On A More Serious Note

I work in a grocery store. It’s been chaos. My company hasn’t announced a temporary hazard pay increase but others have.

I feel like I have accepted the fact that I will most likely get Coronavirus. We are doing our best: wearing gloves, using hand sanitizer and washing our hands very often. I work in three departments claims, receiving and cosmetics. In claims I touch most items that are returned and everything in the store that gets damaged. In receiving I work with the vendors/merchandizers/drivers. It is easier to keep a distance but some have been sick and the couriers touch all the boxes I have to handle. In cosmetics I am stocking and tidying. I know customers are touching products because I find open bottles constantly, which I then have to bring to claims and I possibly deal with it the next day. I’m not trying to complain. I’m just stating facts. Any position in the store you are dealing with people and things people have touched. It’s risky when a virus is going around.

I don’t worry so much for myself. I worry for my 72 year old coworker I adore and share an office with. I worry for my grandma who babysits my kids while I’m at work. My ex had convinced me that this virus isn’t too dangerous for our kids; that is mostly the elderly who are the most at risk. I can’t even begin to worry about my babies because I couldn’t handle it if anything happened to them.

When I get home, I put my clothes in the hamper and jump in the shower. I hope this is enough. I heard today that another store has a lot of people off work between Corona and the regular flu. Our store has some people in quarantine from association and self quarantine but no cases yet.

I need my job. If I was still with my husband, I’d probably take a leave of absence or quit.

Besides needing my job, there are reasons to stay. I love my job. I like my coworkers a lot. I’ve made a lot of friendships. Everyone has been working really hard and pulling together, especially lately. I love being part of this awesome team.

Still, I would probably leave to protect my babies and grandma if I could.

Perfectionism

Every time I try to keep a diary, I end up throwing it out. The first time I did this blog, I deleted everything. I’m a perfectionist. I also get so passionate in the moment and later feel like I look insane. Some things were written when I was in a very emotional state. I was going through a separation from my husband and I had just got diagnosed bipolar. I have mixed feelings about just writing that. On one hand, I don’t want anyone to know that I have been diagnosed that. I am also a fully functional human being. I have a job and usually work full time hours. I am a single mom with shared custody of two amazing kids.

I hope to move up in my company one day. Then I get scared. Will they read my blog? Will they find out I’m bipolar? Will it matter? I really hope that in this day and age, it won’t matter. I hope that if I randomly post a couple conspiracy theories I am seen as fun and quirky, not crazy. Maybe just the fact that I have a blog will give hesitation to promoting me. I do try have a boundary between work and my blog. There is a bunch of tiktoks I would love to make about work, but I’m too scared of being fired. You never know. We are in a day and age where this technological world is still new. That is just my opinion on it.

I also live with anxiety, but if anything it makes me a better employee (also, just my opinion). I am meticulous with details and following up with things. I don’t let anything fall off the wayside. I am not trying to boast. I can find work extremely stressful because of my anxiety. I am the type of person who would buy my own planner and make little work to do lists for each day, write down important deadlines, and notes if I have to get back to someone with an answer to something. I am 100% more affected with anxiety than bipolar. Maybe it is the type of bipolar I have, or the fact that I am on medication for it. I could easily opt for anxiety medication but I am coping and I am a big believer in exposure therapy. I noticed the longer I am in my role, the more good days I have, and the more comfortable I am at work.

Recently, I learned how to ship out packages. Every time I do it, I have anxiety. I double check that the address is right and perfectly align the labels on the box. I feel like I am doing a good job but I still have a fear that the senior employee will correct me. He is always really nice about it, but I still worry about it. I actually worry more that he won’t look and a mistake will be missed. In reality, I know I am doing things properly and worst case scenario is it will probably come back to us. Not the end of the world. For me, living with anxiety means things feel like a much bigger deal than they are. I know that, like other parts of my job, one day I will be able to ship packages without any second thoughts, it’ll just take some practice.

Personally, at this point in my life, I would not apply for a promotion until I was as emotionally ready as possible. I am being strategic about it. I am learning as much as I can. I am now going into my third department and learning it from the bottom up. Is this a completely necessary step for someone who wants to be promoted? No, but I find it helpful. The last time I was a manager, I started as a greeter. I later moved to cashier, then to keyholder. I was comfortable with this because I knew exactly what was expected from each position. My company now is much larger so I probably won’t have a chance to learn EVERY department bottom to top, but every bit helps. Nothing will completely prepare me for being promoted. I expect to have anxiety for a while, but I also expect it to go away eventually.

The one thing I need to remind myself of: most people get nerves with new tasks and in new positions. Maybe, someone with anxiety may struggle more, but that doesn’t make it less natural. I’m going to be okay eventually, as I master the skills, things will become second nature.

A Dream Store

Have you ever shopped at The Children’s Place? It is one of my favourite stores, not just because I used to work there. I wish they had baby and children’s Vans (especially the Disney collection), JujuBe tokidoki diaper bags, AppleCheeks cloth diapers and nursing pads, and the Honest Company bubble bath and shampoo. I just think all that would really go with their brand and make it a much bigger store.

What is your favourite store? What do you wish they had?