So here is some self-indulgent navel-gazing about my FEEEEEEEEEELLLLLLLLIIIIIIINNNNNGGGGS!
So I’m riding the bike this morning. I’d gotten out of the house fairly close to 7AM and the goal was at least ten miles before going to the office. I was sticking to the back side of Mission Bay to avoid traffic and just try and stay in the saddle as much as possible including some hill repeats on Indiana…I’d started looping around the area of the Ballpark parking lot, actually feeling fairly good, when I suddenly remembered that I was supposed to have ticketed something before I left the office the night before. Two somethings. No, at least three somethings. ANY of which could have had the fare expire over-night leaving me in a world of hurt. Instant anxiety attack, stress, fear, hyperventilation, cold sweat etc. All while riding a bicycle.
I’d been in detox mode on Monday, having gotten into the food big time styley on Sunday, so I’d probably over-compensated for too much sugar by letting my blood sugar go to low, so by the time I left, THINKING I’d taken care over everything, I couldn’t even think straight. The new system of dealing with email that is being imposed by fiat didn’t help because I don’t have the email requests in my own in-box serving as a defacto ticketing list anymore.
So I finished up my miles and put on some serious speed to the office, where it turned out there was a bigger disaster waiting for me. A screw-up I’d done with NO IDEA it was a screw-up. All the tickets I’d been freaking out about were more or less fine. One went up in fare a little. But this other thing….that was me looking at an email and completely mis-reading it. Or something.
More stress, anxiety, fear, self-hatred etc.
Clearly one take-away from this is to stop fucking up my body chemistry on the food front and another is that I need to follow Steve out of this hell-hole. Because every screw-up is like a tub of acid churning in my veins and even when my food is “clean” for whatever value of “clean” you want to use, there will still be screw-ups because I’m just a bit ditzy in a profession that requires excellent concentration and ditziness will get you in major trouble. The margins for error that used to exist, basically don’t. God protects drunks, fools and travel agents, but there’s always another Bouncing Betty waiting to explode under you. The trouble with working in a minefield is you don’t know where the damn mines are. You think you’re going to get yelled at for missing a ticket and instead you booked a client on the wrong date and the date he does want is totally sold out.
People yelling at me---that’s the great fear. I’m 49 years old and I’m terrified of people yelling at me. I’m not sure where this comes from. My parents didn’t yell…I was a pampered child, especially by my father---but he was a welter of frustration and I think I heard him yell at other people. Or yell at people who weren’t there because he couldn’t yell at them to their faces. Being a free-lancer continually put him in a position where other people had his fate in their hands. He’d get caught up in business relationships that had an emotional component and they’d inevitable crash and burn and there’d be some kind of spleen venting. So when a client is mad or unhappy, even if it’s not AT ME, I internalize it. I HATE to say “no” or have to tell the client bad news. That much worse if the bad news really is my fault.
So the dominant emotion of my day was the axis of anxiety/fear/stress. All work related, with fear of clients being unhappy and yelling, none of which actually happened. Even the client I’d had to give bad news to last week-his request for a refundable, business-class ticket was declined, managed to man up, finalize his travel and agree to take the cheaper, nonrefundable fare.
I still have to get out.
This place IS killing me.
But in the meantime, I need to find some way not to personalize the anger and not to live in fear of yelling. (Or maybe just not to be a screw up.)