Tuesday, August 22, 2006

No "In Other Words" Today

I am not doing the Christian Women Online “In Other Words” today because the quote for today, while thought provoking, does not inspire me.  Well, that’s not true.  It does give me pause to think, but I don’t think it fair to participate in the exercise when I am struggling with my faith right now.  If someone had told me 5 years ago that I would be questioning the things I am questioning right now, I would never have believed them.  Things are all topsy-turvy in my mind right now and I am giving myself permission to question, to ask, to seek, and to doubt.  My husband, the wonderful man that he is, is also giving me a wide berth in this area.  His patience with me is infinite.

So, the job.  I have had a week to process what happened last week.  A week ago today, actually.  I don’t know that I can explain the events of that day in a way that accurately describes how I felt, but I will try.  First thing in the morning, I received an email from my boss asking me to accept an appointment with her for a mid-year review.  I had been expecting this review a couple of weeks earlier.  Since it was a new thing and one never before done, I thought maybe she had decided not to do one. Oh no.  So at the appointed time, I walk into the conference room only to find it occupied by my boss and another woman I didn’t know.  My boss introduced me to this woman who happened to be an HR Rep.  The reason she was there was because my boss had a formal written warning issued to me because I missed 14 days of work that was unapproved.  As I read over the list of days, I saw that 10 of those days were actually the days I took off as sick leave last month.  Those weren’t approved as short term medical leave, but they should have been approved under the Family and Medical Leave Act.  That leaves 4 days of PTO that were “unapproved” and 4 days isn’t much.  Anyway, I signed the form and now it sits in my permanent file.

Once HR Rep Woman left, my boss handed me an agenda for the mid-year review.  First she said that the other managers weren’t going to do one because of time constraints and since she only had 2 people under her, she could afford to do the mid-year review.  However, I could see this was not a really a formal review because the paperwork she handed me was not the official review paperwork.  The official review paperwork has objectives and a rating scale and a space for comments, improvements, and outstanding examples.  The sheet of paper my boss handed me just listed everything we were going to talk about.  As I looked down the list, I could see there wasn’t one good or positive thing listed.  Boy was I right.

The first thing she brought up was the absences.  I told her I understood where she was coming from, but that I thought it unfair for her to list the last 10 days on a formal warning as I wasn’t just playing hooky.  I was out with a medical condition that may have not been approved by the insurance company as short term disability, but should be covered under the FMLA.  She glossed over it saying if I had had questions about that, I should have asked them when the HR rep was present.  Okay.  Then she brought out a thick manila folder.  She began talking about how she has been disappointed in the quality of my work for some time.  Then she began to lay out photocopies of each and every mistake I have made in the past 10 months.  One by one she laid them before me.  Things she had brought to my attention months ago were now paraded before me once again as though they had never been addressed or taken care of.  After about the 15th ones, the little voice in my head started to say those old familiar things, “you are no good.”  “You are bad.”  “You can’t even do the simplest of things.”  “You have wasted your life.”  “You can’t do anything right.”  And then the tears came and I was powerless to stop them.  At first I was able to cry silently as she continued to lay proof of my failings before me.  But after a minute, it became obvious I was crying and she kind of hurried through the last of the things on the agenda.  She ended with telling me this wasn’t a formal review and it would not be in my permanent file but I had to sign the paperwork anyway.  She left the room telling me I had 15 minutes to collect myself but then should get back to work.  I asked her to fire me and she said no and left.

I sat in that room for 10 minutes longing to take the chair I was sitting on and bash it against the glass window in hopes that I could break it and jump out after it.  A drop from the 13th floor should be enough to kill someone, right?  I even went up to the window to see how high it was but I think the glass is shatter resistant.  I had 2 more hours to work before I could go home so I sat miserably at my desk googling suicide methods one can do from home.  It’s amazing what you can find on the internet.

When I got home, Bob was sleeping in our bed and I did not want to disturb him so I curled up on the sofa and fell asleep.  Later on, I heard him in the office so I got up and went into our bed.  He found me there and asked if I was OK.  Thus began a 4 hour talk about my job, my life, my feelings, my fears, his feelings, his fears, and lots of other stuff.  Nothing was solved, but I felt better.  I did tell him he should probably hide his morphine until I felt better.  Bob is amazing in his ability to love and care for me.  He listens without offering advice or fix-it solutions.  He did say I could quit my job.  He said we only live life once and if this job was making me so miserable I didn’t have to stay there.  He said he could not understand how I could be so wonderful and yet not see any of that myself.  He said it made him mad that I could be good and do good but not see it in me at all. (By the way, he does the same thing!)  I ended up falling asleep with him rubbing my back.

Do I have to say that going back to work the next day was especially hard?  It was and it still is.  I did have a job interview yesterday that went very well.  It’s with another department at Big Bank Co dealing with document management.  It is a laid back office about a 20 minute drive from where I live right now.  I should know by the end of the week if that’s the job for me or not.  I also received another call today from another manager asking for an interview, so that’s good.

Counseling yesterday was good.  My counselor is awesome.  She pointed out that whenever I receive negative feedback/criticism, I tend to take it all in as a message that I am bad.  Not that I just made a mistake or messed up in some way, but that because I made a mistake or messed up, it must mean that I am bad.  This is true.  I don’t know why this is.  I don’t know how to change it. I can see good stuff as good but bad stuff is my fault because I am bad.  It helps to see it and know it.  Now I have to figure out how to change it.

Bob and I are meeting with the realtor tonight.  We will ask questions and based on the answers may be putting an offer on the condo.  I drove down there this weekend and it’s only 10 miles away from where we live now.  To hear Bob tell it, it’s like we’ll be commuting from the moon.  Sheesh!  He wanted to get a house 25 miles or more North of here and he’s now complaining about 10 measly miles.  Sometimes I think we both need something to worry about.  So we should know more after tonight.  I hope it’s good.

The kittens are getting fixed next Friday.  We will take them to the vet Thursday night, they will get cut and yanked on Friday, and we will pick them up on Saturday.  When we go to get them, we will be bringing the big cats with us to get their shots.  So the ride home with all four cats should be a splendid treat!   At least everyone will be freshly fixed and vaccinated though.  Bob saw a stray on our patio today and is worried about potential problems if it should get in a tangle with any of our girls.

There is more but this has become longer than I intended.  Also, I don’t have to tell you everything, do I?


Anonymous said...

I googled the Christian Women's website and this might be the words for the day you eluded to. I think they do apply to what you write about. You would try to disappear, but "you" still would exist!! Are you familiar with Joyce Meyer? She's an author- speaker and has written much of what you say you deal with. One book comes to mind called "Battle of the Mind" and has to do with "self-speak"...it talks about the lies that go through our minds and whether or not we believe them. You may be struggling with your faith or what you believe but...if you have had any training along with this you know what Scripture says. Whether you believe it or not...is moot. It's still truth. God still exists. There is also a saying that has been around for quite awhile that says..."if God seems distant, guess who moved." He's there right beside you! He's not shocked or surprised by anything in your life. God loves you more than you can even fanthom! More than a husband, more than a parent, more that anything. He cares and so do many who follow you on your blog, or not. Many are praying for you.

Word for today:

“Salt, when dissolved in water, may disappear,
but it does not cease to exist.
We can be sure of its presence by tasting the water. Likewise, the indwelling Christ, though unseen,
will be made evident to others from the
love which He imparts to us.”
~ Sadhu Sundar Singh ~

lap said...

I call bullshit. Those 10 days still were only one absence as well as being a qualified unpaid medical leave. I am hoping you find a job where you feel less sat upon Amy. I really am.

Anonymous said...

If they're keeping a file~hope that won't inhibit you from getting a different job. Do your very best and try to take the high road.

Laura said...

I just came across your blog, and I can't thank you enough for writing so honestly. The entry really grabbed me because it sounds SO MUCH like me and my situation. Funny how I can look at you and think the same things that Bob told you, but I can't look at myself that way and tell myself those things.

Thank you for hanging on because you've given more strength than you can imagine. God bless. You're in my prayers.