Total Pageviews

Tuesday, 16 September 2008

The straw that broke the camels back

I have been thinking about the situation at work all night and tossing and turning wondering where it will all end. I spoke to my acting Manager last night, who shed at least some light on the problems, but when I woke up this morning, I still felt very edgy and tearful, as if I just could not face things.

It is almost as if working with another woman for the past 2 weeks, has allowed me to open the floodgates and express all those feelings and emotions that I have been bottling up inside, ever since I started this job, and certainly since the announcement was made about the closures. We have been waiting four and a half months now for something, anything to happen, with not one single word from anyone as to what the hell is going on. That is not strictly true, as as have had some communication from our Area Manager - one week he tells us that the lease is about to be signed, the next he tells us that we will closed by Christmas. What he doesn't tell us though, is which year!

All this, combined with the last fortnight and everything has gone on has proven simply too much for me to bear, especially the latest incident. Alright, I was stupid and I should have made sure the door was locked, but given the situation, where I am being pulled this way and that, and have one million people demanding this, that and the other, what the hell do they expect. It is all too easy to get distracted when you are in a situation like this, and let things slip. It may not be an excuse, but it is a reason, and I believe forms strong mitigating circumstances.

There is this atmosphere of fear though throughout the whole company, with no one willing to speak up and make decisions for fear of them being the wrong ones and the buck stopping very firmly with them. Everyone above Area Manager level is living under intense pressure and fear from the new Chairman, who seems to be on these people who sees things in black and white with no shades of grey - you either perform and do a good job or you don't, and if you don't, no matter what the situation or the circumstances that led up to your poor performance or your mistake (in his eyes they are the same thing), then you are hauled over the coals. In this atmosphere of fear and dread, no one is prepared to stick their head above the parapet and tell him the truth of what really goes on, and how the staff at floor level really feel. I know they are under pressure, but the pressure travels downwards, as they pile the pressure on the Area Managers who in turn place it upon the Store Managers, who in turn place it upon their staff, in one endless cycle of fear, despondency and despair.

It feels like I have sunk into this bottomless pit of despair with no way out and no end in sight, so given the circumstances, I am not surprised that I reacted this morning in the way that I did.

I feel so useless and lethargic, as if there is just no point in anything any more. I feel as if I am being controlled on every level - I cannot get out of this situation, as I can't get time off to look for another job, and the ones that I have been interviewed for have not got back to me. Half the time I cannot even get out of the store, to get something to eat, to visit the library, to get my glasses adjusted - activities like this have to be planned around the days when we have three people in, as these are the only days that I can get out of the store at all. If seems like the whole summer has gone by without my having the chance to enjoy it, as I am so busy and so tired from work, that I have no time for anything else. I don't have a life - I just get up, go to work and come home again, before it all starts again in this endless cycle of repetition and despair.

That has to stop, and stop it has, since as of this morning, I have been signed off for 2 weeks. I don't know what my own boss will do, and at this precise moment, to be quite honest, I don't really care. I have been putting everyone else first for far, far too long, and it is time to look after myself. These 2 weeks will give me the chance to get my life back, by doing things just for me, things like going to the gym, going out for a cup of tea and a walk, visiting friends and just relaxing with nothing else to do except read. I may even be able to start writing again. When I think of the way I effectively sacrificed my writing for the sake of this job, it makes me want to spit, just at the time when it seemed like I was about to break through, and then whoosh along comes this job and my life goes with it. No, it is time to claim it back.

I can imagine then what has gone on there today, the frantic phone calls trying to get some help so that the store can remain open. I wish them luck in finding someone who is mug enough to fill my shoes. Before they agree to it, they should go for a long, long walk and see how it feels. Maybe it would do the powers that be good if they did the same thing, preferably off a short pier ...

1 comment:

  1. I have to say this is one of the funniest blogs I've read in ages - inadvertently so but a laugh none the less; at some point I intend to read it from the beginning, provided I can stand all your cliches (sorry, but it's true). I look forward to finding out what gems you come up with next - maybe you'll tell us more about how you help others further their evolution... sheesh, there's nothing like having a realistic self-image!