This isn't particularly related to life in the great Midwest, but it is related to the fact that we wound up here after I had some interesting experiences trying to leave my previous position. The person I worked for had a difficult time, we'll just say, letting me go. She wanted me to stick around long after my work there was completed - at my own expense, and with my husband already halfway across the country, in our new home. For the second time in my life, I put my foot down, declared that this was not the way things were going to be, and left when I wanted to. While our relationship suffered a bit at the beginning, recently, her communications have been more cordial. Every now and then, though, her emails go completely off the deep end. And then I have to figure out how to respond, if at all.
This is only the most recent difficulty I've had in these sorts of situations...leaving my previous job was an exercise in futility. 3.5 years later, I still can't believe that I tried to resign from that position at least three times before I was successful. My boss simply refused to accept my resignation. Granted, the situation was complicated by the fact that I was in school, and we had a relationship that went beyond just a simple boss-employee relationships. But still. It certainly did not need to be that hard.
Both of these episodes occurred at the same employer, so I am left wondering...Is it me? Or is it that employer? Because I could make the argument that I had a difficult time standing my ground, or that I wasn't able to make my needs clear. But I could also make the counter argument that this was an extremely toxic employer, and both of these individuals were merely acting in ways that are accepted in that environment.
Either way, I am reminded periodically of what life was like before, and what life is like now...and I realize how much happier - and calmer! - I am now. But, of course, I still have to deal with crap in occasional emails....and even though I love where I am now, that is not easy.