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work stress, sick me, sick dog and nasty nasty people... seems like small potatoes but not for me, how do you cope?
November 20, 2006
11:16 pm
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Hello,

Haven't been here in a while because I've had a lot of things going on. These are just some trivial things. But I'm tired.

Lately I've come under fire from some patrons at work because I was unavailable to them for some time due to jury duty, sickness and vacation (I wanted to reschedule that but was advised by supervisors not to- everyone is on a tight calendar and it would be impossible to plan again). I tried being nice, patient, cooperative with this one difficult person- and she even told me "you have a problem with your job," because she didn't want to take the time necessary to plan events that SHE was requesting. At this point I ended the conversation and told her that I did not have a problem with my job, but that she had a problem because I couldn't work with her {since she was being inflexible and offensive, it was a long conversation throughout which she was antagonsistic and bitchy}. She came into my work place to make appointments anyway, acted sweet as pie, and so did I. We planned the classes, I said I was glad she came in and I would look forward to seeing the classes. I said "I'm sorry it didn't go so smoothly the first time." And she said "Yeah, that's too bad." Ugh!!!!! My coworker was sitting there the whole time and said "I can't believe she didn't apologize!" Well, I have to thing it's all for the children, and I truly am glad they are coming. But it's really hard sometimes when people get personal.

Then I had someone else come in the same day and storm over to me demanding to know if I "was the one who was on jury duty, THEN vacation" and she "came in six times and called" and accused me of never calling back. First of all, she was informed I was on a case, why she felt the need to come in six times is beyond me. Second of all, I did call and it's not easy to get through. I am guilty of not being persistant enough I guess, but she did not give me a chance to apologize. We have had a hellish two months where I work, there are many reasons why I things have been atypical, but I would have apologized and asked how I could accomodate her... yet she came in like gangbusters.

My job seems so easy to those who don't know what goes on day to day. I have to deal with a very demanding public, teachers who are not always sane, and kids who often misbehave and need to be watched (this shouldn't be my job, but they are most often not supervised by their parents who use the place as a day care... it is not). I have missed some work, been unable to do things the way I usually can when well, and other staff members have been on vacation or having surgery (including my boss). All these are factors, but you can't explain this to someone who needed help, especially if they are angry.

I'm still sick from some stupid virus and I guess I'm writing because I'm so stressed out. I've been crying every night. I can deal with difficult people much better than this, but lately I swear I'm lucky that the worst I do is dismiss them. This woman insulted me and compared me unfavorably to some old former deceased employee and ranted. I know I didn't react the way I wanted but all day long I had difficult people, as if it were a full moon. I did well with the one who changed her tune and came in to make appointments and all others. My coworker said "We certainly know you were the bigger person (with the first teacher)."

Finally with this last one, I couldn't take it... I had a long line of kids to wait on and she cut ahead of them to insult me and waste their time. I'm getting paid to be there, they needed help. Finally after "you were on jury duty, then VACATION..." I cut in and said very calmly "oh, and then I got sick too... does any of that stuff ever happen to you? Do you take vacation time? Get sick? And I suppose I shouldn't have served my civic duty either. Are you always this confrontational when you are conducting your business? (When she came in when I wasn't there she mistreated my coworkers) Because, right now, I do not have the time for this, I need to serve these children." So she was speechless and turned around and stormed back off the same way she came in.

The phrase "Would you rather be right or happy?" comes to mind becaue when I went out to dinner that night I had to lock myself in the restaurant bathroom and cry. My friends still knew and when they asked me about it I burst into tears.

I don't know what to do. I did well with most my difficult transactions that day, (I was in charge), but sometimes the human in you just gets tired and the professional loses out. I know I should have just let her rant and insult me until she was done, but I was preoccupied and at the end of my tethers. The kids standing next to me were in shock. They said "She's a TEACHER?" I said yeah. One of them thought I was funny. I do NOT think I was funny and I'm sorry they saw that.

Tonight I took my dog for a walk and there was a worm on the sidewalk when she went to the bathroom. A man standing there said it came from her and to take her to the doctor. We were near the park so I don't know if it was from her or not, but I'm fretting now over that. I don't feel like I can handle anything right now.

Tomorrow I have to call another teacher and I'm worried that she will be upset with me too for being out and not getting back to her sooner. Truth is, it's hard to make appointments when you're not sure you will be around. I left a message with her today, but I'll see what happens. I'm tired of crying and I worry that my coworkings are going to lose respect for me.

I just feel like I work so hard and nothing is ever right. My only comfort is my baby dog and now I'm worried she has heart worms or something. Does anyone know if a dog can have a worm that looks like a small earthworm?

I feel like a scared little person now. This is not me. It's so easy to hurt me now. People say you have to keep thinking "It's them, not me." But I'm not sure. HOw can you have a conscience if you think that way all the time?

I'm so tired. I miss everyone, but I have to go to bed. Maybe I will "see" you tomorrow and catch up.

-ella

November 21, 2006
4:32 am
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revelation
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MZ, no its not small potatoes honey....its the last thing you need right now!! She sounds like a cold hearltess selfish b*tch to be honest.

And, remember this...ITS NONE OF HER BUSINESS!!! You do not owe anyone except your boss, an explanation as to why you missed work, nobody else needs to know. Take it easy on yourself, you are taking a lot of these people problems on yourself and you don't need that right now. When the sad feeling are overwhelming you...have a think about what you are really worrying about...their nastiness is THEIR problem, you don't have to acknowledge them when they are being like that...

Rev.

November 21, 2006
10:29 pm
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Revelation,

Thank you for answering my post. The way I was raised has led me to believe that everything I do is wrong. We always had to apologize to adults who were unstable and irrational, no matter who was at fault... this to keep the peace. I feel it has scarred me for life. My mother NEVER says she's sorry. So I second guess everything.

Today was a better day. This weekend I decided to return all messages three times (or until I get an answer) and to log the dates and times of the call, to note if I left a message with an individual or machine. This made me feel better, that it will prevent further accusations in the future. Sounds severe, but obviously, it's necessary.

Thank you for your support.

-ella

November 22, 2006
7:01 am
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revelation
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MZ, I was raised in exactly the same way! I'm 32 now and for 31 and a half years I went around believing that not only was I always wrong, but I was also stupid, thoughtless, selfish, rude, disrespectful, undeserving and unloveable. BUT...those are things I learned when I was a child and I was thought them by people who didn't know any better. Those beliefs don't apply anymore, I'm an adult, I am not a bad person, I am not always wrong and I am not undeserving. Nor are you...

I'm reading a book on self-esteem by Linda Field, its kind of a work book, it takes time and patience to read but its great! Perhaps you could read something like this too?

Rev.

November 23, 2006
4:03 am
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revelation-

It's hard to change your way of thinking, but I'm working at it. I have to learn how to let somethings roll off my back- even when the person is patently wrong. This doesn't mean I have to be a doormat like I was taught.

I'm reading a book about sensitive personality types. It might help, but it's kind of not the most exciting reading. Though the author has some valid points. The writer points out that sensitive and emotional traits are not valued by mainstream society, and although this may lead to some of us feeling that we are less than the "ideal," or even become ridiculed for being the way we are, there are traits in the highly sensitive personality type that are of great value to both society and ourselves. It is this rejection by society of sensitive traits that feeds into a bad self esteem (in addition to being sensitive itself to other things). If we know this it can help us learn to appreciate ourselves more. Yet we still have to learn how to cope- and I guess that's the rest of the book.

I'll let you know how the rest goes.

-ella

November 24, 2006
12:59 am
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chelonia mydas
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((((Ella))))

So sorry to hear you are going through all of this. Sorry I missed this post until today...

Now to tend to some of your concerns...

Is your dog acting normal? eating? drinking? playing? pottying? if you answered yes to all of the above- then it is not an emergency. The worm you are finding in the stool is NOT heartworms. Heartworms are in the blood and heart and spread through mosquitos. It sounds like a roundworm from your description. Just take her to the vet when you get a chance in the next week or so and get the correct wormer for her.

As for the teachers.... I too deal with this kind of stuff at work all the time. I fully understand you loosing patience. People suck sometimes. I cope by just taking it one person at a time and being happy that I am not as much of a jerk as they are. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I have lost my cool too. In my job I see where teachers have unrealistic expectations of what the nature center can do for their kids (such as bring a school of 300 kids to go on a nature walk with 2 naturalists) and they get grumpy when you tell them they are out of their mind. Sounds like you might be dealing with some of this too.

You are allowed to have time off- if they don't understand that, that is there problem, not yours. You do a great job, you care about the kids- which is the most important part.

You try to accomidate them- but I have discovered that no matter what there will always be someone that isn't happy with my efforts. They will complain regardless if everything is as good as it could be. (For example..I had to respond to a complaint e-mail today where someone complained that they got bit by mosquitos while hiking along one of our nature trails?!?!? I jokingly told one of our rangers that they needed to leave a branch hanging into on of the trails so the complainers have something to complain about.)

Everyone has times when they feel like they aren't doing as well as they usually do. Hang in there, you will find your groove again. Like you said the past few months at work have been out of the ordinary with people being out and other things happening.

Anyway, I am really exhausted and may have rambled too much. I just wanted to let you know that I am thinking of you and support you. I'll check in again later.

Chelonia

November 24, 2006
9:06 am
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lollipop3
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(((Ella))),

I agree with Chelonia that what you found on the ground was not heart worms. Generally when you find worms in the dogs stool it will look a bit like spaghetti. Nice huh? If it looks like an actual earthworm, perhaps it could have been on the ground already? Or heck....she could even eaten and passed an earthworm for that matter. Dogs can be gross that way. Either way, I would check with your vet just to be sure, but if she is otherwise doing fine....I wouldn't let it worry you too much.

As to the way you handled that teacher.....I know it bothers you a bit but personally....I thought it was brilliant! Good for you for standing up for yourself.

Hope you have a better day today!

Love,
Lolli

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