to EWTN radio all day (it’s on right now) and rest whenever I feel a Braxton-hicks. Yesterday as I walked in the door with my daughter after picking her up from school, I opened up the container filled with homemade caramel corn and told her to have some before we started homework. She told me she was so happy I quit my job.

Even though I’m relieved, I know I left behind chaos. The GM hasn’t been to the gym my husband is the GM of since I quit, and he usually went daily. The GM likes my husband and even has told me they were “work out buddies” since my husband works out during his lunch break, but also included he saw “way too much of him” in the locker room. My husband says he probably hasn’t come because he injured himself, but he’s just trying to not hurt my feelings.

So, should I confess this and what do I say?


#4

Make an appointment with your priest and share your struggles. He will let you know if there is anything to confess, but more importantly he will counsel you.
He will advise you and pray for you.
Call him.


#5

Why on earth do you think this is a sin on your part? I don’t get it. Yes, scrupulosity definitely.

An employee-employer relationship is at will, on both parts. It is courteous but not required to give 2 weeks notice, but you gave many months’ notice. If you had an employment contract, you might have been in breach of contract (a civil matter and still not a sin). But you don’t have such a contract.

You are free to leave your job any time you like, for any reason you like. What happens after you leave is not your problem.

Perhaps you should send a letter to all those doctors that call you stating you would be happy to consult on Medicare and Medicaid billing and your fee is $X per hour.


#6

Yes, confess what think you did wrong here, and then say “for all my sins I am sorry” which covers anything you didn’t know were sins or forgot to mention. (This does NOT include sins you purposely leave out.) Give your confessor the short version and LISTEN to his counsel.

(Edit part) I’m re-reading what I say below and it sounds way too harsh – you didn’t do anything wrong, this is just in-general advice, so people don’t get under your skin and stress you out so much next job. You sound like an extremely diligent worker, and very sensitive, so please don’t take this the wrong way. I will leave it as I originally wrote it.

As far as your ex-job, let it go. Nobody’s irreplaceable and they’ll deal. Not your problem any more. It sounds like you were not very happy there, anyway. Good riddance, I’d say.

At your NEXT job, avoid this drama and consider leaving your personal life at home where it belongs. There’s no reason your co-workers need to know you’re on NFP and no reason you’re up in everyone’s business, and vice-versa.

Work is work, not a social opportunity. My grandmother told me that before I started my very first job. She also said observe everyone else before you make friends, and don’t get involved with gossip. You wrote an essay on your work situation --TMI, IMO. Let it go my dear.

Good luck and God bless you and your family and new baby.


#7

Your grandmother sounds like a very wise lady.

Why don’t you give her a call?


#8

Aww, thank you. But she passed on 12/8/12, at 96 yrs old.


#9

Yes to everything, but definitely recommending this!!


#10

I don’t see any sinful behavior on your part. You’re not their slave. Congratulations on the pregnancy. Leave the sorry employment episode behind, pray for peace, offer a prayer for your former co-workers, and concentrate on enjoying your loved ones. God bless you.


#11

I had a boss once who used to act like yours. The foulest language came out of her mouth. I thought she must have had a hard time eating with the same mouth she spoke such filth with. One time she yelled about something. I turned around and noticed her face. She had a serpentine expression full of hate.

I just went along and didn’t say much because I worked only three days a week. That was enough!

Maybe you former boss has mental problems, like bi-polar. I used to think my boss was awful because she hated her mother. She also threw a radio at her husband.

The snake-like expression she had made me think she might be possessed. I never did find out what her problem was.

(by the way, not all snakes have evil expressions. I have seen a few that were kind of sweet. One of them would have looked good wearing pearls).


#12

Sorry, I haven’t read your lengthy post, but if you can write such a long post about a situation, I think you can articulate the situation to a priest who can council you. That’s why they are there.

God Bless


#13

I read your post and I don’t know why you think you think you have done anything wrong. It sounds like a horrible working environment and you are obviously happy now that you can concentrate on being with your family. Your ex-colleagues will eventually learn to manage without you. If your boss had been kinder, she might have still had you there, but we reap what we sow.

I would thank the Lord that you have managed to get away and that you are now enjoying your life. Good luck with the rest of your pregnancy, I hope everything goes smoothly for you all.


#14

I completely agree. No one should have to put up with harrassment and/or made the butt of jokes in a work environment. Letting them fend for themselves will teach them a good lesson–that pushing a reliable and knowledgeable worker to the point of quitting is counter productive. That employees, such as yourself flatlanderjenn, are not personal punching bags. Good for you! You have absolutely nothing to confess here. You were the one egregiously wronged not them. I hope your pregnancy goes well and that you have a healthy child. :heart:


#15

I am not sure what you think that you need to confess?

If the general manager was known to you, and a friend of your husband’s, why didn’t you tell these work problems to him instead of bottling all this up inside?


#16

Flatlanderjen , I’ve read your post and you have done the right thing .Your baby’s health, your health and your peaceful and happy family life are of paramount importance.
As someone mentioned ,yes to include your concerns in confession keeping it simple sounds good and then be at peace :slight_smile:
Praying for you.


#17

If you committed a sin, it is a sin of vanity. You’re under the impression that you are irreplaceable. Everyone in the workforce is replaceable.

When you quit, no one begged you to stay. You earned a paycheck while you where there. Your employer is no longer paying you. Move on. Your former employer has.


#18

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.