I seem to always be thinking or lamenting about work these days, but as far as my life goes it is by and far the biggest stressor.
I’m not in any way shape or form scared of hard work, in fact I would say I prefer it. A little pressure is a good motivator, keeping me moving forward and focussed. Too much though and I start to shut down.
My work colleague is currently on sick leave. She’s a new addition to the team having transferred from another department. She’s off with stress, mainly because she cannot handle the pressure that comes with the job. That’s no reflection on her as such, it is a busy post and we are expected to do the work of a grade above without question. There are however aspects of the role she does not like, which makes me ask myself why she accepted the transfer in the first place.
My bosses are understanding of the situation, she is after all a nice girl and everyone likes her, but the whole thing is now starting to have a negative effect on my mental well-being.
We do a lot of work for what our bosses would call ‘good will’, as in it is not expected of us, but because we like them, we go over and above. For the best part of a year now you could say I have been on my own. There was the period of time between my previous colleagues promotion, the new girl starting, the training process and then the bedding in period. My new colleague was, up until she went on sick leave performing perhaps 20% of the role, which left me to carry the other 80% on my own. I knew there were going to be problems starting out and I was prepared to do what was necessary to ensure a decent amount of time could be spent training and easing her into the role. Now some months later she is off with stress, with my bosses blessing, to try and address her issues and I am left expected to carry out 100% of the role again.
I don’t understand how in a workplace it can be one rule for some and another for others, and I am sure this is happening in many many places throughout both the private and public sector.
I used to judge myself by the standards of others, constantly berating myself when I felt I did not match up. My counselling did help to address those issues somewhat and I became better at getting my metaphorical ducks in a row and realising that I was fine just as I was.
Looking back, I cared for someone with a mental illness and also held down a stressful job, never missing days, even now I would have to agree that I am stronger than I initially thought.
But at what cost. You see, I have now become the person who is just expected to do. Even on the days when I muster the courage to speak my mind and voice my concerns regarding both the volume of work and the pressure it places me under I feel it is dismissed as my anxieties. I am told not to work late nights and weekends, but yet I am given and expected to complete new tasks daily, so unless I become a magician and somehow manage to split myself in two, I am never going to be able to complete anything without doing additional hours.
My good grace is running out.