So I’m not sure where I was on the topic of working last time I blogged, I may have mentioned being late. This has happened on a few occasions and so did that one time I woke up so late that I told them there was a family emergency and I wouldn’t be in (this was half an hour before my shift was due to start) and then another time when my Mum was dropping me into town for my shift and as I was about to get out I got a call asking me where I was. Apparently I should have been in three hours before. I asked if they still wanted me in, or at least to go and meet with her to explain, as I was already in town anyway, to which she replied no to as she had the rest of the day covered.
Fair enough, they were my mistakes. I should not have been late, I should not have lied about why I was late (or saying there was a family emergency to skip work entirely just because I was too anxious to explain to them I’d woken up late), I should also have read the correct rota and been sure about my hours before turning up. (Although, how it took them three hours to realise I was missing, I’ll never understand). So when my manager called me into the office, I expected it and was prepared. I needed to be told I was doing something wrong and reprimanded for my actions, I get it.
But what I got was kind of shocking, which I should really not be expected by me because I’ve known a lot of unkind or non-compassionate people in my lifetime, but I’ve also never known myself to be so wrong about someone, to judge someone in such a way that is completely different to how they actually are. After telling me she would need to speak to me that day, I waited nervously for two hours working, waiting for her to finally have “enough staff” for her to talk to me. She sat me down and closed the door. (The office space isn’t even big enough, I had to sit in the staffroom as close to the door as possible).
Anyway the ‘chat’ went kinda like this. She explained to me that she was concerned that I had been dropping my standards lately. Apparently even asides from the lateness, excuses, dropping out of work, forgetfulness etc… I had been acting differently. My parents had been saying the same thing. I put it down to, in my head, the relapse and the drugs I’d been taking more of around that time, but when she told me “management” had said I’d not been acting good towards customers on the shop floor and looked like I didn’t want to be there, I was shocked about this and told her as such. At this point I started to tear up, because I’ve been hiding this damn sadness and depression for so long and keeping the dark thoughts at bay while working so I can work to the best of my ability that it upset me that she or somebody else believed me to not be working at my best
Truthfully? Perhaps I wasn’t. I’d recently relapsed, I’d started a major depressive episode and I’d been worrying about a lot of things around this time, but thinking back, I cannot see a time where I let this show to staff or customers, especially not when management was about (I really wanted to continue on this job as it’s only seasonal and I wanted them to keep me on, so I acted even more enthusiastically around management, of course), so that alone leads me to believe she’s been looking more deeply into this. I definitely think on the day she spoke to me she’d be watching me closely on the cameras (and in person, as she seemed to be hanging around near me an awful lot that morning), because on that day I was so nervous and anxious that I could not concentrate, therefore my conversations with customers were very brief and I noticed myself not performing very well at all. So whenever I think of that remark about me looking miserable and not showing the store in a good light, I truly believe she had used what she saw that morning to make her judgements.
After the initial shock, I apologised to her for this as I told her I truly believed despite however I felt on any given day, that I gave my all to my job. I told her I liked working there. She replied that she finds it hard to believe I like it so much when I’ve been behaving the way I’ve behaved. She also said she’s looking to keep a good few people on and if I wanted to be considered that I better start being the old Maria. Fair enough at the old Maria part, but no way was I now going to suck up to them and be fake to try and get this job. I’m sorry, but when I heard that I lost all my desire to remain on. In fact I felt like walking out of that office and never going back in. Not only was it that, but when I tearfully confessed to her that I had depression and was having a particularly difficult time of it lately, after a look, a look of nothing I can describe other than pure indifference, told me “plenty of people have problems, you just gotta leave it at the door come in do your job then go home”. Just, shock.
It wasn’t even the statement that got me. She’s my manager, not my therapist. It’s not her job to treat me but it is her job to treat me with respect, and I felt like I had none. All the thoughts I had about her went away with that one heartless look she gave as I explained to her, with a lot of difficulty, about my mental health issues. I think the shock kind of stopped my sobbing, because I realised at that point, wow. She’s not the person I thought she was, and I really was wrong about her. When she started telling me about staff she’s known with anxiety who leave there personal lives at home I was only half listening, all I thought was, I don’t care anymore. You’re not the kind caring person you make yourself out to be, and I don’t want to work for you. So tell your stories, lies, whatever, I’m out of here once my contract is done.
So here I am again
So I guess I’m back at square one. Looking for jobs. Seriously I think retail is messing my mental health up more than it should. My physical pain is at an all time high again. I dread going to sleep because it’s one step closer to morning which is one step closer to work. I could handle it when I liked my manager and I thought she was funny and warm and charming. I loved that she handled the staff like they were family. But now when I hear her talking to people I hear how fake it is. She is nice to customers then I hear her complaining to her staff in the stockroom. What has she been saying about me? The first time she called me to her office she told me some of the ‘staff’ were concerned about my hygiene, which I immediately rectified because I realised I was neglecting it due to my depression, but now I really wonder if it was ‘staff’, or just her.
We’re not the same, we haven’t been ever since. She doesn’t say morning the same, she says goodbye to me like with everyone but almost as if it’s a chore. I know she’s made her decision but the semi-good feeling is that she didn’t have the opportunity to deny to keep me on because I didn’t write a letter asking to stay on. I’ve been manipulated all my life and this woman won’t be the first, she won’t be the last; you know why? Because she’s not gonna have the chance. I found you out, and I’ve made the choice to walk away. I have the power. So in 2 weeks I’ll walk away and never look back, and all I can do is hope she finds the compassion she needs in her heart for her career and life in general, because without compassion and thoughtfulness and kindness, you really don’t have anything worth much.
That’s me off, after another busy shift it’s finally Christmas eve’s eve as well as a day off! So I’m going to celebrate my 6 month friendship anniversary with my latest and hopefully last best friend. Night!x