Tuesday, 3 January 2012

90-Day Plan - Day 3: Practice, What Practice?


A lot of Kleeneze distributors got hit by bad weather today, especially those in Scotland, where a roof blew off a block of Glasgow flats to land on houses in another street, lorries got blown over and trains got cancelled. They still carried on regardless.

I got hit by the back-to-work blues.

After the euphoria of yesterday's efforts, I went to work smiling. I was singing in the car (got to practice somewhere and the offspring complain when I sing in the bathroom). That lasted all of 5 minutes after I got into the office.

By the end of the day, I was drained, miserable and depressed. Over the Christmas break, I had focused on what I needed to do to build my Kleeneze business's momentum, to the point where I was so fired up, I didn't want to break off for 6 hours sleep. I knew I was capable of achieving great things. I knew where I was heading, what I had planned, what work I needed to do, what routine I needed to follow. I was happy, as I always am when I'm fully occupied.

My day job doesn't have any of that. I have no project to work on, no activity assigned to me, despite my persistent requests. Normally, I'd find myself something to do that makes use of my skills, but I've been told categorically by my line manager and indirectly by his boss that these skills are of little to no use to the team as it currently exists. There are no suitable vacancies in other teams and I don't want to job-hop when I'm trying to build my own business after day-job hours.

So, I'm stuck with nothing to do, but I'm expected to look as though I'm working flat out on technical issues. I can't leave my desk for more than a few minutes at a time, as my line manager sits opposite me and is well aware I don't have any business users to talk to because he hasn't provided me with any work. Taking and making personal calls is discouraged and commented on.

Eleven weeks ago, I had a stress management meeting, which my line manager assured me would be written up and copies provided to both myself and HR. I'm still waiting. Mind you, he only completed my performance review paperwork after 8 weeks delay and a number of comments from his boss...

In that stress management meeting, I emphasised that not being fully occupied and not being allowed to utilise my many skills properly was causing me untold stress, to the point where I could have been used as a textbook set of symptoms by trainee stress counsellors. My line manager's response was to tell me, "don't take on the business, the business always wins." I got told to bite my tongue and accept whatever is said about me or my work, to be friendly regardless and to just do the work and make sure it's "good enough". I also got told that my skill set is unusual and unlikely to be used in forthcoming projects and that I should accept that and get on with it.

Since then, he's made no effort to give me any work at all. I can only assume that's what happens when you "rock the boat" in this company.

I know I'm whinging, but I was so upset after being back at work for one day that I couldn't face anybody. I slunk upstairs and shut myself in the office for most of the evening and played solitaire over and over again before crawling into bed for a fitful night's sleep.

What am I proud of today?

Nothing. I let the day-job get to me, yet again, to the point where I'm severely stressed and avoiding people.

What can I do to improve, tomorrow?

I can get over this stress and lack of self-confidence by working on my business. As I get better with my Kleeneze business, my confidence will grow and my focus will move towards my real goals rather than my day-job.