More heat

I can see my boss is trying. She is speaking to me more quietly. I have stopped asking her questions except by email, so she doesn’t walk away from me anymore. Also, I seem to have learned her accent – I’m understanding what she is saying to me, which helps. I’ve probably also picked up enough of the jargon there that I can figure out more on that front also.

I am completely miserable.

The heat hurts – my AC is not good. I’ve got an allergy reaction in half my face. Last week, a tooth I had pulled got infected – the site, I mean. Then I had a reaction to the antibiotic I was prescribed. Everything’s cleared up, but now I have a sore throat/allergy in my nose. Somehow I feel I can’t cope with it.

The job is so incredibly trivial and meaningless. As there’s no editing, I’m doing some of my colleague’s simplest tasks. Today’s task was to download a list of about a hundred files from various systems and locations, and adjust the file names. I didn’t know there were jobs like this. Mechanical, yet tricky enough that you have to pay attention. No human interaction. Nothing means anything.

I’m stopping the self-criticism, stopping the inner critic as much as I can, and it’s making a big difference. Maybe I’m talking myself out of my feelings while I’m at work? But still, putting my best foot forward.

I appreciate not feeling in conflict with this boss at the moment. I do. But I’m in such despair after work. I guess the heat is a stress, and it’s the straw breaking.

I feel like if I can just accept that this is a crappy job I have to do for a while, and not let it bother me, it would be a good thing. Why can I not accept this? Instead, I feel humiliated that in my fifties, this is my job. When giving me the task, my boss was even considering, out loud, whether this would be difficult for me. As if it would task to the utmost my five little brain cells that have to work so hard just to keep breathing, for f sake.

My co-worker is the most silent, the most incurious, the most obtuse person imaginable. Actually no, she is intelligent. But how can anyone be so incurious? She kind of dismisses me when I try to make a bit of conversation, and I feel stupid. But she hadn’t heard of Brexit, for goodness sake. She didn’t know what I was talking about, that Thursday when the news broke. And she works for a financial institution.

I need to tune this job out and I can’t. I need to not take it personally. Instead I feel humiliated and at fault. I should have gotten a better degree at school, all those decades ago, when I was struggling with a huge depression on my own, with not even a self-help book. If I had more education, I wouldn’t get these hopeless types of menial jobs.

Maybe I’d be better off taking an admin job, where at least I’d have contact with people.

Ironic that my family’s focus was so much on education and getting some great job, preferably academic. Maybe if they’d had a different focus, I could have gotten a better education for my own reasons.

Well, I’m just a pool of misery. When this weather breaks, I’ll do better again.

  1. hugs….Maybe a back stroke in your pool will help you relax. Hardest job I had was a cashier at a store. Even if no one was in the store I had to stand by the cash register with nothing to do. I’m not saying the job I had was more boring than yours, just letting you know that you are not alone taking boring jobs when you are older.
    Have you consider taking online classes? So much is out there now days. I am working on relearning to crochet. Now I have a bunch of yarn to keep my hands very busy.
    Hugs. Recognizing the problem is half way to the solution.

    • Ellen said:

      He he. I think that job may have been more boring….This one, I can cheat and read my phone or go for breaks as I wish at least. I do know that lots of people have these jobs – just, where I work, older people are mostly in management, having worked their way up. I started late, so without a specialized degree, I’ll likely never get anywhere much.

      Online class is a good idea, I hadn’t considered that. I do find doing something with my hands quite relaxing, the few times I’ve knit or hooked a rug. Something about the repetition is calming.

      Thanks Ruth

  2. leb105 said:

    Dear E, it’s not YOU! It’s the job! you’ve had good jobs in the past? where the work was satisfying? Why do you feel you have to suffer this way?

    • Ellen said:

      Well, that’s the thing Laura. No I haven’t. I almost always want to leave my jobs, or relationships also come to think of it. That’s why I don’t trust myself. I have a strong urge to run. Sometimes it’s justified, sometimes it’s not, but I always have it. I have had a job where the client liked me, but I was unhappy for other reasons. I can’t say I’ve ever been happy at a job. I am having mixed feelings about this one, though a lot of bad ones for sure. I wrote this when I was sure it was the job from hell. I’m sure it’s annoying to follow along….but this is an issue I have.

      Thanks for commenting.

  3. Rachel said:

    Maybe it helps you to write out the pool of misery. It doesn’t sound, to me, like a pool of misery per se. In a judgmental way. It sounds like you are working through some really odd and undesirable work dynamics, perhaps some of your (unconscious, trauma-driven) making (education, training, choices in where you work), some not of your making (personalities of co-workers, their reactions to you). I think you are working pretty hard to figure out how to feel a bit better about the job. I like reading about your process.
    The heat is intense, no doubt.

    • Ellen said:

      It does help, writing out of the pool of M! I like giving shape and form to my distress, because then I feel I have some kind of a handle on it.

      Thanks for the comment. I wonder if my choice of where I work is trauma driven. The industry I’m in is where I have experience, so it would be very challenging for me to get out of it and persuade a different industry to hire me. I am never that clear on whether it’s my own issues having a field day, which they would in any job, or whether I’m really making these bad choices, and have issues because I have these bad jobs. How can I tell? I do wish I’d gotten some help when I was younger, so I could have set my life up in a better direction. But we get what we get.

      • Rachel said:

        I suppose I was referring to your comment about perhaps getting a different education if it weren’t for your family, and then if you had a different education your job might be different. Based on what you write, it could be that any job would bring the same issues. And, I think there is something very valid in these odd isolating experiences that really triggers you, and I don’t think all jobs are like that. At least I have never been in a job like that. Granted, I have been in social services and healthcare which is highly collaborative. I just don’t see this all being “you” more than the causes and conditions of your life leading you here. There is no inherent “issue” creating this, it is many factors that all influence one another. Which is great, because it means it is still influence-able now (such as the conversations you have been having with J). I sometimes think the same thing, when I read of people doing DBT at 20, finding a good therapist at 20. I think wow, had I done this over a decade ago, the suffering I could have avoided. Well, that didn’t happen. I get the grief though, and there is something to be said for acknowledging all of the years spent trapped in the trauma. It is sad.

        • Ellen said:

          Yes, I agree. The particulars of these jobs are hard for me, and not found in all jobs, plus they trigger me, making it that much harder.

          ‘Causes and conditions’….sounds very Buddhist! But so true. I like the perspective that I’m not actually causing my troubles in any simple kind of a way. Like you say, it may all be influencable. Good word.


  4. e.Nice said:

    ughh I hate heat. And you do have a lot going on. Things trigger other things. The miserable tooth and headache and heat make dealing with the miserable working conditions harder. I am glad she is trying. It still is such a weird situation.

    • Ellen said:

      It is weird. I appreciate your perspective on this nice.

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