Tuesday, March 16, 2010

I didn't cry at work today

Or maybe I did.

As I mentioned in my last post, I live on an emotional level. Sometimes I wish I could pack up and move, though, especially in some situations that come up at my job. In this way, I wish I could be more like my boss. If you've ever done the True Colors personal inventory, you'll understand what I mean when I say that my boss is hard-core green. She is smart, analytical, hard-working and logical. These are classic green traits. I, on the other hand, am pure blue. I am sensitive, emotional and often think about how others will be effected in any given situation.

My boss is very green and very calm and collected under pressure. She doesn't take things personally, doesn't fret about if some random person is mad at her, and doesn't sit down after the fact and go over and over all the things she should have said in her head. Man do I wish that were me.

Instead, I'm true blue. I do exactly the opposite of what my boss does. I take things personally, fret and beat myself over the head with all the witty things I should have said in order to sock it to the person who had the nerve to be mean to someone as sensitive and kind as myself. I'm sort-of like Meg Ryan in "You've Got Mail" - if I do happen to say something snappy in the moment, I feel pretty bad about it later and end up having to apologize to the instigator who should actually be apologizing to me.

ANYWAY, the belabored point of this post is that I had a mini-breakthrough at work today. Without getting too descriptive, I was sitting at my desk with my emotionally stable boss, working on a pretty large on-going project while the phones rang off the hook. A person came into the office and needed something from me that I couldn't give to her at the moment (through absolutely no fault of my own). She got upset and started essentially laying in to me.

I started to feel this pressure building up in my chest, as I usually do when I'm presented with conflict from someone I'm not comfortable with. I was already overwhelmed with the large project and the phones ringing like crazy, as well as with the fact that work in general has been a nightmare for the last two weeks. I was basically at my breaking point.

As I tried to walk the fine line between standing firm and defending myself and trying not to say something I'd later regret and that could get me into trouble, my voice and hands grew shakier, my head started swimming and my ears started ringing (which always happens when I'm faced with confrontation). Thank God my boss was at my desk at that moment, because she stepped in and dealt with the issue in her typically calm and cool manner.

The instigator left the office furious, but at least she finally left. At that point, I knew what was coming. Not a moment too soon, I said to my boss, "Excuse me, but I need to take a minute." I walked quickly down the hall and into the bathroom, where I proceeded to cry like a wiener.

"So what is this breakthrough you had?" you might be wondering. "How is it a breakthrough when your boss had to step in and you had to run to the bathroom to cry?"

The breakthrough, my dear readers, is that I made it to the bathroom before I started crying. I'll pause for a minute while I soak in the applause.


Brigid said...

Hahahahah I literally laughed out loud at this one. I loved it! Work is unbelievably busy and stressful and dealing with upset customers/boss (in my case) is what my day is. And believe it or not... i had to go to the bathroom to cry yesterday, yes I brigid cried and at work for that matter. I made it to the bathromm too though so all good. :)

Mal said...

I am proud of you, Katie! I had a few serious meltdowns at my last job. I think everyone thought I was just a bit mentally unstable.

Sorry your job sucks right now...

Maggie said...

awww, you are such a trooper katie!! i would have cried right then and there! go katie!