Work stress

I feel so angry today after work. It’s like this ball of pain surrounded by a shell of anger. Not sure why it came up for me today with such huge force. It feels so physical, like something I can’t digest, which is with me no matter what else I think about.

At the moment, I intensely dislike the man I am working with. I talked about this last post. I’d been having severe anxiety, but that anxiety went down as I got in touch with how I was feeling. I was feeling quite a bit of resentment for being condescended to by this individual, and hadn’t really been conscious of that – instead, I got super anxious.

So today, I had a meeting with a client on a communications project. I had a first draft, and needed to go through some questions. At the last minute, I invited C, my co-worker. This is because we’re both supposed to be producing the same type of document, and we’re not on the same page at all. I thought if he saw how I was approaching it, he could maybe give input on how we do the documents, or at least see how I was doing it.

Earlier in the week, he’d sent me a draft of his project, and seemed to be expecting me to edit and format it all for him. No way. I offered to show him how to set up the document so formatting is easy, and he just looked at me blankly. He seems to be expecting me to act as his admin, fixing up his project after he’s done the ‘hard thinking’. No way am I doing that.

He has worked in this particular area for many many years, so he knows the way the business works. There’s a lot of knowledge of how money works that you can acquire, and I understand he has that. In fact, I sometimes ask him to explain various concepts, which he happily does.

However, this job involves producing usable documents. Something he has never done, and has little interest in.

So we get into this meeting, and he proceeds to show off how much he knows. Kind of. He asks about obscure technical details of the process I’m trying to document. When I ask a question (to the client), he understands much faster than I do, or thinks he does, and so cuts me off with of course, I understand perfectly.

But I’m writing this project, so I have to understand so I can write it clearly. We’re not there for him to show off, or to make friends with the clients by being one of them.

I honestly thought he’d be interested in the document, in how best to write it. So wrong. He was basically a nuisance in this meeting. I don’t have endless client time to go over documents, so he’s taking up time for no reason but his own ego.

But still, so what. Not sure why I am so enraged by this. That feeling of being looked down on for not knowing….just bugs me so much. But why should I feel so much pain over this, that it’s still with me hours later? People are people – they’ll act in ridiculous ways.

Then…I’ve also had more dealings with my actual boss, K, while my client E is away. I’ve been liking K. Not that I’ve had a lot to do with him, but we had a few short meetings, and he seemed to like me.

This has now gone somewhat wrong as well. I wanted his input on a flowchart I’d done – on whether the approach was right. He didn’t get back to me on it all day. I’m worried he thinks it’s a mess, that’s why he didn’t talk to me about it. It is kind of a mess – but I can explain why. Anyway, that’s why I wanted his input. He had requested a specific kind of flowchart, and I wanted to know if this was kind of like what he wanted.

That’s all. Nothing happened, literally. I’m imagining he disliked the chart, that it’s the worst he’s ever seen. Then what? Nothing. I hadn’t meant to leave it with him – I’d wanted a quick chat about it when I went to his desk, but then he had to get a call, so he didn’t have time, so I left it.

Big deal. I suppose it meant so much to me that he seemed to like me, rather more than my knowledgeable co-worker. I feel like the bad flow chart will erase that liking entirely. I know he can be harsh and critical at times, though he hasn’t been to me yet.

So, there is my pain. It seems very silly when I write it out. Maybe that’s why I did.

  1. Ashana M said:

    To me it makes perfect sense that you’re mad. This is basically the same kind of personality your dad seems to have–someone who likes to show off and stroke his own ego regardless of the cost to others: regardless of whether it wastes your client’s time or whether it hurts his children. I get enraged by inconsiderate people at work. The guy singing loudly while we’re still marking paper somehow reminds me of my dad: my desire for entertainment comes before everyone else’s needs even it’s just a need to grade papers instead of the need to breathe. It’s the same kind of thing, just directed differently.

    • Ellen said:

      Exactly – I’m being triggered. This guy actually reminds me more of my ex than my dad. But in my FOO, there was always this huge issue of ‘who has the knowledge’, so this is tapping into that too. For a while after writing this, I stopped being angry with him, but now I’m angry again. I was trying to be friends with him, but now I’m just going to be much more distant. This is what he’s like, and I don’t need that.

      It’s true though – there’s a lot of anger and resentment hanging out in me that’s just waiting for a trigger! Hope the singing guy at your school get laryngitis.

      Thank you

  2. This guy does sound like he is an impediment to getting the job done. And rather jerky. Add on the triggering of him reminding you of your dad and I can easily see why he would make you mad.

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks Cat. He can be a bit of a jerk. I’m keeping my distance from now on. I haven’t been taking care of my boundaries around him, and it’s time to start.

  3. Rachel said:

    What a prick. No wonder you are upset and triggered. I hope you are continuing to be kind to yourself. And glad you wrote about this.

    • Ellen said:

      Thanks Rachel. Work just sucks sometimes.

  4. Hugs. You connected with anger…my counselor taught me that anger was a secondary emotion….hurt, fear or frustration comes first. From the way you wrote about it, seems to me you were frustrated that your coworker was wasting time to stroke his own ego. It might be a little bit of fear that his antics would jeopardize your client’s relationship. You are the only one that knows the real source of so much discontent of someone else’s behavior. The emotion is probably fairly accurate indication of his crossing boundaries in the meeting.

    • Ellen said:

      Yes, all of that. And hurt that he didn’t seem to think I was as smart as he was. And his behaviour did hurt my relationship with this client – condescension is catching. I need to firm up my boundaries and not let him hurt me. After all, I did invite him to the meeting and I didn’t have to. Hugs to you also.

  5. I’m sorry your dealing with such an obnoxious work person. People are people yes but dealing with that its irritating. I hope you can figure out a solution soon. I’m sorry your thinking too that your boss thinks your work is messy, i’d say he doesnt think that but has been busy and unable to chat to you about it, it sounds like your very anxious about him and want to seek his approval. Sending hugs. XX

  6. Cat said:

    I would feel exactly the same way, Ellen, and I think you feel so bad because he triggers things from the past with your dad and ex

    • Ellen said:

      That could be for sure. Thanks Cat

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