Saturday, 5 November 2011

The Twilight Zone

So everything came to a head this week.  You know how I have been complaining about my work load and about how I was struggling to cope?  Well the last few weeks things have gone from bad to worse.  I have been sat at the edge of my seat, day after day, literally ready to grab my bag, get up and walk out of the office, uttering a few words along the lines of 'take your damn job and shove it' (I've described the censored version here).  Instead, I grab a cigarette and go downstairs and stand outside smoking, whilst trying to breathe deeply and stop myself from crying.  I feel sorry for the few people that I drag downstairs with me and complain about my sad lot.  I fear poor Colin's ears may start bleeding soon.  If nothing else, I have grown sick of the sound of my own whining voice. 

Earlier in the week a friend asked me on Facebook how things were going at work and I once again started typing about how awful it was, but then stopped myself because I really just didn't want to have to complain again, and instead, I said to her that I would need to sort this out once and for all. And finally, I realised that I would have to do something about this.  While I was sat there complaining and feeling the way I was, nothing was changing, It was up to me to make that change.  So, on Thursday, I sat my directors down and told them.  And when I say told them, I mean I laid all my cards on the table and didn't hold back any punches.  It was the best thing I have done in a very long time. 

I was so incredibly scared.  I don't know why I was so afraid, but I was literally shaking like a leaf.  The heat of emotion spread across my chest and even as I sat there talking to them, tears were welling up in my eyes and I had to force myself to hold back.  I did not want to get all emotional and girlie.  I was ready to quit my job but I wanted to remain professional about it.

I was preparing myself for the challenges they were going to throw back at me to the things that I was saying.  But this never happened.  I thought I would have to try justify everything I was saying, but this too, I need not have worried about.  Instead, they sat there in front of me nodding, agreeing to everything I was saying.  As I sat there speaking, I felt this awful weight start to lift off me and slowly I started to smile.  They agreed with me, with almost everything I stated.  And the outcome of it all?  Get whatever you need Bernadette.  We know you are overworked.  We knew this was coming.  We are sorry we have neglected you. 

Why had I not done this months ago?

What on earth is wrong with me?

If anyone knows me then they know how strongly I feel about communication.  Speak, tell me how you feel, tell me what you want.  Always be honest.  This is me.  Yet, for months I have sat in that office, slowly brewing like a volcano getting closer and closer to that inevitable explosion.  What an idiot I have been! All I can think is that I have been subconsciously not wanting to appear to fail.  That I have wanted to appear super efficient and able to cope with it all.  That I would somehow catch up and get on top of things again. Oh the irony.  I have not been able to catch up and get on top of it all for years.  I don't know what I was thinking.

Anyway, since that conversation it is like I have entered the twilight zone.  Suddenly, everything is different, suddenly the way I am being treated is different.  Its like I have been raised up and put on this pedestal.  I complained that I am not respected in the office and suddenly I am VIP employer.  Obviously I am loving it, but it does all feel a bit surreal.
Its incredible what a bit of recognition can do for a persons self esteem.
At the moment, I am advertising for help and I have a few 100 CVs to go through this weekend from applicants.  I CANNOT wait to get the interviews over with and to begin to train someone. 
Yes, it will involve MORE work that I can very well do without.  More of my time spent on training someone, time that I don't have, but I will have to do it in order to reap the benefits.At least I feel positive now, Its been a long time since I felt that at work, and I am SO happy about that.

I hope you never have to read me complain about work again.  I wish never to have to hear my own voice whine 'woe is me!'  I am not stupid enough to believe that its all happy days from here on in, as I know there will be lots of bumps in the road, but if I learned anything this week, it was to speak up before things get that bad again, so I never need sit down here again and blog about how unhappy and overworked I am at work.  If I ever do, please remind me of this... 


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