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Tuesday, 28 August 2012

The agony of work

Anxiety.

Its my constant companion. From the moment I wake up in the morning until I go to sleep at night I am either feeling anxious about something or awaiting the next visit from the anxiety fairy.

It is at its worst when I am at work, and my mode for combating it is to sink into the job itself as much as possible and to shut out the outside factors. However, this is not always possible for two reasons

  1. I work in quite a busy office environment which is open-plan and always has at least 4 members of staff
  2. I'm the admin manager.
Being the Admin Manager means that I am a destination, and that people want to talk to me and ask me questions. As long as they relate to the process of work, this is fine. I can handle that. But when it comes to gossip and general office chat I am not so good.  There is a lot within conversation that isn't said, so many significant glances, nods of the head and in-jokes that are over my head.

I find it difficult to judge whether people are deliberately talking around me as they don't want me to know something or whether they expect me to be able to interpret this implicit sign language.

I can't.  I just can't.

Dealing with my boss is very difficult as well. While I can interpret most conversations (I think) I find it difficult to deal with her very definitive yet vague statements of "you know what needs to be done. Please sort it out" because I very often don't know what needs to be done, and I hate sitting looking at her blankly, and having to say "no I don't".

I also hate the fact I can't play the office politics games.  NO, scratch that. I hate the office politics games.  I can't bluff, disseminate, use delaying tactics or distract by switching people's attention to another topic. it doesn't work for me and even trying just makes me more anxious.  If I haven't done something I will say so, unlike some of my co-workers who will claim they are "nearly finished", or that it is ongoing.  The worst thing about it is that I am the one who ends up looking bad and ineffective, simply because I have been honest in my appraisal of my own work.

And of course people don't realise that this bothers me because even I'm new to being AS, and I certainly don't expect my co-workers to take it into account. Why would they? It really is my issue to deal with.

Every day I have to remind myself that no-one is doing any of this to deliberately upset me. Every day I try to bury myself in the work and interact as little as I need to. Every day is a struggle, but its a struggle that I feel I am getting on top of as I accept my AS nature.

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