Thursday, July 9, 2009

Pregnancy Emotional-ness or no, this day was not good.

Things at work have been a little shaky for awhile now. Not shaky like I am afraid of losing my job shaky, but shaky like I know I am not performing at my best and I know other people are making note of it too.

It's been frustrating me for some time. From my POV, I'm undertrained and expected to know what sort of training I'm lacking and ask for it. Which . . . doesn't make sense to me. How can I ask when I don't know what I'm asking for? And I have some communication issues with a coworker. Not that we don't get along, but just that we have very different styles of communication and have in the past walked away from the same conversation with polar opposite understandings of what was discussed and what the next steps are. Additionally, people here are not big on the positive reinforcement. I don't think of myself as a particularly high maintenance employee, but when the only comments on your job are negatives, it starts to wear you down and you begin to wonder if you ever do anything right.

Add in the first trimester woes and my own particular brand of crazy, on top of a mediocre performance review, and you find me ready to rip my hair out in frustration today. A colleague informed me that I needed to do something with a Monday deadline. She just assumed that I knew that this needed to be completed, while I assumed if I needed to work it on it someone would tell me. I was quickly frustrated and unhappy about this situation - the item itself is actually unlikely to be a big deal or issue, and I think I can get it done. It's that I felt like I am supposed to possess psychic powers.

What I said in an email to a friend was - how am I supposed to fix or address a problem when I am unware it exists? How am I supposed to work on issues when I don't know they are there?

When my frustration didn't ease up after venting to a friend, and in fact, only increased, I sought out another coworker and talked to her about the situation. This was a good move, because she and I think much alike and relate easily, but she also works closely with my colleague and has a much better insight into where she is coming from. I think she helped bridge the gap for me and helped me see this issue from another perspective, which gave me some insight into where the problems are and how they can be addressed. Her bottom line suggestion was that I talk with my colleague openly and tell her I need more feedback and structure.

I ultimately talked to my colleague this afternoon and told her I'd like to meet regularly, even for a brief period of time, so that we can coordinate our projects. That I think it would help me tremendously, and her, because I don't think we are often on the same page about what needs to be done or how to do it and that I don't want to be an additional burden for her, but that I do not know everything she seems to assume I know. Colleague was over the moon excited about this and had apparently been waiting for some time for me to approach her with such a proposition; it's something she's wanted for some time but felt she couldn't approach me because she is not my supervisor and that such a request would be overstepping her authority in a gross way.

So maybe the future is brighter; maybe things will improve; certainly regular meetings should help us get work on the right track and prevent us falling behind and other communication lapses. I guess I've taken the initiative and that will reflect well. But I've been on the verge of tears all afternoon. I don't know what is making me feel so awful and terrible and raw and weepy, though the fact that I'm pregnant and pumped full of estrogen may be contributing. I really do feel sort of hollow right now though. It would help me if someone could reassure me that I don't in fact suck at my job or suck at life, but like I said, this is not that sort of work environment. I didn't even want to write this, because I feel like such a failure right now, but I need to get it out somewhere, somehow. I don't want to suck at my job, I don't want to let people down, and I think the hardest thing is that I feel like I do suck and I am disappointing people. And at the same time, I'm angry because I feel like it shouldn't all fall on me to fix this, and that honestly, I wasn't given a fair chance to succeed in this position if I'm expected to know things I can't know and somehow magically, psychically know that I should ask to be trained in certain areas.

Anyway. I guess I need to let it go and focus on the stuff I do well and focus on the fact that now the problem is identified and on it's way to being rectified through my initiative and that some of my fears should be laid to rest now. But I'm still feeling too raw, I guess. I honestly feel like I need a good cry.

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