21 April 2020 – I can’t tell if I hate my job.
I used to love my job. I found it so interesting, and the week lockdown started I was due to start a training course I’ve been waiting months for – I was so excited, I had new stationery picked out and everything. Instead I’ve been at home with a laptop trying to figure out homeworking. Or as I now say, which is helping me cope kinda, “I’m not working from home. I’m at my home during a crisis, trying to work.” The distinction might be small, but it’s easier not to hate myself in the less productive days when I think about it that way.
I have struggled with homeworking. The office I work for has managed to increase the numbers of people working from home. I was given a laptop day one (day one being 23 March, to start working from home on 24 March) and we’ve had a lot of people join this week. They all seem so excited to join in, while I just feel sort of dead inside. I wake up and dread going downstairs and switching on my laptop. I hate it. I hate it so much. Other people say things to me like “Oh it’s not so bad once you get used to it, you just adjust, don’t you?” and I reply “Oh yeah you do after a bit” but I’m lying and I don’t feel like I’ve had this experience. I am physically able to work from home, I have adjusted to the different equipment, a laptop instead of a desktop with two monitors etc. I can mostly do my job, in a physical equipment sense. But mentally I hate every second. I feel less confident in myself and the decisions I make. I second guess myself and everything takes longer. I have to check stuff with colleagues more often. I feel like my knowledge base of work I did everyday is shrinking. I think “I know this. I’m sure I’m right.” Then spend 30 minutes deliberating and checking the resources we have before messaging a colleague to say, “Hey just want to run this by you” and I’m convinced everyone thinks I’m dumber now. I don’t even know why I thought I was good enough to go on the course I was supposed to be on right now. Do I even want to go on the course anymore, or has this experience ruined any joy I had for my job? I can’t tell if when this is all over, I’ll even like my job anymore.
We have a meeting everyday. I’ve realised that my tone became more clipped and short and frustrated over the last month, and I think it’s made people afraid to talk to me, because its clear I’m very stressed and may not be coping well. But with no one asking me for help, or a second opinion, I just feel more alone. I’m also paranoid, and started thinking maybe they just think I’m too stupid to ask questions of. I’m trying to manage my tone after realising this in the last few days, but as soon as I soften it I feel like I’m just going to cry. I exist in three zones while working – angry and frustrated, hollow and uncaring, and the world is ending so I’m going to cry and sob and wish my parents were here. So far I’ve only cried to three people on a work call, which I’m calling a win.
I’m also terrified because I really wanted to progress in my role. But if managers see I’m currently a wreck, who can’t seem to cope, then how will I ever get further? I’m even wondering if I deserve to go further – I feel like I can barely do my job as it is.
Then I realise that I’m complaining about homeworking and losing interest in my job, when there are people who have to put themselves at risk everyday. There are people who are out of work, and wondering where their next rent payment will come from. There are people in way worse positions than I am in my pretty cushy job. And then I feel guilty for being upset and moaning like a child, and I think I might be a bad person for being miserable.