job

Cold thoughts

Content warning: suicidal ideation mention, illness fears

 

As in, not thoughts that are cold towards people but thoughts I have when I have a cold, which I do. I tend to get weird feelings during illness, even though colds are pretty low on the anxiety-meter for me (stomach bugs are my absolute 100% worst fear, colds pretty low like 10%). It’s more like I get sad and vulnerable and worry about not being able to do my job properly while I’m ill.

 

I can’t remember when I last wrote but since then I’ve left my job that was horrible and started a Christmas temp job. Its hard work but only in the sense that all retail jobs are very stressful and difficult at Christmas time. I don’t hate myself and feel like dying every day any more. In that regard it is wonderful. I feel like a whole new person. My doctor was of course right when she signed me out of my last job a couple of months ago. (she said ‘Maybe this job isn’t right for you?’ Well yeah, I know, my job hunt was at the time very much in the middle of happening but it’s not so easy especially when you feel like shit! My doctor is very business-like and quick, she gives me the results I need but there’s not really time for much empathy and understanding.)

 

And I have another job lined up. It’s a wonderful, calm feeling. It’s in an office which will be very different and hard for me but barring an absolute disaster maybe I can finally feel secure in my employment now?

 

 

So that’s a very good thing. I’m just writing about the good things to feel calmer and its working. In a sec I’m going to put on some Vicks and sew until early bed.

The next few days

Today I’m planning, in a sec, to go to Caffe Nero and use this last free coffee voucher, get a takeaway one and take a walk down to the wood and fields, where its beautiful and quiet. Maybe I shouldn’t because my stress headaches are not helped by caffeine but I don’t care. *takes paracetemol*

Tomorrow is when work starts again. I don’t know how that will go. I haven’t heard back from anyone about the hearing. One to two days my ass. Even accounting for working days only it’s been 4 days now. Boss will not be there, Phyllis is not timetabled to be there according to the rota I was emailled weeks ago, but my experience tells me she probably will be there because she always is. Goody good. The tension between us is very high, especially as after my meltdown she suddenly decided to get all faux caring and its incredibly awkward and not convincing at all.

Friday- also work. I hate Fridays because we have to deal with Saturday Guarantee service and customers complaining about being offerred it.

Saturday- not work. But it is My Interview! This is Christmas temp work I’m applying to, which is why I’m not as cautiously optomistic about my potential ticket out of this place as I’d like to be. Swapping out permanent work for temp work is not a good idea, in normal circumstances, and I’m kind of angry that I’ve been driven to consider it. If I get one of the temp roles, apparently there is 1 full time position available but there’ll be several competing for it. And if I don’t get it, I’ll be exhausted from Christmas, facing unemployment and having to apply for jobs in a desperate state which is always horrible. I’m scared of this happening. A temporary fix for an uncertain future. 😦

If tomorrow is somehow amazing enough to undo all the horrible shit that’s happened then maybe I will stay. But how could that really be a case, with an immature asshole for a boss who takes advantage of his staff? My paycheck for this month is already going to be a disaster with all my absences, so I should be happy that I’m doing 5 day weeks until the end of my current rota, but since my hours were supposed to have been reduced (4 day or less weeks) for my mental health, I can’t believe I have so many 5 day weeks back to back. I brought this up with my boss, who said ‘but you didn’t want reduced hours! You screwed up your face and said you didn’t want reduced hours!!’ Ok, well first of all, thanks for making me sound like a child having a tantrum, you asshole. Secondly, yes, initially I did not want reduced hours. Because I didn’t want to admit that I couldn’t handle a standard full-time 5 day week, which is what I have been ingrained to expect to need to do my entire life. Not being able to handle that is a scary step. But my mental health got worse, and I finally argreed to take the next option to help myself, and have my hours reduced. I remember agreeing to this very clearly. My boss is pretending that this never happened. The reason he is doing this is because shortly after my hours were cut, a full-timer left. Without her we are short staffed, and the hiring process is very slow. So suddenly, even though my mental health has not got better (the opposite really) I’m back on full time again, and only get gaslighted when I bring it up. God, I hate my boss. I hate him. And I hate my job.

Today. Tomorrow. Wednesday.

I was signed off from work last week. I went to the doctor for an emergency appointment, got the letter and took it down to show Phyllis, who was running the branch at the time. Then I left. Coincidentally a friend was in town that day and he took me for a cup of tea. I told him ‘I feel like someone took a one-two punch to my brain’- not that it hurt but it felt stunned and disengaged.

Two days later was the grievance hearing. I’ve been waiting for this for a long time, several weeks have passed since I first contacted HR. I was seen first, on my own, and gave a long statement with a note taker. I got to read the notes afterwards and there were errors which I corrected. However it was awkward because the woman who wrote them was sitting right there so even though some stuff didn’t get into the notes at all I didn’t add it, only edited stuff that was there.

They said they would interview Phyllis and Boss (good I guess), also all staff currently in the branch to get their perspective (not good). I don’t want to know what some of my colleagues would say about unstable Mossy and her emotions. Then I was told I would hear back in a couple of days. I’ll have to ring my parents house later to see if a letter has arrived. Nowhere has my current address as I’m not sure how long I’ll be here, my landlords see this flat as a temporary place.

I spent the weekend with my boyfriend and it was wonderful. I’m back home today and the emptiness has sneaked back in, I feel so alone. I eat foods like cup noodles even though they don’t fill me up and give me a dry mouth afterwards, because the only other thing I can make is toast and I want a hot lunch. I don’t want to touch food with my hands too much. I have to go back to work on Thursday and that’s the shortest time in the world. I want to work on my costume for MCM Expo May 2016 but I can’t concentrate for more than half an hour at a time. I’m drinking too much coffee and getting headaches. I’m so tired. I don’t know how to work any more and I don’t want to face my colleagues. I used to put myself 100% into my work and now I’m the post office colleague who emotionally exploded and ruined her reputation, that my boss will use as a cautionary tale and disclose my mental health situation to new staff after I leave.

It doesn’t matter

I’m going back to work after a lovely week off where I got to go to Norfolk with my family. I was so happy and it was lovely there and I went to the beach and saw lots of birds and ate lots of desserts and it was wonderful. All my spots went away with no creams or changes in facewash used, proving once and for all that they are stress related. They’ll be back soon. Also my coldsores flared up massively a couple of days ago, for the first time in ages. Back to work tomorrow!

I’m trying to start another new mantra for myself, this time about work. ‘It doesn’t matter’. This isn’t about customers being horrible, because God knows I’ve had enough of my colleagues telling me to get over it when customers are rude assholes. That does matter, and it’s wrong. This is more to do with work politics.

SO:

It doesn’t matter if my new colleague gets trained on everything super fast and gets to go to special meetings and sell travel money when he’s really barely started. I can have my own theories about why this is happening, but that’s unprovable right now. (My theory being that it is sexism, because he’s the only man other than the boss in an extremely female dominated workplace. Now I know some of you reading that are not believing me but you’ve not seen it here. The post office lives and breathes because of women on the counters, but the higher-ups are mostly men. There’s one who isn’t as far as I know, that’s it. And the boss is a sexist asshole already, and has already given the new guy plenty of opportunities the new female employees aren’t getting. Trust me. But it’s currently unprovable. I don’t think it’s wrong of me to brush this aside for now. I will continue pointing out unfairness to the boss when I see it, but I’m only one, low-level person. Long aside over.) I’m already trained on the things he now knows how to do. I will not be replaced forever if he knows new things. And it’s not my responsibility to manage the emotions of the new female employees if they feel left out, I can only offer my sympathy and commiserations to them.

It doesn’t matter if customers hate the post office because of the questions we have to ask. I don’t have to prove anything about us as a company.

It doesn’t matter if the customers hate the royal mail and think the post office is the same as the royal mail, and therefore hate the post office. I don’t have to prove anything about us as a company.

It doesn’t matter if Pelly and Mint (long-standing senior coworker, new young coworker) don’t get on. It’s not my responsibility, as a lower coworker who has to do what I’m told to do by Pelly, to make sure Mint is treated fairly by her. In fact involvement on this issue by me in the past only made things much worse for Mint. I will stay out of it until I think of what to do next.

It doesn’t matter if the boss hands me a serious sounding list of difficult requirements I absolutely must fulfill every day, every time, every customer, no matter how afraid I am they might get mad at being asked so much stuff. Instead of feeling horrible and like the work I do will never be good enough, I will remember the previous times it’s happened where the boss never mentioned the list again and when asked about it acted like it was never meant to be a serious deal (despite the fact that it night as well have had ‘this is a serious deal’ written on the top). I know his M.O. by now.

It doesn’t matter if I never get to go in travel money again. The stress of upselling and the crapness of working alongside the boss/Pelly when she’s in a stress are a pretty equal tradeoff with the stress of never ending customers. So I will stop worrying about whether I’ll get to go in there again.

It doesn’t matter if I have to buy coffee to get through each day. I can afford it at the moment, coffee I make at home doesn’t do the trick any more, it gets me through the day and makes me happy, so I’ll do it.

That’s my list of things that don’t matter. There is of course stuff that does matter, but it’s important I forget about this stuff first. I can’t hold so many uneeded responsibilities on my shoulders, and I need to recognise that because of how I am (an worrier, and someone who feels the need to help people all the time because of my past) I am doing these things when nobody asked me to.

Wish me luck! Parcels ahoy!

More job hell

I didn’t make it through Saturday at work. I started out ok but then I had a couple of passport form customers that sucked. First was a woman who swore in my face throughout and interrupted me while I explained something with ‘ok can you hurry it up? I have to be somewhere!’ So I bashed the paperwork through and handed it back, but if she comes back for the second check and there’s errors and she says ‘why didn’t the first woman tell me about this?!’ I will be extremely pissed off. Why do they come to use this service when they don’t have time? It takes time!!

The second was a woman who insisted on being seen by me immediately. We have a special counter for passports where you can queue there instead of the main queue, and my colleague (just the 2 of us on the counter) was already doing a passport while I was free and waiting for the inevitable Saturday rush. But as I was free she decided to come over to my counter, and cut me off during my explanation that she’d have to wait for my colleague because I had to be free to serve people wanting shorter transactions. She said ‘I’ve been waiting half an hour!’ (it was 10-15 minutes maximum, they think we don’t notice these things but we do) ‘and I had to wait half an hour to collect the form the other day as well!!’ (great, now they are saving up all the other times they waited to hit us with as well.) So of course I checked her form, thinking it was better than insisting and maybe being accidentally rude like I often am. But I was still not happy with how she acted. And of course a queue was building up while I did it as my colleague was still busy. But then afterwards, my colleague starts insisting that I should have tried harder! By saying exactly what I actually did say that didn’t work! What am I supposed to do, say it again? I felt like such a spineless pushover then. 😦 I really wish my colleagues wouldn’t do this whole ‘you should have said’ or ‘why didn’t you say’ thing. It’s too late once the customer’s gone. Just leave it. Plus she’s the same one who makes comments about me being angry and stressful to be around. If I hadn’t been able to keep a nice tone in my voice and this woman got offended then wouldn’t that have been a problem for my colleague too??

After that I could feel myself starting to get wound up. The tiniest thing infuriated me. Like I couldn’t open a box of forms first time so I ripped the card angrily and dropped the box and forms fell everywhere. Luckily there were no customers waiting and my colleague was in the office so no-one saw. I picked them up and shoved them away at top speed. But a fresh wave of customers was there and I was feeling worse than ever. I was convinced customers were picking on me all the time. I felt snappy but also sensitive and weak. One customer, an elderly woman, got shirty at me for asking if she was using a credit or debit card (we check so we can inform customers there’s a charge for credit cards, also the system doesn’t work if you select the wrong option) ‘it’s just a card why do you need to know!!’ I ended up getting sucked into an argument which I regret. After she’d gone I thought ‘that’s it, if I can’t control my temper with customers I have to go home, it’s only going to get more stressful towards midday and I will only get worse.’ Luckily it turned out there was one of my colleagues in the building who wasn’t timetabled but came to work by accident. He was in the office doing some uni work. He’d already refused the offer of a short break-covers shift but I went up there and pleaded with him to cover me. Which he did, he’s so kind. So I went home and spent the day not looking at customers and not hearing the inane things they say and the hurtful words and unfunny jokes and not having to ask the same questions over and over again or deal with queue complaints or have to put mail out when there’s a queue with everyone looking at me. Then it was yesterday and today off (timetabled) but I’m back tomorrow and I have 4 full days and a half day. And my least favourite colleague will be back from holiday. And the boss will be back too. I can’t be even slightly angry in front of him, I’m already on the verge of getting in trouble because I tend to argue back to customers instead of walking away. I wish I could control my emotions better. This is really serious. My job does not allow people to half arse it, my boss is always watching and he expects 100% from us at all times. There is no back room I can hide in to be away from the customers. Apart from my breaks it’s customer face to face time, all the time. I hate it.

job hell

Today at work was really bad, like fucking horrible. I felt the panic building up from about 10:30 after my morning break, worked through it for several hours until something happened that I can’t remember what but I felt myself shift into a different mode. I slowed down to about half speed and my voice came out slurred, I kept losing concentration and customers would tell me things but the information wouldn’t go in. Then I started missing important bits of informaiton customers gave me and putting their parcels through wrong. The queue was out the door but at about 4:30 I couldn’t take it any more, I hid in the office and sat with my head down, every time I looked out the queue was still out the door like it would never end. I knew I was leaving my 2 coworkers in the lurch but I couldn’t help it, I could barely stand, I couldn’t go out there. But then it was 5pm and time to cut off the special deliveries so I dragged myself up and went out there again. The postie turned up while I was lugging bags about, not knowing whether I was coming or going. I don’t know how me did it but we got that mail out the door. But not before some woman started on at me about the queue’s too long and it’s just not good enough, I’ve been waiting 25 minutes for just one stamp, the usual. I just kept on pulling the bags into place like I hadn’t heard her because if I opened my mouth I’d just mumble or say something wrong. But she’s still staring at me like I’m about to say something that will make everything better, like no! I can’t! I can’t say anything to make you not have waited 25 minutes and I’m in such a state I can’t say anything you want to hear! I started to hyperventilate and hold my head and suddenly she stopped looking at me and turned back to the queue, which I guess was good but auururrrrgh, I’m in such a mess.

At the post office the only thing that could go so badly wrong for anyone management related to actually change anything is if the day didn’t end for some reason. But, it did. It always does, and nothing ever changes. Every day that’s horrible now is worse because of how I know it won’t get any better. And I’m expected to think up ways I can feel better at work, as long as it doesn’t include working in any conditions that aren’t absolutely the same as they are now or asking that certain colleagues take the pressure off me a little by managing their time better and not, say, engaging each customer in a 5 minute conversation that has nothing to do with any service we offer. If I can’t think of anything then well, they tried!!! What do I want?! HATE THIS PLACE.

Tomorrow is Saturday, the worst and most disorganised day of the week. I upset my boyfriend earlier by ranting on and on. I don’t know if I’ll make it through tomorrow. Every minute feels too long. I don’t know what’s wrong with me if I’m even like this while medicated.