It finally happened. I cried at work. I couldn’t help it. I broke. Today I broke. My work place broke me. And the worst part is – no one is likely to do anything about it.
I still refuse to reveal on here where I work (though some of my friends are well aware by now). However, I will say that today was one of the lowest days I’ve experienced in a long while.
I woke up not feeling 100%. I had to be up at 5:30 and I had a hard time getting to sleep last night because I have this odd fear that my alarm clock is not going to go off. (It always does… but still.)
So, I got up at 5:30. I ate breakfast, took care of my dogs and got ready for the day. I was super tired and my throat was starting to hurt, but I knew I only had a 6 hour shift to get through before I had a couple days off.
Before I left for work, I grabbed my water bottle and a PB&J. Since I was working a 6 hour shift, I would be allowed a 30 minute paid break at some point throughout the day. At said break, I was going to eat my sandwich so I would have enough energy to shop for shoes/boots after my shift (both pairs of my boots are cracking on their soles… ergo, I need new boots).
I got to work and went in early to make sure I had enough supplies at my work station as it was supposed to be a super busy day and I was unfortunately scheduled to be by myself. As I was going about my business, some other colleagues started to trickle in. They were in other work areas, but they were also scheduled to be with people. They offered to help me out if I got too busy.
The day started off a bit weird. We had some big huge visit from some corporate people, so everyone was extra on their toes. I was told several times that one of the more important people would likely come to my area at some point during the day and that I should be ready to talk about my position and what I’m doing to help the company. Fine. I could totally do that.
As work progressed, my work area became super busy. This was to be expected. A colleague or two came over to help me out. We ended up getting even more busy than I expected and by time the corporate people came into my area, I didn’t end up talking with any of them because I was so busy doing my job.
No one was scheduled to come in and take over for me until I left (I was to leave at 1:45, the next person was scheduled to come in at 1:45). Because of this, I knew there was no one around to give me a break when I needed to take one, so I made sure to touch base with my manager to let her know I would need coverage at some point.
It got to be too busy for me to handle on my own and I was fading fast. My work space is very warm and dry. If you don’t keep hydrated, you feel wiped out sooner rather than later. I was unfortunately across the work area from where my water bottle was stashed (note – we’re not allowed to have water bottles in our work area, but I keep one there because it is super easy to get dehydrated, especially when breaks are never a certain, even though we’re always supposed to get them). I had a seemingly endless line of people I was supposed to be helping. I kept popping Vitamin C pills every now and again to keep my mouth from drying out.
I called several times to try and reach a manager in order to get some help and be able to take a break. After many failed attempts, I managed to get a hold of someone. I explained that I was by myself and how I needed some help and someone to cover while I took a break. Someone came down, but there were too many people and I still couldn’t leave. There was one moment where I could almost go, but I was thwarted. The guy who was helping me had to leave and I was once again left alone.
Around 1:00, I was ready to snap. I had some extremely grating people I was trying to help. But, I could tell I was not in a right frame of mind. My head hurt so bad. I was so thirsty. My hands were shaking. My vision was blurring and I couldn’t see or think straight. I called a colleague and told her I needed to take a break and someone needed to come to where I was because I wasn’t going to make it anymore.
I flagged down a manager and tears just started falling out of my eyes before I could stop them. I made my way to the other side of the work area, grabbed my water bottle and went into the first safe spot away from people I could find – a stockroom. I choked down my water as the tears kept coming. One of the nicer people I work with found me in the stockroom and made me sit down. He asked what happened and I tried to explain what was going on.
This wasn’t the first time I was denied a break when I needed one at work, but this was the first time I almost passed out because of it.
The guy who was calming me down said that this kind of situation should not happen. I am very well aware of this. I’ve actually spoken to a few managers about how a lot of the time we are not able to take breaks when we need them. We’re always allowed to take the longer ones where we have to clock out for them, but our shorter on-the-clock breaks always seem to go by the wayside. This is not fair. This shouldn’t be legal. It’s bad enough we’re not supposed to keep a water bottle by us (we’ve been told, “Of, if you need a drink of water, you can always step away from the floor and get a drink at the water fountain.” That is completely bunk. On busy days like today, there is no opportunity to step away for a sip of water. Especially when you’re scheduled to work by yourself.).
I stayed in the stockroom until I was done with my water, but I knew I needed to eat something and get more water. So, I went back out, grabbed my bag and went to the break room. I drank another bottle of water and slowly ate a granola bar. At this point, I only had 15 minutes of work left until my shift was over. I thought I could collect myself enough to finish my shift in my work area, but I made it about a minute before one of my favorite colleagues asked if I was okay and I just crumbled again. She took me back into her office and sat me down and we talked a little bit with another colleague. They were mad about what happened to me not because it was me – but because this happens to other people all the time and no one does anything about it.
I left when my shift was over and went to my car instead of going shoe shopping like I intended. I just couldn’t be out anymore – I had to get home. I did what people should never do – I drove home crying/upset. I really tried not to. I tried to think happy thoughts… that only goes so far when your head is pounding like whoa.
I got home, I let my dogs run around in the snow, I changed into my pajamas, I got some food, and I put in my DVD of Bull Durham. Bull Durham is my go-to movie for whenever I am feeling awful because it’s got baseball and Kevin Costner. When I was done with my snack, I called my dog up onto my lap and she slept there for awhile while we watched the movie. That was exactly what I needed.
My dad called later to see what we wanted to do for dinner (he’s not feeling well either, so we opted to get take out instead of going somewhere). He asked me if I was doing okay and I told him I wasn’t. I explained what happened at work. He wasn’t too happy. He told me that my job does not pay me enough for me to almost pass out like that. PREACH.
When we hung up, I called my place of business and spoke to someone in HR. I don’t think I was taken very seriously, but they took note of what I said. I highly doubt anything is going to happen, but at least I let HR know. *shrug*
Now I’m sitting next to my sleeping dogs and watching Survivor. I’ll watch Modern Family and Happy Endings too… and then hopefully sleep. I am so worn out.
I have off tomorrow. I was going to go Christmas shopping… we’ll see if that happens.
Have a good one