20 February 2007

I Give Up

I’m an irritant. Why don’t people tell me to stop doing whatever while I’m doing it? Why don’t they explain what bothers them? Why can’t they pull me aside and work with me instead of complain about me to others? How am I supposed to improve? Why do I have to keep hearing these things and feeling bad about something I didn’t realize? What is wrong with being straightforward? When will I ever be okay with myself if no one else is okay with me? Why is it so much easier to leave a permanent bad impression on others than to get back a good impression? I’m an irritant. How discouraging. One thing is for sure: there will be no barbecue ribs for me when I leave.

I wrote the previous paragraph the last time there were reports about me. This time, I am a person who spreads poison and nags too much. Apparently I also tell people, “you failed” instead of giving them any hope after they have not passed a test. (It’s not fair to say that when you weren’t there, whoever you are. Also, I have been delegating all testing to my team members, so I don’t do tests, does that make you happy?) It was also reported that people quit solely because of me and missionaries and employees are constantly in tears because of me. Oh yeah, and I have no compliments for anyone. The unit is in “terrible trouble” ever since I was promoted.

I can’t take any more. I have done all I can. I am more dedicated to my job than anyone there. I work way too many extra hours, all of which have been a waste, apparently. I try new things all the time to improve my team, what we get done, and my leadership skills. I encourage others to work hard. I accomplish a ton. I don’t slack off. I pray for my team and my other coworkers. I bring things to a higher standard. And yet, all I do is bug people. They don’t want to be caught checking their email, surfing the net, making phone calls, walking around with friends, or just plain slacking off. The squeaky wheel gets the grease, the director has decided to investigate the problem (me).

Today I thought of all the people who have complimented my work and who enjoy talking to me. Where are they? Why don’t people ever report the good? I think of Elder Smith, Elder Wilson, Elder Marshall, Elder Healey, Elder Pope, Sister Ludlow, Sister Deeben, Sister Beeton, Sister Leavitt, Sister Bailey, Sister McCune, the Hills, and others. I think all of them, if interviewed, would give me kudos. I nearly cried last week when Sister Bailey gave me a valentine. For one moment, I felt that someone loves and appreciates me. And it’s someone who I don’t get to interact with very much anymore. She thanked me for everything I have done for everyone.

Apparently, nothing I have done can make up for all the things being held against me. Each employee will be interviewed by HR about me. Just what you always wanted: people who hold old grudges talking to people who are looking for problems to get rid of. I wonder if they will interview me. I’m too tired to even stand up for myself. I’m not worth it anyway. One of the letters to the director said there was a lot of backbiting and criticism since I had been promoted. It didn’t point out that it’s all been about me, not by me. They don’t want leaders. They want people who will be their friends and slack off with them. Each day I have come to work with an excited spirit, ready to work hard and make improvements. The criticism has worn me down. I can’t take anymore. The positivity that I fought to maintain has given in. The Michelle that used to be is no more.

Losing employees and gaining missionaries=each employee has too much to do. You think the easy solution would be to give that work to the missionaries. We have tried. There is more pressure from more missionaries who complain more and do less. These complainers are the ones who change things in ways that don’t help those who are quietly helpful. No matter what has been said, missionaries cannot handle all that employees can. It takes ten missionaries to find enough to do the physical work one younger employee can do. Good luck having all those be willing. Giving work to them causes more grief, and creates more work. More people who cannot do as much turns into more work to maintain those people. I used to hear all these warm fuzzy stories about senior missionaries. I don’t anymore. If I did, I wouldn’t believe them, especially if they involved senior missionaries asked to do physical things like shelf reading or to work on the computer. I have lost faith in the good.

I also can’t take anymore of bypassing me. If I am given a responsibility, why don’t people work out things having to do with it with me instead of going to someone above me? What is the purpose of me having that job then? What does the zone leader have to do with training? And yet, he has been all over trying to “fix it.” I don’t see him trying to “fix” Tom or Sherri’s things. We work for the Church. We are supposed to be happy and helpful, not hurtful. I guess I am the hurtful one. I think they do not realize that constantly telling me I need to work better with people is going to have the opposite effect: indeed, I don’t want to work with people ever again, especially girls. They say one thing to your face and another to others. Guys do not avoid talking things out. Normal people write emails to, not about. Normal people do not send negative letters to old missionaries. They do not save personal complaints on the public drive. They do not write about it in their blog. They do not spend all their time emailing their friends on work email. They take initiative. They care about what’s happening, not just about who’s happening.

I believe all those negative things about me and feel like I will never be able to work past them. I will be an irritating, venomous person forever more. I am a much different person than I was before working full-time at the Library for over a year. I am worn down, hopeless, over-worked, and beat up. I see no point in giving 200% anymore to anyone, anywhere. My energy, enthusiasm, and positivity: all gone. I am so stressed that I have constant stomachaches that keep me from eating. I feel old, like I have a lifetime weighing me down. There is no one to turn to, what is the point? I am President Monson’s paper boy.

I will not, cannot give up until I finish my shelf taping. That would be just rude to leave it for others as others have done. I have poured my heart and soul into this job, and I have enjoyed it, despite the ups and downs. I have, however, now given in to dullness, to being deadened. I could be making other plans. But, again, the point? If nothing is satisfying or valuable, what reason have I to go anywhere or do anything?

I have looked at others who do not seem to accomplish anything in their lives, and I have judged them for it. Now I understand more fully, but I don't want that anyway. I am going in that direction and there's nothing I can do about it because I have "seen the darkness." I pray that my family will not see the pointlessness of everything. Yesterday I read about enduring to the end. I don't know how much of a sin it is for me to give up, but I have right now. I can't do anymore. Besides, if nothing matters . . .


  1. Michelle, here are two of my journal entries:

    25 February 2003
    What a strange mental state I'm in. For eight days I've agonized. I threw myself into crisis mode: no music, busy busy busy business, anorexia, self-punishment, walking aimlessly late at night, hoping to be hit by a car, praying apologies, fighting blackness, entertaining blackness, crying unexpectedly. Miserable. Feeling like scum. My mind works in circles. I am selfish and careless.

    27 February 2003
    Sometimes life is torture. I swear it's been weeks since I wrote last. What, only two days? Argh. Yesterday I was so afraid of falling into another bout of depression. I thought about the dark days of my freshman year and the way they've haunted me ever since and I started to panic. I can't endure that emotional agony. I hate faking to everyone:
    "Hey, Amy, how are you?"
    "Fine," I lie, thinking that I'd rather be dead.

  2. I'm feeling a little vulernable publishing those journal entries, but your writing reminded me so much of me 4 years ago. That's not really comforting, I realize, but I keep trying to think of something helpful or useful to write, but there really isn't anything. Still, I love you and am glad you are my sister.