An Experiment, Day 4: In Which It Could Be Asserted That Stress, Not Love, is Everywhere

This morning, a daily newsletter that goes out to the entire company (in multiple countries) was delayed by about 15 minutes. Although that might not seem like a big deal, in a relatively conservative, corporate setting, it was grounds for mass freakouts. The first part of the process for creating the newsletter was delayed by about an hour and a half because I couldn’t connect to the internet. I ran out the door, and my poor roommate, who was calmly and leisurely cooking breakfast, had no idea how stressful other people can make the stress of this situation stressful for me.


The more people you have focusing on a daily task that is often at the mercy of technological temperament, the bigger the freakout if something goes even the tiniest bit wrong. Instead of actually focusing on fixing the problem and/or adjusting the pace of your work to compensate for the delay, you have to waste additional time sending out emails to advise people of the delay, and field confused phone calls from people concerned about the delay but who hadn’t bothered to read the email about the delay.

It brought back childhood memories of being late getting ready for school and my mother shouting up at me to hurry up, then meĀ  going to the top of the stairs to shout down that her shouting up at me wasn’t going to slow down time so we could have this pointless shout-discussion. Ultimately, it was my fault for not realizing that the WiFi card they gave me required me to inexplicably be connected to the fucking internet to set the damn stupid thing up.

Luckily I had the chance to blow off some of that steam in an informal meeting with a potential new manager. He liked to swear a lot and had surprisingly white teeth. It was a little weird. He kept asking me about the things I didn’t like and instead of reverting to the phoney “I work too hard is my weakness” crap, I said I hated the back-and-forth regarding our tech issues, because it was stressful that they couldn’t be fixed, yet I was constantly somewhat expected to without being psychic about file corruptions between versions of MS Word and hacking into everyone’s systems and force-installing some more universal programs.

Aside from the husband, the single biggest source of stress in my life is work, and it isn’t even that stressful. I feel like I have to LOOK stressful about it, but I explained to Potential New Manager (PNM) that I’m never terribly worried about anything being unsolvable because I have a disproportionately curious, naive enthusiasm of “what does this button do?” to see if it will fix it.

If that air of discomforting delusion I have is the key to minimizing the stress at work, I’m not sure how healthy or mature that looks when it comes to actually retaining this job long-term, beyond the tempness of it all. There have been hints and suggestions that it may happen, but I’d hate to be stuck in the dead-end, paycheque-surrendering hell that is American temping. I could play the waiting game and just wait for the stress and uncertainty (which are never mutually exclusive) to dissipate, rather than continue my roommate’s well-meaning experiment.

She tricked me into feeling love again today. Damn hippie.



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