Working

Glum again. Work is hard. The ‘aunt’ thing didn’t kick in today. Instead I am reminded that I’m not one of them. I’m never the expert, always the learner. It’s in the nature of what I do, but it’s hard. Where I work, knowledge of our products is very highly valued. It’s a financial institution, yes a big bad corporation. Anyway, the products are very complicated and highly regulated. Add to that the systems needed for completing and recording transactions – it’s a lot of stuff. So I learn, I ask questions, but I’m never one of them. Combined, the two women I’m working with have over sixty years’ experience with this institution. And they’re fascinated by the products – the policies, procedures, the people, the ins and outs of it all. What they don’t know about this may not be worth knowing.

It’s not knowledge I can go and read a book about. I can read their documents, but they don’t make sense if you don’t already understand. So I have to ask questions. Which I do.

Can I just say in my defense, being on my own side here, that asking questions takes energy and some intelligence also. A lot of people don’t bother. However, then I’m always one down it seems. I don’t know, they know, I have to ask for help.

I have my own skills to offer. But often it seems that isn’t much noticed. People working in the department I work for are there for their knowledge. Some think – why is this woman here, who knows nothing?

I can make their documents better, but I can’t do it by myself. I have to meet with experts who can answer my questions. They don’t have the time to do this, since they’re busy putting out the daily fires of their jobs. So I’m this troublesome extra. I’m underfoot. It’s not great for my ego.

I’ve been trying to get my manager to give me things to do for the next weeks, when we will stop meeting. She is going away for two weeks also. She’s given me one small project, which isn’t yet ready for me, and that’s about it. So it’s looking like I will be at home again with little to do. I still get paid, but I want to work for my money.

Then today she wasn’t sure how long I’d be staying. I thought I had a contract until mid-summer. I went home and looked at my agency confirmation – it’s a little unclear. So then I panicked – will I be out of work in a week or two? They don’t seem to have anything for me to do.

It’s the nature of contracting that contracts end, but I need some notice so I can look for something else. It’s great in a way to have free time without money worries, if I could use it guilt free.

If I’m back to weeks with little to do, I’m going to have to start planning things so I have some human contact. Maybe I will take a yoga class, maybe some other thing too.

Anxiety is a bit of a bitch once she’s triggered off. Also haven’t heard from my son for a long time. He seems to have not charged his phone, it goes straight to a message. I worry.

So today I felt like a stranger in a foreign country. Even the chat, when I could have contributed, I held back, I was super shy once again.

But, I’m coping. I’m getting that bus at ten to eight every single morning dammit. I have work clothes for every day. I rock. At some things. I have a fear that I can’t cope with working every day, but I kind of can.

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6 comments
  1. šŸ™‚

    it’s the smart people who ask questions… the not-so-smart who wing it and i’m sure your colleagues know this…. that’s why they are successful in their fields. i can only imagine that being a freelancer adds to the sense of disconnect.

    hope tomorrow is better

    and yes, you rock!

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, being contract adds to a feeling of being an outsider, though I’ve been there for three years. I think I’d need extra good social skills to counteract this, instead of my less than optimal ones. But anyhow. The next day was better again. Thanks for the encouragement. šŸ™‚

  2. weareonebyruth said:

    I kept a warm fuzzy box. On the good days I write what was good on a 3×5 index card and place it in the box. On the bad days I read the cards in the box. Now I keep a mental file. On good days I create wonderful memories that on the not so good days I take out and remind myself that good days exist. Not a solution just another coping tool. Hugs…hoping work is there for you.

    • Ellen said:

      Seems like a good coping tool. Thanks Ruth.

  3. For me, every day is a struggle at work, some days I’m even too scared to get out of bed, or get dressed, and I’m scared throughout the entire day, there have been so many times when I’m honestly surprised I made it through the day, so I kind of get what you’re describing. Hope your mood improves, you have achieved so much in the last months, so you’re damn right you rock! xx

    • Ellen said:

      I’m sorry it’s such a struggle. Your job teaching is a lot tougher than mine – I don’t know how I’d cope with that at all. You’re doing well. But that sense of every day being a struggle – I do get that. Thanks Chatte.

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