Work/Life Imbalance

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I know I’ve posted a few things last week but, honestly, it was an effort to do those and I really wasn’t that in to it.  Not that I didn’t have things to say but last week was a very tough week at work and that spilled over into the rest of my life.  I tried to do a couple of posts about what happened but could never find the right words.  Can’t go into too many details but the bullet point version is that a person who works for me was acting very erratically and clearly needed help.  She finally asked and a couple of other people actually had to take action to get her some place where she could get some help.  While the immediate crisis is over and she is fine, there are still some consequences that we’ll have to deal with.

She clearly has some real problems and issues to work through and it just made everything I usually talk about here seem trivial.  Also, I’ve been dealing with what is my proper place in all of this.  Clearly, I can offer support but I look back at all the conversations we had during that week and I just wonder if I did or said the right things.  I pushed as hard as I could for her to get help but I didn’t feel I could take action and I wanted to respect her privacy and not involve anyone else.  But I can’t be the totally supportive friend that others can because there are still issues that we have to close and, while the number one priority is for her to get well, I’m in a position where I also have to think about getting work done.  Hate that I have to be that but its what I signed up for in taking this job.  It also meant that I was limited in who I could talk to about this.  I could easily discuss this with HR but it was limited to what actions we could take and not my reactions to it.  I could talk with some of the members on my team but several of them were taking things hard so that is another blurred line; do I share my emotions with them or attempt to stay strong because someone needed to.  I sort of opted for the middle course.  I’ve debated whether I should go see her but decided against it.  First, I’m not exactly the best at offering emotional support.  And, secondly, it also seemed like another grey area.  One of the things she kept saying over and over again was whether I’d support her.  And I can’t offer unconditional support.  In the state she was in, she was unable to work and so I can’t spend the entire day telling her things are going to be OK while ignoring the fact that things aren’t getting done.  And, as I said, when she comes back, there are still some things we need to deal with.  She wasn’t in her right mind so I don’t know how much truth there is in some of the things she was saying but that has to be sorted out.

Anyway, today was better because I think we ended up doing the right thing.  The problem is that we can’t solve her problems for her so there will be a lot of anxiety when she does come back.  All I can do is deal with it as it happens.

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