A bunch of things are going on for me. Work is better. My boss came back from holidays this week and we have so far not had any difficult interactions. I have a personal mission of sorts, to get along with this boss. I know I affect her, and I can be ‘nice’. I need to play the game, and find ways to keep her calm and feeling in control. I really want to find a way to do that. Then she will go off and be angry and upset about other groups, other people, but not me.
OK, I feel bad writing about this. Because I know that some readers and commenters, with my best interests at heart, will not agree with what I did. But – I think it’s for the best and I feel good about this decision, so far.
I took the full-time job.
I didn’t ask for a different manager.
I thought about the distress this would cause, if I got a different manager. This is not a big department – it has maybe fifteen people, total. Four of these are people managers, and my own boss has only two direct reports. I would still sit very close to her. It would just be horribly awkward, and I decided not to ask for this.
I deeply deeply did not want to start again somewhere else in yet another short term contract. I’ve reached my limit with that, even though I have little doubt I could find contracts fairly easily. I am just starting to learn the subject matter in this role. I want to build on that.
I realized I must manage this boss, and I must realize what she is like, and try to sooth her her anxieties if I possibly can. The good (and bad) thing is that she usually has very little input into my job. I work with other internal clients, in an area she has no knowledge of at all. So for the main part of my job, she is irrelevant. If I can build up a better history of interacting with her, I think she will mostly leave me alone.
Secondly, I want the health insurance. Because of the cancer, I don’t qualify for anything decent on my own, so I want to be covered just by virtue of working there. I now have another health concern, which I am worrying might be some degenerative type illness. I need some type of coverage. It’s likely not the worst case scenario I worry I have, but having insurance is important to me. (For US readers, we are all covered for basics like doctor visits and hospital stays in Canada, luckily, but I’m talking benefits – some percentage of pay if I can’t work for a time, drug coverage, etc.).
Thirdly, the stability means a lot to me. I’ve felt these little starts of connections form to people at work, and it means something that I keep the same people in my life, for a time at least. This is not like a family, of course, but it’s still some stability and continuity for me.
Maybe I’m being defensive. There were also good reasons for turning the job down, but anyway, this is what I did, and I feel happy with my choice at this moment.
And in other news. The yoga for anxiety class was helpful. It was very very slow, and you’d almost be hard pressed to find the yoga in it. We moved our arms and breathed to various counts, basically. The part I really am doing every day is a type of balanced breathing. I downloaded the recommended recording, which is simply two bells, one for in breath, one for out breath. So very simple, but I am not getting tired of it. I do feel calmer after doing this breathing for a while. And I’ve been practicing on my commute, and on breaks at work. I noticed I carry and unbelievable amount of stress with me all the time. This is so noticeable when I try to do the slow breathing. My throat is almost panicking, my chest is tight….And normally, I don’t notice.
Anxiety at work is a real problem for me. I talk in an anxious way sometimes, or just plunge into anxiety, so I’m hopeful this little breathing exercise is going to help. It’s already helping, but I hope I don’t get tired of it.
All in all, I feel kind of hopeful about everything.