I Don't Want To Help
2019-12-03, 5:57 p.m.
recently on Chaos Attraction
On Monday, we interviewed the other candidate for our boss. She seems nice enough, and certainly has the relevant experience. If there’s any disadvantages here in hiring when it comes to her, it’s that:
I kind of feel like when we go into these things it turns into a “we all need therapy” (particularly Lioness, who was all, “I am going to have to heal from this place, there have been hurt feelings for years” in the interview) session, especially when we’re all “half the staff are temps and one department had 100% turnover.” She asked about upper management and the 2nd in command was in there “facilitating” and Lioness was all, “I’d give you a different answer if she wasn’t here, but she is,” and 2nd in command was all “oh, go right ahead,” and Lioness was all “yeah, we don’t know much about what’s going on and we don’t really find out things until they’re decided out of the blue. And I was all, I have no idea what’s going on but everything is on fire here all the time so we don’t have anything left to improve things.
If I were the second candidate, I wouldn’t feel so broken up about not getting the job after hearing this shit (she said she wants to move out of her area and that was why she is looking here). This job ain’t gonna be easy.
(b) Since the other candidate already works here and knows what’s going on and has done the job before and is beloved, I’d be flabbergasted if she wasn’t hired over this new girl. I’d probably give new girl more points if we were hiring between two outside candidates instead of one being very, very inside.
Ah well, not under my control, we’ll see, etc.
At knitting group, I found out that one girl who was being bullied at work actually got rid of her bullies. Which is to say that (a) they were doing it for a long time, (b) their previous targets got promoted, (c) when she filed a report on these people, the ones that got the report literally had been there and done that, and (d) decided to do something about it...by transferring/promoting them, mind you.... But hey, still a win! Reminds me of my boss two bosses ago, who’d been bullied himself.
Also, I started attempting to make a complicated cable project on Monday and after ripping it out three times, managed to do five rows of the hard part. So yay me there.
As for Tuesday:
So being on the public service team (which I got transferred into...twice) means that everyone but me enjoys public service. It genuinely makes them happy to help people. They thrive on it. I....don’t. For me, it’s a chore. It’s “move ‘em in, move ‘em out” and “next.” It doesn’t make me feel warm and good inside, more like drained the fuck dry. Also, abuse is guaranteed to come with the job. There's something about a person being there for you and saying, "Can I help you?" that means they're supposed to be treated like a punching bag that can't fight back, apparently.
Today I went on a walk with Lioness and...I can't recall if I've given her an interesting fake name here already, I'll go with Tigress, and Lioness asked what was really so bad about answering phones.
"Well, I'm good if I know what I'm talking about, but I'm not good at answering things blind. I don't like cold calls at all. I'm better in person than over the phone because then we can see what we're talking about. I don't like having to answer questions about stuff I don't know about, while everyone else is listening in, judging me, filing complaints against me for how I screwed up or sounded stressed out or upset, and trying to get me fired. People behave better if they are there in person than over a phone. I don't want to deal with upset, screaming, crying customers. I would not have applied for a job like that in the first place. It honestly makes me wish I was dead to answer a general phone line."
"Well, that seems a little dramatic," Lioness (who is also dramatic) said.
"I know, but I mean it. I really hate it. I tried for years, I spent a thousand dollars on a voice coach and took every class I could on public service, but I stink at it. It's awful for me, it's not rewarding at all. I just can't find any other jobs that aren't asking for high stress customer service."
Unfortunately, for me anyway, both the office that runs our office and our own office are all about having people volunteer for charity right now, and in general. The office that runs our office wants "everyone" to volunteer at the food donation place, which has a ton of demand. So far I have said no, pleading that I have a giant workload (which I do right now, I'm on the tail end of Busy Season, but it's still busy). And now our office now wants us to adopt a charity on top of that. They sent a list of five to vote on and frankly, I'm not in favor of doing any of them. I won't get into which charities they were, but it was along the lines of either working with a population that I really don't enjoy spending time with, or fundraising. I voted for the one I felt had the most need, but unfortunately that one was dealing with suicidal people and uh...honestly, I don't feel up to dealing with that either. It's way too close to home of this job already and I can't say I enjoyed taking classes in how to deal with suicidal/stressed people for work either. But I feel that is more of a dire issue than the other four, if I must choose.
Cut to hours later when Tigress walks by asking if I want to volunteer at the food donation place. I say no, I'm busy, she moves on. Then about five minutes later I make the mistake of walking by their office because I hear hysterical laughter going on and I wondered what that was about. I never did find out because Lioness was all, "Why won't you volunteer there? It's only an hour. Even the CEO is volunteering there for an hour."
And I spit out: "I don't want to help anybody any more. I'm sick of it. I don't even want to volunteer at the Craft Center any more and you know I love that place." That got whopping gasps from the room, myself included.
"I'm burned out on helping people, and I'd rather act."
Our third coworker, the new temp (who also let me and everyone else pet her service dog later, which also helped), was all, "Good for you, if you've lost the heart for it, do what you want to do and move on." I wanted to yell "hear hear" about that, but did not.
I think that mostly ended the argument right there after saying that.
I did not get into my line of work because I love to help people, which is what everyone else here will tell you. I got into this line of work because I did not drive and I could walk to work. If I couldn't do something that I wanted to do for a living (i.e. journalism, which...man, I'm so grateful I got laid off from that when I did instead of trying to hang on, things could have been worse). I wanted something with low stress and low emotional investment that I could leave behind at 5, which is what I had for ten years. Then I got moved to public service. I still leave the job behind at 5, mind you, but the stress has been really bad for 6 out of the last 7 years.
And hell, the CC is a low stress job, it doesn't have angry crying clientele and even there was starting to feel Too Much of late. I've felt good not being there this quarter due to the play. I don't have any excuse not to come back in winter, as (a) I don't plan on auditioning for The Miracle Worker in January--not a lot of parts I'd want, I am not a dramatic actress, and playing Annie/Helen, much as I love sign language, would involve a lot of screaming/stress/hitting according to that movie, (b) I'm going to audition for the 10 minute play festival but don't have high hopes on getting into that one particularly, and (c) I think it's pretty clear at this point I'm not getting into any shows at other places if I audition for them. I won't have a play to do in winter, so why not come back to the CC?....except somehow I don't want to any more. I love the place and I don't want to work there that much any more. Maybe just teach, but I don't know how I'd schedule teaching around being in plays when they book you six months in advance to teach, and I didn't get booked to teach this winter, when I would have had the free time. I have to decide there soon and I just...don't wanna.
I feel like such an asshole for not wanting to help people. Everyone should want to help people. But I'm tired of everyone's stress and drama, I'm beyond burned out on it, and the amount of helping I feel like doing these days is along the lines of props committee, and helping people get dressed, and reminding people to go out on stage. Light stuff. Stuff that doesn’t require me to manage someone’s emotions, to constantly apologize for the dumbest shit, to try to figure out how to defuse their rage, to keep an eye out for someone who sees what I’m doing and doesn’t like it, to fit what everyone else wants to see in a public service robot.
Helping others: not the happy joyfest it’s supposed to be, y’all.
I don’t even know how to deal with the fact that I don’t want to work weekly shifts at the CC any more., which I have to decide on by the end of the week. I have no excuse not to other than I no longer want to, and I don't get why I don't want to. How can I love a place for fifteen years (I think it’s been that long) and then just...not want to do the work any more? Even I don’t understand this. I love the cause (I’m a jerk, but doing something that makes people happy beats handing out food for me, even though food is actually necessary), I love the people, I love the work. But now it feels like the weekly commitment is holding me back from the stage (even if I’m not going to be onstage in winter!) and that’s where I want to be. Sigh.