Disclaimer: I started writing this before I got 100% confirmation on my new job, so hopefully this will apply a bit less now. Thought I’d post it anyway!
Days like this make more sense now.
Days like this used to really puzzle me – I’m not doing anything different, nothing especially bad happened. And yet I’m struggling!
Now things feel a bit better, because I can understand why. I can look back and see all the little things that might contribute to me struggling. I overslept a little, my routine was disrupted. The train was late, my routine was disrupted further. The station was busy, I had to get my ticket from a person instead of a machine, and he had a thick accent so I couldn’t understand him.
The train was crowded – I couldn’t stand in my usual spots, away from the door whilst everyone else is coming in, to stay out of their way, then closer to the door when we pull into the station. I couldn’t be the one to press the door’s button, had to hope the person would do it. Had to hurry to get off the train before the door closed on me.
Not realistic worries, but worries I can’t shake, even when I’ve been commuting by train for nearly two years.
I get to work. The trains didn’t make me so late that I’m late to clock in, but I have to hurry, no chance to stop and catch my breath. I start my shift. There’s been a shake up at work lately, a new system we’re using to keep track of stock, so my daily schedule is all thrown out. I don’t do what I’m used to doing at this time or that time, but the new schedule is easy enough to use.
Except it’s not working today, and the old system is partially offline now, so now we have to take out every single piece of stock individually and see if there’s a gap on the shelves. For hundreds of products, maybe even over a thousand on this department. If I’m really lucky, there is someone on with me.
Wait! Before that, we have an inspection. Go round the department with a spray bottle of cleanser and a cloth.
Also, be prepared to drop everything and get called onto another department with zero notice, seeing as how you’re multi-skilled. And then another one. Has anyone been assigned to markdowns? You know how to do markdowns!
It’s almost expected to be swapped departments without warning now, or to lose colleagues when they get swapped out.
Then it’s time for the train home. There are people singing. Sometimes they’re harmless, just drunkenly singing or screeching and generally being louder than I have the energy for at that point. Sometimes a fight starts, and I have to flee to the next carriage.
I understand that even Neurotypical people get stressed as well, maybe even on a day like this, but I feel like it makes more sense now why I’m so constantly overwhelmed. I can see how all the little things are constantly chafing at me. The problem is right now is that that’s every day for me. I try to get home, but I have a social event first. It’s good to be social, healthy even, but it is a struggle sometimes.
Suddenly it’s easier to see why all the little things, the things are so easy for everyone else, might not be so easy for me. And it’s easier to forgive myself for struggling.