Feeling like one of those plates in a Greek restaurant today (fragile and flat), however today I am very grateful for the cracker of an autumn day we in Melbourne have had.
My writing might (might) often become a pale pastiche of something funnier, edgier and more articulate, including this week when I felt it would be useful/constructive to have a ranty tanty and to imitate that most fabulous of bloggers, farkew, and say a big fucking finger to everything that has fucked me off over the last week.
– fuck you, sales assistant at Spencer St outlet, who upon seeing me in shoulderless top, suggested it might be better as a ‘gift for your niece or daughter’
– fuck you, milk choc Lindt bunnies for being so awesomely smooth, creamy and gorgeous and forcing me to gorge on them
– fuck you, adult acne. Who agrees with me? I have fucking wrinkles and fucking pimples!
– fuck you (and a big fuck off) to Monash IVF, who clutter my facebook and google ads (see also Clearblue, fucking elevit, et al, all of you)
– fuck you, to cafes who don’t accept eftpos under $10 and then have something of $9.90 on the fucking menu. Daft Morons.
– fuck you, pain and suffering occurring on the earth right now, and lastly!
– fuck you hair for not looking as nice as Julia Zemiros
That’s better. Thanks readers, may all your fuck yous come true. Feeling better already.
PS: spoke too soon. A very sincere fuck you you to the Belgrave line. Wahhhh
My sister P and I were sitting in a McDonalds in central Amsterdam, chowing down to whet herbally induced appetites, with Kyle and Danny the American backpackers, and playing ‘would you rather?’ Would you rather, we asked ourselves and each other, mouths full of noms:
‘Have a gang of ninjas to do your bidding, or a t-rex?’ (t-rex)
‘Be plain and clever or beautiful and stupid?’ (plain and clever)
‘Give up oral sex or cheese?’ (cheese, even when I was as stoned as I was that day!)
This conversation occurred to me the other day when I was thinking about mental health. ‘Would you rather tell people you were a smoker or had a mental illness?’
Yes. I thought so. (Smoker)
I don’t know if it was the town I grew up in, the group of people I socialised with at the time, or the fact that, perhaps, teenagers are just awful, but when word got out when I was 17 that I had been prescribed my first ever anti-depressants, the local boys referred to me as Prozac woman. (I preferred titanic tits from form 2). Not very sensitive!
Many years later, despite the public health initiatives, despite the raised awareness, despite the RUOK and the workplace health awareness, and the John Kirwan book – I don’t think I’m the only one who doesn’t like saying they are not OK. It’s just like a broken leg they say. Nothing to be ashamed of they say. Well, no, until it’s you or someone you love. And most of the time it’s easier to hide than your own personal t-rex.
I have to admit, I’ve been let down before. badly.
So I’m a bit gunshy when it comes to this particular thing.
It’s sort of like, you know, going into a new relationship when you have had your heart broken.
But I can’t stay locked in my protective chrysalis forever.
So, you know? I’m going to do it.
I am going to see this next week.
It occurred to me over the weekend that:
- I am quite hard on myself
- I catastrophize at every opportunity, and
- I put a lot of my emotional capital into my work
And as a result, the recent work upheaval has not been very good for my soul. I’ll say this though; I have had episodes of depression before – and this is not one of them. I am feeling a bit low, and a bit hopeless, and a bit frustrated, but I’m not crying or having dark thoughts that would give me cause to seek (more) help. Times have certainly sucked, but they have sucked harder.
We had a course on resilience at a former workplace. The general thrust of it was not to let the knocks of life get to you too much, and keep things in perspective, and have the ability to bend back into your previous shape after you are stretched. I guess resilience is just something I am going to have to start employing more.
And the whole thing has not been an entirely fruitless experience. If you ever end up reading my novel you may come across a character who is bloodless administrator with the warmth of a reptile. She may not entirely be a work of fiction.
Many years ago back in New Zealand, I was answering the phones in a busy call centre. The customer I was dealing with had a high bill enquiry, and asked for a discount overall on her bill if she paid the whole lot in one go, over and above her prompt payment discount.. Well, I had never come across such a situation before, so I called the call management desk to ask for a solution. No one answered. So I then called my TL who didn’t answer. After raising a case and promising to come back to the customer with an answer, and mindful I did not want to make a promise to the customer I was unable to keep or step outside my financial mandate, the call ended.
I then received a tap on the shoulder. My TL took me aside and said the reason she had not been answering my call is because she had been listening to the call for quality, and that I really must learn how to deal with those sorts of calls myself. I learned that day that was perfectly fine to offer a customer x percentage off the total bill in such a satiation and there was no reason why I shouldn’t have offered that. I weakly protested that I never had bene trained in that, and although iwas keen to show my initiative, I literally had n idea this was a business rule (there was no KM system to instruct me otherwise.) But I knew for next time and apologised to my TL for not knowing.
15 years later, I find myself in a role that I was recruited to, untrained for, and in an eerie similarity to the above situation, I was expected to know things that I had never learned before. I have tried, I made a deal with myself to give it a red hot go, and I have asked for help – but something was still not clicking. Sunday nights my stomach would be leaden with dread, knowing I had to face it the next day.
As often happens, some things came to a head this week, and on Monday and I went home for the day. The next day it was raised by my senior that this probably wasn’t the job for me. Feeling as if my credibility and confidence was being eroded, and after some soul searching, I came to the conclusion I would leave the role.
Here’s some observations:
- 10 years ago I would have kept going, feeling like a failure, pushed shit up a hill for probably the same outcome in a month
- At that time It would have completely floored me and devastated me
- Now, I know that the problem isn’t just me. I was recruited to a role I was not suited to skillwise. I took a risk and it didn’t work out. But I didn’t do this all on my own and thus am not entirely culpable for what has happened
- I’m not being weak or retreating but preserving my dignity and personal brand.
Now, others might say I have been put in a fairly shit position. My boss – the man who head hunted me – is feeling dreadful, and well he might – but the net outcome is I don’t have a job. For some people that might be confronting. For me? The lesson is learnt that such a role is not for me, a position description may or may not tell you everything you need to do; and that people can be duplicitous in a work environment.
Look, I’m not going to lie and say things are peachy, but it is far better to remove yourself from a shit situation like a job if its not working. Life is much much too short to not enjoy your work. It would have been better to get a new job before I resigned, but I have looked for work before and something more appropriate for me will emerge.
And I feel a lot better. And I have learned something. No point in getting fucked off. There are plenty of people worse off than me.
When people would confide in me how busy their jobs were, so busy and stressed, not enough hours in day etc, I’d be sympathetic, of course, but smugly, quietly think to myself: ‘couldn’t you manage your time a bit better, just maybe?’ After all, a bit of organisation goes a long way, right?
I was wrong. After three years in non challenging role, I was headhunted by a competitor, and commenced new role. To say it’s challenging would be an understatement. Last 2 weeks have been steadily busy. As in 8am til 9pm some days. Lunch at 3. Busy. To the point of stress. To the point of anxiety.
Three days’ off to celebrate the Queen’s birthday has been very very welcome.
Stay tuned for some writing, shortly.