January is officially over. Finally! Thirty-one days took the longest for me. Usually, days, weeks, and months fly by. Not January. While most are experiencing Antarctica like temperatures in the polar vortex, my dearest sympathies, I’ve been there. Born and bred Midwestern, I don’t miss it one bit.
The dangers of polar vortex temps are a long laundry list and are very costly including your battery dying to low tire pressure in your car. Or worse, your heating goes out. Yikes! Here in the Lone Star state, 40-50 degree weather is nothing; I mean nothing. We were almost around 100 degrees warmer than the Midwest and surrounding areas affected by the polar vortex.
For me, extreme cold and heavy snow made my depression so bad in the winter time. It still is the worst time for my depression, especially my anxiety. I’ve been feeling effects of my anxiety in the past weeks. For the most part, I experience anxiety attacks because of stress in daily life. It’s life. I can’t wish for a perfect day every day.
Wouldn’t it be nice, if every day, there was no chaos, no stress, no criticism from someone else, not another deadline to worry about. Wait, that’s heaven. I’m not there yet! But I can dream. Work really can stress one out. Especially working with people on a face to face basis. This past week was absolute hell.
Sunday was all kinds of chaos. The entire store looked like a tornado ripped through the area. If the health inspector showed up in that moment, it would’ve been an automatic failure right there. It was so messy. It’s one thing to be busy, but to expect other shifts to clean up after your mess is not OK.
Imagine myself my frustration as a manager telling my entire team: “We all work together. There’s no I in the word team.” Each shift has to set the other shift up for success. If there’s a mess, you clean it before you leave. I wasn’t happy at all because between servicing customers and cleaning up the previous shifts mess, my co-worker and I spent two and a half hours cleaning that mess. Picture a very angry manager at that moment.
After that day was over and after the lecture of setting each manager up for success, I constantly faced onslaughts from others at work because of my depression. I guess when you’re around me, and you don’t know me, you may think I’m rude or shy. That’s not entirely me, yes, I’m introverted. However, I force myself to be extroverted because I have to communicate with customers and staff.
It’s not easy to get out of that comfort zone when you live with depression. It’s something people don’t understand. I had a guy straight up say, “Well aren’t you rude?” I replied, “Excuse me, how am I rude? What did I do?” I bend over backwards to give what the customers want because you want customer satisfaction, and he said that you have no energy or pep. I chuckled and politely said, “Excuse me, I have depression, and it affects my behavior, and I assure you that it doesn’t define me.” It doesn’t. Picture the look on his face that says, “She’s crazy.”
That’s just a small portion of abuse I get because of my mental health. Even if I find a different job, it still is the same. Every job I’ve held, it’s always the same. People without depression quickly assume that I’m weird, odd, and off. I thought medical conditions came judgment free? Shouldn’t it? Last night wasn’t any better because I’m not looking forward to a new supervisor and I know various supervisors that are cool and let you run your business. Others will breathe down your neck, constantly pester you about sales and other things. The last thing I don’t need another boss breathing down my back. I don’t need a babysitter. I know how to run an efficient business.
And dealing with some unusual customers is another area that can be challenging. I don’t judge others and don’t make assumptions, but, one customer, is known to be a little odd. When I say odd, I mean this person stares at women including me in a creepy way. Obviously, you can’t accuse someone of something. It could be that this person likes to be surrounded by others or could be the opposite. I felt so uncomfortable around this person, I felt eyes staring into the back of my soul and I felt like my body was being checked out. I’m no supermodel and I’m a little obese for my height, but I still didn’t make any assumptions at all.
Sometimes, customers can be a little much and even if I do transfer to another store it won’t matter. You still will get nice people and some difficult people to work and converse with. I know because I’ve worked in different locations before transferring to my new store last year. All this stress of the business can stress your body out. I’ve had somedays where my heart starts racing so fast especially in the morning or trying to sleep at night. Take 2:30 this morning. I was sound asleep, but my physical body had other plans. I awoke with sweat pouring out of my body, a fast beating heart, a very upset stomach, and mild dizziness. My body was in full anxiety mode. I stumbled in the dark to the nearest bathroom and without stepping on a Chihuahua snoozing like no tomorrow and almost fell in the bathroom.
Anxiety attacks are no jokes at all. They’re brutal. Again, it’s best to take it one day at a time and think positively (even though it’s tough!). And do what do you have to do.