Trapped in the Office

closed office space

Ten years ago, I would have never imagined that I would discover and experience the sensation of being trapped in a workplace. There are many different ideas of what one might feel trapped in—for example, money, lack of experience, spouse pressure, insurance, limited resources, and skills.

I have spent most of my life doing physical activities such as dance, crafting, and teaching. I discovered web design in the late 1990s, which put me in a chair. I was curious and determined to learn how the internet worked. I spent countless hours learning HTML, CSS, PHP, database, and JavaScript. I eventually expanded my horizons, running my dedicated server and managing my domain reseller. I spent years learning, growing, and perfecting the art of web development.

After my youngest started kindergarten, I was ambitious about seeking a career in web design and development. I started searching for educational options and attended a local community college in computer programming and application. I was nervous and a bit overwhelmed. I had not been to school in years. I barely made it when I was fresh out of high school. I worked through the two-year associate’s program and graduated with my degree. One month before I graduated, I got hired as an assistant web developer for the university. I was excited and ready to begin my new journey.

My first two years were great as I quickly adapted and developed additional skills. I completed projects, researched, and went above and beyond. There were some challenges, but I gave my best effort. After a few years, things began to change. New people were hired, changes with co-workers, and then my supervisor. She liked things exactly how she saw it would fit. I suddenly found myself trapped in a micromanaging work environment. My four hours a day felt like ten hours, and my anxiety started to kick in. I was attempting to please a person who was not happy with any form of change that suppressed my career growth. I started looking for other opportunities as my office experience worsened. I was beginning to feel trapped.

I loved learning anything related to web development, but I hated my job. The idea of sitting in a chair in the same office, with no window and no access to sunlight, started to become depressing. I felt like a prisoner, and the work experience became unpleasant. It is unhealthy to confine someone to a desk even four hours a day, although some people like it. It may be possible I may not have felt like I did if the work environment was nurturing. After six years of confinement, I finally quit my job. It was the toughest but the best decision I ever made.

After I quit my job in October 2019, I decided to focus on school and explore other opportunities. I dreaded the idea of reapplying for web positions. The experience I went through destroyed my ambition and interest in the career.

For years, I had my eye on the computer technician job for the public school. I knew someone who did the job, and it became very appealing to me. The idea of not being confined, trapped, and still being able to learn new things gave me hope I would find something. I applied for the job twice without any success. I reapplied again for the third time, crossing all fingers and toes. It was a matter of three strikeouts, or three is a charm. Luckily, I succeeded and got the job.

I love the job; I love being with people again. I love the freedom of being able to move without glass walls keeping me caged up like an animal. I can move around, sit, bend over, stretch sideways, walk down the hall, and still get my job done. Who knew one would find this a luxury one day?

I will miss doing the web, learning new code designs, and working with different platforms. I will occasionally freelance projects now and then. I will not miss the office environment. I am forever grateful for my new job and give my best. I am thankful to be finally free.

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