Day 55

So it’s been a reasonable week so far. Work has been qualitatively more tolerable than before. I question if that’s because I’ve taken a different attitude to the office this week, or if it’s just because time has intervened and taken the edge off the newcomer nerves I started with. It may be because I know I can leave the job now if I want to – and I know I have the tools to help me get through it if I choose to stay a while longer. As a result it’s like there’s been this very gradual coming down off of a ledge. This week has been the first week in the job where I’ve just been ok with where I am, not talking to and not being talked to by many people. The negative thoughts have still been there, I’ve still not liked it much, but it hasn’t been as excruciating as the last few weeks.

I’m still going to leave later in the year or early next year, it’s decided. But I couldn’t carry on judging everyone and myself until the day I leave. It was making things too heavy. Hopefully I’m coming to a point where I really don’t care what people are thinking about me so much, because I’ve realised that people’s opinions are immaterial to me. It seems like I may be getting more polite nods and hello’s out of people this week, possibly since I’ve come with this fresh outlook on things.

Today was a bit tough, though, it has to be said. My new inner peace is still sadly quite fragile, and the slightest thing is bound to make it crack in places. I badly wanted to get to the end of the week without having any panic attacks or desperate moments, and the time wasn’t passing quick enough for me. It didn’t help later in the morning when I had to print out forty letters to customers, a task that was going to take ages because of how slow the office printer is, which caused unnecessary stress as I knew there’d be people queuing behind me for the printer while I was doing it. In the past I’ve already suffered dirty looks from people for taking too long at the printer, which is why I don’t like having to use it. Today I had no choice, so I started printing out my forty letters, which ended up taking an age. Halfway through the job one of the managers from the other team came over and brusquely asked me how long I was going to be. Before I’d had a chance to count how many pages were left to print she walked off without waiting for an answer. Ten minutes later she came back, and when she saw I still wasn’t done she rudely said “Aren’t you finished yet?” loudly enough for most of the office to hear. It was embarrassing and I couldn’t reply in the way I wanted to, since it was a manager and I don’t like confrontation in any circumstances. So instead of telling her to fuck off and wait her turn I said there were just a few pages left, at which she tutted.

Just before going up to print I had noted this task down in a list of things that were worrying me. When I finally got back from the printer I could delete it from my screen, knowing I wouldn’t have to print so many pages again in one go for a long time probably. I find it useful to write specific things down that are worrying me just as a way of putting them out there, taking them out of my head. The more specific I can be the better.

The worst thing about this experience is that it reminded me of my belief that my colleagues don’t like me, and that they all want me out of there. We know the truth is that they’re not thinking that about me, and it doesn’t matter what they’re thinking anyway. Getting over this kind of belief isn’t about being spiritual, although it helps – it’s purely about me being too old to care what a bunch of strangers in an office are thinking about me now. I’ve spent too many years panicking about confrontations at the printer. I haven’t got the energy to do it any more!

Despite that blip in the day it still wasn’t the worst I’ve experienced at the bank. So things are not as bad as they were. They’re still not great by any means, but they’re not as depressing. Bit by bit, the days are becoming more bearable as I’m becoming stronger. And I can still leave soon, I’m only really waiting for them to find another person to join the team who I’ll be able to train up in my tasks.

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