If You’re Looking For Me, I’ll Be Under My Desk

To say I am in overwhelm is a bit of an understatement.

I am, essentially, working three jobs. I had meetings on Monday in the hopes of mapping out what I MUST do verses what I SHOULD do so that some of my duties can be put on hold until my replacement is hired. I left those meetings with MORE stuff to do.

Don’t mind my whimpering.

People congratulate me on the new position and honestly I haven’t even had a chance to bask in my accomplishment. People ask me when I start. Um, I already started. I basically started two days after the job was offered to me. I had to- there are two upcoming fundraisers in November plus a bigger one in March which requires prep now. Meanwhile, I was already inundated in my former position because Fall is one of my busiest volunteer recruitment times. I have three huge stacks of data entry taunting me on my desk but I can’t seem to get through the mountain of emails, voice mails, meetings, reports, and trainings. I’ve already been working ten hour days and am considering working on the weekend just to find my sanity.

I’m pretty sure it’s hiding in the third stack of files.

On top of that, I am on two hiring committees- one for my replacement and one for another development person. Hiring someone takes TIME. I do not have time and yet, it’s important for me to be a part of these hires since I have to work very closely with them. When I look at my “to do” list I can’t find anything to feasibly cross off without upsetting someone or negatively impacting their program. This is not the best predicament to be in for a (recovering) people pleaser.

And don’t get me started on the Apartment Manager job because I am avoiding it like the plague. Which is hard to do when you LIVE IN THE PLAGUE. Yes, there are light bulbs out that desperately need changing and I know that the cigarette butts are piling up on the balconies and sure, it’s probably time to vacuum. But when can I do this?! At 8pm at night when I get home or 6am in the morning before I go to work? It will just have to wait for the weekend. My weekends are working weekends.

Wait. What’s a weekend? Refresh my memory.

Meanwhile, The Fella has been out of work for over six weeks. His contract ended at his former place of business and he’s been diligently applying for jobs with very little response. This is incredibly disheartening. I know he is struggling to put on a brave face, especially in light of the recent letter he received from his landlord informing him that as of December 1st his rent is going up $360. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?! That apartment is not worth over $900. That landlord will likely see a mass exodus from his run down building which serves him right. (And yes, it is legal to raise the rent more than 10% in Washington State IF you give 60 days notice.) That’s the last thing The Fella needed.

So, you see, The Fella and I are on completely different ends of the employment spectrum. Me: overworked, drained, stressed. Him: underworked, anxious, stressed. This is not good. We’re very aware of the outside factors negatively influencing our relationship and have countless conversations about it. He’s working through some difficult internal battles and I am doing what I normally do when in overwhelm- I’m internally shutting down. It’s horrible timing because I know he needs support and yet all I feel capable of doing lately is focusing on getting through the day and then coming home to go to bed. I have nothing to give because I am not giving to myself. And I don’t know how to find the time to give to myself so I can in turn give to other people.

Who can I petition for an extra day in the week?

I realize this is only temporary. The Fella will not be unemployed forever and I will not be working multiple jobs forever but the next few weeks or months are going to be very trying. I know it will all work out. It’s just holding onto the faith that this too shall pass. There is opportunity here. It’s times like these that can show us what we’re made of.

Here’s hoping.


51 thoughts on “If You’re Looking For Me, I’ll Be Under My Desk

  1. Hey! Why don’t you have the fella move in with you and take over the managerial stuff until he finds another job? By the time that happens you will be out from under the mountain of work and happily ensconced in your love nest!

  2. I was going to say the same as Sara, but I do know that is a HUGE move to make in a relationship. Yet it would help you and him.

    Wishing the both of you the best of luck in getting through this.

    And the Fella’s landlord is monkey’s butt.

  3. Girl, you are snowed under! I know that the timing is horrible and you barely have time to even run to the bathroom. But it will pass and you will have Sizzle time soon. Just take it day by day.

    things will work out with Fella, I know wat it can be like to feel so overwhelemd that you shut down for a while. Just be sure that he knows (and he does) how you are on his side.


  4. I know those of you who will chime in that The Fella and I should move in together and I’ll just say here and now- that is not going to happen. We are not ready and we don’t want to do it out of necessity or in the midst of crisis.

    I appreciate where you are coming from though!

  5. I can totally see where you are coming from with the not ready to live together thing. Is that shed still in the back of the building? I hear it makes for comfy living.

    I hope you find an awesome replacement who will love that job and never go after yours!

    In the meantime, beer and ambien are your friends.

  6. Ahh I hate it when that happens: different ends of the spectrum for you and your loved one. It can be difficult but I’m sure you two will be just fine 🙂 Isn’t there a free apartment in your place? Not your apartment but another one? He could pay for his rent in kind then, therefore bringing his bills down and giving you two quality time together 😉

  7. Juggling multiple jobs does get easier…but I hear you on not having weekends – there is always work to be done. Having money left over after paying ALL the bills, makes the extra effort worth it. I hope the fella finds something soon.

  8. That stinks that you have so much going on. Hopefully as time goes on, things will get easier to manage, people will get hired and your piles of work will shrink (my fingers are crossed for this because every girl needs to have non-working weekends when they are working their ass off like you are all week!).

  9. Gah that’s a LOT on both of your plates right now. Hang in there, both of you. What you two have is too special to lose and I have no doubt that you are strong enough to cope with everything that’s being chucked at you. Make time for wine – that always helps ;o)

  10. My jaw is hanging open in awe of you.

    You work SO HARD. I’d never be able to do that unless I REALLY LOVED the place I worked at.

    I hope you REALLY LOVE your work. 🙂

  11. Is there room under your desk for me, too?

    And you’re right, you know…this too shall pass!

  12. Girl… you have such a good head on your shoulders. This is the wrong time to make such a huge decision… good for you for recognizing that. (Even though I think you two are wonderful together and would be cheering if you did make that decision!!!)

    Now, for all that work… first thing hire your replacement. You need to only do 2 jobs at once. There is a limit to how much you can take. (Oops, just went back and reread… hiring committee… sometimes non profits are just so… efficient)

    Good luck.

  13. I don’t suppoes the Fella would help out around the apartment while you’re working, freeing the two of you up to enjoy some time together in the evenings or on the weekend? I mean, you might still be putting in overtime at the paying jobs and he won’t get paid for his work BUT it will give him something to do so he’s not totally stressing (it’ll be more like 20/7 instead of 24/7) AND it will help you out. And lets face it… a destressed (or less stressed) girlfriend is generally better to be around…

  14. One of the worst things about being a grownup is that we are rarely on the same page as our significant others — if life is being really good to me, I can guaran-damn-tee ya that it’s dealing my husband a nice case of whupass, and vice-versa.

    You have a lot going on right now. Take care of you and everything else will take care of itself. Just breathe — deeply — exhale. Rinse. Repeat.

  15. The Fella needs to be the apartment manager (or at least crossing those things off YOUR list while he isn’t doing anything else) in a DIFFERENT apartment. Then you will be neighbors… with benefits.

  16. Our rent was just raised $15. We didn’t complain when we got the notice and after seeing The Fella’s increase of $360, we’ll really not complain. There are places open in our building every couple months if he’s thinking of moving. $360???? Preposterous!

    As for your job(s)? The first 3 weeks are always HELL. I hate the first 3 weeks of any new job. Good luck plowing through – I know it’s not easy.

    And as for those cigarette butts (seriously, I’ve never lived in a place with so many “butt tossers” until I moved to this city – disgusting) and vacuuming… There are probably more tenants in your building who are grateful that there IS someone who’ll pick up the butts and vacuum than there are tenants who’ll complain that it hasn’t happened yet. I think it’s so cool every time I see our apartment manager vacuuming or weeding or washing the windows of the front door. I don’t expect it, but when I see the fresh vacuum marks on the hallway rugs, I think “That is so cool!” DORKY, I know, but I’m sure that you have some tenants who notice and appreciate your efforts!

    By the way – in regards to your post yesterday, I currently have two girls who have discovered their crotches. God help me when they discover boogers.

  17. Well, on the upside the work is a good stress. 😉 You’ll survive this. Just do what you can and realize that something has to give somewhere, and your employer should realize that too.

  18. Ugh. This will pass, of course, but that doesn’t make the process any more pleasant. I wish you some peace and calm – and much, much humor, of course.

    Thanks for your sweet message yesterday.

  19. my favourite song when i’m feeling overwhelmed:

    and i agree with the other commenters – hire the fella to do some of the stuff in the apartment! doesn’t mean you have to live together…

  20. I’m working three jobs right now too and it’s sort of awful. But I don’t know if it will get better or when it will get better, and worse- I created this situation for myself. Sigh.

    Let’s create that extra day and feel sorry for ourselves.

    No? not productive?

  21. I know EXACTLY how you feel. Gah.

    Good thoughts going out to you both. You will get through this… as you say. Still, it is a bit overwhelming when you’re in the middle, isn’t it? Wish you lived closer… we’d take a stress break. 🙂

  22. Good luck with finding a replacement. I know you and Fella do not want to move in together yet BUT could he at least help ya with the cigs and lightbulbs?


  23. I think Gov Palin, if elected VP, has promised an extra day in the week. Wow. what they won’t do to earn your vote.

    Stay strong, You’ll make it through all of this.

  24. OK, so I totally get that you and the Fella aren’t in a place to take that step. But how about getting him to pitch in with the vacuuming and cleaning up around the property for the next week or so. I bet if you work out a trade, say vacuuming/cleaning up in exchange for an evening together he’d be up for it. Or maybe just to see you smile a bit…

    Hang tight, things are really shitty right now, but you know that it’s not a forever thing and you will get through this I am sure of it.

  25. Wow.

    I know you can do all of this sizzle. It’s gonna be a bitch, but you got the job because they know you are a rock star!

    I think it’s cool you get to hire your replacement. I hope you find some cool people.

    And the fella will find something soon… what bad timing though!

  26. One of my close friends is going through the exact same thing after recently getting a promotion at work. The first couple months are going to be rough, but it will even out soon enough and suddenly one day you’ll say, “Hey! This isn’t so hard!”
    Wish you didn’t have the apartment to worry about too. 😦 It is good that at least you and the Fella both seem to recognize the stress and how you are dealing with it. Keep communicating–it’s how my fella and I get through anything that coomes our way.
    On a side note, I almost yelled at my computer when I saw people recommending you move in together. (no offense anyone) I really don’t think a major move like that should be made during a time of undue crisis!

  27. I’m sorry things are so stressful, babe. I promise that Chris and I, or both of us, will do something silly this weekend just to make you laugh. It may or may not involve falling down in public, but it usually does.

    Big love to you both.

  28. ugh, i hate being overworked but like you said – it won’t be forever… and sorry to hear about the fella – my rent went up $100 this past year and i was already paying an arm-and-a-leg as it was (certainly NOT $900 – i wish!)… i’m sure he’ll find a new job soon they you guys will have lots to celebrate! :o)

  29. I certainly hope you’re being compensated for doing double duty at work. Not that it eases the stress, but at least it doesn’t add insult to injury.

  30. Awww, Sizz, that really stinks. I know I’m late to the conversation, but have you considered asking The Fella to help you out around The Plague? I mean, he has time to give. And you need the extra hands. And maybe that way, even though you’re an absolute waste during the week, the two of you can actually enjoy each other during the weekend.

  31. I’m clicking my ruby heels together that you’ll find an easier way around these things.. but it will take time. Hang in there and do one thing at a time.

  32. I’m convinced the stress of “normal” life is amplified by the events in our country and in the world right now. Everything feels so much MORE.
    Good luck to both of you.

  33. Is there anyone in the apartment community itself that can be hired as a cleaner upper person that you trust?

    Or maybe hire the fella (definitely do not move in together because of this chaos … you’ll always question in your heart if the reason he moved in was because he loves you or because of the situation) to help out for a month or two until things calm down.

    Or, and I hate to say this because I know you’re not a quitter, maybe you shouldn’t be doing the apartment thing. Especially with this new job and all.

  34. The good news is that you are both communicating about what is going on with each of you. Sometimes when I get stressed or overwhelmed, I get cranky and want to be left alone. That isn’t great for a relationship and it seems like you two have avoided that by continuing to talk and be open with each other.

    I wish I could come help you! I hate when my friends feel so overwhelmed!

  35. gjaldfjsalfuck. I just passed my stressful time of the year work-wise, and I only have one job. Our household has another work-inspired strain too – we both hate our jobs and are miserable all the time. They aren’t good places to be in, are they?

    I hope you are soon doing but one job, and that The Fella finds a new job. I’m tired and stressed just reading your post, so fingers crossed your situations are very, very fleeting.

  36. Could you “hire” the Fella to help you with the apartment duties?

    I hope you climb out from all this work soon and that the Fella finds his dream job.

    good luck

  37. I’ll be putting out good vibes for the exact right person to apply and fill your position at work as well as the Fella finding his next great job. Something will shift soon and with Mercury retrograde ending on the 15th everything will look different then. Habg in there and remember to breathe!

  38. I don’t usually fall for this sort of thing, but I once consulted an astrologer (or something like that). I was very stressed and overwhelmed with new job responsibility. And he gave me the best advice ever. He said “You control the work on your desk. The faster you put it in the out box, the faster someone will fill your in box. Set your own pace.” And here’s the weird thing. I’m a manager so I know what it means to push, push, push people. It’s what we do. It’s what the system does. So I had to learn to draw boundaries. And it has helped.

  39. I forgot to mention. I worked my ass off — very long hours and weekends — the first 12 months of my new responsibilities . . . because I thought I had to “prove” myself before I drew my boundaries. Not sure that is true. And I’ll never get back that year that I didn’t see my kids while staying at my desk until 9 and 10 pm.

  40. I guess it has been a while since I was here last. I can relate to the busy factor! Congrats on the new gig (I knew you would get it).

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