I strongly dislike getting sick. I’ve had a bad cold for just over a week now, that saw me missing a couple of days of work – not long enough for my coworkers, it seems, since they were all pretty rude about my residual cough (but more about that later) – and genuinely feeling sorry for myself. (All together now: “Awwww, poor baby!”)
I started this blog because, like any good Taurus, I have strong opinions. Opinions that might hurt feelings (I would never do that intentionally!) or rub people the wrong way, if shared in certain circles. I started the blog so that I could say what I want, when I want, and get it out of my system, positive or negative, without taking it out on some unsuspecting person when it gets to the point that I can’t keep my mouth shut. I don’t want to hurt anyone, ever; and at the same time, have come to the conclusion that my opinions are just as valuable as anyone else’s. That saying what I think, like anyone else, is okay. Some opinions are good, some are not as good, some are helpful, and some are just venting. This particular blog is the latter. If someone finds it helpful, I am grateful. If you are offended, please understand it is my opinion. I’m not asking that you agree or disagree. Today, I don’t give a shit what anyone thinks. I’m just getting stuff off my chest.
Is it normal that, when one is unwell, they start thinking badly about themselves? Like “I don’t feel good, I can’t go to work today. Come to think of it, I can’t do anything right”? It doesn’t happen that quickly, obviously, but as I laid there in bed, I started listening to my crazy old brain. It’s not a positive place, left to its own devices, and I didn’t feel well enough to engage my soul in the conversation.
I know that I am a kind, caring person. Very few people would say otherwise. And those few earned my apathy long before I showed it to them. “If everyone doesn’t love me, that just makes me normal”, my grandma would say, when I complained about a bully. Well. I guessed I was about as “normal” as they come.
So I laid there in bed thinking about my inadequacies. Over the last few years, it seems, I’ve developed quite a few.
I started a new job a little over a year ago. It is a difficult, but incredibly satisfying job. I have the opportunity to help the needy get back on their feet. The assessments I make have a direct and immediate impact on a person’s/family’s life. This in itself is a controversial issue for some, but making a positive difference every day is very fulfilling to me. Last week I had a tense phone conversation with a client. I wanted to give him different news, but the law is the law. I stood my ground. After I hung up the phone, a coworker advised me that I had given the client the wrong information! Too late to call them back as it was my last call of the day and the phones were off. But worse than that, I have been telling people the same thing FOR A YEAR!
She could have corrected me DURING the call – that would have made my day! – or on any other call where I said the same thing. But she chose to remain silent. She knew it was getting tense. She knew I was at a loss as to how to help this person. I *hope* she knew that I really wanted to help them. But she said nothing until it was, literally, too late. The worst part? She’s my trainer! I sit between my “mentor” and my supervisor at work. Neither one has said a word. For a YEAR.
So I lay there in bed, feeling like crap, coughing, blowing my nose and trying to stay hydrated and my brain said “I know! Let’s see how many other ways we can make you feel like crap!” A few highlights:
– “You are rude to your clients.”
– “Your family doesn’t appreciate you. Why should they?”
– “You’re not cut out for this job.”
– “What other things have you been doing wrong all along?”
And the old standby:
– “YOU’RE NOT GOOD ENOUGH!”
Etc, etc, etc. Omigod…
When I finally dragged my sick, sorry ass to the computer, one of the two people I work with, who I actually considered might be my friend, had posted a nasty meme about when a coworker comes to work sick…and tagged everyone on our team EXCEPT me. Was it directed at me? Maybe not, but…unfriend. I’m too old for bullshit.
So that was my week. I went in on Tuesday, feeling MUCH better. Coughed and was told by a coworker to “Go home! I don’t need to get sick, I’m already sick enough!” Yes you are, my dear. Yes you are. So you know what? I counted my cases and I left. And I stayed home the next day, too. I have leave built up, so it had absolutely no impact on me.
(I have a certain number of days to complete my cases for the month, and I was far enough ahead that a few days off wouldn’t hurt.)
BUT, I also have a caseload. I have clients who are counting on me to process their applications and claims. So I went to work Thursday and Friday and braced for them to be rude when I coughed. They were not.
I chose a profession that would allow me to make a positive difference and, by God, I’m going to fulfill it. For me. For my clients. Because it’s the right thing to do.
Mistakes are made by each of us, every day. We must learn to recognize that, to take accountability, forgive ourselves and move forward. I know I’ll not make that particular mistake again!
So much on my mind today, but at least I have some of it out of my system.
More to come! 😀