Working

I got home from work today and yesterday kind of shattered. Yet nothing bad happened. But I cannot function. I have to lie down, curled into myself, and stare at nothing for an hour or two.

Actually today one of my clients told me she’d been hearing great things about me from another manager whom I’m currently doing work for. And that manager is wanting to get my contract extended so I can do more work for him. So they like me.

I really think their standards are  low. That sounds self-hating. OK. It’s not that I can’t do the work. And I  can run productive meetings. But they are expecting almost nothing it seems. I don’t do a lot when working from home – how come they don’t notice? So very trusting. Yes, I’m not stupid. I can do some things. Why are they so surprised?

I work for a large corporation. Maybe people who work full time are more scared. I’m not scared of my documents. I slice and dice them. I recommend all kinds of changes. Maybe for full time, they ask permission for every tiny change. So they’re surprised when I don’t do that. I don’t know.

Anyway, this is all good. So why do I feel so done in by the time I get home?

I mostly sit in a cubicle. There’s lots of light, and my section of the floor is quiet. No one bothers me. After a while, the work becomes too tedious. So I go out for coffee. No one notices how long a break I take. I mean, it’s ideal. I won’t have this excellent environment next time.

OK, here’s what’s not so ideal. I don’t have one friend there. I have a few people I’ll exchange a few words with if we meet in a corridor. But no one to go for lunch or coffee with. Then I get more and more shy. Some people seem to look at me a little oddly. Or is it my imagination.

Then a director of the department I’m working for seems to have a problem with me. But it’s all unspoken ridiculousness. I know it’s because I’m not handling the social aspects very well. He’ll pass me with this weird blank look on his face and pretend not to see me. It’s all because I didn’t forcefully and cheerfully say hello and introduce myself to him, and now he’s all weird. I have said hi to him the few times I’ve seen him on time, when he’s said hi back. This is the stupidity that goes through my mind. Really nothing at all.

I guess I easily freak out. I start to think the situation I was in with my family growing up is happening to me again. I think I have this way of kind of ignoring people, acting as if they weren’t there. Which people will then do back to me. I do it without realizing – I don’t mean to. So I recreate very very lonely situations for myself.

Just difficult. 

It’s true it’s not absorbing work. I’m interested in the meetings, finding things out, interacting with different people there. But a lot of the work itself is tedious. And a lot of changes I want to make are not possible because of bureaucracy. I work to pay the rent. It would be nice to have absorbing meaningful work, but I don’t.

I went to school for journalism. I tried freelancing for a few years. I found it was too difficult to keep my spirits up. And I could not make a decent living. I kind of need a routine and a steady income that keeps going no matter how I happen to feel that day.

I don’t know what the answer is, I really don’t.

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11 comments
  1. Ruth said:

    I'm not sure anyone else does either. What you describe is a problem for many people in cooperate type work. Lack of connection, boring work, not feeling challenged, no friends at work, those all sound like problems plaguing people of all different areas. Cooperate is built around extroverts if your style of working is more introverted it is hard to fit their mold. Sorry to hear you are feeling so worn down at the end of the day.

  2. Ellen said:

    Hi Ruth – Corporate life is built around extroverts. Actually, sometimes I can make it work – a lot depends on how well I'm feeling. Have to remember that and not give up. I need the money. Thanks for commenting

  3. Laura said:

    Hi Ellen, I don't work in a corporate setting, and I also recreate isolation. Like when you went canoe camping with your family .(which we also did!) Did you have parts then? Almost like imaginary friends?Great observation and description of your work life.What's going on in your head, when you're curled up at home these days? What are the thoughts? the feelings?

  4. Ellen said:

    Hi Laura – Interesting you are similar. I wonder if it's easier to work for a small company. No, I wasn't aware of parts when I was a child, though they would have existed at that point. I wasn't really aware of this until a year ago. I'm kind of wondering why they would appear in therapy. Well, I did hear some comments going on, but always assumed everyone did. No, I never had imaginary friends. It does make me wonder about this parts 'diagnosis'….though Ron doesn't diagnose. Curled up at home, I have no thoughts. I think it's like a traumatic freeze response or something. Difficult to explain…No feelings either really, except of needing to stay unmoving….Thanks for commenting and being so interested.

  5. I know that feeling… passing someone in the hall and thinking to myself "he/she thinks I'm wierd." And not having social chit chatty things to say. Feels like high school sometimes. But then I have to remember I Am good at my job and it Is a hard job. But being an introvert is definitely not easy at work.

  6. Laura said:

    how's it going, Ellen? thinking of you…

  7. Ellen said:

    @ Maren – I see you know how I feel. What kind of work do you do? Thanks for commenting.@ Laura – Hey. Pretty rough. I'll update my blog soon as I am able. Hope you're good. Cheers

  8. Laura said:

    I think I heard Tara Brach say that 'healing' means bringing new resources to old situations and feelings – so that you can stay with those feelings and let them pass through. So maybe the old feelings come up now that you have the strength, and you have Ron. Hugs,

  9. Ellen said:

    Hi Laura – I like that view of healing. Thanks. Hugs

  10. Ellen said:

    Good to know you can relate CC.

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