Saturday, July 14, 2012
When blessings come from odd places
Well, things have really improved. The other day, a different manager (female) saw me walking down the hall at work, and she stopped and said, "Are you okay?" I guess it was that obvious how miserable I was feeling.
We took a walk outside and I gave her the short version of what had been happening lately, and my fears about what it might mean to my career. She listened, and nodded, and didn't say a whole lot, but it made me feel better just to tell someone.
Yesterday, I went to work as usual, and about ten minutes after I sat down the floor manager came and told me I was wanted in the office. My stomach tightened and my neck felt like a strung bow. What now?
The manager that had been brow-beating me asked me into his office, and he apologized for the way he had handled things. He told me that he wasn't angry with me personally, that there was no secret plan to get rid of me, and that he was just using methods that he thought would make me listen more closely to him.
The relief I felt was immense, and I admit I got a bit weepy, which I hate, because there's nothing that says "I can handle anything a man can handle" like a weepy female. But I only used one tissue, so it wasn't all that bad.
I explained to him that I understood that I'd made mistakes, but that when I'm being yelled at, my brain just freezes up and repeats "Yelling. There's yelling. This must really be bad." - I told him that all my life, in school, I was the teacher's pet, the one who got straight A's, the one who took extra credit classes and advanced classes, and that getting called into the principal's office was a major traumatic event for me... it wasn't something to be brushed off lightly. I know there are people where I work who laugh everything off, they don't care about management, about the company, about anything really - but I'm not like that. I told him that getting called into the office and yelled at had really made me fear for my job, and that I couldn't understand why I was being singled out.
He explained (in a very nice, conversational tone of voice) that I am good at my job, and he wants to keep me there, but to make me the best at what I do, which is why he points out mistakes. He also said that I am by no means the only one who is getting this sort of attention, and he said that at the moment there were several other employees who had "talks" coming that were much, much more serious, and frankly he was stressing out about it - which is why he may have come on more strongly than he intended with me.
Tell you what, peeps, when I walked out of that office I felt like I'd lost 100 pounds. I barely touched the ground. I went straight to that female manager and asked her if she'd had a word with the one that just spoke to me. She said yes. She said that she told him that he was not communicating effectively with me, and that the remedy had to come from him.
I thanked her - I mean, really, without her intervention, this problem could really have cost me my job, as I was so disconnected and discombobulated I was sure to make mistakes again - and she cared enough to see that I was upset, and to quietly make a connection that fixed the whole problem.
I am going to bring her a jar of my mom's home-grown honey today, to let her know how wonderful it is to have a friend in an unexpected place.
Breathe in ....... breathe out.