Sunday, 15 March 2009

A Bad Day at the Office

So, it’s been a long and stressful week at work – I don’t want to go into too much detail (I very much doubt that anyone I work with will ever come here, but paranoia speaks to me, murmuring caution…) But basically we have been having to look at ways of cutting costs, as our business is directly affected by the fall in the housing market. And as our single biggest expense (by a very long way) is salaries, the harsh truth which we have been addressing I that we have to reduce the wages bill. As if this wasn’t bad enough, another issue came up which has the potential to cause a huge rift between the partners, and the way in which it was raised caused a LOT of raised hackles

Now, clearly it is far worse to be the person or people whose jobs are on the line, or who are being invited to accept reduced hours, but it is also pretty unpleasant to be having to try to make those decisions. Add to this a couple of other things, and it became a very bad day – and, because I knew in advance that it was going to be like this, I had slept badly, and spent all day feeling sick.

My problem with this kind of situation is that knowing in my head that actually, the world is not going to end, that people will almost certainly not decide that I am single-handedly to blame for whatever is wrong and that fretting about it in advance will not help, But this knowledge doesn’t get through to my subconscious, so I end up not sleeping and feeling sick, which of course in turn means that when the meeting or whatever-it-is actually arrives, I am already tired, stressed and expecting the worst. Not helped on this occasion by having had a conversation with a colleague who was very pessimistic – again, I know in my head that this person is a very Eeyore-ish person, so normally I take what they say with a healthy pinch of optimism, but again, it is one thing to Know this, and quite another to believe it, deep down.

Fortunately, I have some very good friends, who gave me much needed support, without having to know any details. Equally fortunately, as often happens, things weren’t as bad as I had started to think they would be – we think we can work things so everyone gets to keep their job (at least unless things get worse) and the other issue turned out to be less (or at least less immediately) of an issue that had appeared – which made me thankful that I had managed to deny my first impulse to send a reflexive e-mail back at the start, as that would have undoubtedly made matters worse. A friend of mine recently referred to this as the ‘Lizard Brain’ – the part that is unreasonable, illogical, distrustful – it’s a good description. I must remember it for the future!

So, after all of this, I finished the week feeling utterly exhausted. So it’s just as well that I had (previously) decided against going to Manchester this weekend. Instead, I have stayed home, snoozed, had some very long baths, watched some suitably non-threatening TV and unwound a lot. and had chocolate-chip cookies. Chocoalte cures (almost) all ills.

I’ve also sorted out various bills - I have set up payments for the Council Tax and Water bills for the next year, neither of which has gone up by as much as I feared, have finally got around to reviewing (and arranging to change) my internet provider, paid the house insurance, paid the paper bill, paid the credit card bill and wormed the cat. All of which needed doing, and doing them also helped me to feel that I was back in control of things, which is also a Good Thing.


Dragonsally said...

I stored Lizard Brain away for future use too.
Not a nice position to be in, contemplating how the firm will survive the economic downturn. Saw an English expert being interviewed the other day, and from what he said things are pretty grim for you. *sigh*

spacedlaw said...

A trying week indeed. Sounds like you managed the crisis very competently though. I hope this week will treat you better.

Marjorie said...

Thank you both. It's really helpful to have fiends out there for support and laughter, too.

Arwenn said...

We had a set of layoffs where I work in December, but they weren't immediate and people worked out the rest of the month. I'm not in any kind of management position but I've never felt so guilty in my life, knowing that I still had a job. I had no idea what to say to anyone - so I can only imagine how tough this must be for you.... hopefully the economy will shape up!