The last two days have been an absolute nightmare.
I can’t tell if it’s mainly my anxiety coming back like a waterfall of chaos or the fact that my boss and sub-boss think I’m mentally handicapped and unable to do my job.
Okay, I’ll rewind.
I work alone in a small shop in a little tourist town. My boss is the owner of the shop and my landlady is another worker. She’s pretty much the manager or sub-boss, as she’s been there the longest and knows everything and anything of what to do in the place. There’s also one other coworker like me.
When I had my cardiac arrest last August, I was off for a few months recovering from both the arrest and from the subsequent implanted ICD surgery (a bit like a pacemaker).
This one other coworker came in temporarily to take over my role and work while I was off. I was supposed to come back slowly, get my feet on the ground again, and she would find other work and move on when I did.
Perfect, or so I thought.
Turns out that ever since I came back my landlady/sub-boss has been noticing things I keep forgetting, and not telling me. She’s told my boss, though, and as of yesterday I was informed of my ‘issues’.
I’m not angry, not really. They seem to think it’s because I’m still in recovery and perhaps my memory has been affected by this arrest. Fair enough, except I honestly have no idea how I could have forgotten to do the things they say I have.
I almost don’t believe them!
Sadly, I know I was like this before my arrest sometimes. I can forget things or make lazy mistakes because that’s just me. I guess I have this ‘illness’ as an excuse now though..
To make it worse, my boss is now not very happy with me working by myself, citing that he believes I may collapse again when I’m on my own, and therefore not be found etc before something awful happens. A valid fear, I suppose.
All this is combined with my own fear of brain damage from the cardiac arrest (I apparently had some but when I awoke, lo-and-behold I seemed fine so no questions asked – not sure what this says about our NHS), so I’m a bit of a mess right now.
I also live with this sub-boss/landlady, and my boyfriend who is sharing half the rent of the room with me, so awkward is an understatement.
Additionally, this temporary coworker, whom I hold nothing against personally, is still with us. I am still working only two days, and nothing has been mentioned about her finding another job for months.
I know I could still technically be called in recovery by many people, but, what’s the deal?
I am feeling very self-conscious in my own ‘home’, feeling disappointed in myself, angry I can’t do better for my boyfriend J and find another job because I’m still undiagnosed, crying a lot because I’m an emotional mess, and feeling very, very useless.
I want to work and save money with J to get a home of our own. I don’t want to be seen as lazy, slacking, taking more time and using my illness or whatever as an excuse. (Although I’d love to be a stay-at-home Mum when that time comes until they’re in school, but that’s a different story).
I also don’t want to be a liability at work – I know my boss can’t fire me on health grounds (at least not until it’s a hazard or I REALLY fuck up), and I hate the idea of everyone knowing they’re just waiting for me to leave. That would feel so shitty.
What do I do?
Do I find another job, bearing in mind it could take a while, they’ve been good to me and my new employer would have to know about my arrest and no diagnosis, meaning the likelihood of getting the job is low?
Do I quit and hide? Because I really want to at this point, but I couldn’t continue living with my boyfriend and I’d be effectively becoming a lazy scrounger. Exactly what I want to avoid.
For now, I’ve written myself a checklist to remember everything I need to do at work. I’m trying to do the absolute best I can to show I’m trying so hard. If I fail now, then I know something major is wrong.
Equally, the house is going to be tense, I’m not going to be comfortable for some time, and work will be tense too knowing the busy season is coming and my boss doesn’t like me working alone. WHICH IS OUR WHOLE JOB.
Ugh. Life. Help.