Another Tough Day

TW: Suicide, Self Harm, vomiting.

Today has been a tough day for me, but let me go back to Friday first before I get to today.

Friday afternoon I went with mum and dad (step) to go and get a CT scan.  While there my dad had an X-ray on his knee (he needed one anyway and they said drop in when you are free for this).  The reason for my mums CT scan was a shadow across her chest which came up in another scan.  They have more or less written off Lung Cancer (thankfully) but it was a nervous time for us all, especially so close to Christmas time.

After the scan I went home and got ready to my work Christmas Do.  This had been weeks in planning by the work teams, but I was not going to go.  It was only 48 hours before that I ended up being convinced to go, after a few people dropping out and several people haranguing me to do so.   I met my colleagues at the pub, had a few drinks beforehand with them, and then we went onto the venue, where the company card was behind the bar and even more drinks were had.

All said, I left at around quarter past midnight, well socially lubricated, having danced most of the night and had a great time all in all.  I got home by Uber, and was only sick once from all the Jack and Coke I had, the acid was brutal though.

That same day (Friday) I also found out that my colleagues sister had tried to kill herself.  She had taken medication, slashed her wrists and was found somewhere by a stranger who took her to hospital.  The same girl also has recently found out that her fathers new partner (to be wife) has skin cancer and had to have a large portion of her leg removed.  She told me these things and I tried to support her and talk to her where I can, but I know that she has a strong support structure to help her out when she needs it.

Back to Saturday I did not do very much at the weekend, being that I was hungover and in truth I like to not do much on the weekends because I work all the time during the week and want to relax.  Which is a nice transition into today.

Today I got back to work and found out that while I was off “Bombshell Friday” had struck again.  Fridays are the day where something comes out where there is a problem and there is a scrabble to try and resolve it, but more often than not it can’t be done immediately and so there is a chaotic start to the week which can potentially drag on weeks or months depending on the issue.  Guess what, this time it was my fault.

I made a mistake, the mistake came back to bite me, and now I had to work to resolve it.  Unfortunately this mistake is on a project that I have made mistakes on previously, which only fed into making me feel worse about the issue.  I have spent the whole day trying to fix the issue, and speaking to the relevant internal teams and externally affected individuals to get things back on track.  It is not a one day fix, but it has ended up consuming my time, on something I am a little lost in trying to resolve and struggling with.

That word, struggling, is basically what is I feel at work.  I speak for myself here, but I know that the other people on my team feel it, but we are all trying to balance too many jobs.  I feel I am doing this the worst out of everyone as I keep having to resolve issues and fix things as part of the work I am doing, and they should have been spotted a long time ago but weren’t.  Before you ask who should have spotted them, I should have.

I spoke to one of my colleagues about the fact I am going to call a meeting with my manager, because I am doing too much.  Last year I had one job, and one job only at this time of year.  This year I am trying to juggle 3 and smattering of smaller jobs.  I feel like I have too much work to do, and because of this I am letting things slip.  Too many jobs means I am making mistakes in all three of them, and there is just too much for me to handle in one go.  When discussing how many issues we should be dealing with at a time, it was mentioned in someones previous job they handled 2 each maximum.  My team is 4FT and 1 PT, and we currently dealing with 76.  That is just not OK.

Work is really dragging me down mentally, because I don’t stop thinking about it.  I think about it when I wake up, I dream about it, I am even writing about it now (for good reason, I can justify this).  I work 8-6 Monday to Friday, but this has been known to be until 7 and come in at the weekend, pushing my hours to high 40s or 50s at bad times.  Now for some, that is not a big deal; your doctors and lawyers and nurses of the world, but for someone paid my level, this is not great.  I am working those hours to try and get everything done, and then it turns out that I still cant.  Between April and the end of November this year it worked out that I have done 270 hours of overtime that I billed for.  That works out at 38.5 hours per month, which to me doesnt seem so terrible, but it kinda is.  Every month I work the equivalent of 1 FT employee for a week (standard contract is 35 hours PW).

I am struggling to keep up with all of this, and it is making me more and more stressed.  Add on top my friends who I am helping out (the one above, another was at a funeral today who I was trying to support, my family, and the whole real dad and his partner situation which I don’t know if I have talked about) and I am feeling like there is just too much going on.

Circling back, I wanted to tell my manager that I would like to have some of the work taken off my plate, because I am struggling to cope with all of it.  I even wanted to tell him to take away the promotion that I have had, because if I am a lower level, then they can’t make me do the things that they are asking at the moment.  I ran this past my colleague and he agreed that we all do too much, but that I shouldn’t give the company the opportunity to pay me less.  The work would still be the same, and in his opinion (he has 8 years experience on me) the work we are doing alot of the time should not be signed off by someone of our level, but rather someone one or two levels above us.

Why don’t I change position?  I have thought about it and looked and applied in some cases, but in truth every specification I read I don’t feel I even come close to being able to do the things they say.  Christ, I read my own job specification online and feel like I can’t do the things on that.  A friend on another team has suggested I go for a junior coding position on her team and has put my name forward for the potential role (depending on the budget) next year, but even that I feel I will be bad at.

I know I have problems with feeling inadequate (Insert Coach Carter Speech here (which is amazing by the way)), but I just feel confused and not good enough and like every single day I am just battling to keep my head afloat at work.  Today was an 8-6 and quite frankly I am sure that tomorrow will be the same and it is Christmas Eve.

If I didn’t need the money so badly I would take a job where I could just turn off and have minimum responsibilities.  That would be the dream right now, but the reality is I have to have money to help my family, to try and move out of my parents home and to try and make something of myself.  I am 30 years old, I should not be living here, but that’s a whole other rant which ends up in another hole altogether.

It has been a long time since I wrote this much in one post, or even in one go at all.  This is really going back to the streams of consciousness recollection that this blog was founded on over 5 years ago, and I have just broken 1500 words to get to this point.  In truth, the people who used to read this years ago no longer do, and anyone who stumbles across this now will view this as a dated form of expression in a world of YouTube and short form, fast consumption content.  I just find this cathartic and getting this out of my head will hopefully make it easier to process and hopefully mean I can sleep and tackle tomorrow in a healthier and more balanced way.

I hope that I do not fall into the “likes and views are verification of my self worth” hole that I used to have, because I do know I do that sometimes, checking my stats.  Truthfully, if I have more than 2 views a day I think I am doing amazingly.  I think I got one of those notifications that my blog was “on fire” when it hit 30 in a day.  How pathetic really, but if anyone has ready this far (highly doubtful) then I commend you on reading the ramblings of an idiot like me.

I think it is time for me to stop now and watch some Brooklyn 99 or something light hearted to keep me distracted and away from sliding further down.  I think carrying on with The Witcher (which is brilliant so far) would be bad because it has some darker themes.  Same applies to most of the shows I would like to watch now, so I will stick to this for now and see how I feel.

To anyone who has read this far, thank you.  For Netty, thank you once again for being a chronicle of my mental state, for listening to my ramblings and for continuing to be a source of knowledge, pain and growth.

PL&H

MMS