Really must post. I’ve been depressed, so things have been allowed to slide a bit, including my blog.
Thanks to all who commented on my post about the awful work lunch I had two weeks ago. Everyone has good insights, all from different perspectives, and I find that very interesting.
I have upped my efforts in the socializing department with only very limited success. Hence the depression. While I understand that other people aren’t the cause of my troubles, rather, it’s my own actions that are the cause, it is sometimes very difficult to really really believe this.
I’ve been hired into a situation where a project has not been planned very well, so just as I was hired, the work for my type of job dried up. It is rumoured that work will re-appear, but that hasn’t happened yet, and it’s been weeks. So I have nothing to actually focus on while at work, except little tiny make-work projects. I tend to be work-focused – I want to have a reason for being at work beyond socializing.
Second problem – the kind of work they have my job type doing is kind of stupid. I’m simply to format the BAs and SMEs work, and do very light copy editing. There are a few more complications, but basically, that’s it. Which is not what I wish to be doing.
Third problem – There is a team of three ‘writers’, and one of these is a psychopath. IMO. OK, maybe not clinically, as I’m not qualified to judge, but she is a first class manipulator who has taken a strong dislike to me. The other writer is extremely socially handicapped, and has bonded strongly with this one woman. So neither of them will talk to me of their own accord in most cases.
The psychopath woman (let’s call her P) has made herself the social center of this project team. She launches herself at everyone, in order of importance of course, and tells them long stories about her life and her opinions. Which seems to make people feel comfortable with her, so they like her. So when she doesn’t talk to me, it matters to how others see me.
If I was socially adept, this wouldn’t matter. I could talk in the social groups, chat with others, and glide a long. But as it is, I make these efforts, like saying hello to new people, asking people about their weekends, and to me this is difficult and I’m trying quite hard. People start to feel they’re a lot better than me, and don’t bother chatting back.
Two of the people there actually exchanged smirks when I went to say hello to this woman I had lunch with, and they were standing chatting nearby. I was probably kind of tentative with my ‘hello, how are you doing?’ and they found that provided them with mirth.
The same two kind of imitated the way I walked. Well, maybe not. I was walking back to my desk with tea, and the kind of weaved back and forth and laughed, looking at me.
P has repeated things I’ve said in a really strange voice.
And P starts talking to me after 4, when most have left. I naturally talk back, but really, it’s just strange as she won’t talk to me during the day. Just that she loves to talk, so when no one else is available, I’ll do. And this Friday afternoon, she acted super friendly when saying goodbye, as if we were great friends, just because the boss, who kind of knows P is treating me badly, was nearby. Everything she does is kind of for show, to demonstrate what a lovely person she is. I get very confused by all this.
This is just like a teenager in highschool, no? The same – she did this, and I did that, and OMG…
It’s actually difficult to explain properly. But I’m feeling almost ostracized, and that just feels very bad.
That workplace is extremely social, with people spending hours in various conversations. I’ll never wish to do this myself. I want to talk to people I like, whom I have something in common with. Others, sure, I’ll chat for maybe five minutes, but after that, I have no real interest.
There should be room for people like me.
I did have lunch a couple of times with a new contractor who works on testing. That’s positive I suppose. But she is aware that I’m really low status with the group, and doesn’t want to be branded an outsider, which I perfectly understand. So I don’t cling to her.
I kind of think any efforts I make with P and the other writer are doomed, because there is such a strange dynamic among us. So even though it would make sense to socialize with them, I have to spend any social energy on other people there. It’s hard, because we don’t have any work in common to get to know each other with. But two of the women have been saying hello to me and chatting a tiny bit. So why not try to get to know them?
It’s hard, because I am getting very depressed at work, so trying to make friends is difficult.
As you can see, my social anxiety symptoms are on full blast. I’m getting paranoid and super sensitive to everything. This is all not good at all.
Well, I’ve set up my weekend so I’ll be taking walks with two friends, and I’ll go to one meetup brunch on Sunday. So I will at least not feel so alone and just ‘weird’ on the weekend. Just to remind myself that yes, I can interact with people, I can be with people just like a regular person.
I’ll also post my resume and look for something else. I’ve concluded that this problem with the other writers is not amenable to change from any efforts I can make, and my life at this workplace will continue to be pretty bad, even if I get some others to accept me. It will just be too much of a handicap. Though in a way I’d like to stay and master this, I feel like the game is stacked against me there.