Posts tagged stress

Adjusting to Leadership

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I’ve been a supervisor, officially, for two weeks, now, and I’m still going through growing pains. I have two main issues that I know I need to deal with before I go insane: My desire to do it all myself and my never ending fear of failure.

No matter what the environment may be, when you become a leader, you need to learn delegation skills. While I understand the process, I also have this natural instinct to want to do everything myself. In my case, I wound up selling WAY too much in the first week on the job. I became so engrossed in the selling, that I really felt like the numbers were solely up to me and my sales. It was exhausting and, honestly, I’m glad I was able to notice the issue before I drove myself too crazy so quickly. I don’t want my employees to think I’m running from the work, but I know I can’t do it all and need to be smart about delegating things in the future.

My other problem is something I’ve dealt with for all of my life: An absolute fear of failing. We can dive deep into the psychology of why I fear failure so much, but there’s no point. In reality, I don’t feel joy whenever I succeed. Instead, I feel relief that I didn’t fail. Obviously, the feeling isn’t all that enjoyable. As I work to turn around a department that has lagged behind the pack for a long time, I find myself freaking out over every little set back. I guess part of me expects to be able to fix the problems over night. Another part of me, when that doesn’t happen, sends itself into a panic and brings me with it. I know it’s not healthy and I need to figure out what an acceptable rate of improvement is because, otherwise, I’m going to wind up in a straight jacket. I just really don’t want to fail at this. I took a big risk by staying with this company for as long as I have and I know this is my one chance to prove I can do it and move further up the ladder. Failure would ruin all of that.

My friends at work have been great in getting me through this all, though. When I’m lost in the numbers or freaking over a set back, it’s nice to have people around me who are funny and intelligent and able to make me laugh or distract me. For a guy who used to shy away from people, I’ve become really reliant on those around me for that all important mental relief.

Disguised By Fear

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I’m a bit of a mess as I look at these times
There is nothing but stress that weighs down on my mind
I thought I’d be fine as we both crossed the line
“A step to be made” is the bell that we chimed
But as hard as I try to face up to this climb
The challenge still scares me and eats me alive
Cause with you by my side I can see the whole prize
But when you step away it becomes so disguised
Hiding its eyes behind fear and uncertainty
I beg to the sky “oh please won’t you work with me”
Life’s kicking up dirt to me, making it hurt to see
A man who’s much stronger is who I must learn to be
Cause I think I deserve to see a little contentment
A peace down inside to subdue all resentment
This should be an investment and a valuable lesson
But it shakes me to pieces and fills me with tension
It’s the fear, so I’m guessing, that you might not stay with me
It’s stupid and baseless and it makes me feel shitty
With every gift that you give me, you’re sexy and pretty
Without you in my sight, the world is simply so gritty
But we go on with living as we face this together
I admit that I’m scared, but I’ll fight for ‘forever’
Every tie could be severed, I could scratch every letter
As long as you’re with me, I know it gets better.

How my brain handles a promotion at work

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Most people, when receiving a promotion at work, are ecstatic and bask in the feeling of success. I don’t do that. Up until I met up with Melanie, yesterday, I actually exhausted myself thinking through every scenario in which I can fail. Welcome to my mind.

Let me catch everyone up to the present. Last Friday, I interviewed for the new Gaming Supervisor spot at work. This is a position created by the company as they turn their focus to Gamestop and Walmart in an attempt to become the #1 gaming retailer in the U.S. Part of that drive means having leadership and employees dedicated solely to the department and so, when the position was made available, I applied. I love games and I want to move up. It kind of made sense to go for it.

Yesterday, I was told that I would be receiving an offer for the job. Immediately, my emotions were very bitter sweet, with way more bitterness than sweetness. I felt bad for a few co-workers who also went for the spot and would have been just as good of a fit for it. They’re my friends and I, of course, want success for them. It wasn’t pleasant seeing the disappointment in their faces. I know most people will tell me that I have to look out for myself, but it still bothered me. On top of that, I started panicking about all the ways I can screw this up and fail miserably. It’s damn exhausting to think like that and, as today winds down and I’ve spent most of it thinking of the same things, I’m exhausted yet again.

The biggest challenge, though, is going to be heading back to the sales floor. I have become very comfortable in my now former role. I’ve worked only mornings, knew almost every thing there is to know for a person in that position, and got to spend a lot of time with Melanie. Now, as I move back to the sales floor, my schedule will vary wildly and time with Melanie is going to be limited. On top of that, I have never been a supervisor before and I haven’t been on the sales floor in four years. What the hell were these people thinking picking me?! Life is about to get very different.

At the end of the day, honestly speaking, it’s just my fear of change and failure that’s crippling me. Logically, I can see how silly it is to think like this, but that doesn’t change the fact that the thoughts creep in and make me want to run and hide. I hope I can conquer the negativity and, ultimately, succeed at this new job as well as I have in the role I’m leaving. I’m so used to being one of the best, that the thought of falling behind the pack is very scary and not something I want to have to deal with.

First steps of boomeranging

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After my last post about my anxieties of moving and the new financial burdens I felt I would have trouble bearing, my parents reached out to me and offered me the chance to move back home so that I can get myself back on my feet. I consulted with a few people and, after realizing it would be best for me in terms of long term life planning, I agreed. It bummed me out to make the decision, though, and today, it all became a reality as I’ve started to pack up the few boxes I need to get together.

Now, don’t get me wrong. I am very appreciative of the opportunity my parents are giving me. After two years of costly dental procedures, I am no where near where I should be, financially. It’s a burden, for sure, but I’ve been able to get by with my current bills. Unfortunately, the increased bills that would have come along with the new apartment would have crippled me rather quickly and I knew I couldn’t live like that. My parents’ generosity offers me a chance to breathe and truly save for my future. A future that is quickly approaching and one that I’m anxious to get to. That doesn’t help some of the depression associated with moving back home, though.

I’m a boomerang kid. That’s the term for someone who moves out of their parents’ house and then moves back in at a later time, usually due to financial difficulties. The stigma bothers me a bit, yeah, but the change that comes along with this move gets to me the most. I love my current apartment and even the new apartment wouldn’t have come close to this place. The apartment, itself, is also closer to work and Melanie which means I can easily walk to work and get to Melanie within an hour. Now, on days the trains aren’t running correctly, I have to figure out how to get to work. Coming home from Staten Island isn’t going to be a picnic either.

Beyond the traveling issues, comes the privacy issue. I love coming home to an often empty apartment and being alone for a little bit. It’s soothing, especially for someone who works in a very busy retail environment. Home isn’t going to be as peaceful. I’m going to be tested on some days, that’s for sure.

I guess all of this amounts to me feeling a little depressed over the situation. I wish I could afford to continue to live on my own, but the truth is that I can’t and my parents are saving me from inevitable debt. It’s a case of logic and emotion. Logically, this all makes complete sense. Emotionally, I may need some time to realize that.

Moving and it’s inherent stresses

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For those of you who never ever listen to me or read my Facebook or follow me on Twitter or happen to walk by me on the streets, I’ll be moving out at the end of the month. My roommates are moving back to Queens and there’s no way I can afford my current place on my own or with only one other roommate.

After talking to my best friend Joe, we decided this would be the best time for us to get a place together. We’ve talked about it for years and the timing never worked out. Even now, though, the timing isn’t perfect. He’s stuck in a lease until July and I have to be out by the end of the month. How’s this going to work? It wouldn’t if it weren’t for my parents stepping up and helping me out.

To be frank, I don’t make all that much at my current job and money is always tight. With my share of the rent going up and already threatening to stretch me a bit thin, there was no way I could afford the entire rent for 3 months. My dad came to the rescue, though, and offered to help me out by covering Joe’s share of the rent until Joe moved in. If you just said “wow” to yourself, don’t worry, so did I. It’s a ridiculously nice gesture that I wish I knew how to show appreciation for. Add to that the constant support from my mom and you can see why I love my parents.

It’s still going to be tough until Joe moves in. I’ll have to cover the electric bill, gas bill, and cable bill (the worst of them all) by myself and I’m already freaking out. Money just scares me to death and I dread financially difficult times. I’m going to be super stressed out for the next few months because of it, but it’s something that has to be dealt with.

I’m not sure there was much of a point to this post other than me venting. I can’t write a rhyme about this stuff, but getting it out in words still helps a lot. Thanks to everyone for their continued support and patience in listening to me whine all day long.

Be The Man

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I want to speak to you, let’s take the scenic route
Let’s walk upon the path that will help us see it through
It’s always me and you and we’ve never needed proof
That we could burn the world and then eat the pieces, too
Yeah, can’t you see the truth while walking in these shoes?
Remember bearing down whether dust or tree to move?
Now, it stings to see the fuse as the weakness seems to brew
Who’s been watching who while we’re watching dreams come true?
Cause I know it seems to you and it always seems to me
That everything we never want is how it needs to be
And the howling of our screams from atop these balconies
Have only drowned our pleas and the power in our knees
And we’re falling off our feet and losing all ability
To tell the world to fucking stop cause everything is killing me
Everything is killing you while the anger’s filling me
You look at me for help but there is no power still in me
Cause all that’s found, a chill in me, from staring at destruction
I’m watching wires burn and surroundings lose their function
The construction of a photograph is torn down by the leader
As we’re chased with burning torches and get labeled “non-believer”
And it’s painful, like a fever, as we see the haloed diva
Choking on the smoke she chose, paid for by receiver
I’d hate to be the meter that measures that corrosion
But I want to drink a liter of the fuel set for explosion
And use it with emotion as we spit it in their faces
Light another fire up, then sit in both our places
Watching as it races and the shrapnel filling spaces
Of the emptiness created by the castles it erases
And as we get back to our paces and exchange a glance or two
I wish to be the one you are and be the man like you
Cause you understand the truth and you make the world much clearer
Except that it’s all backwards cause I’m talking to the mirror
And as I’m walking nearer, we’re standing face to face, again
I look to you for help and then ask to set the pace, again
I’ve had to taste disgrace, again, to realize the I need you
I need to walk those footsteps and then one day I’ll be you

No Water Colors

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I think I hit my head and it’s making me go crazy
It makes me want to say things and whine just like a baby
I don’t think the world can save me, though, only fucking break me
Cause everytime we interact it’s like you want to train me
To be a different person and re-arrange the facing
To split a strand of D.N.A. and get to re-creating
It’s like nobody’s happy with the image I’m displaying
They’re always fucking bitching and then they start complaining
And I’m losing in refraining, my nerves are left here straining
I’m looking for some patience, but patience has been waning
The picture that you’re painting is not what’s in the making
So, fucking stop debating because every word is staining me
Now, everything is gray to me all from the words you say to me
You detail every failure; I’d rather it be vague to me
Because it seems insane to me to be the one you crave in me
A dozen different people with an image that they say to be
And every one is painting me to be something I’d hate to be
I’m starting to get lost and still none of you are saving me
Cause even when it’s plain to see that all the stress is breaking me
You keep picking up the pieces and patch me up, they’re taped to me
But the glue is waivering and those pieces get to falling
I’m delaying conversations because I feel much safer stalling
Looking for a calling that could be the lotto drawing
Deliver me a freedom that I can’t get while I’m crawling
So, I’m scrawling these words down until I get those numbers
‘Til I shove them in your face and make you see the wonders
This isn’t water color and I can’t be hidden easily
So, let me be myself and then I’ll find my “need to be”

Separating work from the rest

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I need to start creating clear distinctions in my life and keep work from spilling into my personal life. To top it off, I need to stop getting stressed out, so easily, at work. It’s all serving to throw off my happiness outside of the big blue box and I’m sick of it.

Even though I mentioned it second, learning to not get stressed out at work should, probably, be my first priority. I go in and get pissed off because the people around me don’t seem to care as much as I do. I talk to managers and supervisors and get no where. I spin my wheels, get aggravated, and let it sit with me the rest of the day. Why should I care if no one else does? If I have to spend every single day cleaning up someone else’s mistakes, then that’s my management’s choice in how they’re spending labor. I get paid, either way.

Regardless of how successful I am with that, I need to make sure any stress I do encounter stays in that building once I punch out. It winds up exhausting me, making me feel old, and interfering with things like my relationship with Melanie. I’m too young to feel this old and I’m done with it. I’m not going to run out and start doing 8 balls, but maybe I’d like to be able to laugh and have a beer and just enjoy a night with my girlfriend, whether we’re going out or sitting home and bumming around. I don’t get paid enough to carry that burden around with me and I won’t do it, anymore.

Cloudy View

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I’ve been clouded by the smoke of what’s becoming your obsession
Wind blows in my direction and it blurs out the perfection
This verse is with discretion cause it’s not said with aggression
Just a little means of venting in this rhyming flowing session
My confident confession is it tends to be a turn off
Mixed feelings on the subject and a shortened fuse to burn off
I try to shed concern off, but I don’t have the ability
Without being so dramatic, the images are killing me
The thoughts alone are filling me as I wish it off so willingly
But every ounce of effort leaves the pictures there and still in me
Paranoia’s billing me and I’m running out of wages
Insanity’s contagious and it’s laced across these pages
And through a mind that races, it screws up all the paces
Anxiety is calling and it’s lacking any patience
It really is outrageous to see how it all can get to me
But I’m keeping it all quiet because it’s all been said to me
And every word’s been fed to me, repeated and proclaimed to me
Our polarizing visions of something that’s insane to me
But it’s the way the pain must be to save the greater picture
So, I try to hold it in and then drown it with a mixture
Of thoughts and other pictures and anything that’s richer
The thousand other things that a Misses gives to Mister
But I’m only getting sicker and will be til it’s finished
And I continue hoping that we won’t leave this diminished

So many gifts are up to me

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Electronics are becoming the main type of gift to give someone for Christmas. It makes sense as some of the most wanted items out there are the latest gadgets ranging from GPS units to digital cameras and netbooks to televisions. Each one of us probably craves a gadget or gizmo or two. Unfortunately, not everyone is as interested in them the rest of the year.

It happens more and more, for me. As this time of year rolls around, everyone starts asking me to help them sort through a long list of models to help pick out that right gadget for someone else to receive. Phones, cameras, GPS devices, televisions and so on and so forth are all decided upon by me. Don’t get me wrong, I love helping people find what’s right for the person receiving the gift, but I always feel a certain amount of pressure knowing that my decision can really affect how that person’s Christmas is remembered. Was that camera too complicated or missing features? Is that TV not what they were expecting? Are they going to like that phone’s interface? It’s all up to me and it can be stressful.

Thankfully, the season is almost over. I don’t mind helping, really, I don’t. I just wish it all didn’t feel so crucial.

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