I Hate my Colleagues
Email from office of evil. This requires a bit of context.
Although work was not in any way the cause of my most recent breakdown (my issues are much more deep-seated than that, as any regular readers ((if you can be regular after a week)) of this stupid, pointless blog will know), the sheer amount of stuff that my job entails – despite not being covered in my job description, and certainly not accounted for in my salary – did lead me to become severely stressed, pissed off and disillusioned. I did try voicing my concerns to my boss on a number of occasions, and she either found excuses for the stupid practices and behaviour that led me to be overworked or said I was making something out of nothing. She said I had become unapproachable and unco-operative. I forget the exact terminology employed, although it did stick in my mind for months.
Anyway, in fairness to them they were very reasonable when I finally cracked up and went off ill, and mostly they have been since. Initially I just met my boss the odd time to ‘catch up’, then one day she had to bring someone from Personnel with her (the same nice lady who organised tomorrow’s Occupational Health meeting), then I had to go and see Occupational Health (not the same people I am seeing tomorrow, which is what is so particuarly stressful about tomorrow’s meeting). After seeing this OH bint a couple of times, and still not returning to work, the Personnel doll’s boss, hereafter known as Horse or derivatives of that word, got involved instead.
I like the original woman from Personnel a lot. She is a sweet, caring, gentle woman. The Horse, however, is an ambitious, know-it-all, smug-faced twat who clearly opines that mental illness is a facade for fucking laziness.
After receiving the reports from the original occupational health doctor, Horse-face organised a meeting with her (the Horse, not the OH woman), my boss and me. Naturally she gave me about three seconds’ notice for this. I emailed her and told her I couldn’t go without having adequate time to prepare, and in any case I think it clashed with either a C or a GP appointment, which are indubitably more important at this stage. To be fair, she accepted this (unlike the other lady from Personnel she does check her emails) and the meeting was rescheduled. Snow fell that day though, and my boss won’t come out of her remote house at the merest hint of it, so that was cancelled. On attempt three, I had the ‘flu. Frankly, I was glad of all these postponements as meeting them was about the last thing on this Earth I wanted to do. I would sooner have climbed into the bear pit in London Zoo naked and covered in honey.
But eventually it did take place, and as you can imagine I was a complete fucking wreck throughout it. My boss was sympathetic enough – she is not a good manager, but she is a lovely person and has mostly been supportive of me throughout this absence – but Horse, I thought, spent her time patronising, sneering and looking down her nose at me. I was unable to fully articulate myself throughout the meeting because of my own nervousness, but this was exacerbated considerably by her apparent snideness.
It was agreed that I would email Horsey a list of issues that I felt were unfairly allocated to me in the office. This list was duly dispatched a number of weeks ago. She replied fairly promptly saying she wanted to reconvene the earlier meeting, but she did note that I had stated that I had been deeply uncomfortable throughout that first one, so to be fair she gave me the option of conducting the relevant discussions via email. I elected to proceed in this manner.
Well, she has finally got back to me, and I am fucking fucking raging.
I will (mostly) not get into the specific issues that I queried with them, as it is kind of irrelevant to the response and would take up way too much space and bore you all to death. But I will say that I feel my concerns are entirely reasonable, as do others with whom I have discussed them. I put my case forward to Horsey in an articulate, intelligent, polite and well-reasoned fashion.
Well, the auld horse-faced bitch has finally written back with her responses. Her usual snide manner of communication was employed. She’s thrown my first name into the fucking correspondence every so often to, presumably, make it seem ‘more personal’ but it’s really just as patronising as fuck.
Horse-face’s basic premise is that all the complaints I have registered are entirely within the remit of my job description. If I wasn’t so completely consumed by fury right now, I would probably find that hilarious. One example is that, despite the fact that I am not employed in an IT related role in any way bar the general use of a computer, and despite the fact that my department employs an IT Instructor, it is still perfectly reasonable for me to provide IT instruction to the rest of the fucking building. I have no IT qualifications whatsoever, bar RSA Word Processing (which is not really proper IT, is it?). Really, in all seriousness, am I missing something? Am I? Is it unreasonable of me to find this unreasonable?!
Horse-face continues with her wank by stating that an Administrative Assistant was employed to help me out. This is true. What she also says is that, given that person’s presence, my job should have been perfectly manageable, even with all the concerns raised. Perhaps this would be true if the Admin Assistant was full-time, but the position is only half-time. Revealingly, since I have gone off ill, the Admin Assistant has also gone off with depression and anxiety. What a coincidence! This couldn’t possibly be related to the fact that there’s too much fucking work and completely unreasonable expectations, could it, you bony equine cunt? Furthermore, my predecessor in the role (still employed there in a different capacity) very vocally voiced her annoyance with the sheer amount of work and lack of co-operation from some of our colleagues. I pointed this (and the Admin Assistant’s absence) out, in the most diplomatic of fashions, to Horsey, but she has neglected to allude to that today.
The odd thing is, so much of her points related to the fact that the Admin Assistant is there to assist me with a lot of work, which aside from the sheer amount of stuff there is to do is fair enough. But I am not the manager for the Admin Assistant. How, then, can I reasonably delegate tasks to them? I told her at the meeting that I felt this was stupid but she responded that if I already felt overworked, supervising a member of staff would only add to that. In a way, that’s fair enough, but if I could co-ordinate the administration properly, without the Admin Assistant always being forced to do what my boss says, surely the whole process could be more streamlined?
The whole email is merely a refutation of the points I made, rather than any attempt to constructively do anything about them. They are evidently dogmatic about keeping the role as it is now, thus giving them grounds to dismiss me on the grouds of incapability.
She concluded her little diatribe by reminding me about the fucking OHS tomorrow. She said she would be forwarding her points to them. I hope the battleaxe does not expect me to respond to them to the OH medic; Horse has been in possession of the issues for weeks; I will only have been in possession of her responses for (less than) 24 hours. She ended by saying OHS’s report on me would guide her as to how to proceed. I assume this is a thinly veiled code for “you are likely to be dismissed on the grounds on incapacity”.
Right now, I don’t care if it is. I know I should be grateful for the chance of going back to a job in the current economic climate but really, that rational thinking doesn’t come into it at all right now. I hate my colleagues and I wish severe suffering on them all, even if they are only tangentially related to or involved in the equine email. As you could probably guess from the foregoing invective, I almost wrote back to her and said that she could stick her job up her nasty, bony arse, but of course I didn’t and I won’t. I will ponder it, discuss it with A and Mum, and write a fabulously-written, inherently snide and contemptuous reply, but one that is overtly polite and diplomatic that therefore cannot be used as ammunition against me.
It is sad because for such a long time I was happy there. I know right now I hate all my colleagues, but the thing is, they were the best bunch I have ever worked with (with one exception). Things changed a bit when my current boss became boss; previously she was ‘just’ a colleague, a capacity in which I liked her much better. My previous boss was unrelentingly supportive of me and was not in any way pedantic. The current one is really anal, and seems to think I am superwoman, even though she is actually a nice woman. It isn’t all her fault of course; the role has always been inherently flawed. I just hoped that my going mental might have helped to reinforce that point to them, but evidently it hasn’t.
Aside from the depth of my sheer anger, how do I feel? I feel like I did last night, and have done since I even saw her name in my inbox, nevermind having read the contents of her bullshit. I have that hideous, physical feeling of dread in my stomach, the racing thoughts, the breathing and flushing issues. I am restless and jumpy and scared and angry and misanthropic and rambling and incoherent and sad and anxious and panicky and despairing.
And it will all continue, what with the OHS shite coming tomorrow. I hate my colleagues. Why couldn’t they just contact C or my GP? What couldn’t they just take me seriously? Why do they want to cause me further fucking misery? I worked hard for them. I was personable and efficient. The place damn near collapsed without me. Why do they want to punish me now? Why? Why?????
This entry was posted on Monday, 11 May, 2009 at 1:57 pm and is filed under Context, Finances, Moods, Triggers, Work with tags anger, anxiety, bipolar disorder, clinical depression, depression, fury, insomnia, jobs, major depressive disorder, mania, mental health, mentalhealth, occupational health, panic, panic attack, psychiatry, psychology, social anxiety, Work. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.