how do you handle stress? (g2)

Bitch, I drink! Like a fish! Get me a Guinness!

Ok, so definitely not something to say during an interview. Although the temptation is IMMENSE!

If people believed half the crap I said, they would all think I was a crack-snorting (yes, I found out later this is physically impossible to the intense amusement of many), dope-smoking lush who forced my kid into some sort child slavery to feed my various habits.

In truth, my kid’s only job is school and sometimes they slack off so much I’d like to put their head through a wall, in spite of the fact they have only ever had three spankings their entire life. I have one beer that has been sitting in my fridge over a month and I’m rectifying that oversight as I type this.

But handling stress at work? Compartmentalize until its forced into little tiny cubes that I file away until I find work elsewhere or explode. So far the latter has not occured.

If the stress is from the work itself, its easy. Break it down, literally or metaphorically in groups. Organize those groups. Tackle in order, by priority, whatever works… in small batches. Celebrate the small victories, they add up to big ones.

I compulsively alphabetize. It saves me a lot of duplicated efforts by doing so, especially in immense volumes of paperwork. It is insane the sheer amount of times you will get the same group of papers from various people. I detest looking at anything more than once.

When its with people… see the bits on how to handle difficult people. When you have shit owners or heads of the company, its near impossible to avoid and either you learn to adapt or leave.

My own stress never seems to manifest emotionally. I know its there when I stop being able to move my neck, or my stomach is churning, or some other physical indication that is not grounded in science or sense. I would have said a panic attack was a hypochondriac’s way of getting attention, until I had not one, but three… all the while thinking I was having a bloody heart attack. When the economy crashed, I had my first ulcer. I got in a huge argument with a boss and had a migraine so bad (my first), there was literally a pop in my head and I couldn’t not see more than a pinhole for over an hour.

My coworkers, however, think all is fine and I’m completely teflon to all the shit going down. Around some of my past coworkers, expressing any stress would have caused their own short fuse to escalate to infinite proportions. Have you ever had a coworker you couldn’t express your own emotions around as it would have put them over the deep end? They can lose their shit over basically nothing, but somehow it becomes unallowed for you to do so?

It’s only when I’m forced to call in sick from a hospital bed that it becomes clear how much I’ve been internalizing. Thankfully, those have been few and far between. If I managed to dodge the hospital, I just don’t mention it.

But the bottom line and one that keeps me going, albeit not one any interview wants to hear is… its just a job, you’re as expendable to me as I am to you.

But sadly in this country, the truth.

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