I am sipping a cool glass of Rose, trying to calm my fear. I’ve been struggling with anxiety for the past few days, and sometimes I win, and sometimes, like this evening after work, I lose.
Things were actually going well today. I’d had a good day yesterday, and was feeling relaxed. Conflict with my boss has quieted right down for the moment – we seem to be on good terms. She speaks to me calmly, and I am eager to please. She isn’t rubbing me the wrong way for the first time in four months. I had little to do at work, which I don’t like, so lots of time to kill. But my good mood let me coast through this.
By the end of the day, a few things had happened which caused my mood to plunge and decide I have a really really stupid job. Then I felt ashamed, that at my age, this is the best I’ve been able to do. This stupid worthless job. Sigh.
Editing can be different things. It can be an engagement with a document, trying to understand what the writer is trying to do, engaging with the writer, and making it clearer, untangling confusion, organizing logically.
Or it can be silly. Formatting to a set standard. Enforcing meaningless rules with no engagement with the meaning at all. A lot of corporate ‘writing’ is of this kind – the real work happens first, and I put in some commas and bolded headings, and call it a day.
If an organization wants the second kind of ‘editing’, and i provide the first, they get unhappy and cranky. I am then interfering where I am not wanted. They want me to tidy up, not take any time to do so, and not take up anyone else’s time.
Anyway, it seems this department is looking for the second kind of editor. But…what actually happened was not much. I’m just primed to fall into anxiety and shame. One document I’d worked on has come back from the big boss, and one of her comments was the editing lacked consistency. I’m not sure what she’s looking for to tell the truth. I checked with the writer, who gave me a really hostile look, and said she’d let me know when I could have the document. Why so hostile? Who knows. I suspect she resents the difficult hour we spent together, where I was trying to get clear on what she was trying to do. But maybe not.
I’d asked if one of the directors had feedback on the editing, and he wrote a careful email back that basically said he wanted spellcheck and formatting. Wow. I’d put so much other work into his documents, but it looks like that’s not what he wants.
Then another analyst there asked my help with a table, and he said they’re not sending that document to me at all, even though all are supposed to come to me. Which I mind read to mean that they want to bypass the ‘difficulties’ I cause with editing.
Then my co-worker was unfriendly in the morning. As per usual.
Then in another document, a term that is not a proper noun was capitalized all the way through, and it turned out the big boss had asked for this. I hate the practice of capitalizing some words the bank feels are important. It’s so old fashioned, and makes documents harder to read.
And it made me feel hopeless. That I’m working on documents that are bureaucratic, where all that matters is that they look exactly like all the other documents of the past, where the value I add is cosmetic only.
It doesn’t seem as if that should set me off into a tailspin. All these little little things. I end up feeling totally without value.
I am whining. I do feel I need to find a different job. Not because of the inept manager at this moment. It’s just a crappy job. I’d need hope though that not all jobs are crappy.
I want to write about yesterday’s extended family barbecue, which I’ll do next post. Maybe the feelings of worthlessness are related to seeing my family, though the occasion went pretty well.