Not About Ruby

Here are some things about me that you don’t know and a few that you do know.  I’m incredibly self-critical. Example: right now, I’m critical that I’m being critical of myself.  And that I’m about to complain to all of you, so as Charlie Sheen would say, I’m winning.  Whatever, I missed the chance to throw in a Charlie Sheen reference when he was in the public eye and I’d be terribly critical of myself if I didn’t take the chance now. Speaking of crazy, I have two therapists (well, one is a psychiatrist, but she does a fair amount of mmhmming too).  Also, I am constantly seeking the best outcome to any situation which has the unfortunate side effect of making my wife feel as if she could be doing things better, which is not what I’m trying to do.  Welcome! Aren’t you glad you stopped by?

I’m having a bumpy ride at work lately, which involves a mix of all of the above.  Since August, I’ve struggled not to take anything personally and not looking inward so often that I fail to grasp the context.  I’ve stood up for myself when I needed to.  I’ve talked positively and specifically about the future to the people above me.  I’ve sought every opportunity, to be better, more productive, more effective.  Not that I wasn’t doing those things already, I just wanted to make sure I was doing them without reproach.  But I got stressed out anyway, enough so that I ratcheted up therapy and the pills that keep me from being Charlie Sheen.  So now I’m feeling bad about myself for needing to take those steps but I’m am at least consoled by the possibility that I’ve done everything I can to put my working environment on the path to reward and fulfilled potential.  But today, my hard work and exhausting effort (and more pills) seem to have left me exactly where I started only now with someone else doing all of the things that I suggested I be the person to do.

Here’s where I say (if I’m impartially reading) that we all have workplace disappointment and challenges and while this is worthy of a “that sucks” it doesn’t really merit two full paragraphs already.  Where is the happy? Well, that’s exactly what I want to know.  Where the fuck is the happy?  How come I’m not winning? Where is my tiger’s blood?  How come no one sees that I’m an adonis?  And maybe even a teeny tiny bit of that’s just not fair.  Instead, I’m trying to still the lump in my stomach and the constant internal scolding.  You must not have done everything.  You must be doing something wrong.  You should have done more of this.  Obviously this would have gone your way if you were a good fit.  You’ll just have to try harder.

But I don’t know where or how.  I’d have done it already, fixed it already if I had any idea how to make this better. Today, I don’t want to go home because I know that I’m bringing with me the criticism, failure, and disappointment that I couldn’t stop from happening and can’t seem to shake off.  So I thought I’d tell you guys. Because I don’t have an appointment to pay anyone to listen to me for a few days.  Because saying something might make my heart feel lighter.  Because you all always say something that makes me feel better.  You’re so good at it, someone should pay you.

6 Responses

  1. Workplaces can be such a bitch to navigate. And as cliche as it is to say – I’m sure it’s not you, it’s them.

    That’s about it for my wisdom. Sadly. Rub RR’s head and kiss it and let the love there make things a little better.

  2. Just want to chime in with a *hug* and a wish for you to not be so hard on yourself. Coming straight out a job (Phd program, whatever) where I pretty much felt exactly the way you described above, all I can say is try not to be so hard on yourself, and also maybe try talking to your boss about exactly how you’re feeling. Maybe they don’t realize they’re making you feel this way? Maybe they have specific reasons for doing the things they’re doing, and it’s nothing to do with you? And, okay, there’s the possibility that they’re just assholes, like in my case. lol.

    Chin up!

  3. Ugh. Sounds like a cruddy time right now. It sucks when other people get the recognition or given the work that you deserve. Try not to think that you didn’t do something right – i know that is hard but it sounds like you did everything you could and should. Hope things improve for you!

  4. Probably not what you were looking for, but after reading this I just have to tell you – I just love you! No, I’m not weird and creepy, I’m just the kind of person who says things like that. And I know I don’t know you but you are really the only blogger who I read and consistently think “I totally could have written that. Well…. if I were funny.”

    In a more related comment, I don’t have a job right now but I used to and I very often felt the way you are describing. It’s no fun and I’m sorry you’re dealing with it right now. Also, it’s hard to be so introspective and self-critical and STILL not be winning. I know that too. Take care of yourself and I hope your girls help you shake a little of it off when you get home. 🙂

  5. I understand the self-critical impulses. (Oh, believe me, I do.) And I understand difficult work environments. I used to have a boss whose idea of direction was “Do what’s in your heart” by which he meant “I don’t have a clear idea of how I want things to be, but I nonetheless expect you to match my nebulous notions EXACTLY”. Everything I did was wrong. But eventually things got better. Of course, I’m currently unemployed, so my boss is eight months old and VERY demanding, but at least when he gets too cranky I can put him down for a nap. So there’s that.

    The thing that helps me the most, as cliche as it sounds, is to try to take a step back and look at the larger picture, and all the good things I have in my life. I’m also a pragmatist deep in my soul, so my general approach (once the initial angst has calmed down a little) is: Can I learn something from this? If so, what? If not, then I try to let it go. And to repeat a wise piece of advice I received during a rough patch in my life, it won’t last forever. Take a deep breath, appreciate your wife and baby, and know that this too, shall pass. And in the meantime, feel free to vent.

  6. I just want to send a belated hug and tell you that you’re doing everything you’re supposed to. 🙂 Wishing you well from way over here in Seattle!

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