I had my annual review Wednesday at work. Overall, my boss seemed more positive this year than last year, so that's a good thing. Overall, my "rating" still stinks, at least in my eyes. I've tried so hard this year to be the star employee that I know I can be, that I was at various points in time. I really feel like such a failure right now. I feel like the harder I try and be a good little employee and focus on my work and get things done the worse I do.
There's one line in my review that has been haunting me the last three days: "This indicates a lack of focus and productivity as she is unable to complete eight hour days of productive work on a regular basis." There are other such beauties peppered throughout the review paperwork. All of them indicating a lack of focus, and as my boss sees it, drive. All of them indicating that I'm not a good cog in the corporate world.
Maybe I'm just a "free spirit" that is finally getting fed up being in the cage of Corporate America. Maybe I've just been at this job too long and the spark that drives people to do their best at their job has faded and finally gone out. Maybe I'm just truly lazy and hate working. Maybe this or maybe that or maybe something else entirely.
Maybe I'm just broken.
Maybe there really is something "wrong" with me.
At least as far as "normal" people see it.
You see, I would have to argue that while I may be a "free spirit" and dance to the beat of my own drum, I really do like my job. I like working with all the different people I get to work with, all over the country. I like the challenging puzzles that I get presented with. Sure, I don't love my job, but most days I like it. I'm not sure if I've ever loved any of my jobs, other than when I was working at the Nature Center or at camp. (But love, and a $500/month stipend does not pay the bills or put food on the table or cover health insurance...)
I know I've mentioned it before over the years, but seriously, my lack of ability to focus is really getting out of hand. Or, when I can focus on something, it is totally unrelated to work (like this blog...).
I've always had issues with homework (busywork), whenever I had more than 3 or 4 assignments due at school in the same time frame, I could barely keep from freaking out, procrastinating and getting none of them done. Even 3 or 4 if they were big was enough to put me into a tailspin. So, imagine what I feel like right now, looking at a list of 18 assigned items all of which have to get done in the next two weeks (or less) and some of them are huge. And everyone is clamoring "Me first! Me first!!" And that's just the official assignments, let alone the other ones generated by my "goals" for the year and my contractual obligations to specific customers that must be met every week. (And despite the fact that those responsibilities truly do qualify as busy work, I gladly retreat to those tasks instead of tackling my assigned work.)
Why do I have these problems? Why, oh why, can't I seem to focus on the job at hand like a "normal" person? Why do I suddenly feel like I'm not in the "normal" category any more, or that maybe I never have been. Normally I'd say why would I want to be normal, but right about now... a little normal might be nice. Why can't I get organized enough to even be able to prioritize my work load and then stick to it. Sure, emergencies come up and things change, but right now, I'll go running to whoever is even whimpering at me and drop whatever I was trying to focus on. (Note, trying to focus, I doubt I've given any task my undivided attention in weeks.)
My work day usually starts out fairly good and I can usually look at my list of assignments and make a stab at a priority list, but 9 times out of 10, by 10:00 I haven't touched it and been off in 15 other directions, and almost none of them work related. And often times from there, I'm in an unrecoverable tail spin and the next thing I know it's time to go home, I have to fill in my time sheet and have no idea what I've done all day. Other than sit in my chair. Or maybe wander around the building for a few minutes. Or go get my lunch... or a snack... or yet more water or tea...
I seriously hate feeling like my focus is totally out of control. I hate feeling like even though I'm a pretty smart person, I look and seem dumb because I just can't get things done like the rest of my coworkers. (Well, most of them. There are a few that have problems, but not the same, or to the same extent, as I do.) Why, these days, do I always feel perilously close to just giving up and truly becoming the bad employee in more ways than one that some people in this organization seem to see me as. (Other than the fact that it wouldn't do anyone any good that is. It wouldn't help me or my family in the slightest for me to get in serious trouble at work, and it wouldn't help my customers or my friends at work who would have to deal even more with my slack... and I can't do that.)
I know some people will say that it's the time of the year. That just like when in school, the holidays and the excitement mess with our heads and everyone looses focus. Well, I'd like to debate that a bit. None of my friends here at work seem to be more affected than usual by it. And really, I'm not feeling a whole lot of holiday excitement or stress this year. Everything seems to be well in hand for the most part and as much as I'm looking forward to the week off, the troubles at work are far overshadowing any joyful thoughts of time off.
No, I don't have a conclusion. I'm not even sure that the flow of this post makes a whole lot of sense. I just needed a place to rant and rave and maybe cry a little about how frustrated and tires and flat out hurt I am by all of this lack of focus. I just don't know what I can do about it. *sigh*
So, I'm going to wrap this up. I've spent way too much time on this today instead of working on what I'm supposed to be already.
Peace to all and may you be able to get things done.