I am an exploding volcano. Yesterday I felt like a million bucks in the morning and first part of the work day, despite the intense heat. By late morning, I thought seriously about walking off my job. I am triggered intensely by the managers, especially by the way one of them talks to me in a scolding tone, waving her finger. I receive no apology when she discovers she is wrong. I have this thing about righteousness. I have this thing about feeling valued and appreciated. I have a higher standard than most business people and managers for showing and telling employees they matter. I believe it is vital to let employees know they are important and appreciated. I am full of stories I tell myself about the management there. All that does is take negative encounters to extremes. It wasn’t until I was reading a post last night in the main sober FB group I engage with, as I read all the comments that followed the post, comments about sobriety making us feel every single emotion at new levels of intensity, that it ALL made sense. The post was from a woman lamenting that as she becomes sober, her husband’s behavior is appalling to her, abusive. One of the replies stated the importance of not making ANY major decisions in the first six months (at least) of sobriety because emotions are overflowing. OH. That’s what’s happening! OMG.
I am feeling everything I never allowed myself to feel before. The truth is, I absolutely love my job. It is supporting me, I have great self appreciation and respect for how hard I work, I have an amazing time with my customers (we love each other most of the time), I adore the owners and a few of the staff, I enjoy myself and use my talents and skills, and I have fun. I am proud to represent the brand. I feel great about how much I contribute, what a team player I am, the influence my positivity has on everyone. All the positives are big, and amplified. Consequently, everything I judge unjust, poorly managed, wrong in some way, is creating frustration, irritation, anger, even rage, and that, too, is exploding from me. I am seriously concerned. The heat has been an enormous factor, as it has reached 100F the past couple of days and I work outside. I am a person who becomes excruciatingly uncomfortable when the thermometer rises above 80F, unless I am in the water (!). Temperatures that hover around 100F make the air so hot, the perspiration trickles down my temples, my torso, my back. The mask I have to wear adds a whole new level of hot to my face. I am still straining to breathe comfortably while wearing a mandatory (now 24/7) mask. As I speak to guests, I expend massive energy to give all the details of my speel to new customers, and the shortness of breath with a mask on my face is awful. On top of that, I regularly see hypocrisy all over the place. Manager mentions, as part of our Saturday morning meeting, that we are NOT to hover around the concierge station, we are not to stand in groups or close to one another. Then, every time I pass by the front, there is a group of staff including the managers, hanging out and chatting. Customer designated drivers are given chilled pelligrino waters, there are no chilled beverages available for employees working in 100F heat. I love pelligrino, and was jonesing to drink one as dehydration from all the talking and the heat parched my throat.
I come back to the Serenity Prayer. Here goes, piece by piece: May I have the serenity to change the things I can, and accept the things I cannot change. I am not a manager there, nor would I want to be a manager there, that’s one thing I cannot (will not) change. Therefore, I need to accept the way the managers function and interact with me, to an extent. What can I change? My tendency toward overreacting (wanting to scream bloody murder back at them) to the tone and content of words spoken to me. I can work harder at not taking everything so personally and going into an infinite series of stories about all the reasons they act like they don’t like me, or feel threatened by me, or (most of all!) how they are trying to make me small, that my energy is way, way too big for them. I do have a choice. Rather than feeling I am being wrongly attacked, dismissed, unfairly punished with passive aggressive behavior- like not being seated for two hours yesterday after I pointed out that I was right – I can choose to have both compassion for wherever the manager might be coming from, as well as compassion for myself, and calm. I am a newborn (sober) baby, and I am delicate. I do not want to be handled like a fragile piece of art, but perhaps that is exactly what I am. I was thinking a lot about my predicament this morning, with my full sanity returned from sleeping well and recovering from heat stroke (exaggeration). I was thinking that I will request a conversation with the person most triggering me, actually with all three of the managers. I want to feel accountable for my extremely sensitive emotions, to share with the three managers that I am in a highly emotional state these days. I want to ask that they treat me with TLC (not “special” treatment, but awareness) as I navigate through these wild roller coasters of emotions. I want them to know that I am newly aware that I am overreacting and sometimes extremely reactive and impulsive. I wish for compassion. I hope they understand. I want to be happy there and in harmony. I want to be a beneficial presence, to make a difference, without flying off the handle. I have three days away starting today, and some exciting irons in the fire to boot. I will process all that is happening, and I know everything is going to work out. Wish me luck!