Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Natters - Jan. 10 / Chaos & Coworkers

I've been falling into my dark place again, trying desperately to hang onto the edge of the lightness by the tips of my fingers.  I *think* I've managed to peek back over the edge because I think I've figured out what might have set it off this time.  I've said it before but I'm a creature of habit.  I thrive on routine.  Whether it's OCD or possibly some type of adult Autistic thing (another story, another time), apparently I need routine more than I ever realized.  Or maybe it's just getting that way for me now.  Because I think what derailed me this time is a ton of small changes that the new year brought in.  Most of the things are very small and simple and you wouldn't think they'd make any sort of difference to most people, but I just kept feeling  . . . off.  And almost all of these changes are work related.

Going back to work after the holiday break, this routine needing weirdo was slammed with brand new bathrooms, new locker, new location of locker, relocated parking spaces, and several new tasks that Lead People (I am one) will need to do.  Back at home, Casey's schedule has been weird and he's already used some vacation days.  Hubby's been sleeping on the couch because he's working overtime and getting up really early.  Even just giving Fattycat his extra medicine in the morning can be thrown in there.  All of these things seem so small and unrelated but dang, it's like I just can't get my mind and body switched back to 'normal routine, all is fine' mode!  I called in sick Saturday and had a really down, anxiety filled day.  Sunday I made it in to work, and it was okay because weekends usually are pretty mellow.  It was Monday though, when things started to dawn on me.  Once I started thinking about it, I started making efforts to get back to as much of an old routine as I could.  Today I'm feeling better about things.  Is it all coincidence?  A bunch of bunk in my warped mind?  Perhaps.

I am still stressed about some work things, regardless of how everything else might be simmering down.  Our production manager has, for some reason, decided to introduce a ton of changes to the way we do things.  She's dumping a bunch more tasks and responsibilities onto the Lead People.  As mentioned, change is bad.  I'm usually one to reject and protest any change in an angry vocal way.  The past year or so I've been trying to just bite my lip and see if not always fighting things would be easier.  (It hasn't.)  So with all these changes, I've made comments to a few close people but overall have been just quietly avoiding things.  I was thrilled on Monday to hear a lot of others, key people, complaining about the changes.  Yes!  It's not just me being difficult!  But what can be done?  She is the boss, and seems hellbent on having these changes.  Hubby said I should just accept it because it's easier that way and because " . . . it *is* your job."  But Casey says no, if we all just accept this stuff she'll just keep on making stupid changes.  So I don't know yet what will happen or how I'll end up dealing with it all.

Monday was also an extremely emotional day for us at work.  That coworker that I mentioned recently, the one who has been my biggest source of stress for some time now, the one who had some weird health thing going on and ended up taking the end of the year off . . .   He is dying.  He is refusing further treatments, and is in hospice care, waiting to die from kidney failure.  A bit more background on this guy . . .   He is in his late 50s.  He has always been odd, socially awkward, kind of strange.  He's never been married or anything like that, lived with his parents all along.  He was very close to his parents, but especially close to his mother.  His father died several years ago and it was a blow to him, but when his mother died in 2015 it was devastating to him and he'd been going downhill himself ever since.  He does have brothers and a sister who would check in on him, make sure he was doing okay.  He had a case worker for a while after his mother died, just to make sure he was okay, eating, getting to work, all that kind of stuff.

This guy has worked at our workplace for over 30 years.  He was there when the building housed the previous factory.  We always joke that when our current company bought the building he was part of the deal.  lol  Working there was everything to him.  He didn't really have friends outside of the place.  He didn't have any real hobbies.  And after his mother died, it really did become all he had.  The past several years, even before his mom died, it was obvious to everyone that he was declining in his ability to do his job.  This is when it started becoming a problem for me, because he works on one of the lines I'm in charge of.  I've worked with him for over 25 years.  These past few years he's started relying on me to do more and more of his work.  He was breaking nearly every rule and no one would do anything about it because "Oh, that's just [OldGuy].  He's quirky."  No one wanted to discipline him because "It's all he has."  (Meaning his work.)

So, with the recent heart problem or whatever was really going on, his kidneys were also failing.  He was given the news that these were serious conditions and he wouldn't be able to go back to work.  He decided, and told people, that if he couldn't go back to work he really had nothing to live for, and he declined further treatments.  Our plant manager, who is very close to this guy, sort of his substitute even though he's younger, went to visit him the other day, after the decision had already been made.  PlantManager was telling a small group of us all this news Monday in the breakroom.  He said [OldGuy] is actually quite happy now, very content now that his path is clear.  They talked about all the years he's worked with us, remembering all sorts of good and bad times.  OldGuy told PlantManager to say goodbye to everyone, and to thank everyone for all the help they've given him all these years.

And he thanked me specifically.

And I just lost it right there, in the breakroom at work in front of these people.  Oh my lord, you have no idea the avalanche of emotions that hit me when PlantManager told me that.  OldGuy and I have fought like cats and dogs the past year or so!  I have been probably his biggest enemy, trying to get him moved off my lines!  I have wanted him to retire, hoped and wished for it like you wouldn't believe!  And yet he still thanked me on his deathbed????  I felt so horrible.  I felt like such a horrible HORRIBLE person.

I pretty much cried the whole rest of the day at work yesterday.  People would come up to me and touch my arm or give me a little shoulder hug, and if you know me, you know that just makes it worse.  The caring of others is my weak spot.  I cried all evening when I got home and was telling hubby the news.  I cried when I texted a former coworker the news.  I'm crying again now as I write this post.

It's such a sad story.  A sad but somehow fitting ending to a long sad story.  PlantManager said there won't be a visitation or service because OldGuy doesn't want anything.  I wouldn't go anyway because I just can't handle that kind of stuff, but I do need to find out where to send a card to his remaining family.  And this news has also helped boost me back into the light a bit more.  I wanted to get better at time management and be more productive this year, and dang it, wallowing in my dark place is not getting me anywhere.  If someone on his deathbed has the goodness in him to thank me after how rotten I've been, I need to take a look at some things and get my own crap together.

So for now I will go try and read a bit, and tomorrow I will blog about some other things on my mind and try to be positive and productive.

I hope your days have been better than mine recently!
Tell me something fun


  1. A heartfelt reminder that we all have an impact on others that we sometimes cannot imagine. You may have thought your relationship with Oldguy was volatile; maybe he saw it as caring. You're a good egg, Deb. Hope your Wednesday is a happy one.

  2. Oh my goodness, what a sad life OldGuy has had! Sending something to his family is a wonderful gesture. You just never know with people!

    Routine is hugely important. Even though I've gone back to a job I was familiar with, the shift in my morning routine has really put me on edge, especially now that I'm past the first flush of enthusiasm. I keep thinking I should be doing this or that fun thing now that I have more time, but end up kind of drifting around the apartment or playing Frozen Free Fall and getting nothing done :P

    On the positive side, a friend and her husband just adopted a baby boy and the photos they're posting on Facebook are so heartwarming! It was a private adoption--one of her acquaintances became pregnant and already has a grown daughter. My friend and her husband never had kids and are in their late 40's so didn't want to risk trying. They decided to go for it, and were able to be at the hospital when baby arrived on Saturday morning. Their joy is infectious!

    1. That is awesome for your friends! Two YouTubers that I follow are expecting babies any day now. One was due Monday, the other on Tuesday. People I don't even know, and I'm all anxious and excited for these babies to arrive. lol


  3. Deb. I am so sorry for your struggles and the heartache you felt. He saw you for the wonderful woman you are and felt compassion towards you. You enrich many lives in ways you do not even know. Mine included.

    I thrive off routine too and when I had postpartum blues and needed therapy, routine was important. January tends to be a rough month anyway, coming down from the holiday fanfare and warm feelings, new starts, new slate, trying to improve areas in our lives... it all adds up to some tension and blues. Praying you feel better soon.

    1. You make me cry, my mermaid friend. Thank you. =)
      I think I will feel better now. A rough way to go about it but a HUGE stress has been lifted for me. Of course, it's only a matter of time before the next thing moves into that vacant spot but for now, I think things will start looking up.