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

Checking in

Hi Y’all.

Just to verify I am still alive.  I don’t write much anymore on here, however do not fear, I still creep in the background and read occasionally.  I will admit most of the bloggers I followed at the start have all dropped off, and I went the same way effectively, but I might just start up again.

Work has got very complicated but I have an interview on Wednesday.  Girlfriend is great, will be flying home tomorrow after spending a week in Portugal with her family.

I am relatively sane, though I have been more insecure than I normally am.  Have been talking to my closest to help me and they have really been an incredible support. So thank you to them.  Not that they will see this, as they don’t think I even post anymore.

Oh and my father who I have not seen in over a year came down to support me.  Who knew he would pull through for me when things got really tough.  I was surprised, but in a good way.

Just so you know I am alive and well Netty.  Don’t worry I am still obsessed with you.

MMS

Money…Again

It has been 5 months since I last posted on here.  In that time I have become closer to my girlfriend and we have spent a long weekend in Rome together, which was amazing.  My brother has just finished his first year at university.  I have turned 26 years old.  I suppose those are the things of note.

Oh I got a promotion too.  Back to my old store as an experienced supervisor now so more money and considerably less travel.  Ten months at my current store and I am being moved back.  The girl that was a pain to me is now taking my job.  Good for her because I helped her with her interview and everything so I am happy.  She deserves the position.

So I am looking to move out with the lady and we have spoken about it lots.  Once she gets back from holiday with her family this weekend we are really looking at making it a reality.  There is a problem though.  You guessed it money.

I am not using it as a way of getting out of this, because I really want to move in with her.  The problem is my travel costs may frop by £150 and I may have a payrise, however that will not be enough if I move out and have to pay money to her for bills as well as all the money I am giving my parents.  I didn’t move out earlier because of this reason.

Today my step dad asked for money from me, my brother asked me to lend him money, and yesterday my mum asked me to give her more than I do now.  I literally feel like I am a cash cow whom everyone comes to for a quick buck to keep them going.

I do what I do because to because that is what they need of me. But that does not make it any easier. I am struggling with this alot of the time, but I make it work. I am not sure how much longer I can make it work before it starts affecting my progression in life. I am 26 and no where near where I was supposed to be in life, but that is ok. I could keep going, but this drain on my finances is holding me back. I can’t just stop giving them money because then we lose the house, but I need to find a way to bolster my income, or there is going to be a problem.

MMS

hat s

Hard Few Days

I have been really struggling the last few days. 

I just fucked up with a customer who I couldn’t get anything to work with and then the girl who constantly undermines me goes and sells £700 worth of goods to them. I fucked up.

I feel like she is better at my job than me and quite frankly I want to leave. I want to just crawl into a hole and not hole out.

Yesterday’s post you can see I just fucked up with everything I said on a night out. Tonight I am supposed to be out for my Christmas do, and one of the other team members father has just got cancer. She found out today.

I don’t want to go out. I don’t want to be anywhere but in my room on my laptop disconnected from real people and the real world. I don’t even want to see my girlfriend because I fucked up with her not remembering she had a camera shoved up her nose yesterday.

I’m spiralling and I know it. I’ve put on a fair bit of weight lately and it is upsetting but I can’t stop eating because I always seem to be hungry. Or I will go a whole day and won’t eat at all. It’s just fucked up.

I can’t explain all of it properly because I don’t even understand it all myself. But I am not in a great place. I want to cry but part of me knows that is accepting that I am a wuss and once again unable to control myself.

If I say anything I feel like an attention seeker. If I walked into work right now I know they are talking about how I fucked up. I know the girls last night think I’m an idiot, I know my girlfriend is annoyed at me and struggling with her own work and life issues. I am just a pussy.

I just want it all to stop. All of it to stop.

Not As Smooth Anymore

Today I have been very quiet at work. People picked up on it and asked me what it was all about and I just said to them it was home stuff and I didn’t want to talk about it. Most didn’t pursue it any further than that and that was great. I managed to put on a bit more of a mask as the afternoon and evening wore on, so people didn’t care anymore so that was good.

I got invited out to go to a leaving do for a girl I have mentioned on here previously and her best friend. Both were employed by the company I work for, and both have left because their line manager is basically a joke. The meal ended up being me and 4 girls. I was expecting another guy, but he bailed.

I effectively turned into the biggest arsehole this evening. I am pretty certain every single thing that came out of my mouth insulted one of the four women present. The one sitting opposite me ended up getting thoroughly pissed at me but masked it well. You know when you just get that tone, yeah, I got that.

I even managed to insult the girl that I used to like. How on earth I did that I don’t even know, but effectively I suffered a serious case of foot in mouth syndrome tonight.

I am not sure how to talk to women anymore. I get accused of being a flirt, of being a charmer and all these things, but when it comes down to it, actually talking to a woman in a friendly situation I am absolutely useless. I used to be so good at it and now I just seem to insult and upset those around me of the fairer sex.

I think I am rather lucky to have a girlfriend who doesn’t think I am a complete tosser. Though I completely forgot that she was having a camera shoved down her nose today. Shitty boyfriend of the year over here.

How did I get so bad. Seriously.

Stressing Out

I am pushing my girlfriend away.  Yesterday we ended on a bad note and I didn’t bother to reply to her text message where she finally saw that I am actually an arsehole at times.  Today she didn’t text me all day and when she did in the evening when I theoretically would have finished work on a normal day I was short, and told her I am going to stop talking to her before I snap at her.  It wasn’t personal, it is just I knew I would.    I could almost guarantee it.

—//—

I finally sat down with my stepfather after giving him another £500 to find out what is going on with the home finances.  I looked at his income and my mothers, as well as mine, the outgoings which we could not push and were fixed every month like mortgages and insurance, and the variable costs. My finance brain went in and my step dad was surprised at how I approached everything in the way that I did.  I told him in no uncertain terms that I have handed over well over £3000 in the last 4 months, and that I need to know how deep a hole we are in, and what can be done so that moving forward that can make it better.  Effectively, I need to cut my spending down and give them more.

—//—

I have got my brother a job at the place I work.  It is a temp contract and he only has 5.5 hrs, but I will be flexing him up to at least 20 whenever I can.  I found out he has been giving my parents money as well.  He shouldn’t be.  He is studying and that should be his focus, not what is going on here.

—//—

Today at work I had the head of retail operations in.  He is one of the most influential people in the company.  If I had to hear my deputy manager (who I went and had dinner with the night before and she was lovely) tell one more story about how wonderful she is, or how well traveled or spiritual she is I was going to take the stapler and puncture my carotid artery.  She was absolutely doing my nut.  My store manager is already good friends with him so she didn’t need to impress, and I concentrated more on my job than on impressing him, so that meant I was barely noticed.  Not good for networking, but great for…well fuck all other than proving I am a reasonable supervisor.  Completed nothing of note whatsoever today, and it ended up being a 09:00-20:00 day, with my leaving home at 08:00 and returning at 21:15.  To say I am fucking shattered is an understatement.

MMS

Remembrance Sunday and 11/11/14

The Sunday that just passed was Remembrance Sunday.  I was opening the store that day and had been thinking about what I should do with regards to the 11 o clock two minutes silence.  I had had my own time for reflection before work, but the store opened at 11am, so I would have to open to doors to do my job.  Then I thought about it.

I probably would’t have the job that I have today if it had not been for the sacrifice of the brave men and women of the Great War.  I would not be able to stand here and think about them, to pay my respects, and to honour their gift they have given us, freedom.  The freedom to live free from oppression and from fear.

So I told my staff:

“This morning when I open the shop, I will not be turning the music on immediately.  We will open at 11 am as to be expected, however I will be silent for two minutes from opening.  I would like to think you will join me in paying your respects to the fallen, but that is for you to chose.  If a customer comes in I will deal with it, but otherwise will you please stand silently.  Thanks”

One of the guys has a poppy on his shirt, and I have a wristband on.  The other two understood what I said was not really a request.  So at 11 am I opened the doors and then walked behind the till and stood there in silence with my head bowed.  I had the clock up on the screen so I could see when the two minutes were up.  My colleagues stood near me in silence, not doing anything but hopefully paying their respects.

After the two minutes were up I thanked the staff for their silence, went out back, turned on the music and continued with the day.

—//—

On Tuesday it was Rememberance Day.  I was with the lady and we were just about to start cooking breakfast.   I had turned the radio on and it then gave notice of the two minutes silence.  I stood there with my arms wrapped around her and we both closed our eyes.  All I could think was how lucky I am to be alive and to have her in my arms, and how this is possible because of what has been done before.  The lives lost to give future generations the freedoms they now take for granted.  This day is based in the ending of WWII, however it is used as a reminder for all of those who have given their lives in defense of their country.

I will admit I was selfish in my thoughts and did not think of the brave men and women currently serving, or those who have served post 1945.  I thought of those who died in WWII, because effectively that is what we in Britain think about in this time.  I know our cousins across the pond call this Veterans Day and it encompasses all military personnel, but we more specifically remember those who died in WWII.

I have thought of serving before myself.  I considered going to Sandhurst and doing officer training.  I have looked into serving in a non combat role to help in some way.  I do not want to see the front line.  I have heard too many stories to want to live that life, but if I can help somehow I would love to.

To those who have fallen so that we may rise I thank you.  To those who have served and now live I give you my thanks.  To those serving to protect us I have no other words but thank you for your bravery.

MMS

Girls Liking Dickheads

This evening I recieved an impromptu invitation to go out for a drink with my girlfriend and her two best friends (one male, one female FYI).  I said sure, why not and met up with them.  We sat in a pub and all had non alcoholic drinks as three of us had work in the morning and the other girl had to drive.

The drinks were a little jilted and I played two truths and a lie with the other girl, while conversations were held by the others and by different groups.  It was an alright night, but it is what happened as we were walking away to end our evening which annoyed me.

So The Lady and I were walking together as she was getting a lift home and we walk past a club where she points out the guy her best friend is sleeping with.  His baseball cap wearing, do-rag sporting, big chain wearing ugly self did not impress me at all.  What impressed me less is he is early to mid thirties and sleeping with a 22 year old woman.  Did I also mention he is a DJ, so I won’t even start on how there are plenty of stereotypes which is fulfills.

She likes him because of his confidence and he is older, even if he treats her badly, knows she is not the only girl he is screwing and quite frankly there is nothing about him that I find remotely impressive.  That said, she is a big girl so she can make her own decisions.  I just fail to completely understand why women go for arseholes like him.  I have heard it is the confidence, or maybe, it is because he is a “musician” or maybe it is because he is black so she likes her chocolate dark rather than milk or white, but I really cannot see what the attraction is.  I realise this isn’t a very coherent argument, but  for once words are failing me.

As I stood there while he interacted with the two friends of the Lady, he then proceeded to call her a Granny for going home early.  If I wasn’t impressed before, I certainly wasn’t now.  I didn’t bother introducing myself, nor smiling at him and he just stared at me while he talked to the others.  I don’t need to like or impress this guy who I met all of 48 seconds.  I just get a bad vibe off him and think her friend can do so much better than him.

Wow, it is obvious I haven’t written in a while, this is an utterly terrible post.  No coherency or logic whatsoever.  Ah well.  I guess I will just have to live with that.

MMS

2008

The year was 2008,
My ponytailed and bearded face gave way to a goatee and shaved head,
My puppy fat melted and under it sinewy yet strong muscles formed,
My heart got broken after three and a half years of bliss,
I found solace in the bottom of a bottle,
I threw away a year of education and failed at university,
I let apathetic anger consume me,
I slept late, I drank early, I phased out constantly,
But at least I wasn’t partaking in other vices,
Those I had stopped at least,
But I found true friends,
I found my body’s limits,
I found a girl who amazed me, and would later become my second love,
I lost family by blood, but I gained family by trust,
I gave up sex and sexual thoughts,
Which only made the pole girls make my life very hard,
I grew from a boy,
But not a man yet,
I stumbled, I struggled,
I crawled back, I conquered,
I started to get back to being me,
All in 2008,
Aged 19.

—//—

Thanks to my darling Tis for inspiring me to write this. Her and her Husband are such inspirations. They show how  strength and love overcome anything that may be put in their way. I tip my hat to you both.

PL&H

MMS