Two years ago, I realised I was worrying about nothing altogether too much; well, I still am these days — though it could be argued I’m now worrying more about things that really matter, than petty arguments with housemates.
First of all, on Friday while I was seeing my personal torturer, and probably at the exact time that Iain Duncan Smith was drafting his resignation letter, I was texted by DWP that they were gonna call me during the weekend about Universal Credit. This got me worried, because although I stopped qualifying late last year when I went permanent at my workplace, there’s always the fear that they’ll have realised they overpaid me (you know, because it was more than a pittance), and will thus want it back.
It didn’t help that 3 Mobile (yes, I’m belatedly naming and shaming them here) were having a “bad signal day” on Saturday, making me wonder if I’d even receive the call, and then be punished further for failing to be available at the right time… so imagine my relief when the call turned out to be a general notification (a follow-up to a letter that I only received today), about a change in the Universal Credit policy, which hopefully won’t affect me anyway. Phew, they weren’t penalising me for failing to notify them that they’d overpaid me after all!
Of course, if I ever lost my current job, I’d be right back on UC again… you know how close I came to that back in January, after I told you in, er, February; well, I was horrified two weeks ago when, after a morning I’d been so close to panic trying to fix a PC at reception that I’d all but dragged a member of the Facilities team out of their office to support me, I got an e-mail notification that my boss wanted to see me on the 21st (today) for a “PDR”.
I couldn’t help but link the two events, and fear that she was going to tell me I was close to getting myself fired again… so imagine my relief, again, when I had the meeting with her, and it turned out to be a standard “performance & development review”, something everyone goes through (and no different to my days at Camden, aside from being annual rather than monthly); she recognised I want to improve my self-confidence, and on that basis she’ll arrange for me to have some customer service training. Phew, again!
Although I never got to the same level of anxiety as January 2012 or November 2014, and continued to function over recent days and weeks, I recognise I need to grab my self-doubt by the throat and strangle the life out of it. It’s particularly essential if I’m the “face” of the IT department, as I need to project confidence and sympathy: this morning I was mumbling and stumbling when trying to explain to my colleauges that our Internet connection was down and we were awaiting a fix time from our useless supplier in Docklands, who have let us down this way before (in November, and also last week when I was in Worthing), and you can imagine that made the prospect of my impending PDR seem even worse — a good example of panic creating more problems than it solves.
(Fortunately, my boss got all the anger out of her system ranting at the hapless fool at the ISP she got on the phone!)
Despite all this, I’ve noted my confidence on good days has been growing over the past months, as I’m clearer about how to do things around the place, and more aware that people appreciate my help; hell, I even move more confidently these days! I just need to learn not to panic on the difficult days, but I hope I can achieve it without the help of mind-altering substances…