Here is my blog.
I work in a dead-end job. As I just got a shiny new master’s degree three years ago I was not supposed to have hit a wall a year later, but here I am. I work in a place – well. I work in a hierarchical place where men are in power and any women, it’s imagined, are probably secretaries. I work in a place where a certain type of expertise represents the One True Calling on this Earth and if you do not have this expertise (which I don’t) it’s because you were too dumb to get it, or because you are tragically misguided.
I work in a place where I sit closest to the microwave. Please, people, if anyone is out there, do not talk to the people who sit close to office machinery as if they have some kind of special relationship with this machinery. You do not need to ask me if you can use the photocopier, or the microwave, or the mini fridge, which unfortunately for me are all stacked all together in a way that violates my sensibilities and probably the fire code. You’ve worked here longer than me. If I wasn’t in my chair right now would you wander around the hallway trying to find the next-closest person to ask them if you can use the photocopier? Do not talk to these people as if they are the personification of the machine in question, as if by sharing (again) your frustrations with them about how the microwave sucks, they will translate this information to said microwave. Also, don’t talk to those people when you are waiting for your food, or your photocopies, and you are bored and want someone to entertain you for two minutes. They were not placed there to entertain you.
I have some issues with this.
I work in a 2.5 person department and my boss does not speak to me. Maybe I get grunted a hello in the morning, while he looks at the floor as he walks by. We have no meetings. I have no workplan or goals. When early on in my first six months in this place I thought I was supposed to be doing work, I was quickly corrected. In the type of thinly-veiled sexism that I don’t think can even be considered veiled any more, suggestions I made were thrown back in my face with the word bossy. When I had an idea for increasing efficiency I was asked why I keep trying to get out of doing my job. (For the record, another woman here who is amazing at her job was referred to as an Ice Queen by this person, because she corrected him on a matter of procedure. One time. Ten years ago.) I have no job, but I’m supposed to act like I’m working. I’m supposed to shut up and get paid.
I’m supposed shut up and get paid, and certain persons in my office tell me I should enjoy it, because it’s the perfect job. I hate it.
I’m supposed shut up and get paid, it’s starting to drive me insane.
I went into therapy a few months ago for the first time in my life because I cannot get rid of this feeling. The feeling like I am a muddied watercolor.
Therapy has, I think, taken whatever wounds I have and stretched them wide open. I do not wear makeup on the day of my regular appointment because I will spend the afternoon crying. I cry most days now. I’m not wearing makeup today, cause it’s a therapy day.
I should add that I am a perfectionist. I wish I could say I was a recovering perfectionist, like Brene, but I am not recovering. My inner promptings feel I should add this because the Perfect Version of myself thinks this whole blog situation is complaining, and that complaining is distasteful, and is pretty sure she read on the internet that it actually hurts your brain. Hm. She thought she had a good citation for that, like the Guardian, but the best there is is askmen.com. Otherwise it’s all junk websites. No, here’s one from Psychology Today, but it actually talks about negative complaining and positive complaining. Oh God, I just looked at the one from askmen, because I’m nothing if not a masochist, and here’s the quote:
“People don’t break wind in elevators more than they have to. Venting anger is…similar to emotional farting in a closed area. It sounds like a good idea, but it’s dead wrong.”
This is my life according to AskMen. (Also: this is my life, I just typed the sentence ‘This is my life according to AskMen.’) Anyway, apprently I’m emotional farting in a closed area. Well, great.
I should mention something else, re: my citations and compulsive looking up of information. I call it seeking authoritative sources, and we’ll talk about that a lot. I’m a librarian, and I apply all my skills to my personal life, to researching the thesis of my psyche, and most of the time it ends in a depressive spiral because I end up reading things like Alan Watts who tells me that if I’m trying to understand, I’m missing the point, which sets off little explosions in my brain and makes me require to have sugar.
While I have been writing this someone has talked to me about what they’ve got in the microwave. I responded by saying That’s Nice and smiling in a pained way that made my insides shrivel up. Do I have one of those shirts on like what grocery store clerks wear, that says Ask Me About Our Microwave! Do I? DO I WORLD?
Also, my foot hurts.
So here we go. It’s 5 minutes to 11. On my schedule today is 5 minutes of deep breathing every hour, and that’s about it. Every morning I open two spreadsheets and pretend to click around in them if I hear my boss coming down the hallway. I don’t have any makeup on, because it’s a therapy day.
Later blogs include:
- Why my foot hurts
- Why actually it’s both my feet that hurt but in different ways
- How every day my office mate comes in and says either what’s up or what’s new and I say nuthin’ and every day we have this exchange we come closer to the day when I just start laughing, clown-like, maniacal, until he learns never to ask me what’s up again. He used to say, Got a muffin there? if i had a muffin, but he doesn’t anymore, because I shot fire out of my eyes.
Well, if nothing else, Perfect Version, writing this made me laugh, which since I was crying at breakfast seems like a decent thing.