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  • #369245
    anita
    Participant

    Thinking about you this morning, Zeeza. Hope you are safe and well!

    anita

    #369456
    Zeeza
    Participant

    Awe thank you Anita!

    You have been in my thoughts as well hoping that you feel relief with the election and finding peace on your walks. I definetely gave my animals biden pets. How are you feeling?

    I have some good news I think. Today I was asked to cross train in another position at the lab; customer service. This is a total of 3 different roles within the company. I am not sure if perhaps I am being moved or tested for management. Or if this is a way of adapting with the pandemic times is cross training. I am the only one being trained in this way and fear other coworkers being uncomfortable with me having more access to knowledge, and I haven’t received a raise. I do enjoy the change of pace but I hope I have the adequate emotional intelligence to coordinate with the different branches.

    It is my weekend and I am hoping to make more art and make cookies. My dog is doing a lot better healthwise and recently got a new haircut 🙂

    Best

    Zeeza

    #369469
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    I am fine, thank you. I am thankful to the governor for imposing no-indoor dining restrictions because in the taproom I like to visit, people have been gathering indoors when it rains, and I joined them a few times so to have company. From Wednesday on, there will be no indoor sitting, shine (not expected) or rain, so no more temptation for me to sit inside with my friends there.

    Reads like good news to me, you cross training in a customer service position- (1) you “enjoy the change in pace”, (2) it will give you new experience and (3) maybe, like you think it may be, you will be tested for management.

    “I hope I have the adequate emotional intelligence to coordinate with the different branches”- I think you do, as long as you keep yourself calm, a day at a time. There are management or customer service courses that can help you in this regard, online perhaps (?)

    Glad to read that your dog is doing a lot better. Enjoy your “weekend”, your dog, his new haircut, your art and cookies!

    anita

    #370307
    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Happy December! How are you? It has been awhile since we last spoke.

    The last two weeks were pretty intense at work. We had one week where 3 different instruments broke in the lab. So I offered to stay later (and have a longer lunch to visit my animals) to help get a kick start on the work loads for the day before. I had calculated in my mind that if we started data acquisition at a certain time it would be as if we didn’t have any instruments broken. Long story short it was a very intense week for everyone and I was hoping to be a beam of positive energy with solutions. But the solutions I spoke of where not met with an open mind but disdain. It felt like I became the target of blame.

    The last day I was in the lab after putting out so many fires I discovered another instrument was broken. I was training the new guy and working in the micro department. I had a test tube full of a buffer solution and a sample that was stuck. Typically we vortex the tube to help make it become more homogenous. This wasn’t working. So a coworker said to tap it vertically on the table and show no mercy and it will no longer be stuck to the bottom of the tube. Surprisingly I broke the test tube and it went all over the new guy. Thankfully nothing toxic was in the tube and we had an eye rinsing station ready to go but was not needed. The new guy was understanding and helped brainstorm better ways to homogenize these test tubes (This issue wouldn’t have occurred if there wasn’t a pause in the work flow to discover an instrument broken. Because those tubes were sitting with solution for a long time without vortexing first everything became stuck to the bottom).

    At this point my back hurts and I feel frustrated that my input for solutions was not well received. I received the feedback that I am just creating more work for everyone. After this tube broke the lab manager came to talk to me. A couple days ago I was supporting her for an instrument she was trying to fix (we literally in one week had 4 instruments down! lol) and I made up a joke of it is All Good in the Fume Hood. So the lab manager came to me to tell me I need to relax and go with the flow and that I have been a little intense. So I explained why I have been a little intense because of my idea of starting data acquisition earlier so we can keep our schedule and not fall behind. It felt like I was being told that I need to stop. But I knew if I didn’t do any of those things we would have lost a lot of business requests for analysis. So I tried to position my body in a calmer way while I am in pain and explain my point of view after all of this frustration. We were able to get through the discussion.

    Now it is the end of the day and I look down at my phone from a message from the lab manager. That I took pictures of samples that were too far away and if I needed help figuring out how to take closer pictures let her know. I started crying when I read it in front of her because it felt belitting. I felt belittled. So I responded with saying to fix it we need to adjust the camera stand at this station because no one seems to adjust the height so in the future it will fix this longterm and she said it is okay we can do it later.

    I went into work the next day with a sticky note on my computer from my lab manager that I am awesome and to not forget it. The next day I also had to answer to the lab director on why I didn’t use an almost fixed instrument and I told her that it was because with the error message constantly popping up made it difficult to tell when the run would finish and how much solvent it would need. She told me that she thinks she accidentally paused that instrument and that is why it froze. She was blaming herself for this. I said if you want to blame something blame the labrechuans I think we all have been feeling that way.

    I went on thanksgiving break. Since that specific almost fixed instrument was said to still run (because the lab director thought it was broken because she paused it) the lab used the instrument and it broke further because the data run never finished over 2 days thanksgiving break. So I guess in this way the lab could now see what I was trying to communicate. but It felt like it was too late because during my break I was messaged that I was “Relieved of your lab duties” and that I am to now work in the front office/ data review.

    This made my break not that much of a break because it made me sad that I didn’t know that would be the last time I would be in the lab. I also am trying to mentally prepare to communicate in customer service again. At first I thought I was getting fired but I realize it was just a position that they needed to fill. I responded to “relieved of your lab duties” in person instead of message. And this boss apologized and understood that I still wanted to be in the lab and he said that it would be great for me to stay up to date. We currently lost our operations manager. So I think I am just a float for 3 different jobs. I connected with my lab manager again and said hey if there is another conflict that arises would you prefer for me to come to you or wait for you to come to me for instructions. And she said its okay either way just sometimes she doesn’t know the answer. And I said that’s okay then we can crack jokes to which she replied It is All Good in the Fumehood.

    At first I really wanted to quit my job and become a cleaning lady. Far less stress that way but I think this is still a safe place to work? It was just a rough week. I am still sad to be changing positions but it is less stressful to sit at a desk instead of worrying about breaking instruments lol.

    I really do hope you are well Anita and I keep our lessons and insights we have shared close to heart 🙂

    #370315
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    Good to read from you, Happy December to you too. I am fine but am troubled by an occasional pain in my left ear. I tend to stay away from any visits to a doctor/ health clinic, and sometimes I worry about not confronting this tendency of mine.

    You described intense two weeks at work, but overall, it seems to me that you function very well at work and that you are appreciated for your work ethics and dedication. At times you are tense, at times others are tense, there are conflicts, as is the case in any situation where people work together.

    I like it that you found a sticky note on your computer from your lab manager, telling you that you are “awesome and to not forget it”- I second that message:

    You are awesome Zeeza, and don’t you forget it!

    I am glad you didn’t quit your job even though you felt like quitting, and I hope that working in customer service instead of in the lab, will be easier on your back. Remember to stretch your back daily and strengthen your back/ core muscles by doing core- strengthening exercises (taught in Pilate classes)- it will lessen the pain over time, all the way to nothing, I hope.

    anita

     

    #370318
    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Awe Thank You 🙂 May I ask you Anita if there is anything in particular that doesn’t jive well with you about appointments?

    When I first went to mental health and appointments etc I had a friend with me in the waiting office and during the meeting. It helped me stay grounded in familiarity because newness and the unknown frightens me sometimes. Especially if it is something vulnerable information like pain of any kind. I try to be careful with who I share my pain with because I don’t want to be blamed for it I want a solution.

    I did not think of the new perspective of being able to have less stress on my body by working in the front. I definitely stopped stretching as often as I did and hope to do that more along with Pilates. I have been eating a lot more. I keep Oreos in my purse for stress relief snack XD

    Yes I do genuinely believe we are all trying our best with the resources we have during that time.

    One of my favorite phrases is Darkness your Days are Numbered! I haven’t made art in awhile. But I geeked out and made a version of an art website. I also been watching a lot of vidoes on how to make masks. The goal is to make teddy bear masks. I ordered iron on  brown vinyl and will cut out the teddy bear mouth out of this and iron it on. Perhaps having that extra thickness in the area of the mask will also add extra protection. And I think seeing a world of teddy bears would be a such a sight lol. I am hoping to make many things like stickers to mail out to friends and family. My version of getting into the holiday/end-of-the-year spirit 🙂

    #370322
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    You are welcome. My reluctance about making medical appointments is that I don’t feel like changing my daily routine of staying home, doing my usual things, going for my walk, socializing in the local taproom in the afternoons.. my usual and preferred activities. Making and attending appointments .. is not part of my routine, and there is no anticipated pleasure there- therefore, I am reluctant to make (and attend) appointments.

    I hope you do get back to stretching (yoga and otherwise), and that you strengthen your core muscles (Pilates), and that you rest and eat healthily.

    I know you are very much an artist, so I like it that you “made a version of an art website”, and that you are planning on making teddy bear masks.. sounds cute and quite original.

    anita

     

    #371663
    anita
    Participant

    Merry Christmas, Zeeza and pets!

    anita

    #372687
    Zeeza
    Participant

    Happy New year Anita,

    I am sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I was trying to pretend holidays didn’t exist and not have weird memories and I think it was successful but wish I had wished you a happy new year or something! OUr friendship is important to me annd wish I treated it better instead of coming and going. I know you are very patient but I don’t want you to ever feel alone or forgotten too. Talking with you has helped me feel seen and not alone so I want to reflect back that resillience.

    I went to doctors appt to follow up with my medication. It was helpful. Casper is still doing well sometimes he coughs more days than others but we have been watching sunsets on the beach when it is not raining.

    I can’t wait for the president to step down. I hope nothing escalates more in the mean time. I won’t let it take my hope away.

    Are you enjoying your walks and saying hello to Hunter? May I ask you do you have a favorite movie? My faovirte movie is Howl’s moving castle. I am listening to soundtrack music now. I use to play it over and over to have happy place. That is what I did over holidays. I am reconnecting with people i feel guilty because they try to message me and I don’t message back when I want to.

    #372697
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    Good to read from you! Don’t worry about not posting regularly- it is okay with me, really! I too can’t wait for the ending of this very troubling presidency and hope it will take place without further violence and damage. My favorite move.. haven’t watched one in the longest time. One movie I watched many times in the 1990s, and enjoyed very much was Thelma and Louise. Hunter is fine, he comes in wet from the rain, leaving wet paws tracks everywhere, and fur. I still walk.. quickly because it’s cold enough to speed up my walking. Good to read Casper is doing better.

    I just looked up your favorite movie, Howl’s Moving Castle, 2004, about an unconfident young woman that is cursed with an old body.. hmmm.. perhaps the story of every woman who lives long enough, lol.

    anita

    #372699
    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    I haven’t seen that movie yet before! Lol howls moving castle is very magical in a way that despite her curse with an old body she inspires courage and hope and brings a family together with compassion. The art is beautiful I honestly have an art book about the making of the movie. I am tempted to try to draw the magical castle.

    something that has been stuck on my mind on deciding if something is subside of just my perception:

    at work my boss asked me publicly where data was and I had previously stated I didn’t parse it so someone could double check a fail. At the time I was hit with shame and went to lunch to reset and nothing came of it I think perhaps she really was just asking me? But what made me think otherwise was I was in a private message with her few minutes earlier so I don’t know why it went public for all the lab to see.

    Another aspect I am confused was when I was emotionally upset from taking to my dad. Because he was having a hard time (but now he is doing better and is sober and I have happier conversation with him today) and this person I was hanging out with asked me if I was enabling him and I said no I am just sad to hear my dad is being abused and is scared to leave his relationship. Anyways I was upset and was trying to self soothe so I could move off my couch and shower. This person is someone I am dating to clarify. And he said get in the shower (started laughing) or I’ll slap you. I told him right then and there don’t say that to me I have been threatened to be beaten to many times in my life for that to be a joke or anything funny. This is the gentleman from work. After I tried to step away I stepped back to him. Because we all have our moments no one is purely good or purely bad.  But now I don’t want to see him. And it feels like he ignores me throughout the week. To hang out on weekends to give me feedback on how I am not taking the best care of myself or my pets. And that is the time I need to do that so it feels like I got stuck into a cycle of feeling bad for not taking care and the not taking care to feeling more bad about it. This is the same person who did that to my neck.

    I have been working 3 positions still at work and still too busy with no raise but I am grateful to have a job and have looked for new jobs to look anyways. I put listings out to try to find new place to live or with a roommate for it to be cheaper.

    I can finally afford to have my dogs teeth extracted so I am waiting for vet to call to schedule.

    part of me believes I need to leave restart another part of me thinks I am reacting to old patterns. I am trying to not make haste choices but I wish I could just live anew.

    I read the whole book Homecoming in one night! I didn’t sleep but it was so helpful. I am going to try my best to use those self care skills today.

    #372702
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    I will be able to read your recent post and reply tomorrow morning, have a good rest of the afternoon.

    anita

    #372742
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    Regarding what happened at work, I don’t understand the particulars, not having worked in a lab for ages (I did for a short time too long ago). But regarding you being “hit with shame”- that sounds like the shame that is there waiting for opportunities to discharge/ to project itself into life-situations: interpreting people’s expressions, words, actions to mean that you expressed/ said/ did something wrong.

    Regarding the man you are dating asking you if you were enabling your father, saying jokingly that he will slap you, and otherwise (you feel) suggesting that you don’t take good care of your pets- (1) he needs to not make any more jokes about slapping you/ being violent toward you after you clearly asserted yourself with him this time, and of course, he needs to never touch you again in any violent way following the time he hurt your neck.

    (2) if you give me examples of what he recently said that you believe means that he was telling you that you don’t take good care of your pets, I will try and see if what he said suggests what you think it does, or it is that Shame projecting itself into what he said.

    anita

    #372752
    Zeeza
    Participant

    Dear Anita,

    Thank you for your insight. Yes it really does feel like I must watch how I think and interpret things so I am not discharging/projecting my shame into life situations. At work I paused and try not to assume but look at the situation as a whole but that turns into me ruminating about it at night and then going in the next day; so I am grateful to have a different perspective. It is like I get stuck in this cycle of trying to figure out if I am being shamed or if I am doing it myself with current events. I think I have been especially nervous about this at work since I started working customer service and I did have one rude customer but because that incident was clearly identified it was easier to let it go.

    (1) I have noticed that sometimes I take over responsibility or blame at work because I work so many different areas. I tried delegating for a time sensitive project that needed to be finished in the morning and I delegated it since I have been working later at night. My boss posted in the public channel where is this project? and I responded to the 2 other people who volunteered to finish it. But it still felt like a lot of pressure from my boss to be there ( I have a couple different bosses now) so I rushed myself there. At this point in the week I had not taken good care of myself in the free time that I did have so much so that I didn’t shower for two days?! I used dry shampoo to make my hair look clean at least but the pressure to give more to avoid that feeling of shame is very real. It feels like the more I am able to do the less stressed out others are and because I don’t have one specific role it becomes confusing on what isn’t or is in my realm of responsibility.

    I told the lab director that my weird schedule requirements (arriving early one day staying late another and overall being confused about what is in my realm of responsibility makes it so that I can’t stay in the lab past 9pm because other departments need me to arrive early the next day etc. She was asking me to work 2 to 10pm.  Anyways she helped me delegate more before I left for my weekend and told me that it is okay if I can’t stay late.

    (2) I do not have a good recent example of an exchange. I haven’t spent too much time with him in the past week especially if I feel vulnerable. They only odd thing I remember recently was when I was trying to solve a problem at work and was a bit stressed in the middle of working on it and he walks up to me to tell me my dog needs a bath. I told him I am busy with work right now and can you compartmentalize? like talk to with me about personal things outside of work not at work? and to me it felt like he just wanted to remind me something that stressed me while I was already stressed. I don’t know but I let it go. and he did need a bath which I gave my dog a bath that night.

     

    #372754
    anita
    Participant

    Dear Zeeza:

    You are welcome. Regarding #1, your boss posted: “where is this project?”, and you felt “a lot of pressure” from your boss, so you rushed to the two people to whom you delegated the project. Unless your boss has displayed aggressive behavior in the past, then the question itself is just a question. You could have answered: I delegated it to so and so.

    As to #2: he walked to you at work, while you were stressed and working, and told you that your dog needs a bath- it could be that earlier while spending time with you in your home, he was bothered by your dog’s odor, and thinking about spending time with you later, he wanted you to wash your dog so that he can enjoy himself when in your home. Good thing you told him to not talk to you about personal things at work.

    anita

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