I like to think that I am a good employee

I put my utmost into my job and hope that it is a two sided deal, which it mostly is. I value them and they value me. But sometimes the employers behave badly and whilst I might accept that and move on at the time,  I don’t ever forget.

I once worked for a local company during my first marriage. When that marriage horribly and spectacularly disintegrated, I wasn’t capable of working at all. Instead of being understanding about it, they just went on to try and sabotage every other touring job I applied for and even went so far as to tell a rival company how I would ruin their business if they employed me.

I went on and worked for the other company anyway, for six years. When I eventually left them I was called up by the original employer and asked if I would do some last minute tours for him. I told him that I hadn’t forgotten how he behaved and that I would never work for him again.

The second company was a good fit right up until it wasn’t. I’d asked for three weeks off over Christmas, as my husband was compelled to take those weeks off for holidays. I asked in October and was told no because others had asked earlier.I had worked every other Christmas prior and was the Senior Driver there at the time, paid the same wage as everybody else.

So I put in my notice and made it three months so I could train up any newcomers over the upcoming season; I valued my job enough and the company enough to want to do as much as I could to keep on  making it a successful business. The next day I was told that I could finish up and they divided all of my hours amongst the other drivers. It’s a casual business: I could have worked right up until the day before and still legally been within my rights to quit.

So, yeah, a few lean months right around the time when you need more money, just because I tried to do the right thing by my employer.

I didn’t forget.

In the previous post I mentioned being asked for alternative drivers when I can’t tour. So far I’ve turned three of my former colleagues to other companies, simply from my recommendations. I hope for more.

 

I don’t forget.

 

 

 

 

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Life suddenly got very busy

I am having to turn down so much work. I currently am employed by three tour companies fairly regularly for local work, plus my main employer.

I’m guaranteed a certain amount of days by the main one and I get paid out if it doesn’t match (which has never happened yet). The others employ me on a casual basis- if I am not already working, then I’ll pretty much always say yes. (Well,bar these last six weeks when I wasn’t capable of even getting out of bed, anyway.)

I very much enjoy doing the work of tour development and I’ll put a heap of unpaid hours into getting it right. It is the part of tourism management that I’ve always shone at and I do a lot of free planning for friends and friends of friends as well.

 

I’m out in the bush on Wednesday, for my main employer, and I’ve turned down two other jobs, apart from the aforementioned, for this week already, referred to me by people who know me in the industry. When I’ve said that I couldn’t, they both asked me if I knew of anybody.

 

It feels good to have got to this point in my career. Validation that I really am good at what I do and that my judgement is respected.

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I’m feeling better

The best thing I ever did was marry my lovely husband. He could see the deterioration in my mental health and he supported redrawing our mortgage to access private treatment for me.

I had a great mental health support team: my counselor interacted with my GP to treat me urgently and, as a result, I got an emergency psych appointment. I’d done all the right things (even some medication) but none of it made a difference. I might have struggled out of it all but my cousin being diagnosed with a (different type, not genetic) brain tumour flipped me over the edge.

All I could see was the common denominator in the loss of people I love: me. Obviously, I logically know that correlation/causation aren’t the same things and that some people just end up statistically on the wrong side of the bell curve but I couldn’t relate statistical science to my circumstances when I was struggling through them.

We have a great public health system here in Australia. Every time I, or one of my loved people, have been in a truly life threatening situation, the access to care, and the care itself, has been exemplary.  But mental health isn’t the same.

 

If I had tried to wait out the public health system, I honestly believe I wouldn’t have made it.

 

Instead, we took all of our savings, re-drew on the mortgage, and paid up front for inhospital treatment in a private psychiatric clinic. I wanted to access ECT treatment immediately and that is what happened. I stayed in the hospital for four days and had the rest of the treatment as an out patient –  four sessions in all.

 

The improvement was noticeable from the first time.  Physical side effects have been very hard but mentally, it is like a total reboot of my brain. I am now able to address things I need to and I can see a really busy work season completing the healing process.

I’ve kept this information to myself as far as my work relationships go but I’m not embarrassed about it. I’m functional again and that makes the people that love me very happy. I’m having ongoing therapy and I’m still doing grief support – I cry all the time when I think/talk about my brother (exactly a year ago today with the first operation)  but at least I can talk/think about him.

 

Best of all, I no longer think that everybody I love will die. I mean, I know that they will but it won’t be just because I love them. It has been so hard with my girls away doing scary stuff in South America; I was absolutely convinced they would die over there. Now I look at videos of them bicycling down the Death Road in Bolivia and I shudder but I can look.

 

 

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My girls are in South America right now and I’m facebook stalking them. I had a brief chat with my eldest, via messenger, and when I said it looked like they were having the time of their lives, she said there had been some bad moments, too.

 

She wouldn’t tell me what had happened because “you’d only worry” and that they were learning to be more vigilant here on in, so I am thinking a mugging?

 

I am so scared that something bad (worse) is going to happen. That I will never see my girls again. I know that me feeling this way is part of the depression but knowing the reason doesn’t take away the fear.

 

I’ve lost a lot of people I love over the last few years: I constantly expect that those remaining close to me are going to be taken away from me as well.

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Nightmares

I have a lot of them, every night.They are all awful and I wake up exhausted from fighting monsters in my sleep. Some repetitive stuff, like my brother begging me to save him. Some generic chase/run from unknown evil ones. Some just everyday zombies,vampires and werewolves.

Just recently, a dead guy with half his head sheared off diagonally (my husband is to blame for that one as he told me all the gruesome details of an industrial accident that (I think?) was a misguided attempt to help me accept random death.) Nope, just more fodder for my deranged brain.

But the absolute worst Sponge Bob Square Pants. He was as yellow and goofily annoying as always but inside his mouth he had multiple layers of Great White shark teeth and he was after me.

 

These days I am scared to sleep because it is so unpleasant.

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