Feeling a little bashful having been neglectful of my blog for this long, especially considering my previous post! A lot of women (and a man or two) approached me, either in person or through other private channels, about the feelings that came up for them during and after reading my Satya post from almost two months ago. Typically, responses to my blog are posted publicly so I was a little surprised at the passionate but more low-key delivery feedback I received. I believe that speaks both to the intensely personal impact that chronic or long-term conditions have on our human experience and the importance of biting the bullet and putting it out there if you feel ready to deal with the consequences of doing so.
So since that post came out: I went on an anniversary trip with my husband that was both wonderful and difficult, but mostly wonderful. The last day I worked was July 3rd, as my anniversary vacation started on the 4th of July and my intention was to reset, regroup and go back to work refreshed and refocused. When the 10th rolled around as the last day of my vacation, I realized that I had NOT been refreshed, regrouped or reset to the point where I was going to be able to perform my job as required by my upper management. I started panicking in a very real way… what had been a cloudy idea somewhere in the back of my mind came front and center, under full sun.
So here’s the honest and important thought that came into sharp relief: if I tried to “hang in there” and “tough it out” and “be strong” like I had been doing I was going to get fired. I was (no pun intended) sticking my professional neck out on the chopping block by going to work every day. I am in management and therefore unprotected by any union, or even possibly common decency. Managers that cannot “produce” to upper management in my business channel get the ax, regardless of tenure with the company or any other consideration have been able to discern. When I took a moment to consider my job performance for the month prior to my vacation, both as a woman that prides herself on being kick-ass at anything I put my mind to, and from the perspective I believe my upper management takes, I could clearly see that I had been doing a poor job. The absolute best I could? Yes. Acceptable? Hell, no.
I had been in the back office (not the sales floor, where I am supposed to be a majority of the time) somewhere between a quarter and half of the 10 hours I spent there every day either physically or emotionally too overwhelmed to “fake it in the face.” On my honor, I did my best to be productive while back there most of that back office time. I had left early, twice, in tears. One of those times, I had to be picked up by my husband as I was so distraught about my left thumb and first few fingers going numb that we went to the ER. I was not producing the required minimum amount of reports, coachings, observations, or reports on my coachings and observations. I was not able to “produce” the results that are expected as a function of my job.
So the funny thing now is that I am on disability from work, but technically not for my physical issues. I’m out on emotional stress leave due to the fact that I was terrified I would lose my job if I kept pretending that I was able to perform to standard. I know, no one is surprised… I guess I knew that I was coming to the end of my rope one way or the other too. Another chance to practice humility and faith… Yay, I guess?
And that’s just the first week after my last blog post. More on the way!