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Running Away from My Problems

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I don’t want to dive too deep into what happened over the last few weeks. First, it’s health problems that aren’t mine so I’m extremely limited on what I can share. Second, I’m still a bit raw.

I’ve worked hard at being a good manager to my teams. Despite the fact that my team has grown over the years, I liked to believe that I maintained good relationships. It’s not a show. I legitimately care about each person on my team and I’m passionate about seeing them grow. I was shocked when a new staff member lodged a formal complaint about me…

And it was a lie.

It wasn’t a ‘stretching the truth’ or ‘maybe they were confused’ accusation, it was an outright lie. Even worse, it wasn’t something I could prove was untrue which turned it into a case of ‘he said, she said’. There were several levels above me that got involved to mediate. I will still manage this staff member so I have a long road ahead. I feel off-kilter. I don’t understand why it happened and emotionally, I’m struggling.

Topping it off, I’m what I like to call an ‘accidental’ instructor. Meaning, I was wrangled into teaching a class (even though I HATE public speaking) and did a decent job. I was asked to teach again… and again… and class sizes keep growing which brings an additional level of stress. Following the mediation, I had to teach my largest class yet with nearly 200 attendees. Fortunately, it went well but it was icing on my stress cake.

The following day, someone in my immediate family went into emergency surgery. A mass needed to be removed that looked cancerous. This was the second time and I know how tough the recovery is. The next few days were spent in and out of the ER. Normally I would have parked myself in the hospital and brought in food, books, etc. but with Covid, no visitors are allowed (not even spouses). It made it hard to be supportive when you can’t go inside to sit beside someone while they wait for test results or surgeries. I get it. But it’s hard.

I found myself curling into a ball and crying. I’m only proving my point that you don’t want me on your sinking ship! ; )

This week, my husband suggested we take a long-distance camping trip. I’m still working from home so I could work without interruption. South Dakota? Wyoming? Somewhere in the middle of nowhere on BLM land where it’s free to park. Out of this cramped city I live in. Out of crowded grocery stores and busy streets. It’s his attempt to help me recapture peace in the chaos. My heart belongs outside.

“No way! We destroyed our budget. We need to save the money. Fuel would be at least $750.” I said.

“We have it in the vacation fund. We aren’t going on our trip in the fall anyway” he responded. And he’s right. We have been saving for a fall trip and we aren’t going with all the craziness.

I haven’t decided yet.

I might just ‘run away’ for a bit. The reality is, I’m at my best when I take a moment to reflect, reset, and rest. I’m a fan of fighting through the chaos and becoming stronger but sometimes, you just need to spend some time in introspection.

What about you? Anyone else going a bit crazy??


21 Comments

  • Reply Rosalind |

    Yup, I knew you would have problems with your employees as soon as I read how you were calling people back when they were on unemployment.

    From what I can see, you’re awful to work for so I’m not surprised.

    What is BLM land?

    I think you seriously need to learn some empathy.

    • Reply Emily N. |

      Geez, that seems pretty excessive! I’m pretty sure she works for the government and manages people; she doesn’t set the terms of their employment.

      BLM is Bureau of Land Management.

      • Reply Beks |

        Correct, I am a government employee and I do not get to choose terms of staff employment including salaries, layoffs, or furloughs.

    • Reply Drmaddog |

      Well, that escalated quickly.
      I don’t even know what it’s about either.

    • Reply Katie |

      Wow, what a rude comment and I’d like to know why you would make it. I don’t see any evidence of her being a bad manager.

      FWIW, I work in Unemployment Insurance. Employees have to return to work when called back. If not, they will lose UI or if they try to continue to collect it, it can be considered fraud. There are very few exceptions, one being if the employer hasn’t provided a safe workplace, and those allegations have to be investigated.

  • Reply Christy |

    I’ve been feeling off lately too. My emotions are all over the place. And some days, it feels like everything will be this way forever. It makes me want to stay in bed. This whole situation (with the isolation, the fear, and the constant stream of bad news), is enough to make anyone feel crazy.

    I am trying to stay busy with projects around our house. Keeping my body active, let’s my brain rest. If you need the trip, just take it. Your happiness is with worth $750.

  • Reply Emily N. |

    I’m sorry you’re dealing with so much right now. It sounds like you could definitely use a break, though maybe you could do something that isn’t $750 in fuel?

  • Reply Cwaltz |

    Definitely still off kilter. I told another site I comment on that everything feels surreal. It ‘s like I’ve been dropped into some alternate reality. I am past the crying and terrified stage and now largely on the still finding my footing and afraid stage. I’d really like to be in the blowing this out of the water stage but suspect that will never happen and my best hope is not having to revert back to crying and terrified. Anyway I hope things get easier for you.

  • Reply Sara |

    I am verrrry much losing it too. I’m so sorry things are tough at work and with your family on top of all the other hard things going on in the world. Hang in there.

    • Reply Cwaltz |

      Nope, you’re likely in the same boat as most of us and just trying to figure out your “new normal.” I know in my household that my hubby sometimes knows what I need better than I do(as a mom I habitually will put myself last), if that’s the case in your household too than you probably should heavily consider giving yourself that vacation to give yourself a mental break and allow yourself to pause to take a much needed breath.

  • Reply Julie |

    Tough times for all of us. As a long time manager, I would suggest you take a step back from the work incident and do some deep, unemotional self analysis. I am certainly not saying there is any validity to your employee’s complaint, but there most likely is something there that can help you grow as a manager.

  • Reply SMS |

    First of all, please ignore the nasty and totally uninformed first comment. There’s no possible way “Rosalind” could know anything about your managerial skills.
    We are all anxious and confused in these times….emotions are close to the surface. I find myself crying more than usual and have many more bouts of feeling blue.
    If you can work from the road, go for it! Getting out of the cramped city is a great idea. Fresh air, away from the virus…..please do yourself this favor. Feel better.

  • Reply Walnut |

    I have traveled back to the midwest twice during COVID to be with family. One of those trips included a drive through Montana, Wyoming, South Dakota, etc.

    The wide open spaces are good for the soul. Having just returned home, I can say that my cup is full again. I was on a conference call and someone commented that it sounded like paradise in the background. Something about hearing the birds, bugs, and wind rustling through a corn field is true paradise. The rural areas of our country are naturally socially distanced.

    Go, Beks. Drive to flyover country. Hold your littles and husband close. Breath. It’s special in a way that is hard to put into words, but your soul will be soothed.

  • Reply Alice |

    Maybe Rosy with the riveting comment was having a bad day. We all have them.

    Dear Rosy, I’m sorry you’re having a hard time right now. You’re not alone. I hope things get better for you soon.

    Dear Beks, essentially the same message as I typed for Rosy. Work stuff sucks sometimes, whether through our own making or not. (maybe, just MAYBE, our dear friend Rosy was thinking of the family business and calling people back…. I don’t know. Trying to play devil’s advocate because I just don’t understand why people have to be so rude behind their keyboard)

    Anyway, you’ve shared a lot with us. You’ve opened up. We love you for it. This is real life.

    You have paid off debt in the past. You have saved for a vacation. You clearly need time for a reset. Get away. Breathe. Close your eyes and take in the fresh air that is far away from everything.

So, what do you think ?