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Author Topic: I'm about ready to kill people  (Read 5438 times)
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« Topic Start: September 29, 2008, 01:16:53 pm »

The  lady I sit by at work just moved the file bins over onto my desk, giving me very little room.  She didn't ask for anything.  I tried to be polite.  I asked if we could scooch them over somewhere in the middle so that neither of us were completely squished.  Then she moved all the bins over her way, yelled at me, and proceeded to go back to work.  I tried to talk to her, tried to see if we could negotiate something, tried to see if there was some middle ground.  I told her that I didn't really know what was wrong with what I'd asked of her.  She said that if I didn't know, I wouldn't have asked the question.  She kept ignoring me and when I kept trying to talk to her she told me to drop it.

There's a lot of hostility toward me in my cube.  I know I'm not just making this up or being paranoid.  I've tried to look on the bright side but this is staring to get really, really bad. 

I was about ready to just walk out, but I won't, considering I'm living paycheck to paycheck.  I don't know what energy I need right now.  Peace, I guess.  Courage, to look for a new job.  I know what's standing in the way of that and I'm working on it, but it's not going to happen over night.

And going on a killing spree in the cube farm probably isn't going to look good on my resume. 
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« Reply #1: September 29, 2008, 02:44:12 pm »


There's a lot of hostility toward me in my cube.  I know I'm not just making this up or being paranoid.  I've tried to look on the bright side but this is staring to get really, really bad 

 Bring in some crystals to put in your cubicle(hide them of course). Maybe you could get this spray over the internet called
 Crystal Clear,and spray it in you cubicle, it clears the air of negativity.Don't quit, not until you find something else.
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« Reply #2: September 29, 2008, 03:02:36 pm »

There's a lot of hostility toward me in my cube.  I know I'm not just making this up or being paranoid.  I've tried to look on the bright side but this is staring to get really, really bad. 

The standard advice in this sort of situation is to start job hunting - but to also take appropriate steps, like talking to your supervisor or human resources or whoever the appropriate person for your situation is.

Don't be accusatory - this is one of those times you say "I'm honestly confused, can you help me sort this out?" and then be attentive, take notes, and follow whatever you're told.

As far as helping create a more positive work environment - depends on why your cube mate has it in for you. I'd run back through anything she's complained about or mentioned in your presence, and see what you can to do to mitigate it while you hunt for a different job. Bringing in food to share, making a specific attempt to make things easier for her (or do her a favor) etc. all might be good ideas, too. Again, the goal is to do something temporarily to make your life easier while you look for a more stable long-term solution.

There's nothing that says your co-workers have to like you - but it's also good to be attentive to anything that might be actual discrimination or bias that gets in the way of the work. Take notes, quietly, of stuff that she either refuses to answer (that's directly work related) or where she responds inappropriately once you've tried to clear things out with your supervisor. The advice I've seen says this needs to be in a small notebook you can carry with you - not computer - because if something happens with the job, they take the computer, and you won't have anything to use in reference.

(Why do this? If for some reason you do get fired before you find something else, evidence that you've tried to resolve the situation and that there was a persistent problem that wasn't addressed by your supervisor/HR can make a difference in unemployment options.)

Magically, I'd probably avoid anything scented (especially in a close cube setting: people can have allergies or reactions) but you might try placing a glass of water with a tiny pinch of salt in it on your desk during the day and dumping it out (somewhere it can drain) every night to get rid of the collected negativity. Or bring in a small non-obvious object that reminds you to help keep the kind of mood you want to work in.
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« Reply #3: September 29, 2008, 03:17:36 pm »


Wow, sounds a little bit like the Kindergarten I work in and sounds a little bit like a similar problem.
(I want to get out of there too, but it won't happen over night *sigh* very true...)

Well, it's hard for a neutral person to judge, when only hearing one side of the story.
I guess your co-worker is in the firm believe she's right and you're an awful person.

I can give you only the advice to draw your energy out of it. It's what I'm at right now and it is a hard piece of work.
It's not easy to get not involved when you're forced to be in that situation for a whole work day.
But it is the only thing that helps.

The first time I tried to call back all my energy scattered there, I got dizzy. I had to ground.
This was startling for me. I never thought that so much of my energy was bound in there.

Maybe you'll like to try this. Oh and some valerian dragees and some shielding too Wink
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« Reply #4: September 29, 2008, 03:53:38 pm »

The standard advice in this sort of situation is to start job hunting - but to also take appropriate steps, like talking to your supervisor or human resources or whoever the appropriate person for your situation is.

Don't be accusatory - this is one of those times you say "I'm honestly confused, can you help me sort this out?" and then be attentive, take notes, and follow whatever you're told.

As far as helping create a more positive work environment - depends on why your cube mate has it in for you. I'd run back through anything she's complained about or mentioned in your presence, and see what you can to do to mitigate it while you hunt for a different job. Bringing in food to share, making a specific attempt to make things easier for her (or do her a favor) etc. all might be good ideas, too. Again, the goal is to do something temporarily to make your life easier while you look for a more stable long-term solution.

There's nothing that says your co-workers have to like you - but it's also good to be attentive to anything that might be actual discrimination or bias that gets in the way of the work. Take notes, quietly, of stuff that she either refuses to answer (that's directly work related) or where she responds inappropriately once you've tried to clear things out with your supervisor. The advice I've seen says this needs to be in a small notebook you can carry with you - not computer - because if something happens with the job, they take the computer, and you won't have anything to use in reference.

(Why do this? If for some reason you do get fired before you find something else, evidence that you've tried to resolve the situation and that there was a persistent problem that wasn't addressed by your supervisor/HR can make a difference in unemployment options.)


I'm thinking of talking to HR, or to my supervisor.  Here's what's standing in my way: I feel like I've been making a lot of mistakes at work. Not as many as I used to.  I have been really trying to improve.  It's just a very detail-oriented data entry job, and I can be kind of a space cadet.  Plus it's fair to say that when you write down a few hundred numbers a day, you're going to screw up a couple. 

Since this co-worker pretty much only talks to me when I've made a mistake, I think I've come to believe that all I do around there is screw up.  So I try harder, but I continue to screw up.  I can see her side of the story.  It's frustrating when someone else keeps making mistakes. I maintain my position that I don't deserve to be treated that way.  Still, I can see where she might be angry with  me. 

Before I took this job, I was a psychothereapist, working a couple of jobs.  I got fired from both of them.  The feedback I got at the end was crushing.  I felt like I was being dissected by my supervisor, who suddenly revealed that everything I was trying to hide about myself.  It was eerie.  I know he didn't do this on purprose, but I felt like he saw everything about me that I was trying so desperately to fix.  It was like he told me me everything that I was afraid was true about me actually was true.

I know he needed to fire me.  I was a mess at the time, not fit to be anyone's therapist.  He was right about most of what he said.  I never stopped hurting because of it.  I have had difficulty trusting myself ever since.  It was my dream to be a therapist, and I feel like I did my clients more harm than good.  That's why I have a master's degree in psychotherapy, but I'm working a data entry job.  I haven't studied anything else besides psychology.  I don't really have a lot of other skills, unless you count the artistic ones that won't pay the bills.  I've thought of going back to school but I've got too much debt already. 

So ever since then I've felt totally incompetant.  I've assumed that I'm terrible at this job.  I've thought of going to HR to arrange some kind of 3rd-party mediator, but I'm scared of hearing what my co-worker would say about me.  Obviously, her side of the story is going to come out.  I'm afraid that she's going to say the same things that my old supervisor said when he fired me. 

All of these things are bad reasons to avoid trying to mediate.  What I'm afraid of is that if I hear these things, I'm going to freak out.  I tend to shut people out because I'm entirely too sensitive.  When my old supervisor fired me, I had a panic attack.  I felt like I was going to pass out.  It was very embarassing.  And it pretty much confirmed everything he said about me. 

So it's a matter of dealing with this while keeping a cool head.  That's what's going to be hard.  I'm not good at hiding my emotions and if I cry in front of everyone, then I'm really going to look incompetant.  But I can't let these issues stand in the way of me getting my life back together. 
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« Reply #5: September 29, 2008, 09:19:29 pm »

It's frustrating when someone else keeps making mistakes. I maintain my position that I don't deserve to be treated that way.  Still, I can see where she might be angry with  me. 

This is *exactly* what HR is supposed to be able to help with - you want to do a better job, someone getting angry at you is not helping with that, you want to do better. HR should be able to help you figure out a way to get communication about things that need to be fixed, without dealing with the anger stuff.

There's also the fact that being proactive about it (saying "I'm not doing this as well as I need to be: I want to improve") looks much better than letting them bring it up.

What's causing you to make the errors? You say you've turned into a space cadet - is stress causing you problems that way? Have you tried various techniques to help you focus on your entries again? (For example, taking a short walk around your cube area every [period of time] to help you focus when you get back? Having a particular scent that helps with focus and concentration (usually, people put this on a handkerchief or on their wrist, and sniff it). Having a mug of tea or something else that helps you stay focused? (Tea is also a useful scent!) Would it be possible to wear headphones and find music that helps you focus?

The stuff that helps you focus is going to be individual and personal - but if you can come up with something and demonstrate that it's got a good chance of helping your accuracy, and it doesn't take much away from others, you might well get approval to use it.

Quote
I know he needed to fire me.  I was a mess at the time, not fit to be anyone's therapist.  He was right about most of what he said.  I never stopped hurting because of it.  I have had difficulty trusting myself ever since.  It was my dream to be a therapist, and I feel like I did my clients more harm than good.  That's why I have a master's degree in psychotherapy, but I'm working a data entry job.  I haven't studied anything else besides psychology.  I don't really have a lot of other skills, unless you count the artistic ones that won't pay the bills.  I've thought of going back to school but I've got too much debt already. 

One of my friends is a certified therapist - but she admits that she's a really lousy therapist for most people: she *is* really good with a specific group of people who are highly motivated to change, and who don't mind ending up in tears every so often while lancing painful stuff.

She's figured out that trying to find a therapist job is probably a bad move for her - but she's teaching psychology at a career college, writing a book, and she's got plans eventually to look at life coaching, where she can work most closely with the people she does best with. And I know a few people who've combined it with something like massage therapy, since physical tension release sometimes triggers an emotional response as well - they get to help people, but not in the obvious sit down and talk kind of way.

If you deeply want to continue doing something in the therapy field - look at your own issues, first, obviously, and address anything that's actually relevant. But there are a bunch of options out there that go beyond the "talk to therapist for 50 minute intervals" sorts of things.

Quote
All of these things are bad reasons to avoid trying to mediate.  What I'm afraid of is that if I hear these things, I'm going to freak out.  I tend to shut people out because I'm entirely too sensitive.  When my old supervisor fired me, I had a panic attack.  I felt like I was going to pass out.  It was very embarassing.  And it pretty much confirmed everything he said about me. 

You know, it's totally reasonable to feel upset when you get fired - especially if it's a field you really cared about. While obviously, dealing with the panic issues would be a good idea, I don't think your response here is a sign you'd be a lousy therapist - I think it's a sign you have some work to do to help make sure your emotional response helps the situtation. But I'd also see how to make room for healthy and normal emotions like being a bit nervous about a challenging conversation, or dealing with something you care a lot about. Role-playing it out (either on my own in the car) or with someone else helps me out a lot here: when I walk into those kinds of conversations pre-rehearsed with what I really want to say and how, it's a lot easier to be confident.
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« Reply #6: September 30, 2008, 06:16:26 am »

I'm thinking of talking to HR, or to my supervisor.  Here's what's standing in my way: I feel like I've been making a lot of mistakes at work. Not as many as I used to.  I have been really trying to improve.  It's just a very detail-oriented data entry job, and I can be kind of a space cadet.  Plus it's fair to say that when you write down a few hundred numbers a day, you're going to screw up a couple. 

I would second or third the suggestion to speak to HR.  If niothing else, they are seperate from the situation, and so can be neutral with both of you.  Their inclination is also going to be to nip it in the bud *before* it gets serious (eg, shooting sprees).

Quote
Since this co-worker pretty much only talks to me when I've made a mistake, I think I've come to believe that all I do around there is screw up.  So I try harder, but I continue to screw up.  I can see her side of the story.  It's frustrating when someone else keeps making mistakes. I maintain my position that I don't deserve to be treated that way.  Still, I can see where she might be angry with  me. 

You mention later on that you were a therapist.  What would you say to a client who was telling this to you?  For what it's worth, I'm not a therapist (although I once wanted to be), but here's a few things I would want to point out:
1. There's a cross-over between home life and work life in terms of stress.  It may not be anything at work that is actually bothering her, and thus nothing you do will actually remove the root stress.  However, a word from HR may put things in perspective for her.  If she is exhibiting anger towards you, you probably cannot help her work through this, and would be better off leaving it to HR.
2. You feel as though you are making a lot of mistakes.  You only speak to her wheny ou make a mistake.  You are focusing overly on the mistakes, rather than the correct things you do, or the good work - possibly because good work requires no further fixing, or interactions with someone who makes you feel bad.  Try thinking about the things you do well - and if you're having trouble, maybe ask someone you get on fairly well with.
3. mistakes are universal to all humans.  I would only see a problem if you weren't learning from mistakes you made.  Note: sometimes yiou need to be shown something a few times before getting it - that isn't what I'm talking about.  Not getting something four months down the line might be more concerning.

Quote
Before I took this job, I was a psychothereapist, working a couple of jobs.  I got fired from both of them.  The feedback I got at the end was crushing.  I felt like I was being dissected by my supervisor, who suddenly revealed that everything I was trying to hide about myself.  It was eerie.

That's unfortunately the trouble with people whose job it is to pry out painful secrets.  It can be done in a nasty way or a nice way, and it sounds like you got the former from the boss.

Quote
  I know he didn't do this on purprose, but I felt like he saw everything about me that I was trying so desperately to fix.  It was like he told me me everything that I was afraid was true about me actually was true.

I know he needed to fire me.  I was a mess at the time, not fit to be anyone's therapist.  He was right about most of what he said.  I never stopped hurting because of it.  I have had difficulty trusting myself ever since.  It was my dream to be a therapist, and I feel like I did my clients more harm than good. 

Do you know that for a fact?  Did you harm all your clients, most, or some?  And did nothing good?  Perhaps you needed to get out of that career - I cannot know.  But even *if* you were an awful therapist, that really doesn't mean you'd be bad at anything else.  Look at the different skill sets for a start!

Quote
That's why I have a master's degree in psychotherapy, but I'm working a data entry job.  I haven't studied anything else besides psychology.  I don't really have a lot of other skills, unless you count the artistic ones that won't pay the bills.  I've thought of going back to school but I've got too much debt already. 

Ok, now to tackle you alleged lack of skills.  I'm a Psychology graduate - one BSc, one MSc, and just starting an MPhil witha  view to transfer to PhD.  You have lots of skills, and its time you reviewed that.

1) Doing a psychology course, you had to write essays.  I can practically guarantee that.  Therefore you have sklills in researching the literature, combing for relevant information, and oputting it together into a document that others could read with ease. That's a valuable skill.
2) Psychology is a science.  You have almost certainly carried out a research project for each of your qualifications.  Therefore you have skills in designing an experiment, controlling for confounding variables, choosing measures, sampling strategies, statistical tests, and, most universally important: setting deadlines andkeeping to them.
3) having worked in therapy, you presumably have skills in noting when people talk about one thing, but are hinting at something else, or noting where people have real emotional difficulties/ mental health issues, etc.  Demonstrate said skills, and you can prove you have a skill set few others in the workplace have.

And I'm just picking at the obvious ones here.  Studies in Psychology provide you with a range of skills.  Don't knock it! Smiley

Quote
So ever since then I've felt totally incompetant.  I've assumed that I'm terrible at this job.  I've thought of going to HR to arrange some kind of 3rd-party mediator, but I'm scared of hearing what my co-worker would say about me.  Obviously, her side of the story is going to come out.  I'm afraid that she's going to say the same things that my old supervisor said when he fired me. 

That doesn't seem terribly likely.  Unless they *know* each other.  She probably has different reasons for being angry, that may not relate to you.  Is she like this with everyone, or just you?
In either case, a 3rd party mediator may help resolve things.  Of course her story will come out - thats what you want, isn't it?  But you'll get to tell your story too.  Then, with luck, they can work on what the real issues are.

Quote
All of these things are bad reasons to avoid trying to mediate.  What I'm afraid of is that if I hear these things, I'm going to freak out.  I tend to shut people out because I'm entirely too sensitive.  When my old supervisor fired me, I had a panic attack.  I felt like I was going to pass out.  It was very embarassing.  And it pretty much confirmed everything he said about me. 

To me iot suggests that you have things you need to work through.  It doesn't suggest to me, of itself, that you will never be fit for work, or therapy as a career.  Just that you need some help yourself (which really I think they should have offered).

Quote
So it's a matter of dealing with this while keeping a cool head.  That's what's going to be hard.  I'm not good at hiding my emotions and if I cry in front of everyone, then I'm really going to look incompetant.  But I can't let these issues stand in the way of me getting my life back together. 

Sounds to me like you've already made your decision, and I think it's the responsible one.  Who knows, dealing with this head on, and finding out it isn't so bad (as I would assume will be the case) may be therapeutic.  In either case, it sounds like something you feel you need to confront.
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« Reply #7: October 02, 2008, 03:57:55 pm »


I don't have much time to respond to individual posts, but thanks everyone for all the good advice.  I did finally get around to bringing this up to my supervisor, and I feel better.  He's going to talk to her and figure out what's going on.  Right now my intuition tells me that it's probably not as bad as I made it out to be.  Thanks for listening to my venting Smiley

I haven't murdered anyone at the office.  So far, so good.
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« Reply #8: October 03, 2008, 12:05:59 am »


Wow. People at work were so nice when they found out it was my birthday.  I didn't tell anyone, but through a strange, awkward turn of events, they found out.  Next thing you know they manage to dig up a card and sign it.  And they're all asking me what I'm up to, what I'm doing to celebrate. Next thing you know there are lively discussion about politics and we're all making fun of Sarah Palin.  I felt like a person, there, instead of a data entry automaton.  I was just so touched. 

I sort of realized that I can have friends there if I want.  I just have to stop dwelling on other people's criticism so much.  I get so paranoid.  There's one lady at work who clearly doesn't like me, for some reason. But it seems like there are quite a few people who genuinely do.  Maybe I should make an effort to talk to them more often, instead of turning on my headphones and being antisocial.

Anyway, thanks once again for all the good advice and good energy. 
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« Reply #9: October 03, 2008, 05:40:08 am »



See, it's not so bad!  Try talking a bit more to your new found friends at work, and you may even find your appraisal of your own work changing as well. Smiley
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« Reply #10: October 03, 2008, 03:33:08 pm »

.

I know he needed to fire me.  I was a mess at the time, not fit to be anyone's therapist.  He was right about most of what he said.  I never stopped hurting because of it.  I have had difficulty trusting myself ever since.  It was my dream to be a therapist, and I feel like I did my clients more harm than good.  That's why I have a master's degree in psychotherapy, but I'm working a data entry job.  I haven't studied anything else besides psychology.  I don't really have a lot of other skills, unless you count the artistic ones that won't pay the bills.  I've thought of going back to school but I've got too much debt already. 


 

 You seem very depressed, maybe you should see a doctor,you may need some medication to help you feel better and help you focus better. I also feel that you are depressed about working that job, it's not the profession you should be in, I feel that you should give the psychology field another chance, forget what the man said about that you can,t do it. I think that you should keep on trying until you find that perfect job for you.
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« Reply #11: October 03, 2008, 04:04:15 pm »

You seem very depressed, maybe you should see a doctor,you may need some medication to help you feel better and help you focus better. I also feel that you are depressed about working that job, it's not the profession you should be in, I feel that you should give the psychology field another chance, forget what the man said about that you can,t do it. I think that you should keep on trying until you find that perfect job for you.

I was very depressed when I wrote that post.  I happens periodically.  I actually have a diagnosis of Bipolar disorder, and I am on medication.  You should have seen me before I was on it.  I would have had periods where there were 20 arrogant posts a day, followed by long periods of no posts...because I was so ashamed of all the arrogant posts, and believed I was a bad person because of them. 

Looking at this objectively, without beating myself up, I know that I was in no state to be anyone's therapist.  I was on the wrong meds, and quite manic.  After that episode, I pretty much didn't trust my brain anymore.  I felt like it betrayed me.  I don't know if it's true that I did my clients "more harm than good".  I was in such a weird headspace back then that I don't know if I can parcel out what was real and what was just my weird brain doing what it occasionally does.   My guess is that I probably actually did help.  I just wasn't capable of helping as much as I wanted to, but I did care, and some clients were grateful.  There was one that I ran into a few months ago, and he said that he missed me.  It would have been inappropriate to encourage further contact in this case, but I know that I did touch his life, and that makes me feel good.

Right now I'm trying to sort things out again.  I took a break from the therapy thing.  Now I'm feeling well enough to think about whether I want to go into it again.  I'm still working through a lot of stuff.  I am on the recieving end of therapy and it's helping. 

So don't be too surprised if I occasionally post things where I seem depressed.   It comes and goes.  I appreciate all the support. 
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« Reply #12: October 03, 2008, 07:28:15 pm »


 

Looking at this objectively, without beating myself up, I know that I was in no state to be anyone's therapist.  I was on the wrong meds, and quite manic

Right now I'm trying to sort things out again.  I took a break from the therapy thing.  Now I'm feeling well enough to think about whether I want to go into it again.  I'm still working through a lot of stuff.  I am on the recieving end of therapy and it's helpi


Yes the right meds mean everything,sometimes even the generic brands do not help,I was on the generic Zoloft and I was very depressed on it I asked for the brand zoloft, and it was so much better.I'm glad that you're in therapy it will help alot alot, I too am in therapy,trying to get back to at least where I was before in the work area of my life. Good luck to you I hope everything works out better for you. Love,nikkiwitch.
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« Reply #13: October 06, 2008, 08:07:51 pm »



Errrmmmm...

So, the lady who yelled at me last week...I brought it to the attention of our supervisor last Thursday.  His reaction was "Wow, that's weird.  She seems so laid back.  But I'll talk to her and see what's going on..." 

Two days later?  She's gone. 

Quit? Fired?  Moved to another department? 

I don't know.  Sure makes my life easier, though. 
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« Reply #14: October 06, 2008, 08:11:43 pm »

Errrmmmm...

So, the lady who yelled at me last week...I brought it to the attention of our supervisor last Thursday.  His reaction was "Wow, that's weird.  She seems so laid back.  But I'll talk to her and see what's going on..." 

Two days later?  She's gone. 

Quit? Fired?  Moved to another department? 

I don't know.  Sure makes my life easier, though. 

Weird.  At least things are easier for you, though.

Sperran
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