It was coming...
Yep I'm stressed!!
But this time I can't really blame my personal life. This time its the occupation that has pushed me over the edge. It's no surprise that with a quickly growing food production company like the one i have worked in for the last 13 years, Things are going to get difficult. With increased demand and reduced staff, The fall out of recession and Brexit, its challenging time for any production company in the UK and maybe further afield.
So yes I am one of many people feeling the workplace pressure but while most power on and bare it, I am afraid that I was not strong enough.
For months now many of us in our workplace has been feeling like throwing in the towel but for whatever reason, we come back for more. I am the most trained operator on my shift of 5 people and 1 supervisor and you may think 'well that's a good thing' but you would be wrong. See that is where the problems start.
As The most trained operator/first aider/fire warden/safety rep/supervisor stand-in, it turns out that I can be moved around and stuck on any piece of equipment or any part of the line that the boss feels needs me which often leads me to be placed where the most pressure is. This has been happening for 3 years. Just constantly being shipped about the factory for one job to another and no consideration for what job I would like to do.
Then there's the standing in for a supervisor. I will find out as I arrive at work that I will have to run the plant because my supervisor has found yet one more excuse to not come to work. Maybe her goldfish died or she has broken a nail or something but whatever it is, it does not take away the fact that I have to come away from my role and take on a bigger responsibility of running the whole production line whilst still being active on the shop floor.
There was Hope...
Just as I was nearing the end of a really tough night shift and counting down the remaining hour of the shift from hell I took myself off to the toilets and looked and my tired, drained face in the mirror and what stared back scared me. I looked like a crack head who had not seen a fix for the past two days. I remember thinking that I could not do this anymore and I needed to just get out but then sensible steve came into my head and reminded me that I needed this job and I should just let the negativity go. I dosed my face with cold water and took the boss finished the paperwork.
Then a guardian angel in the shape of a different manager came to me and said "I was just coming to see you" I thought 'me' 'why me!' and then she told me about an opportunity that she wanted me to be part of a project team for a month which would mean I get a break from my torturous job. I would not have to do nights for 4 weeks and it would have given me a platform to find a renewed ambitious frame of mind.
I was smiling just with the thought of having that chance.
The first chance I got to sit down with my manager was the next day and I explained the opportunity and why I felt it had come at the right time. Contrary to the fact he did not want to lose my skill level, he still was kind enough to say that he would not stand in my way if it was something I wanted to do.
A week went by and the news of the project team was just hitting the other employees so I headed back to the manager's office to get a final answer and confirm that I could start on the team this week.
That's where it all changed...
He pulled me to one side and told me that he could not afford to lose me so he was not going to let me go.
I told him that he was making a big mistake. In which his reply was i could do the next project when it comes around because they are people on the sick and he will need me.
Well, I felt like I was being penalised and victimised as a result of other peoples actions so I disagreed and walked away. That was confirmed when 10 minutes later the same boss asked my work colleagues if they would mind doing the project instead. That was the final nail for me and my mind just exploded
I got home that night and had a talk with my family and agreed that i could not go to work the next day in the mindset I was in. I wanted to cry but was too angry, I wanted to shout but was too upset, I wanted to tear my hair out but was too nervous. so instead I had a hot bath and went to bed early hoping that I would feel different once again the next day.
That was not to be as the next day I went straight to my doctor who confirmed that I was suffering work-related stress and put me on a course of happy pills and a week off work. I don't know if a week will be enough right now but what I do know is I can not shake this mindset that has got me trapped within my own mind. I know I'm here and I often have moments where I come out to play but Those moments seem so difficult to find and now I'm buried in the pit of self-doubt and anger.
So this is me right now. fighting to find myself once more. Hoping that I wake up one day and it all be a distant memory. until then
WELCOME STRESS MY OLD FRIEND