The end of the month blues

We’re continuing to fight the various illnesses that seem to be endlessly circulating through town.  It’s a toss-up as to what will do me in first, fatigue about work and stress, or fatigue from fighting with illness and the impact it is having on our kids. 

Bren is having issues.  I suppose there is no other way to put it.  His method for coping with stress is to have outrageous fits.  We’re trying to help him deal with things, but truthfully, I’m so worn out that I know I’m now unable to do much for him.  We’ve been seeing a great doctor since January, but just when I think we might be moving past these outbursts, along comes a big one.  I talked to his pediatrician last week and it was reassuring, then he spent Sunday afternoon in a rampage of emotion.

Todd didn’t get the sleep he needed.  I felt completely lost.  The baby was bewildered and upset.

Bren still doesn’t seem to have fully recovered.  He was ok last night, but some evidence of it showed through this morning.

I’m lost.

Got to work this morning and there was a lovely card from my department.  They gave me a gift of money – much appreciated, as they know things are tight for me and my family.  It makes me feel guilty for wanting to get out of here.  I can’t help but wonder if it wasn’t prompted by the basket my mum sent me.  (and yes, she’s the best…)

The funny (or sad, depending on your perspective) thing about it all is that the card was more than enough.  Actually, just the words “thank you” would have been plenty for me.  It’s amazing how that will do the job. 

But the issues are still here and I am waiting to see how things come out in the next couple of days.  My boss is tackling the issue that pushed me over the edge last week.  I expect the fall-out from it will be awful, but I don’t have any further resources (mental, emotional or otherwise) to deal with it.  And I shouldn’t have to.  I think that is what bothers me even more.  The “order” I got last week was completely inappropriate and not a bit unethical.  When I questioned the situation I got spoken to in a manner that I will not accept. 

This is the uncomfortable part about being considered a “peon” in the office.  I have latitude about the types of behavior that I will accept from my principals, ie, my faculty, but really I am the bottom of the foodchain here and it seems to be understood that I’m held to their whims.  For the most part, I exercise my rights to ask for what I need whenever possible, but the rest of the time it feels like my requests are lost in the air.

These are common complaints from administrative support folks.  I’ve heard it all before.  We get requests that are sometimes almost laughable… one friend, in a higher level position which is not supposed to be clerical, was asked by her incoming boss to read all his emails for him.  I’ve actually got it relatively good compared to others in my building.  Some of the expectations placed on them are minor irritations that can be dealt with by having a sense of humor, others are onerous and even, at times, ridiculous.  There is definitely a sense of “class” distinction, with those who are in support positions viewed with less than those sitting in the offices, with their advanced degrees.

I’m not lumping all folks together.  I have some faculty in my department who are seriously underpaid for the contributions they make.  And I certainly don’t view all support staff as free from criticism, myself included.  It’s just that there are days when I wonder if I can stand being a part of this system….  and last week was a time when the answer was no.

I’ll recover.  Maybe I’ll get an interview.  Maybe I won’t. 

In a few days the baby will be 1 year old.  I hope our second year brings better things than the first.

It’s something to look forward to, anyway.

Clambering down off my soap box and returning to the grind…


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