Cleaning house

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

House of Cards

I like to have people believe that I have it all together. I like to believe it myself; but when I can't believe it myself, I cling to the delusion that other people believe that I am keeping it together.

I've mentioned before that my pride is my single biggest character flaw. Not that I don't have others that just scream out for analysis, but my pride is the thing that always gets me into trouble.

I don't want people to ever view me as weak. I don't want people to think of me as incapable. I don't want people to think I'm not strong. I don't like to think that people can see me as vulnerable.

I have always been like this, but it's become much more exaggerated working so hard to succeed in what is still a very male-dominated business. I'm always afraid to admit that I suck at something because I don't want them to think it's because I'm a woman. I really feel a sense of responsibility to every other woman I've never met who is working in a business setting. I have a huge sense of guilt for things and people that I haven't even met yet. How messed up is that?

Anyway. The set-up here in Amh*rst has been chaotic ever since the very beginning. There has not been a time when things have had a chance to settle into 'normal'. I have been waiting, and plugging away, and trying to stop up the leaks in the dam...all the while waiting, and hoping, and dreaming of a day when I could comfortably leave for the day and NOT stress myself out about all the crap that I didn't get done.

I have been waiting for things to find their natural level. I have been waiting for things to balance out.

And they're not.

I've been behind from the day I started, and trying desperately to catch up. I've been running and running and running and I never seem to be able to catch up. Just when I think I can reach out and catch onto the bumper of the speeding train something drama-tastic happens that prevents that from happening. Maybe that's the nature of the job. But I don't think so.

Today, my carefully tended house of cards will come to an uncertain demise.

My sales-guy is playing even more passive-aggressive games with my career. He's been emailing around me again, to the district sales-manager. He feels that he is not being 'supported' by me at the store, and that he is not going to be able to get the 'support' that he feels he needs, so instead, he needs a $4/hour raise.

What got their attention is the money. But the bigger problem is the communication issue. I've never met a salesperson like him before. Generally they want you to leave them alone and only go near them on rare occasion. This one wants me to hold his hand every day.

I don't have time for that.

Because I'm busy filling in checklist after checklist. I'm busy doing reports. I'm busy explaining away a lack of sales. I'm busy going to stupid meetings that take me out of my store for 2 days at a time while the paperwork and emails pile up on my desk waiting for my return.

I'm not innocent here. I know that I don't spend enough time at the sales desk. I know that he needs to be managed differently from everyone else. I get that. But I don't know how I'm supposed to find the time to do that.

I haven't wanted to talk to my boss about it, because I haven't wanted to look like I wasn't up for the job. I didn't want to look incompetent. It seems like everyone else around me is handling it okay, so I just keep plugging along and hoping that it really *IS* possible to get caught up and excel.

Today though, that carefully tended house of cards is likely to fall. We're having what is going to amount to an intervention. Me, my salesguy, my district manager, and my district sales manager are all going to sit in a room together and discuss a strategy for how to make this work for us.

I am NOT looking forward to it. I know that it won't be pretty. I know that it's necessary. I've tried to do this on my own with my salesguy, but it hasn't worked. He avoids having to speak to me at any given opportunity. I will go down to chat with him and find out what's going on, and he barely speaks. But then when I leave, he emails me the answers to all the questions that I've asked him. I don't understand someone who won't talk to me when I'm next to them, but emails me with relative ease.

I also don't understand someone who won't deal with me face-to-face, but feels completely content trying to undermine me.

It makes it very difficult to be 'supportive'.

Anyway. I need to go into work in an hour. On my day off. To get 'talked to'. To 'hammer things out'. To spend the afternoon watching my little world crumble.

I may be wrong. Things may work out just fine. But I sincerely doubt it. I have to shoulder the majority of the responsibility for making our working relationship function, and I haven't been giving it the effort that I should have. It grows tiresome after a while. But it needs to be fixed, and it needs to be fixed now. I understand that. But it DOES take two.


Billy's been offline for 2 days, and I didn't realize how dependent I was on him for support still. It's pretty sad. But I won't pick up the phone and call him--so I guess I don't need the support that badly.

DD phoned his way into the picture again last night. I was working late at the store, and the phone rang. I answered it because it was an SJ #. We chatted for about 45 minutes while he was driving back home from Bathurst.

I then went home and sat--avoiding doing more work at home and dreading tomorrow.

My phone rang again. It was DD. He said 'you sounded frustrated and anxious--did you want company to talk about it?'

I suggested that it was probably not a wise course of action. Nevertheless, he drove this way instead of to Moncton. At midnight, we sat in my kitchen and drank beer and talked of life, music, and relationships. At 2 am, we sat in my living room and drank beer and talked of life, music, and jeebus. At 3 am, I made him help me carry my humungous futon upstairs to the spare room and we set him up a place to sleep. At 4:30, I put sheets and blankets on the futon. At 5 am, I shipped him off to sleep in it, and I went to bed.

It was nice to have someone to talk to. I am well aware that he's NOT the best person to be talking to at the moment. I'm also desperately aware that I should have gone to bed on time, gotten up early, and gone into work this morning to get caught up instead of staying up too late drinking beer and running my mouth. However.

He's definitely interested. He sat closer to me on the couch than he needed to. He made a point of touching me subtly whenever he could. He is bold, yet shy. It's entertaining. It's good for my ego. It's been a long time since I had someone who was actually INTERESTED in me. Someone who thought I was attractive enough to WANT to touch me--even casually.

I also know that I'm going to continue to keep the situation platonic. No matter how much I might like to be held. Because I can't think of a situation any less intelligent than getting involved with your corporate security person. It would be a conflict work-wise, as well as potentially messy (likely) when things didn't work out.

But it was nice to have someone be concerned about me. And it was nice to know that he finds me attractive. And I was glad to have the distraction so that I didn't spend all night staring at the ceiling fretting about this afternoon.

Is it really so wrong that I'd like to have him stop by again?

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  • I don't think it's wrong at all. It's too bad there's a work conflict there- I would love to tell you to just go for it anyways, but I understand that it's probably not such a great idea.

    Sorry things have been so overwhelming- all your posts since you moved there have been similar -maybe talking to management about it might be a good idea?

    By Blogger Princess of the Universe, At Tue Mar 11, 12:44:00 pm  

  • One of the recurring themes I've noticed is that you reasonably frequently stay up really really late or go out on the lash and stay up really really late. Lots of your relationship type things are conducted after midnight. Personally, I'd get a few decent nights' sleep and see how that worked out. Things usually look a lot better after plenty of kip. And things are far more manageable. First thing that goes with tiredness is perspective.
    Just saying.

    By Blogger badgerdaddy, At Tue Mar 11, 02:55:00 pm  

  • I was going to say the same thing as badgerdaddy. I sleep VERY littlw, but feel things are much easier to deal with when I get more rest.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, At Tue Mar 11, 11:35:00 pm  

  • Fatigue is a mood-killer, but when your entire waking life seems to be taken up with work, you end up making that choice whether to have a life or get some sleep. :(

    I hope you get some time to yourself soon, or make a change. It's OK to take a "step back" to somewhere that made you happier, if it makes you happier you know. :)

    By Blogger Mephitis, At Sat Mar 15, 08:08:00 pm  

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