We’re late. What’ll boss say?
He usually doesn’t say anything. I’ve given up making excuses when I’m late. I should make an apology but then I’d make constant excuses.
What’ll his wife think? She doesn’t say anything but maybe she tells him what she thinks.
I don’t think so. Maybe.
And the others. What must they think of me? I’m a burden.
I’ll stay at work longer. Some people come sooner and go home sooner, some people come later and work later.
And some come sooner and go home later.
Each has their own deal.
I should do more in the time I have. Let’s work, I need to be better than yesterday. I probably won’t be. How can I be better, I never succeed?
I forgot to send an email to the construction engineer. I must do it now before he goes home. They go home early…
So much to do. Which is more important?
I don’t know. I’ll do this one.
How about the email?
Shush! The boss doesn’t know I didn’t send it yet. I’ll do it in between. Oh, no! Another task.
Do I drop the one I’m working on?
Maybe. I don’t know, both seem important. Let’s finish this one first.
Now the boss asks if I have talked to the construction engineer yet.
“No. I’ve prepared one document but haven’t got time to do the other one.”
“Yes, right away.”
If I only came sooner…
Then what? I’d have lost time with something else. Every day is the same. And the boss keeps adding tasks.
I’m no good at tasks. I don’t finish them. I’m too thorough. To be thorough is of no use nowadays. Just to be quick. Quick means getting projects. Quick means money, quick means everybody is happy.
Well, they are not happy when they see all the mistakes. And we need to correct them.
Everybody else corrects mistakes when someone notices. I correct them in advance. And fail to finish. I can’t unsee mistakes. Why can’t I be just like everyone else?
Okay. I’ll do this task now. Just like everybody else. I’ll not pay attention to the details. I fear I won’t make it. Everyone sees through me. They think why the boss hasn’t fired me and taken in somebody else.
[ etc. ]
Lunchtime! Oh. Not for another half hour. But I’m nervous. I need something to eat. I’ll go see if there is a chocolate or something in the conference room.
I’m a grown person. I can wait a bit.
I’m fidgety. I need to sit still for a while. I’ve stood up and done something not related to work too many a time in the last hour. Surely, someone’s noticed. Let’s keep our heads down.
I need to go to the toilet.
I must take my phone. It may go off when I’m not here. Or should I leave it so they won’t think I’m going out for a call?
But I’m going out for a call. When’s the best time to do a phone call than when at the toilet?
Well, I’m always taking the phone with me to the toilet. It’s nothing unusual.
I use too much toilet paper. Should I put some in the bin instead of the toilet? It’ll smell. But otherwise, we pollute the ocean. It’s only paper, right? It comes out like mud?
Too much soap.
But I need to be clean.
Can I use just one paper towel instead of the two? Why do they make them so small? One’s not enough, two is too much.
Then I’ll have wet hands.
I might dry them off by air.
Seriously? Too time-consuming. I need to go back in the office. I’ll just take the towels with me and use them to wipe off some dust on my desk. I’ll be recycling, of sorts.
Oh, why can’t I stop my stupid brain from worrying?!
Lunchtime! Now I can eat, the earliest coworker has gone for a break. I’ll wait for 15 min. I mustn’t be needy. I’ve come to work later than he has.
But I’m hungry.
Probably not. I’m under stress. And eating calms me.
I’m an addict. Can I go without eating? I should fast.
But not today. I need food to think. If I don’t eat, I can’t think straight. I just think about food. How productive that is?
I’m in a vicious cycle. I’ll never get out of it. I’ve already spoilt my stomach.
Have I been long enough at work? Can I go home? Everyone’s still here.
I’ve an agreement with the boss. I work 6 -7 hours. The others work full time.
But they get less money than me. And do more work.
I might do better work?
Yeah, right. I’m useless.
Well, I’m not really bad. Just not as good as the others. Today, the preciseness is not a good trait, just the speed. But I’m not telling the boss to cut my salary. That would be stupid.
I could suggest he raises the salary to the others.
Mind your own biz, I say. Let’s go home. Another day.
Vicious cycle, vicious cycle, vicious echo…
_ _ _ _ _
I’m not always like this, just a great portion of the time. Is this anxiety or just self-consciousness? I guess anxiety is the result of a tension when I don’t resolve such conflicts. Who has time to do so? I need to make time, or I’ll go nuts.
4 thoughts on “Anxiety at work”
I always worry that people think I’m a burden.
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I feel your pain. This is all so real for many. Thank you for sharing.
Yup. I wish sometimes I had a button to turn off thoughts. They often escalate into a buzz in the background that’s inhibiting to what I do at that moment. / Sorry to reply late. (I want to blame it on the holidays.) I shouldn’t care and try to reply asap, but I do. Thanks for your words. It means a lot to me.
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Thanks Mosbird. It doesn’t matter what time you reply as there is no ‘ping’ sound like with Whatsapp 🙂 So you can reply at whatever time suits you – even 4am 🙂 I wish you a blessed 2018.