Trapped in the Office

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—for example, money, lack of experience, spouse pressure, insurance, limited resources, and skills.

I have spent most of my life doing active 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 horizon, 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 my way 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 developing additional skills. I completed projects, researched, and went above and beyond. There were some challenges but 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 that was not happy with any form of change that suppressed my career growth. I started looking for other opportunities as my office experience worsen. I was starting to feel trapped.

I loved learning anything related to web development, but I was starting to hate my job. The idea of sitting in a chair, the same office, no window, no access to sunlight started to become depressing. I felt like a prisoner, and the work experience became unpleasant. It is not healthy to keep a person confined to a desk even for 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 of 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 that did the job and became very appealing to me. The idea of not being confined, trapped, and still be 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 and learning new codes, 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 grateful to be finally free.

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  1. Well written, April. Your challenges have been many and you’ve overcome them with determination and devotion to self. I look forward to sharing your blog.