Monday, 29 July 2013

The Seven Signs Of Stress

This week has been nothing short of hellish.  And it's only Monday.

Part of my role in my sometimes-mentioned office job is sales-based, and I've been doing lots more of that side of things while a few of the other sales-trained bods are off on holidays being all fabulous and tanned (bastards! I hate you and your stupid bikinis!  I hope you get weird tan lines!).  

I'm convinced that all of our customers have waited until we have the fewest number of staff in as possible to pounce, hungrily demanding our wares and services.  This suddenly enthused mob of customers  wanting to throw money down our phone lines is great for business, but not so great for the individuals such as myself who find themselves having to up their multi tasking level a few hundred notches higher than they're used to.  I feel I have all the arms of an Indian Goddess but not enough functioning brain cells to keep them all in check. 

I'm sure I'll get used to it, and being busy doesn't half make the day fly and get the heart rate up,  but this level of busy has been going on for about a fortnight now, and I feel like I'm teetering on the edge of acceptance and adaptation...or full-blown mass-murderer mode.  I am this close to pummeling my telephone into smithereens with my bare fists and snapping the receiver's cord with my teeth.

As you can see, it takes a while for my stress levels to normalize.  But it's been sort of fun in a ha-ha-ha-I'm-going-to-run-naked-into-the-street-with-my-pants-on-my-head-and-set-myself-on-fire kind of way to take note of the indicators I experience when I'm either starting to get stressed or when 'm already full-on, wide-eyed, tooth-baring, hair-pulling burnt out.

1.  Denial - If I know it's going to be a busy day, I will always start optimistically.  Start as I hope to go on.  I'll take things one thing at a time.  I can't do two things at once, so I'll get each thing out of the way to the best of my abilities and holy fucking shit is that the time already?? Shit shit shit!! Why is there paper in my hair?? Whose phone number is this on my hand, and why is my biro in my mouth, nib-side up?!  Did I remember to get dressed this morning?!

2.  Bladder Freakouts - I don't know if this is a fight or flight thing, but the more pressure I'm under, the more often I have to pee.  The it-hurts-when-I-breath type of needing to pee.  Which only make the stress worse, because on top of my list of impossibly numerous tasks, I have to make time to do frequent mad dashes to the loo.  I like to think it's my body's way of telling me to sit the fuck down and chill out for a second.  There's only so much you can do with your pants around your ankles.

3.  Aggressive Kindness -  This is where all my attempts to be a rational, helpful salesperson takes a nosedive, and, being a Brit brought up on the importance of politeness, instead of being rude, I just get scarily and loudly helpful when I pick up the receiver. "HelloRebeccaspeakingHOWCANIHELPYOU?!!! WHAT? YOU WANT TO BUY SOMETHING?! YES, I CAN HELP, HAHAHAHA WE'RE BEST FRIENDS NOW!! DON'T HANG UP ON ME, I NEED YOU!!!! ...hello?  Mrs Johnson, are you still there?"

4.  Aggressive Clumsiness -  As my mind is flashing all kinds of funky disco colours in my skull trying to make note of the fact that I need to be doing this that and the other as fast as yesterday, physical co-ordination is the first thing to go.  It's not unusual for me to leave work with a myriad of mysterious cuts, beverage stains and the odd bruise from picking up the phone with such force that I hit myself in the face with it.

5.  Feral Breaktimes - I get a half hour break for food.  I love strapping in to food bag at the best of times, but on a manic day, you realize just how short time is and eat with a terrifying frenzy, throwing food somewhere near your mouth in the hope that some of it will go in, reducing interaction with colleagues to the occasional glare to make sure they're not planning on stealing the processed meat that's sliding down your chomping chin.

6.  Blind Agreement -  
"Becky, did you do the-"
"YES! I am doing it!!"
"Have you-"
"YES, I have!"
"Do you-"
"YES!! Four of them now, with milk!"
"Actually, I was going to ask you if-"

7.  Post Work Cleaning -  Stress makes me angry.  Mess makes me angry.  I am a messy person with a low stress threshold.  Seems only normal that when A comes home after I've had a difficult one, he finds me in one of his t-shirts on the bathroom floor, scrubbing manically with no trousers on and talking in tongues to myself.  Standard.

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