zetasyanthis: (Default)
If I had written this last night, I might have ranted, might have detailed all the terrible things that my last employer did to me. I might have spoken of panic attacks and anger looking back, and as I write this, I know those things may still come up. Today, though, I want to talk about changing the way we look at things. I want to talk about re-evaluating how we interact with each other, with a specific look at a working environment.

Today, I want to talk about kindness.

Let's start by forming a mental picture of a traditional office setting. It's enough to say that people are busy, at their desks or talking to other coworkers. Meetings buzz with activity as people move in and out, projector screens extending and retracting as the crowds wax and wane. Some are lucky enough to have offices, while others sit in cubicles or open desks, laid out in rows or hexagons by someone with at least as much OCD as the engineers themselves.

In this setting, there are reports to file, emails to respond to, and much work to get done. People run to labs and factory floors, to airports and distant countries, all to keep the machine moving. The one rule is this: the machine must keep moving. If it stops, if there's a kink in the smooth functioning of business, schedules are missed, customers are upset, and the jobs of everyone at the office are in jeopardy. The spice must flow.

But everyone who's worked a day in their life knows that not every day is smooth. There are problems, problems of design or management, of human error or machine malfunction. Solving these problems, and keeping the machine going, is why we have our jobs in the first place, and we can lose them if we solve them to slowly or find ourselves unable to do so at all, even if the problem lies beyond our control.

Some business have fewer bumps, some businesses have more. It depends on the quality of the people, and the processes in place to keep the machine moving, and not all are equal to the task, as much as we wish they were. The key, though, is to keep the machine going *without* burning out your people through frustration or long hours, working them until they can work no more. And that's not just a business calculation, as much as people talk about it in those terms. Employees are real people, with real needs, and real feelings, and those need to be taken into account.

When they're not, people get hurt.

Emotionally, and physically, people can only take so much. And when they start to become overwhelmed, as many of my coworkers currently are, they start to make even more mistakes, creating yet more bumps in the road. If this process is not arrested, if changes are not made, and made *quickly*, this can spiral out of control. Assigning ownership of ongoing problems and hammering them down one step at a time is the only way to move forward, even if it's slow.

I've seen a few different ways of handling these kinds of situations. Some managers dig in with the troops, coming in on weekends when they're required to spruce up morale. Some go further, being flexible schedules and trying to ensure that employees have enough time to rest on off-peak days. Some, though, add to the problems, and that is not okay. If a manager is more intent on assigning blame than taking ownership of the solution to a problem, they're no good. Whether they just sit and do nothing, letting the problem linger, or outright yell and abuse employees under them, it just makes things even worse.

So I have had a thought. What do you do, as a co-worker, when you see another co-worker, under a different manager, stressing out? Right out the gate, let's assume you are busy as well, as is common in a somewhat chaotic environment. You can't take on any of their work, not just because that responsibility isn't yours, and you can't really address overload with their manager, as that's between the two of them. Even if the manager is abusive, you can't necessarily report it without possibly getting your coworker in even more trouble, and if you do it without their knowledge or consent, they may consider it a breach of trust.

I've run into this situation a few times recently, and I'm starting to develop a strategy I recommend. Listen. Be kind. If they're having a bad day, maybe surprise them with something coming back from lunch. Maybe ask that coworker who hasn't gone out in months and pulls his hair out daily *to* lunch. In a million little ways, you can remind them that it's not always as bad as things seem, and that there's more to life than work.

So reach out. You won't believe your eyes. <3
zetasyanthis: (Default)
A warning, right up front. This one's going to hurt. [TW: anxiety, fear, mentions of suicide]


I had lunch with a friend of mine earlier today, and in so doing, finally figured out how to describe what being afraid is like. Fear is a constant. It doesn't end, doesn't take days off, and rips apart everything it touches. It forces your heart to pound, even when it shouldn't, and spikes your adrenaline over and over until all you can do is collapse.

To be afraid all the time is to lose track of time and space. It's to lose track of emotion, of safety, of everything that isn't within the whirling storm. It's to lose the branch you're holding on to, over and over again. It's to be swept away, screaming, powerless to stop your flight.

Hiding from it, pushing it away... doesn't really fix it. It makes you think you have, but it lies. It'll lie right up until you kill yourself, not even sure why you're holding the blade, and it won't care a lick.

To be afraid all the time is to face that, daily... the voice that cries inside. The one that shakes until she can't, wishing for the end. Sometimes that's all I can do... shake until I sleep, exhaustion taking me into sweat-drenched nightmares, wishing I could weep.

My therapist called me brave last week, brave for fighting this. I told her that I have no choice. I just wish I could sleep. >.<

On Love

Dec. 27th, 2015 07:22 pm
zetasyanthis: (Default)
So... This should hopefully be a bit lighter than some of my journals as of late, though it's still pretty heavy and emotional.  In a way, I'm writing this to kind of confess something that I've always known, but have had absolutely no idea how to deal with. (Bonus points: It is one of the chief causes of my anxiety.)

I have problems with emotional connection.

I don't have a problem *making* connections. I have a problem with *not* making them. There's a whole ton of ways I think about it, from having too much love (an introject response), to just not knowing how to maintain boundaries. (Even the second one doesn't ring completely true, though, because I can set up and maintain them for certain things, and they can be ultra-strong at times. I just don't have the mental energy to maintain them over the long term... or maybe, I'm fooling myself and don't really have them in the first place. (Hint: It's the latter.))

So let's talk about the "too much love" angle. Clearly, there's no such thing, despite what my brain might tell me. However, this thing (I don't know what the hell to call it) has some ramifications. The first how I make emotional connections, and the second is how deep those go.

I have a really funny(?) (I think/hope?) (from an outside perspective) way of making friends. I kind of run into someone I like, and then just start treating them as a friend, usually resulting in them going "Huh, this person is a little bit odd. I guess it's not hurting anything though." (Hands up if I've done this to you!) Usually that's accompanied by the other person acknowledging me as an acquaintance and shrugging it off. Over time, though, a friendship just kind of happens, often surprising the other person quite a bit. The simple act of treating someone as a friend causes a friendship to grow, even if it doesn't have a label. The thing that throws people for a hell of a loop is that I don't actually have a goal in this. Nothing is ever expected from my side. It's simply a "I'm going to treat you as a friend unless you give me a reason not to." If you never feel the same way, I will probably be slightly sad, but I'm just kind of like that.

Those same friendships can deepen over time, though typically they won't without acknowledgement and acceptance from the other person involved. A lack of serious bond response from the other person might mean some slight heart-ache, depending, but if there is a response, that bond grows incredibly quickly. I suppose I should try to describe how this makes sense to me, but it might be slightly mind-boggling or incomprehensible, depending on how you form bonds...

Here's the truth.

I love *everyone*. I see the beauty in everyone's heart, as well as the potential that that beauty brings to the world. I even see it when people can't see it themselves (a discordance that is honestly one of the worst feelings in the world). When I look at you, I see you, the person, not the skin, not the gender... the whole. Each and every one of you is beautiful and amazing beyond your wildest dreams... and I see all of it.

As a result of this, the only way for me to maintain a level of emotional separation is distance. Physical separation keeps those bonds from growing too deep, too quickly, and (so my introject would have me believe) causing all kinds of havoc. If you've seen me flit close and then disappear, it's because of this, not because of anything you have done... especially since I've been afraid. I buried this deep, because my emotional core didn't fit with how the world said I should be. That said... I don't want to be afraid anymore, but I fear this will be my hardest lesson. I don't even know what the lesson to be learned is, but I fear it all the same. :S

On a scale of emotional connection from 0-10, I have zero through two, and then eleven. I could spend an afternoon with you and we could fall in love for a lifetime. I have done *exactly* that, and it scared me so deeply I had panic attacks for weeks, thinking I had destroyed an existing relationship in the process. (Luckily, I'm dating one of the most forgiving and generous-with-her-heart dragons on the planet, else things would have gone really badly. >.<)

In summary... I don't know where I'm going with this either. I am really sick of being afraid of my own heart, my own nature, my own music, but I am terrified to let it loose. The only boundary I've ever really held is not letting that fear go, but there's a big damned crack in that armor now. Part of me finally knows it isn't a bad thing. Here's the thing... Boundaries just kind of dissolve around me. Just like in the friendships above, the fact that they're weakening is not noticed until they're suddenly gone. And... this one is trying to, even as I write this.

My heart, my magic, my music, doesn't know how to say no, and maybe it shouldn't have to. It's wild, it's free, and it's caged. >.<


zetasyanthis: (Default)
Zeta Syanthis

September 2017



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