Stuff at Work

I’ve had this shitty gas-station job since the end of May–that’s six months now. So far, I’ve done well not to complain about it too much, or really talk about it in any detail with anyone. Sometimes it’s really hard to go there, knowing that I’m basically sinking 8-9 hours of my time (the -9 is if you include commute and getting-ready time). That part is a bit better now since they’ve given us the task of making donuts and that allows me to listen to a full podcast a couple times a week. Not a complete waste of time.

There have been lots of things I could complain about. The previous shift sometimes does a bad job at something or forgets to do something important that we have to take the time to fix. We don’t really have much time to fix other people’s shit and do all the stuff required of us. Instead of having 5 people to do all the shift-duties, we have 2, and if it’s busy we’re lucky to get our bare minimum stuff done. It’s better now that the economy is slowing and the previous shift is getting whipped into shape, so there’s less to complain about there.

Apart from that, there’s the subtle hitting-on-me that occasionally occurs. Sometimes a proselytizer will slide a card at me. Occasionally drunk people come in and are rude. I get lots of fun customers who banter lightly with me, and it’s fairly pleasant.
For the most part, I’ve just been grateful that I have a job. Chris is still looking, so I’m glad that one of us has income. It’s really not enough, especially since we want to save up to get out of here, but we’ll figure it out.
Up until recently, I’ve gotten on fairly well with my coworkers. There are two women that I work with on my shift on separate nights. There are several people on the previous shift that I’m friendly with, even though I see them for just moments a week. I’m rather endeared toward the assistant manager. We have a lot in common and he’s really great to talk to.
It would appear that one of the women I work with has a problem with me.
One I’ll call ‘B’–she’s really nice, in her forties. She’s got a lot of issues right now. She only has this job because she lost her photography business a few years back and she’s trying to get back on her feet. She was recently scammed out of money through a payday loan. It’s less and less fun to be around her.
The other is called L. L is in her upper sixties, if not seventies. She’s fairly pleasant to be around, even though we’ve got almost nothing in common. Lately, L seems to be taking things that I say as rude, mean, and/or terrible. At first, I gave her the benefit of the doubt, agreeing that I might be a bit short or harsh at times. In the past week, it’s grown to a point where I’m pretty certain that she either doesn’t understand me at all or has it in her head that I’m this awful person and thus she takes anything that way.
Last night, she told me that I called our coworker M ‘immature’ and that I was terrible toward him. I had NO FUCKING IDEA what she was on about, as I hadn’t even said the word or thought of that idea in at least a week. The only thing I could imagine she perceived that way is when a couple of us were jokingly pondering whether M is a prude or not, and I (JOKINGLY) said that I wouldn’t doubt it.
We’re at this point where I’ve already decided to actively pay attention to what I say to her and how I say it. Now she’s getting upset at me for other people. I’m definitely going to ask M when I see him tomorrow what he thinks about our short overlap at work last night.
I don’t really know what else I’m supposed to do. I’m already extremely cautious in talking to her, but apparently now I can’t banter with my fellows without tripping some wire.
Oh, and the other FANTASTIC thing about this is that I already have a predisposition to get very upset if I’m unintentionally rude to someone. I was unaware that I was being rude to the assistant manager who I like so much a couple weeks ago and it started the worst relapse I’ve had since I started taking antidepressants. I get this idea in my head that I’m a terrible, terrible person and that there’s something wrong with me. I get fixated and it’s the only thing I can think about.
The word that L chose last night was ‘terrible’. She managed to call me terrible over and over again–it had to have been at least five times–in less than thirty seconds. Now, not only is she causing me to question my ability to function in society without harming other people with my carelessness, but she’s pushing the exact button which triggers my depression. I just clambered out of the hole from the last one a couple days ago.
While I was talking to my manager this morning, I told him all this. He assured me that I’m not a terrible person. So, on the one side, I have my rational brain telling me that there must be some rational reason that she’s perceiving me this way. The age difference, the religion, something. (She’s a baptist, IDK if that has any sway on her opinions.) The mentally ill part of my brain just rolls over and agrees that I’m completely fucked in the head and that I can’t speak aloud without ruining someone’s day.
Rationally, I know that this is not true, but hey, that’s what depression does for you. The manager told me to let it cool off for a few days, since I won’t be seeing her until Monday night. He said he’d ask me how things are next week. Since all three nights I worked with her this week held some sort of animosity, I somehow doubt that a weekend break will make a huge difference. Here’s to hoping she figures her shit out and stops making stuff up.
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