Today I called in sick to work. Yesterday I felt like I should not be there, but went in anyways, fearful of what would happen if I asked to go home early. This morning I woke up with a pink left eye, it was difficult to breathe, and my blankets felt like the warmest, safest, most lovely place on the planet. I sent a text to my boss, not sure what his reaction would be. One thing that probably helped my cause was a glowing review from a woman I had worked with previously. She had met my boss years ago when she was selling furniture on Craigslist, initially she had worked with another sales person, and I spent some troubled time agonizing about how that would go down after she said she no longer wanted to work with him. She asked my boss to step into my office, and then I stood there listening to her explain why she preferred to work with me instead.
The other day I stumbled on a site that has been very helpful. A friend of mine is reading a book, I can't remember what the exact title of it is, something about reinvention of one's self if I remember correctly, and I'm going to see if I can find it at my local library. I'm also going to go back to some of the books I have since I know and believe that they can help me. I've always been scared of getting into trouble, probably because I have been in and out of it for most of my life. At work we keep a selection of new vehicles in back for people to test drive. It seems as if a group of adults could be trusted to hang keys in the order that the cars are parked, however this rarely happens. I periodically take it upon myself to straighten out the mess because it is embarrassing to walk out there with keys to a vehicle that has been parked in by another, or not have keys to one you grabbed from the space where it was supposed to be.
I noticed that we were missing a key, typed in the stock number, and saw that it had been issued to me. After a panicked search I went to tell my boss that I had lost the key to a $60,000.00 vehicle, and that the key had probably been missing for several days. Sometimes I am able to get help rearranging the cars in back, and I didn't know if someone else had taken the key with them and forgotten to board it, but it didn't really matter since it was checked out to me, therefore I was responsible. Several people are off, my boss was not having a good day, and I was pretty scared when I went into his office, announced that I had bad news, and told him about the missing key. To my surprise he did not yell at me, he didn't even act disappointed, or lecture me in any way. He asked a couple of very practical and logical questions, and then reassured me that they would most likely turn up, and gave me various scenarios as to how they could have been misplaced, or taken from me.
It was quite a relief to hear that, I thought that would be it when he asked how long I had been selling cars. I took his question literally, and couldn't remember the date when I had sold my first two cars, then I discovered he needed my start date so I gave him that. I can't remember if I wrote about this, but I had gone to our GM and shared some of my personal financial situation, I had asked if I could maybe do another job at work since I enjoy being there, he said they had some things in the works, and gave me a few possibilities. It was embarrassing and humbling to have to go to him like that, I said as much and he told me I should have, and not to worry about it. I haven't heard anything about a different role, but while I was talking to my boss, and filling him in on the accident from 2016 that I am still paying for, he made some comments that very clearly indicated he not only understood the immediate concern, but also had some penetrating insights into matters I hadn't shared with him.
The way other people's minds work has long fascinated me. You can tell several people the exact same information, and they will have very different impressions, and give you feedback that depends on their worldview, and knowledge of you coupled with their own attitudes and outlooks. I want people to think and feel like I have it together. People who work there have a specific kind of intelligence, and it's interesting to see so much of that brand at one location. I try to check in with the people that bring me up that I have come to care about. There are several that have become closer to me, one who wasn't very nice to me initially, but is now a friend, and I marvel at the change of heart that can come if you give people second chances, and refuse to give up on them. He wasn't the easiest person to connect with, and I can't even say what changed, or when it did, but now we have an understanding, and it is very heartwarming to see, but my point is that he can take things nobody has said, piece them together, and come up with a very accurate picture of something he has never seen.
Yesterday I was at lunch when a friend of mine who smokes stopped by on her break. We were chatting about inconsequential matters when a guy we worked with walked over and asked if we had seen the person he needed to find. When we explained that he hadn't, he stood there and joined in our conversation. My friend left, and he stayed. I have no idea why he started talking about his marriage, divorce, the settlement, his daughters, and his life now, I started crying, another friend of mine came over, gave me a side hug, and then I stood up, told both of them that I loved them, and got a really nice hug back from the first guy. It's strange how an organization can be formed and transformed by one, or two, key people. There is a lot of negative energy coming from some who are not team players, and watching others get manipulated without speaking up is interesting in a macabre sort of way. I wonder why others don't speak up, but then recognize that I rarely do, and what can be done so all of us are more empowered.
I don't really know what I am doing there exactly, but I know that the work I am doing is incredibly important. People need to feel recognized, they need to be appreciated, they need to laugh about stupid things, and we can all use timely reality checks just as we can use flights of fancy to escape, just for that one important moment. We need to hear and feel that others have our backs, that people are pulling for us, that we are not on the bus by ourselves, that we are valued, noticed, uplifted when we are down, and celebrated when we are up; sometimes success is harder to bear than failure since we are more familiar than that. A friend stopped by my office the other day for no work related reason. A friend of his is depressed, and he credits this person with getting him out of a slump where he wanted to die after his marriage broke up and he was unable to see his son and be a part of his daily life.
As I sat in my office tears started rolling down my cheeks. A woman we work with asked what was going on, and I couldn't tell her, only that the tears were good rather than bad. Maybe she got it because her life is not all roses and cherries either. I feel like I am learning a very important lesson at work; that I don't always have to be the one who is in a good mood, keeping things together, and that my moods and ever changing emotions are not just okay, but the very thing that helps connect me with others on a basic and humanitarian level. That the night I spent following someone in the rain, listening to others, and doing what I can to help them is coming back to me in very cool, unexpected ways. That it's okay for me to make mistakes, call in sick, be imperfect, lose things, be nervous, anxious, depressed, repressed, have a life and concerns outside of work, overlook things, say stupid words that I long to call back, not say things when I should be speaking, cry, laugh, eat my food, take my lunch, spend irresponsibly, show up with hair that I didn't wash because I thought that I had, and a whole host of other things that make me human.
Perhaps I have written about the meeting with management when I was much newer there. My boss told me to be myself, and I wanted to tell him that I was, but that wasn't really true. I was scared to be who I was, and maybe I'm not always the person he initially met since to some extent we are all role playing a bit at work and in social settings, but it turns out that this was much better advice than I realized at the time. While it sounds trite, I was hiding some of the things that made me a better person and employee. I had tried to fit into a role that I thought they wanted me to fill, and it turned out that I was quelling the things that they liked about me which was quite the startling revelation. Not long ago I read about soft introverts versus bold ones, and I thought that this sums me up well. I am bold, and I feel like people mistake that for extroversion on my part. I need people. I also need time away from them. To process, to think, to feel, to reflect, to plan, to recharge, etc...
I haven't even gotten to the parts outside of work, but I am still very tired, so this is where I am choosing to stop writing for today.
All my best,
P.S. It is so nice to have a broadband connection again! Life without it showed me how dependent I have become on it, but there are good aspects to it as well such as being able to type this sort of thing.