Tidying Tasks

Two weeks ago I wrote about getting Support from Coworkers and how much it was helping me adjust to the job.  I’m still not adjusted.  I thought I was doing great, and then I was texting with a coworker while at work and we had a bit of a disagreement regarding whether I need to continue therapy, and I had a bit of a meltdown over thinking that I’ll never be “well enough” to properly help others.  I completely freaked Tilly out by texting her that I couldn’t do the job.

Then the night went terribly, or well, or both.  I had two major situations with clients that I thought I had handled well, but when I talked with Tilly in the morning it seemed like I had just horribly screwed them all up.  She had asked during the night if I wanted to quit or was just upset, and I told her that I honestly didn’t know and that I would do a pros & cons sheet to try to figure it out.

I e-mailed Tilly the pros & cons sheet, which resolved nothing for me, because I felt like everything was equally important.  I made a special trip out to work on Monday so that we could talk before my next shift.  We agreed that I would write out some “what if?” scenarios and how I would respond and then we could review those and she’d make suggestions.  She was concerned about the fact that my pros & cons sheet had indicated the possibility that I might end up harming myself, and made me sign a form that ended up essentially being an administrative version of a safety contract.  I felt very uncomfortable about it despite her promises that it would stay in her desk and not go to anyone else.  It indicated a follow-up plan regarding the “what if?” scenarios and that we would meet on Thursday mornings to talk before I went home.

This week went better.  I have a client who had previously told me I had “too much philosophical education” and didn’t know how to talk to regular people like him.  I’ve worked hard to remember QTIP – quit taking it personally – but this one was definitely meant personally and I knew he was right.  This week I managed to engage him in conversation and he has become friendlier again.

I had to attend first aid and CPR training Wednesday morning after working all night.  A coworker and Tilly’s boss both indicated that I never seem tired.  I said I do get tired, but I usually perk up again quickly.  I was showing signs of tiredness during the training – fidgeting a lot and having trouble focusing – and also I ended up having to take the nausea medication I keep in my purse because the first aid video nearly made me throw up.  On the bright side, my hands-on CPR test went perfectly.

Yesterday Tilly was coming in a bit late and told me I could have her boss sign my timesheet for practicum class, but I wanted to wait for her.  We talked for a bit, and went over to look at the office to determine what needs to be done before the auditors arrive in a couple of weeks.  I apologized for my obsessive tidying over the previous two nights.  Tilly touched the baskets of supplies on the desk and said, “I saw this and thought, ‘That’s my girl.'”

We came up with a list of other cleaning and tidying tasks that I would take care of before the audit, one of which was to update a calendar markerboard with more activities for the clients.  We noticed that it still said March and had March’s dates, so I was going to fix that before leaving.  I ended up staying until 10 am to erase and rewrite the whole thing because it was too messy trying to erase tiny spots and not smear the rest.  I feel like I should be frustrated at getting all these cleaning tasks, but really I just feel needed when I have special projects.

I’ve also gotten mutual support from a coworker who is experiencing some of the same challenges at adjusting, and I got a lovely e-mail reply from Tilly’s daughter, who had a rough time starting out when she worked in the same position I’m in now.  All in all, I’m still a bit shaky about whether this is the right place for me, but feeling a lot better about it than I was last week.



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