Work meeting

Tonight I can’t sleep. This is after a day where I felt so fatigued, I kept needing to lie down. I wish I could get it together Saturdays, but I can’t seem to. I feel fatigued and sad and overwhelmed. Sundays I often perk up again. This time at least, I know therapy didn’t make things worse for me. This is all me.

Yesterday at work, one of the projects I’m on had a review meeting with the big boss. She is super-critical. Wow. She wasn’t as critical of me as of the other two more senior staffers. The way she lit into the director whose project it is was really something. She said the project was so bad, she didn’t even know where to start. Then she asked him some questions and kind of mocked his answers. And he was so calm – he didn’t react at all. He really is a gentle soul I think.

He seems very intelligent but struggles mightily with English. This project is a user guide, and she was criticizing the contents. Explaining things in English is exactly what this advanced math person from China can’t do very well. The big boss is of Asian heritage as well, but her English is pretty much perfect, so she likely came here as a child.

I struggle with this project also because I don’t understand the subject. I think if I work there longer I will pester people more to explain things so I can understand better.

The big boss also lit into the other co-worker on the project, a senior manager. But less so. I was the most junior and the newest, so she did not seem to blame me as much. In general, she is kinder to more junior people, and harder on her direct reports. I think it’s actually a nice quality, that she is more kind to us ‘lesser beings’.

I now see that some of my manager’s criticism and fault finding comes as her attempt to mimic this boss whom she admires very much. Just with the big boss, what she says does make sense to me. Everything she said, almost, about the editing made sense and I can do the remediation. While my manager has weak English, and knows pretty much nothing about documentation. So her criticisms don’t make any sense at all. They just feel like attacks.

OK, I was surprised that the big boss would talk to people like she did. I found it excessively harsh. However, for some reason, I don’t dislike her, instead, I want to please her. If I felt that way about my own boss my life would be better. I wonder how much I contribute to our disputes. If I said nothing, the way people did in that meeting, just took it, likely things would not be so upsetting.

Towards the end of the meeting, big boss and director started speaking more like colleagues, about some aspect of the director’s work that they were both interested in. Later I met the other co-worker in the elevator, and he said that those two had worked together for many years, and are used to each other.

They have not yet officially offered me the job. I am still determined to speak with Big Boss to ask for a change of manager. If I could get that, I’d be interested in continuing. I really like working for the gentle math genius director, who is almost always kind and cheerful. I realize it would be a blow for my manager if big boss did as I wish, and I would be sorry about that, but not as sorry as I would be if I continue to work for her.

In other news. I’ve signed up over the internet for a yoga for anxiety series of four classes, offered Sundays. Yoga stresses me out, but this one is taught by someone who also offers ‘trauma informed’ yoga. Maybe it will be OK. I’ve felt an inner pull to try this, so I will. Years ago, I took yoga classes, and would end up so dissociated I had to spend hours in bed after. So a goal I have is to notice if I might be dissociating and try to feel whatever feelings are coming up instead. And if I need to stop and rest, I’ll do that. I want this to be more of an exploration than of me ‘trying my best’. I tend to feel awkward because I’m really not at all flexible, and also now older than most other yoga students. But I’ll put all that aside, hopefully, and feel my way as to what is helpful and what not so much.

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10 comments
  1. So much in this – kudos on the yoga. I hope it helps – and I know what it is like to think about your managers feelings but take care of your well being first.

    • Ellen said:

      The yoga was good. It was actually more breathing than yoga actually, so it didn’t trigger me. Thank you.

  2. I will be so interested to find out how you find that particular yoga class, Ellen. Do you have an idea how the other classes affected you to lead you to dissociation? Am just very interested. I often think that a private yoga class would be the most helpful but more expensive. Some classes seem to work well but I did notice even in the Wednesday class that I enjoyed more than todays, during the relaxation some of my past trauma started to come up and it was work to stay with it.
    So many dynamics go on in work situations. It can be a lot to cope with. Thinking of you.

    • Ellen said:

      The yoga class was pretty good. There was actually little movement – it was all about breathing. Come to think of it, I did notice my trauma stuff during the breathing. But, the good thing was I didn’t end up dissociated. I think being able to notice it is a good step for me, because in the past I’ve simply dissociated before consciously noticing much of anything. The teacher did say several times it’s not what a move looks like that matters, it’s how it feels. Which I like.

      Yeah, work dynamics are rough. Thank you EFDK.

  3. helpful. Yoga is hard because so much does come up and it’s work to stay with it, but I do feel like yoga has helped me heal so much.

    Work dynamics can be messy. I’m thinking of you and hoping things are more peaceful at work this coming week. Xx💟

    • Ellen said:

      The first yoga class was pretty good. It was specifically for anxiety, so there was mainly focused breathing. I did feel some trauma come up but didn’t dissociate luckily. So I’m going to practice the breathing – it can’t hurt.

      Thank you Alice.

      • I’m glad the first was okay. Maybe just take it all really slow and breathe. I think you have the right approach– it can’t hurt. Xx

  4. Yoga was not good for me at first, as it brought up so many things. But I found a ptsd yoga class and it was incredibly healing. I hope you find this is healing as well.

    • Ellen said:

      Yeah, I totally understand not doing well with regular yoga – I didn’t either. This class is for anxiety and is super gentle and focused on breathing. So far so good. I’m hoping it’s going to help in the long run. Thanks DID.

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