On my last blog I spoke about stress. Last week was the week from hell for me on all levels. Hopefully a week I will never have to experience again. My stress levels went way through the roof, and affected me on a mental and physical level. I’m glad to say that this is something that doesn’t happen very often to me in this way. It’s very frightening in itself, but what was more frightening to me was the fact that I wasn’t in complete control of my own emotional state, its especially bad when you start to imagine all sorts of things and get short-term paranoia. Hang on a second, lets just get rid of that snake thats on my ceiling…..only kidding!!. I’m glad to say now though that having resolved a few major issues at work these past two days I have somehow managed to calm down and be more in control, and am thinking rationally again, although still feeling very low.
Last week started off as a normal week, or at least as normal as it could be for me. The usual worries and anxieties about health problems, the concerns at work about our jobs, family worries and so on. Nothing really out of the ordinary…….until information started to circulate at work about certain things that were taking place that affected our livelihoods, especialyy since 28 of us are on the redundancy list for this year. For legal and moral reasons I can’t go into details. But in short rumours circulated that full-time permanent jobs were being offered to temp staff, and those of us on the redundancy list were not being offered them….despite the fact they were the exact same jobs we do at a different site, and we had previously been told these jobs would not be needed or carried out in the UK, hence the reason for our redundancies.
Tempers were high, morale extremely low. Severe frustration on my part, mainly due to the fact that last November I stepped down as a Union and H&S rep after 10 yrs, and therefore I was no longer in a position to do anything about this in an official capacity and felt very guilty at this point that I couldn’t do anything to support my colleagues. I suppose I felt that I had let everyone down…….and as a result of this it got me down.
The last two days however has given us some answers, and I have been finally able to tell two Directors exactly how we all feel about our treatment by them over these past 12 months. I have to say that for just a few short minutes, despite feeling emotional, nervous, frustrated and anxious I suppose did feel a tiny bit proud of myself for speaking out and explaining to them very diplomatically how we all felt we had been treated with such disrespect and such contempt, despite our continued support, loyalty and dedication in continuing our jobs under these circumstances.
The long and the short of it is we have now had an apology from the two Directors, they have admitted in certain areas they have done things wrong. And from now on have stated they will give us first bite of the cherry if permanent jobs are created over the next few months. Despite the deadline of 12 months on the TUPE date being 30th June, they have agreed to give people the option now of taking early redundancy if they so wish, in spite of the fact that yesterday we were told we could now be kept until October. Despite all these promises however at the end of the day, it still isn’t going to save our jobs. But there is a certain satisfaction in making yourself heard in these extreme circumstances…….perhaps my next job could be as a Politician……..or may be not, far too much bullshitting goes on and I hate bullshitting!
In addition to all this going on last week my anxiety levels have remained some what high for the last couple of months over the fact that in early March I will have to spend a whole week in hospital, for specialist treatment for a bladder condition. I don’t like hospitals at the best of times, I have seen more than my fair share of the inside of hospital wards over the years, and this frightens me and makes me nervous and extremely anxious. the biggest worry however is whether or not this treatment will work. What ever the outcome it will decide my future on many levels. I have to prepare myself for the fact I will be in there for a week with strangers, dealing with a problem that many still, like depression and suicide for instance, still see it as a taboo subject. Getting through each day and night in there will be in itself a major challenge. Trying to keep yourself occupied all the time will be very difficult.
On top of all this last week an old health problem reared its ugly head again, and left me in considerable pain……and for anyone who has suffered an anal fissure, well you will know what I am talking about. Any form of pain level is not easy to cope with at the best of times, and even those who suffer pain and call themselves a wuss…….know that pain is pain however bad. The problem with this condition is because having suffered it before I knew what to expect, that doesn’t make it any easier, it just makes you more aware of what is coming. The final disappointment for the week was my holiday plans falling through. Whilst I am disappointed, I know these things do and can happen for whatever reasons, and I suppose over these past few years I have got used to the fact that nothing ever goes my way, but not having had a break let alone a holiday for nearly 12 years I was looking forward to this, especially with the company of a friend. It obviously wasn’t meant to be this time. The confidence to go travelling again is something that I have lacked for several years, and whilst I don’t have the ability or confidence to go travelling on my own again yet, I expect this is something that perhaps will happen eventually. Perhaps 13 will be my lucky year!
It is good to feel that much calmer again, despite all the churning and knotted feelings in my stomach, and in adittion to this feeling extremely tired. Stress does have a lot to answer for, and whilst it’s easier to cope with one thing at a time, it is far more difficult to deal with several things all at once. Far too many negative issues to deal with in one week is not good. But why does everything happen in this way I wonder. As I don’t have any one I can talk to directly and be open about my problems and get things off my chest, I did find talking to my rabbit helped a little, although he kept giving me funny looks!!