Last Friday I made a decision. Well, if truth be told I made quite a few decisions last Friday but this one decision in particular was one that I had been mulling over for rather a long time. So much so that I had already made this decision multiple times prior to Friday, each time with a different overall outcome.
What made last Friday differ from all the previous times though was that rather than just think about the decision I was making I actually made the effort to act on it as well.
Ever since my illness first got me in it’s vice-like grip back in September and forced me to come away from my job I have been trying to twist my mind into a position where it could decide whether my existing role was still something that was beneficial to me or whether it was actually doing me more harm than good. When your illness causes you to veer towards the negative of most situations, coupled with the fact that you’re more often than not a “glass half empty” type of person it’s unsurprising that I’ve spent months and months telling myself, as well as others that I was 100% not returning to my current role.
I’d written a list of positives and negatives about the job previously and ended up with a fairly even split straight down the line. The positive side of things mostly focused on things like the decent hours, the fact that I always enjoyed the thrill of the chase when it came to bagging a good appointment and the close proximity of the office to my home. Whereas the negative list was somewhat needless and petty, focusing on the absolute state of what passed for tea available in the vending machines to the fact that I resented making somebody rich that already had far too much money in the first place.
But at the end of the day I had to keep in mind that it was a job that I had previously really enjoyed doing, and that it was my mental illness trying to convince me that my job was a major contributor to it’s ongoing existence.
I’m not letting them off the hook here though. Because when it comes to doing everything that they could have done to try and support me through my ongoing health crisis and promote a speedy recovery they have done absolute diddly-squat. I’ve had no regular contact with the company, no efforts made to encourage me back into an alternative, less pressurised role and no offer of working from home, even though the role I have could easily be carried out from home without any problems.
No, what my employer decided to do was rather than make any efforts to understand what had caused one of their employees to suffer such a severe mental breakdown and maybe look into some suitable prevention methods and support routes in order to tackle any future incidents involving mental illness in the workplace they chose to do the exact opposite.
Absolute fuck all.
That’s right. They buried their heads in the sand again and pretended it wasn’t happening, choosing to remain ignorant and uneducated despite the fact that I wasn’t the first employee there to suffer with such mental health conditions. No, their method of dealing with such occurrences is to completely ignore the sufferer and hope it all goes away without intervention. Hardly the actions of a company that supposedly values it’s workforce.
So why then, have I made the decision to go back if I don’t agree with how the company operates?
Well it’s kind of a “better the devil you know” situation really. I feel like I need to get some sort of plan in place for the foreseeable future. I’ve been off of work for almost 9 months now and it’s starting to really take it’s toll. Think about it just for a second if you will. We’ve all said in the past how great it would be if we never had to work again and could just spend all day at home doing sweet Fanny Adams. But the reality is it’s actually really rather dull. There’s only so many days of binge-watching TV series and playing video games you can do before the brain rot starts to set in and you find yourself going slowly but surely mad.
As human beings we need interaction in order to keep us half sane. Being sat in the house for days on end and never seeing anyone isn’t healthy for anybody. Hence why we all go to work for the day. It gives us a purpose in life and a reason to get out of bed.
Yes I could easily have just jacked my existing job in and gone off to an agency for some temporary work somewhere. But that would require me having to learn a new job and spend time getting to know a whole new set of work-friends. And those are two things that I just don’t have the energy to deal with after months and months of being out of the whole work scene. No, far better to go with the familiar approach while I’m trying to rebuild my life. Use and abuse what’s basically offered to me on a plate and then when the time is right and I’m feeling like i’m at the top of my game, pull the plug and move on.
I’ll finish this blog with a quote that I think is rather fitting.
“Ironically, people tend to change their attitude towards you when you begin treating them the way they treat you.”