Friday, October 23, 2009

Work Just May Kill Me

Sometimes I think I suffer from behavioral issues from which no one else suffers.  Then I think that can’t be right.  There must be other people who screw up as bad or worse than I do. 

Then I think, well sure, people sitting in jail right now have screwed up worse than me, but not just regular, normal people. . . not the people with whom I come in contact regularly.  They don’t fuck up and obsess over it like I do.  I’m sure of it.  They are competent.  They are capable.  They do what they are supposed to do. 

I, on the other hand, let stupid little things become huge roadblocks for me.  I (and don’t for a minute think that I don’t know that I, and I alone, are setting those roadblocks there) set up roadblocks so high I don’t just trip and fall over them.  I walk face first right into them and smack my nose.

There are things at which I am very good.  Then there those things at which I totally and completely suck.  Most of my job entails doing things at which I am very good.  A very small part of my job entails doing things at which I totally and completely suck.  It is this small part of my job that I am letting become a total roadblock to me.

It started small, and I built it up into a huge ugly massive thing.  It is now a big and bad problem.  You see, because it was something at which I suck I let it slide.  The longer I let it slide the worse it became because it was compounded by the whole not meeting contractual deadlines thing.  However, because it is such a little thing nobody really noticed, and rather than doing something proactive about it I just let it slide further.  Now it has gotten to a point where it has been noticed, and it must be handled, and of course, now I look like a way bigger idiot than if I had just spoken up way early on and admitted to being in over my head.

However, the reason I didn’t speak up and admit to being in over my head is that the only reason it is something I don’t do well is because it hits into some of my fears and phobias.  I develop huge anxiety over it, and it just becomes this thing that I just can’t face.  Also, I’m embarrassed to say to a supervisor that I’m having difficulty with a certain thing because of how my fears and phobias are holding me back from being able to do certain pieces of it.  You have no idea how badly I want to get over, get through, get beyond this phobia.  You have no idea how my heart pounds and the sweat pours just thinking about having to do it.

And now. . . now I am to a point where I have to meet with my supervisor today and update him on how I am coming on completing the task.  And I’m terrified.  And I don’t have a clue what to say.  And part of me just wants to quit and walk away from a job that 98% of the time I love just because of this one little thing.  Part of me just doesn’t want to face the humiliation of how badly I have let things get out of control because of one little thing. . . one tiny little thing that I built up into a huge concrete roadblock.  One reason I’m terrified is that when I’ve tried to talk to friends (and I’ve only really tried to talk to two) about this they’ve reacted like I’m from Mars because they can’t understand how anyone could let such a teeny tiny little thing be so overwhelming.  There has been no empathy nor have there been any suggestions beyond, “Just get over it and do it.  It isn’t that bad.”  Oh, if I could hear those words and then somehow magically be able to apply them!  Do you think I wouldn’t do it if it were that easy?  Yet I fear my supervisor will be even less sympathetic than my friends.  I fear that he is going to think the worst of me. . . that I’m irresponsible (and yes, I think in this instance I am) and untrustworthy (in some ways I am that too because you ought to be able to trust your employees to come to you when there’s a problem and I didn’t) and way beyond hope (but I don’t think I’m beyond hope, at least I hope not).

If you don’t hear from me for some time you will know that I either:
(1)   Quit my job and ran off to join the circus or
(2)   Fell dead of a heart attack from the extreme anxiety while talking to my supervisor about this

Damn.  I’m not sure which one to hope for. . . either one feels better right now than trying to have this discussion with my supervisor.


Val said...

Ah well... Good luck, honey - at times like these at least I can take comfort in being my own boss [of course it's my ass 100% hanging out there in the wind ;-(]

gniz said...

First of all, you've spoken about this phobia before here...i won't say it cuz you've clearly chosen not to divulge it for whatever reason.

But my recollection is you actually recieved a great deal of sympathy when you did talk about your phobia here (assuming I'm thinking of the right one).

Either way, be honest with your supervisor. Let your boss know that you are currently in therapy trying to deal with these issues--take responsibility and make no excuses. promise to do better in the future.

This could be a big step for you if you let it. And stop being so damn mean to yourself. You havent been a bad person, you just have some anxieties and fears to work through (we ALL have em!)


Sailor said...

Good luck.. I hate when people say "get over it", why can't they understand that it's not quite. So. Simple.

Hugs, and continue to work on it, I think gniz does have some great points, about using it as a big step, and not being so harsh with yourself. (I know, easy to say, but the point is valid).

Emily said...

You know,Trueself, even people without phobias etc do tie themselves in knots over small things.

There are a few people on this earth who really don't worry about anything. There are a whole lot more people who pretend they are fine, and everything is going great, when it isn't - even if you asked them directly, they wouldn't tell you the truth. So don't be taken in and imagine that you are the only one!

I'm not depressed, don't have phobias and am not in therapy, but I worry about stupid work-related stuff all the time. The only trick I have learned that helps is picking up that thing I am avoiding and telling myself that if I work on it for 10 minutes, if I still hate it after the 10 minutes, I can stop. Most of the time, I get immersed and don't need to stop. It just gets me over the hump.

Interested to hear if it works for you.

Emily xox