I’d like to post some more lovely pictures of flowers in my garden. But there’s something of more importance I need to get out of the way, first. It’s a long one, but I have a lot to get out of me heid.
I went back to work this week, after nearly two months off to recover from depression.
I’m good. I’m not ‘great’ but I’m good. I wanted to go back, but only because of the dire financial situation we’ve been in. Otherwise? This has been the best summer Ireland had has since the 1980′s or so, and I was loving it. 34c (about 92f) was our top temp at home, via our spiffy satellite-controlled weather station (bought by himself when times were less lean). It wasn’t weather to make me get all icky-sweaty very often, as the humidity stayed around 17%. Sunshine! How I love it, I’m soo brown. A good dose of sunshine takes at least 10 years off my face, so no matter how fat and out of shape I am, I feel good. I’m one brown white person in a country full of white or painfully red or startlingly more freckled white people. They hate me. I love it.
I did query about signs of skin cancer, by the way – I have none. Despite my childhood in Florida when sun lotion meant something to make to tan even darker, I’m good.
So! The job. I went in last Thursday to talk to HR and the warehouse manager about my proposed new position. I was incredibly nervous; my hands were shaking. And sweaty. Have you ever applied for a job at a company you already work for, when knowing your current job is not only taken, but something you’d rather swim in a bathtub full of lemon-juice and salt gelatine layered in razor blades, than ever, ever, do again? Yeah. Add in the idea that most everyone had heard the gossip and knows you had a breakdown. I can verify THAT because not one person has asked why I was off, but they all ask ‘how are you?’ Ugh, ugh, ugh. I had a really good story about my ultra-light flying over a NI military base, and me being held for questioning and having to clear my name. But no one has asked. Fucking small country, taking away my fun…
But it went well. I liked the new job based on the description, and it was the same one proposed to me months ago. Don’t ask me what my title is now, I can’t bloody remember. But basically I’m in charge of counting stock in the warehouse. The count is random, sort of, it depends on when it was last counted. It’s all computerised and I need two handheld scanner ‘guns’ to check the stock. They tell me what needs counted, and what should be there.
Problem one is that there aren’t enough guns. Everyone has their own – except me as I’m new and haven’t been set up yet – but there are a bunch of young lads working as summer help who use them too, and some broken ones. I need two, no one else needs two. I got creative yesterday by using my iPhone to take pics of everything that ‘should’ be on the shelf, then switching over to the actual counting program to do my job. A bit slow, that. Sure wouldn’t have worked today when I had 50 items in one location!
Hopefully that issue will be resolved soon.
The biggest issue, and really the only other one, is heights.
My neck hurt the first day, trying to tilt backward enough to read numbers written waaay up here:
I actually took this pic in the hopes I could zoom in via the photo and read the numbers. Didn’t work.
The man who is training me is a goddamn mountain goat. All of Monday he climbed up on things that just… no. I’m not doing that. When he left me to my own devices and I looked up two, three stories, and saw nothing to hold on to, I went wandering the warehouse until I found him and made him do it. I was honest, “I’m not comfortable with that, but I’ll come around, I’m sure.” Well. When he stood on top of the safety-rail on our best ladder, I realised I will never, ever do that. Nooooooo. They have a really cool pallet-mover, so I can learn to drive it (yes!) or ask someone to bring a load down so I can count it. I hate having to wander around looking for help, though.
By day two, I did what I said on Monday night that I would never, ever do. I stepped off the ladder and walked around on a pallet 12ft off the ground (at least 3 metres). I was sweaty from head to toe, and terrified. But I could not think of one good reason not to do it, other than my fear. The ladder is well tall enough, the pallets are solid-looking, and there is plenty of room to stand and walk around up there.
So I did it.
I had thought (in advance, knowing my fear of heights would be cancelled out by my hatred for looking like a sissy) that having any of the lads around me when I needed to scale a ladder would make me more likely to ‘just do it’. It seems that isn’t the case. When I needed to count this ‘bin’, I was totally alone with no one to ask for help without a long-ass walk. With no one watching, I really did just do it, just because it had to be done.
I’m the only female in the warehouse these days, by the way. I’m also well older than 80% of the lads. That is something I’m rather proud of, and I feel the need to keep that pride.
Here’s the picture, taken very shortly afterward, by hands still sweaty and shaky.
It really doesn’t look that scary, does it? But…I had to step off that ladder and walk around up there, counting stuff. That wasn’t too hard. Hardest was stepping back onto the ladder again! I’m glad I could suck it up and do it without over-thinking it until I got into major-sweats. I won’t say panic, as I’ve never had a panic attack and I don’t know what that feels like (I did have hysterical laughter once on the ground again, after the Skyway at Disneyland broke down, when I was already feeling massive regret and scaredy-cat feelings for getting on it at all).
I am so sore, however: I’ve spent most of my time at this company sitting on my arse, working via phone and email. I’ve spent a good amount of my 2 months off reading and sunbathing from a sitting or prone position, with a small amount of walking for fun or with the dog or to buy smokes. Don’t forget the gardening, but it’s a damn small garden. Monday – hot pads on neck and back. Tuesday – Wednesday just for my back. My feet and legs are sore.
It’s a good sore. I’m not in any more agony than normal, and I’m walking a lot (it’s a massive warehouse) and up and down ladders all the time, and moving boxes of schtuff. It feels so good to be physical again for a reason. I’m not too old, just yet.