Saturday, March 17, 2007

Unfinished sympathy

I've been suffering from stress this week; something I told our deputy chief exec whose response was that 'we're all busy'. I'm not bleating about it; I'm recognising it. It manifests itself as an aching across my back and shoulders and a strange tense feeling in my chest.

I figure the first thing to do is to recognise it for what it is, hence the reason I'm happy to tell anyone that I'm stressed. I also don't expect anyone to accommodate me; everyone is busy and suffering their own traumas, but I figure these things are better out than in. There's a strange lethargy which tempts me to retreat into myself and not talk to anyone. But that doesn't seem the right thing to do.

The next thing is to try and recognise why it's happening. I have one project at work that's going badly. I know I've done everything I'm supposed to do on it, but the results aren't coming through like they used to. Being a marketeer it's often the case that when anything goes badly the answer given by non-marketeers is that we need 'more marketing'. And I know this is the simple criticism that will be exacted upon me when this thing is finally laid to rest. They actually mean we need more promotion; as the marketing spectrum is broader than leaflets and a sharp line in puns. In this case, the product has probably run its course and so I'm presiding over its slow and painful death.

Secondly, I run a very effective department on a very small team. But the team can no longer move forward because the rest of the organisation cannot accommodate our requirements. New products are being delayed, leaving us to work with the aforementioned turkeys. I try not to do others' jobs but I have an expectation of what they need to deliver. As they're not delivering, I'm left is stasis, which is causing me stress.

So, I've recognised it and possibly identified why it's happening; the next thing is to do something about it. I've tried to relax and rest when I can, but it doesn't seem to do much good. Then, on Thursday, I was walking down the stairs and the next thing I knew I was slumped at the bottom. For the first time since I was a small child I'd fallen down the stairs. I'd cut my arm, had a big carpet burn up my back and appear to have broken a toe. The feelings of stress, however, have gone.

"Good job you weren't holding Millie" people say sympathetically.


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