Thursday, June 13, 2013

Bringing Work Home

I can’t decide if I’m a manager’s nightmare or dream come true. I just can’t seem to clock out at 6 pm. There’s always just one more thing that needs to be done. One more resident who needs help, one more prospect who needs a tour, one more file that needs organized, one more, well, you get it.  And before I know it, it’s 6:30 and I’ve just created more work for myself. It’s work that needs to be done, for sure. But done right then? I don’t know.

It mocks me every day.

Then even if I do manage to leave the office at a reasonable time, I’m still thinking about work. Did I handle that situation well? Should I have done task B and left task A for tomorrow instead? WHAT WAS I THINKING?? These thoughts honestly keep me up at night. I stew over them during dinner, I dream about them at night. I wake up wishing I could go in to work just a half hour early so I could get a jump start on all the paperwork before the people start coming in. OH the people. Tiny problems, big problems, problems that have absolutely nothing to do with me and yet I have to listen to them and offer a solution. I’m not paid enough to be a counselor AND a leasing consultant (are counselors paid enough to be counselors? I feel like no). And I take those problems home too!

It feels like I’m never done and it irritates Ryan to no end. I talk all the time about how I just want to quit my job, but 95% of my conversation…is about my job. Who said what, what my boss did/said this time, rehashing what I did that day and need to do the next day, yadda yadda yadda. I just don’t know how to turn it off. I wish I could be that person who leaves work behind at 6 pm and doesn’t pick it back up again until she clocks in the next day.  Is it possible to become that person? Actually, is it me, or is it my job? My job has deadlines that must be met AND issues that pop up every day that MUST BE ADDRESSED RIGHT NOW OR SOMEONE IS GOING TO DIE. At least, that’s how the resident sees it. And for a long time, that’s how I saw it too. I still have trouble prioritizing my tasks, though thankfully not as much as I did at first, which I think is a normal progression. I haven’t been at my job a year yet and every day something else comes up that I haven’t dealt with. And usually, that happens after my boss has left (early) for the day. Of course it does. Every. Time. So then I stay late because it takes me a while to figure it out, and then the other VERY IMPORTANT TASKS don’t get done, but they need to get done so I do them. And then I stew about that all night.

Sunday was pretty typical. I stayed late at work, then clocked out and continued working (shhhh don’t tell) because I had promised a resident that I would do something and there just wasn’t enough time in the day. Eventually I got home an hour after the work day ended and my mistakes from the day stayed with me. I could barely hold a conversation with Ryan. I was so preoccupied that I didn’t even want dinner. We walked to the frozen custard place down the street and even the exercise couldn’t clear my mind. I ended up staying awake until almost 1 in the morning thinking about what I had done, what I should’ve done, and what I needed to do to fix it , if fixing was even possible. Luckily I decided to use that time beneficially, instead of just tossing and turning and berating myself. I got about 50% of my thank you cards completed from the baby shower, swept my floors, and made a nice, long To-Do list for work. 

So there's that. I just can't leave work at work. Just one reason I want to be a stay at home mom.


  1. It is definitely a skill you have to learn. I think I only have it down because there was SO much talk about self care in my social work program, since social workers will burn out within a few years if they don't practice self care (and sometimes even if we do!). I literally have issues every day that come up that are life and death, or potentially life and death, but I've gotten really good about turning work off when I'm home. I would say it's only 4 or so times a year that something sticks with me enough that it's on my mind after I get home. Mostly it's because I NEED to be able to do that to stay sane, to be present for Steven, and to enjoy life! I'm not sure if you are planning on working after Lucy comes, but maybe check out some books on self care/job stuff to see if it would help?

    1. "Mostly it's because I NEED to be able to do that to stay sane, to be present for Steven, and to enjoy life!" - Yep, that's it right there! I have to be able to find a balance because the added stress is negatively affecting just about every area of my life.

      DO you have any books that you'd recommend? Even textbooks! I'll read/do just about anything. We haven't quite decided what we will do once Lucy is born. I know what I *want* to do, but wants don't always happen, sigh.


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