Thursday, July 2, 2020

Focus on my Career - pt 8 - Sleepless Night

     I finally reached six months at my new job.  It wasn't celebrated, there wasn't any hoopla, and it was marked only by an email sent out by the people who administer our payroll.  I didn't expect anything really, even though working in a startup small milestones tend to count since there's such high turnover, but things went on as usual.  It's okay, I didn't expect much.
     The winter months went by smoothly, but then things started to roll in a different direction as we went from a team of 20 or so to just a dozen or so.  There was quite a considerable cut in staffing at the beginning of the month, and I spent a sleepless night thinking about how I wasn't part of this one.  Before, when that terrible retail place I worked for decided to make cuts I was almost always on the side that got cut.
     My friend said it's because I have PTSD from my previous job and yes, I think in so many ways I do.  I worry constantly about doing something wrong, making that one mistake that will get me fired, and having my heartbeat out of its chest every time I send off that email.
     At first, my job seemed like a simple call center job, nothing special, help a person get access to their account, explain a bill, or something along those lines.  I knew that I had to verify everyone, but it seemed simple and straight forward.  Then came the quality assurance, which was okay at first until I got back my first results and realized I'd screwed up big time on something so simple and small as one piece of information.  One mark on my record.  I got two more before I could be fired for it.  And each month they go over at least 7 such pieces, so in one month I could screw up and lose my job in an instant.
     It kept me up all night after that first score, and I vowed to do better.  My eyes crossed and I started to freak out about any little thing that didn't quite match, questioning every single email or phone call I took.
     That was before the cuts were made where we lost some people, most likely due to some of those same issues.  Then came another one last week which was a big shock to some of my coworkers.  I just kept plugging along, forever anxious with every email and phone call that I still take, thinking about if I forgot to double-check something or should I trust myself that I would have noticed something wrong?
     I finally took a day off for myself.  It's been six months and I've only taken one other day off since the pandemic has made things impossible to go anywhere and everything I had scheduled has been canceled or closed.  But today I wanted a day to sit in the house and not work, not think about my anxiety with sending that next email, and just wanted a day to let everything go.
     Unfortunately, I'm also completely exhausted.  I could barely sleep last night and even though I have all of these plans for myself, I also just barely can get motivated to do any of them.  But maybe that's good?  Maybe that's what I should be doing for myself?  Just relaxing?

     I've also been thinking about my friend who wanted me to work with her originally back in November.  I had gotten a job offer, and I probably could have taken that job, but the one I have now offered perhaps less security, but more money and didn't give me (then) as much anxiety as that one did.  I felt bad.  My friend was disappointed.  I think she thought I let her down, that I abandoned her, and possibly had favored another over her.
     But I saw how happy she was at her new job.  She had a cool new desk, new co-workers who had become her friends, and she had all of these new hobbies she was getting into.  She was posting pictures of her decorations, games she played, and things she was doing.  And her co-workers were starting to comment on her Facebook feed to the point that I know she had added them as friends.
     And me?  I have one friend who I've added on Facebook and that was long before I worked there.  I haven't added anyone else, nor have I made plans with any of them, or tried to reach out in any capacity.  I harken back to that PTSD, worried that at any moment I could lose this job and thus break all contacts. 
      They said when all of those people were fired that we could still "reach out" to them...but I had no way to do that.  I had no contacts with them and thus no ability to say, "hey, how are you doing?"  And that made me sad because my friend has moved on without me and has made all sorts of new friends.
     It takes so much for me to open up to new people.  I literally took nearly a decade to make friends with my co-workers at my old job.  And now it feels like I just don't have the ability to reach out at my new job with having to work from home and not being able to get to know people in person.
     I worry about losing the friends I have.  We spent all this time playing D&D together and now it seems things are drifting away even though I've been really trying hard for it not to.  Every time I start to tell a story with a person or a group of people we never seem to finish, and damn it, I really want to finish this one!
     But... it's been over a year now since everything changed, and it's been about three or so months since the pandemic started.  I know we can outlast the closures and the worries about being apart, at least we'll give it our best shot to!  But I also worry about what I need to do to keep everything held together that I've worked so hard at.

     And that's where my sleepless night came from.  That's what ran through my mind over and over again as I tossed and turned.  And hopefully putting this down will help me move past it and relax during the next four days I have off.  I hope.

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