My sister’s work is highly emotional. It would take a toll. And it involves travelling. Her employer gives the workers a self-care day after every case concludes.
That got me thinking.
I don’t normally blog about my work. But here sort of goes.
I work in a high pressure, highly relational, job with constant decision-making and no down time in the working day. There’s one client who has unreasonable and unachievable expectations. She is often aggressive and rude and shouty and down right mean. And my employer gives me no back up.
Last week I had a bad night’s sleep, woke with a disturbed stomach and dreaded going to work. I am sure my blood pressure was up. I was tense and my back and neck were like rock. I knew I had to give news to that client that would probably see her respond like a rabid dog, adding to her probable Human Rights Commission claim that I can see happening in a few years.
In that same week, I had several reports of suicide ideation or attempts that I had to deal with and support other staff through, including calling an ambulance and debriefs and return plans. And one family where a mother did actually commit suicide and I have to support her kids. And I had to make a report to Family Services. And deal with a faulty nationwide computer glitch that affected mandatory standardised testing. And find staff.
Those incidents didn’t actually disturb my equilibrium. That may surprise some readers but dealing with crises and taking logical steps to move forward is something I take in my stride.
Solving the unsolvable, while being politically correct, with little, actually no, support from my employer, when I think we are doing an amazing job and few could do better in the context we are in, which has been acknowledged by experts but not my employer who just ducks and weaves. And to be abused by this one woman. Repeatedly. Now that pisses me off. And affects my health. One day I might tell the story of why I didn’t blog last year.
I take very few days off for illness. Not unless I am really really ill in a physically obvious way.
But my mental health and my bodily wellbeing is important.
So I took a self care day. Some may say it is a sickie, the days Aussies allegedly take when they are not sick.
But it isn’t.
I needed to still my mind. And every time I feel sick from this woman, I will take a day and be honest, as so many of my colleagues are not, and report it as stress.
People in my position hate being seen as weak. And being stressed is seen as weak.
Well, fuck it. Then I’m weak.