Recently I’ve been told I don’t seem like myself, that they want the old Gemma back, that I need to smile more.
They’re right I don’t seem like myself, that’s because I’m not myself, my inner self is retreating to a place in the dark where i don’t have to talk to anyone and I don’t have to share my thoughts. I feel like I’m trapped in a place where no one gives a damn about me, how I feel or what kind of human being I am.The ‘old Gemma’ is not someone who has decided to go on holiday, she’s still here standing in front of you, she just has a lot of emotions and a lot of thoughts running through her head. She is lost and needs your help not your abrasion. She doesn’t want to work with you, for you, anymore because the thought of coming to work each day crushes her soul and makes her question whether she needs to breathe.
When a place makes you feel like you cannot do anything right and that you are under performing when in actual fact you are one of the best they have you need to get the hell out. When a place does not appreciate your personality or your individuality, you need to get the hell out. When a place is more concerned about figures on a spreadsheet than the well being of their own employees, you need to get the hell out.
I am made to feel small. I am made to feel worthless. I am made to feel like I do not belong. I do not appreciate their attitude. This isn’t just a dislike of work, a feeling of despair because I can’t spend the day lounging around and doing nothing, this is a feeling of utter utter dejection and worthlessness.
I feel the need to say this because as someone who has previously been in charge, and have had employees of my own, I do not understand why someone can be so careless with their words. As a person of authority you are supposed to be the person they trust the most and who they come to with their problems and anxiety. When not one but five employees feel the same way and want to leave you know you have failed in your role as leader.
To successfully lead you must
1 – Have the ability to listen to those below you and take on board their feedback.
2 – Demand respect but also hold the respect of those you govern.
3 – Be able to empathize.
4 – Understand the needs of those around you.
5 – Be accepting.
The company I work for do not adhere to this list, they do not care about their employees because if they did then they would enter into a contract of trust with those around them, they would understand that in order to move forward they must first take a step back.
Depression is not a subject which should be taken lightly as it is a serious problem that can hinder a person’s life and impact those around them. I have suffered with it for many years and although there are times, glorious pockets of sunshine in an otherwise dismal world, where i feel like everything will be okay, eventually it crawls back into my mind and consumes me. I find it truly disturbing that even in this time, when everyone is at least acutely aware of this horrific mental ailment, that all managers and supervisors do not have sufficient training to be able to correctly handle a person in need. The fact that I am told to just ‘pretend I’m okay’ or that I ‘need to just put it out of my mind’ is offensive. I cannot switch it off like a light switch, I can’t put it away to deal with at a later date and I am most certainly not putting it on to avoid work. My job is focused solely on reaching targets, a ridiculous and unrealistic amount of targets each day and if said targets are not met they put an incredible amount of pressure on us to push customers into spending more. Being told your efforts are not good enough on a daily basis makes you feel bad about yourself, it makes you question your ability and when you have a mental illness it can seriously affect your health. This is something I have discovered recently, and the fact that the mere thought of going to work and knowing that I’m going to be told the same thing over and over again makes me feel physically sick is an indication that things need to change.
Mental illnesses should not be pushed under the carpet by incompetent managers who are incapable of comprehending the extent of your condition. They don’t go away by themselves and are in fact hindered by ignorant humans thinking nothing but targets.
I understand that targets are important however when they take over everything and the rest is irrelevant then there is something seriously wrong. My condition makes me vulnerable, it makes me unstable and it makes me unpredictable. I am not the only person who is stuck in this place between darkness and illumination, there are many who follow me down this broken path and the longer it takes for people to understand and alter their opinions and priorities then the worse the situation will get.
I refuse to apologise for things I cannot control but I want them to apologize because there is no reason to belittle a human being, and there is no excuse for this type of behavior in the workplace.