Back Again

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about how overwork was getting to me, and about how the long days and lack of sleep were causing me to slip back towards depression. I wrote that I was going to fight the problem head on, was going to take the following week off and all would be well. You all wrote words of comfort and encouragement and agreed that a break was just what I needed.

Things got better, I got better and once again I wrote posts of shining wit, or at least a Spoonerised version of that.

The problem, which I was embarrassed to admit here at the time, was that I never took that week off. Because I had too much work to do I felt I couldn’t take the break that I needed because I had too much work to do.

From all over the world I can hear all of you you saying “Jesus, Tinman, you big gobshite” (though in a far more lady-like way, of course). And you are all correct, because of course the problem is back.

I got home at a quarter to eight on Friday evening (a time at which I get home far too often these days) and was in bed at half-past, not the way in which anybody should spend a Friday night. I slept until half-past eleven yesterday morning, got up for four hours (just long enough to see my team get knocked out of the FA Cup) and was back in bed by half-past three. I slept again until about 2.30 this morning and lay there until six (on a Sunday, a time that I previously thought existed only for people who are employed to shout “six o’clock and all’s well” (a profession which I believe is dying out, like thatching, building giant rock-catapults and walking in front of cars carrying a red flag) and for mad people like my dad and brother, who think that it’s the ideal time to get up for golf.

So I got up and started writing this, since I have given myself jet-lag.

There are four people arriving at the office at 8am tomorrow to get answers to a list of questions which they sent on Friday, and which already prove to me that (a) they are totally up themselves and (b) haven’t a clue what they are doing. I will not offer these opinions in their presence because we need to keep them happy (I must stress that the company is not in any trouble, we need their report for various expansion plans that we have for the coming year). They will be here for a week.

Adding this information to the fact that I already face my busiest week of the month has had the same effect as the kid at the other end of your see-saw suddenly deciding to get off.

The blindingly obvious answer, of course, is to get another job, to accept finally that the one I have is no longer fun, it’s hell on earth. But I don’t know if there are other jobs out there, and leaving would mean leaving the girl who is the other half of my work-team, and also frankly my best friend, at a time when she herself is suffering. The neck-and-shoulder pains which kept her out for the month of December have turned out to be Degenerative Disc Disorder and arthritis of the neck. She is thirty-three years old.

And it’s a job and a company that I’ve liked for a long time and would like to like again, for all its flaws, its petty unfairnesses, its constant pressure and its debasing Performance Management regime (I got the highest score that it is possible to get for the last quarter and still believe that the system is intrinsically evil). So I’ll stick it out for a while longer, hope that things improve (we are supposed to be getting a third person, that’s all we ever needed, the acceptance that we needed help) and just come here when I need to blow off steam (I’ve found this quite therapeutic, though I doubt it’s been much fun to read).

My attempt at Sidey’s Weekend Challenge will follow later in the week, as will my Weekly Drawing Challenge (I’ve just looked up WorkPress’s suggestion, ironically it’s “Hope”) and I’m making you all a solemn promise.

The next time I book time off I’m going to take it.

15 thoughts on “Back Again

  1. viv blake

    Tin, I hate the sound of your company. To an outsider, it has all the characteristics of a Victorian sweatshop exploiting poor Bob Cratchit. I’m so sorry you didn’t have your week off. You should have had a doctor’s certificate ensuring that you did rest. And I really feel that you’re in need of a career change. I know I shouldn’t stick my nose in, but you’ve got me worried. Is there no proper personnel department, where you can talk things through and get it sorted?

  2. laughykate

    Tinman, now listen here. You only live once. You’ve got to be happy in your work cause that’s where you spend so much of your day. If it’s doing your noodle in then you’ve got to give yourself a time frame and, if it hasn’t started getting better after that, you’ve got to find yourself something else to do. (Unless they’re paying to exorbitant amounts of money to be stressed).

    Cause ten bucks says all your friends and family want is a happy Tinman.

    And us lot too.

  3. Pseu

    Any way of negotiating a part-time position that could help you have a catch up day? Take a Wednesday off, maybe, and use that day to do something which you want to do. My husband works part time and cycles on his day off. I believe it has helped him cope.

    It may not have to be all or nothing.

    And next time you need time out for stress negotiate a staged return?

  4. Jo

    See, this shit is not fixable with chemicals 😦

    The best thing would be if you could both go to your company and explain that it is not tenable that you two do ALL the work. Firing everyone and giving two people their jobs just doesn’t work… ENDA. Yes, it kills people.

    I know there’s never an easy solution to this stuff, but – take care. Both of you. Let them know you’re not prepared to jeopardise your health any further. If you can’t get the work done within working hours, you need more people to do it with. It’s simple, really. Sigh.

    Wishing you all the best. xx

  5. mairedubhtx

    Not to be pessimistic, but I seriously doubt things will improve. I know you are loyal to your team mate and to your company but maybe it’s time to look elsewhere, someplace where you can have a life. You’re killing yourself for this place. Think about it, ok?

  6. speccy

    Jesus, Tinman, you big gobshite (we’re not all ladylike) What are you at, man dear?

    You are a kind, funny and generous soul. We want you stay that way. All the Tin family want you stay that way. So do Goldeneyes and the guys in the pub.

    Let these guys do what they need to do this week. Let them see how streched you two are. Make sure the expansion plans have room for another one or two to support you. Check that the bosses actually are getting you someone, like now.

    Then book time off and use it, you eejit. “Hell on earth” is usually best avoided.

  7. A Frend

    Think of it this way – if you don’t take the week off NOW, you’ll almost certainly end up taking months off. That’s what I did and it was stupid. I completely get the not wanting to let people down, but that’s very short-sighted thinking – you can’t keep going forever and it’ll only be worse if you let it get worse.
    Oh, and what they all said, but this comes first. Don’t go to work tomorrow. Call in sick. And the next day and the rest of the week.
    Your health is really important and you’re harming it by carrying on. Look after yourself.
    If you don’t, we’ll send a deputation round to Mrs Tin and then you’ll be sorry!
    A Frend.

  8. Tilly Bud

    They said it all. But I know how scary it is to try and get another job, especially in this climate. But you’ll do nobody any good if you make yourself ill.

  9. Janie Jones

    Tinman, I hope that when something finally gives (whether by your design or inevitability) it brings a better outcome than now seems possible. You have a blog friend in the Great White North pulling for you and hoping for your best health and happiness.

  10. craig

    Health first Tinman. We all want to be able to read the next 1,000 blogs, see the pictures and yes even look at your art. So do take care of you.

  11. Tinman Post author

    One might think that being nagged by ten women (and Tinson2’s godfather, hi Craig) would make me feel worse, but as usual you all help by showing me how much you care.

    At work they’ve agreed we need help and a new person (temporary, to be permanent if he works out), is starting on Thursday. Holidays will soon happen.

    Thank you all, my friends. x

  12. A Frend

    Hooray! New person at work. Hopefully one who soon gets to the point where his presence means less work, not more work! (because that does come first as you show him what to do and where the toilets are, explain the tea rota and biscuit politics, explain again what to do, invite him out for lunch to make him feel welcome, explain what to do and why that’s not quite what he was doing, re-do his work, ….)
    I’m sure he’ll be great.


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