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...