Saturday, 4 June 2011

I survived :)

Surprise, surprise, my return to work was absolutely fine ;)
I got out of the lift, looked down the long corridor that I needed to walk down, took a deep breath then one of the girls I used to work with popped out of the kitchen and saw me, so I was able to walk down talking to her. That was a massive help!

The department has expanded since I was last there so there are quite a few new faces. It was really strange, it didn't take long for me to feel like I'd never been away. Time goes by but not much changes!! I am doing a slightly different job, but I know the basics of it so I'm picking it back up. The people I'm working with are being great too, and don't seem to mind when I'm asking them stupid questions that I really should know the answer to. I couldn't even remember my usernames and passwords so everything has had to be reset for me!

I'm going to try to explain something without going around the houses and confusing everyone and myself. When I initially went off sick, my work friends kept in contact with me and I met some of them at weekends/evenings. Gradually, it became apparent that management had a problem with me returning to work there, and eventually I had less and less contact with people from the department. Partly because I was pretty angry about what was happening, and partly because (they said) they felt awkward about what was happening and didn't know what to say to me.
An office temp was brought in to do my job, my desk was emptied, and all personal items put in a carrier bag which I was told were on a shelf for me to collect.
I got an invite to the Christmas party the evening before the event, and the text was something like 'hi, we're having the christmas party tomorrow, we didn't invite you as we didn't think you'd come, but {the manager} thinks we should have invited you. So, do you want to come? I can email you the menu if you do'. I declined the offer as I didn't really feel welcome!!
When I previously worked there, I was the social butterfly. I was always walking around talking to people, arranging department night outs and christmas parties. I vowed to myself that when I finally returned to work that I wouldn't go back to how I used to be, I'd turn down invites to go out, I'd just be there to work rather than be social.....
However, I just can't help myself!! I worked a total of 9 hours last week, and I've already been drawn into a conversation about previous department nights out, how we should all get together for another night out drinking cocktails, laughing and joking..... It's natural for me to be like this, I'd have to try really hard to go to work and not be socialable, and I think I'd hate that.
BUT (and this is the point of this ramble), I can't help feeling that I've betrayed myself in some way. They treated me really horribly but I've gone back and behaved like it doesn't matter. On one hand I feel disappointed in myself that I've let it all go, on the other hand, I feel like it's a good thing that I've let it all go and that I'm not holding any grudges..... sigh....
In any case, I think I've learnt my lesson that management are managers, not friends (in this case anyway). They've hardly acknowledged that I've returned to work and absolutely nothing has been said about the past 15 months! I guess it's best that I(/we?) just move on.

Anyway, that aside, I'm really enjoying being back. I like having a purpose to my day, I feel better in myself when I've done something productive, I feel happier when I have contact with people, when chatting and laughing is part of my day.

I think adrenaline has kicked in and helped me out this week. I've been seriously lacking in sleep, from both miserable lungs and not having re-established a work sleep routine. My morning peak flows are not great at all, and I'm having lots of attacks. They're mainly in the afternoon/evening which makes sense as that's when I'm feeling most tired, and they're relatively short and easy to get get in control of, which is unusual for me but I'm not complaining!

So far, so good :D


  1. really glad to hear it has gone okay back at work. don't beat yourself up over not being how you wanted to be with them. life's too short to hold grudges;) maybe it was the management that has the issues and turned the other staff against you? i think you should arrange some cocktail nights out:p know how much you like them! hope you get some rest. xx

  2. It must be really difficult going back to work after so long, and I imagine it's been harder by the lack of acknowledgment of your absence by management. So first off, well done for going back and for persevering all week. As for how your colleagues have treated you re social occasions, I think it's awful (and I can relate to the experience) and know how hurtful it is. I'm not surprised that you decided to try not to be the social butterfly any more (I love that phrase, by the way), but I'm not sure that going back on your resolve is betraying yourself. Surely it's the other way round - if you're naturally the social events organiser then maybe it's betraying yourself not to return to that. Perhaps you need to tell someone at work how you feel about the way you were treated. I know it'd be incredibly difficult, but it might stop it from chewing away inside you, and it might make them think about their (collective) behaviour. Ultimately it could help. Maybe if you were to suggest/organise a low-key evening out at the same time then people would understand that you're not holding grudges. Just a suggestion.


  3. Thanks Sarah :) xx

    Becky, it has been difficult to go back, but it was nothing compared to how much I'd built it up in my head! The title of social butterfly was given to me by one of my colleagues, I claimed it as it's so pretty :) Sorry you can relate to the experience re work and social occasions, it seems to be quite a common experience for people who are forced out of work due to health issues :( I like the way you've turned around my thoughts on 'betraying myself'!!! I've decided that I'm just going to see what happens, I'm not going straight back and organising the social events as I feel a little bit like the new girl again, but I will go to the next social event which is arranged. I've realised that I'm simply not the kind of person who goes to work just to work then goes home, I need to be at least friendly with my colleagues, if not friends with some of them! Thanks for reading, Becky. Dawn xx