Saturday, 14 May 2011

The Stress Test

I'm currently being shameless and pinching stuff that makes me laugh.  One of Louis' Diary of a Wimpy Kid books that he hasn't even started yet has been sequestered under the duvet and I urge you to raid the bookshelves of your kids and read this series if you haven't done so.  The childless will have to go to the library or buy their own.  I've also  nicked this picture from Tracey, whose blog raises more than a chuckle on a regular basis.  To give the sensitive amongst you just a little protection, I've edited out the swear word using Microsoft Draw.  This image is doing a canny job of summing up just how I feel  at the moment about work.

Now I am one of those rare beasties who normally love their job.  The patch of the countryside that I'm paid to drive around is breathtakingly beautful, my colleagues are a brilliant bunch and the work I do is rewarding and intellectually challenging.  My NHS pay and benefits package is not to be sniffed at either.  Well, okay it might be by investment bankers and footballers but I'm relating to those of us who live in the real world here. 

I've been covering two jobs for the last eighteen months now since my 'guru', a rather brainy occupational therapist with many years experience, retired to run a bed and breakfast in Llandudno.  To cap it all, when people leave, they're either not replaced at all or then there's an age before recruitment takes place so there's often less bodies about to do the same amount of work. Then those that eventually come have been appointed at a lower grade where less experience is needed and they undestandably need more control and aren't able to take as much responsibility. There's also a new computer system to get to grips with.    Consequently, the paperwork has piled up but I've managed to be philosophical about it.   Until, that is, last weekend when the pressure increased to a level where a metaphorical gasket finally blew and I woke in the early hours in a blind panic.

Hopefully, though, there won't be a repeat this Sunday night because I've taken action to regain control. I urge those of you in the same boat to think how they might do so too.   Even though, I'd been making my immediate manager aware of the situation and I know that she'd been passing my concerns up the line, it wasn't apparent that anyone was listening.  In fact, I'm sure that they weren't because nothing was being done about the situation.  They were too far busy doing whatever bigwigs get up to.

But now I hope they'll hear what I'm saying.  I've formalised my concerns in writing using the Trust's stress policy and I hope it's enough to get someone to give someone a kick up the backside and do something!  As part of the process, I've also visited my understanding GP who's agreed that my sleep difficulties and lack of concentration are work related and has, very importantly recorded this in my medical notes.  It's a weight off my mind that others agree the situation I'm in, where there's an ever increasing paperwork mountain, isn't my fault. Hurrah!  I'm sleeping again, even though I've had some funny dreams, including one about my meticulously fastidious colleague, Mr Metrosexual, rolling around unkempt on a grubby blanket at a festival drinking cider.  Now what part of my inner psyche does that come from!

PS:  Because she deserves some free advertising because of all the support she gave me over the years here's a link to Linda's B&B!

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