Friday, March 9, 2012

The day of living angerously

No, I do mean angerously.

You see, I have a problem with anger management, or just anger in general. There are some days I just can't cope with the constant plop of emails in the inbox, clients phoning with urgent stuff (and they are ALWAYS the slow payers who have urgent stuff), computers running slowly, computers in general sometimes.

Yesterday was one of those days. Every time the phone rang I screamed "F*ck off!" at it before I picked it up. By lunchtime I'm sure my aura was black. I had a headache, my stomach was churning, I was feeling almost physically ill. At one point I found I was strangling myself with one hand while holding the phone in the other talking to a slow payer with urgent stuff. I tend to self-harm when I'm angry and impatient; usually I bite my arm but the strangling was a new and interesting diversion.

I'm trying to finish a large project for a client who DOES pay on time and can't cope with the interruptions. I've thought of turning on 'quiet time' and not answering the phones or emails but the thought of coming back to earth to more than 100 emails and half a dozen bloody phone messages makes me feel even sicker.

To make matters worse I'm running out of hard drive space and had to compress and chuck out some files yesterday in order to download some software plugins.

Even the dog was annoying me. Every time I got up for any reason, she was underfoot, ready to trip me. I did apologise to her for shouting at her.

I know anger is bad for the body and the soul, but when I'm stressed and up against a deadline I can't help it. Meditate, friends say, but for f*ck's sake WHEN!? I didn't have time yesterday, and I can't quite get into meditation. My brain looks at it as quiet time in which it can compose a to do list.

To cut a long story short I worked from 8am to 10pm yesterday. I had minimal meal breaks and just wanted to get shit finished. I had too many phone calls including one from a colleague who likes to talk for at least an hour. I can usually work at the same time by putting the phone on hands free so that wasn't too bad. She talked for nearly two. I can't really remember exactly what about but a lot of it was going around in circles on one issue. She's a sweet person and I did try and say I was busy but finally resorted to messaging my husband asking him to ring on the home phone to get me away.

By 5pm my fury had subsided; I played a game of chasing with the cats and the dog around the house, and that made me feel brighter and better.

There are times I truly hate computers, even though I'm lucky than many and own a Mac - much less stressful than a Windows machine. There are times I truly hate the human race, because I push myself as far and fast as I can to respond to the bastard bloody clients, I go above and beyond the call of duty, and still get paid crap money or none at all (still chasing the Scarlet Pimpernel). I am soooo NOT a people person.

You'd think by the tone of this post I'm still cranky but I'm not. Just thinking about the way I was yesterday - taut as a new wire fence - is channelling what I'm typing now.

It's Friday, 4.30pm local time. I still have tons to do for clients and two big websites to complete, one of which I got a lot furiously done on yesterday, but I have had it for today. I am worried about when I'm going to get the time to work on them though as weekdays are full of interruptions, which is why I work weekends too. This weekend I have to get my quarterly tax in order, another headache. God, I hate anything to do with numbers or accounts! And data entry.

It's probably lucky in a way that we are heading to my Mum's for Saturday night and staying over, as that will get me away from computers and work for a day or so. I don't need another day like yesterday, I'm sure it took a year or two off my life. I was fortunate in retrospect I didn't have a stroke or a heart attack.

I suspect my anger-day was also weather-related. It was pelting down outside and we have had the least sunshine in the last month we have had in years. I get testy and grumpy if I don't get a bit of sunshine on me at regular intervals.  I wouldn't survive a Scandinavian winter, that's for sure (wonder if the murder/suicide rate goes up in Scandinavia during winter?)

Anyway, today is better. The weather is sunny and so am I. Wonder if I could make a living out of making marmalade?


  1. Mate you need mediation not meditation! You have to set boundaries for your clients. You will be available eg mon to fri 9 - 11 and 1 -4 for example. Change your message to reflect your boundaries. It has been proven that such an action does NOT lose you clients but actually gains you clients because efficient people want to deal with efficient people... You need to quarantine time to DO that is inalienable otherwise you will be like a racehorse constantly having a "check" while in full flight! I remember your arm biting... strangling might be unproductive as you will stop as soon as you pass out and then will breathe again automatically. Have fun mate!

  2. Am thinking of going on an Anger Management workshop one of my good paying clients is running.

    Good point re the time quarantining. I have been thinking about doing it anyway as a last resort to allow myself time to get tasks finished.

    Thankfully I haven't had another day like last Thursday since! Was full moon then too; I wonder if I was suffering from lunacy?

    1. I have a photographer friend who does this, she only checks her mail twice a day and has an automatic email that lets the sender know that the email was received and will be dealt with at specific times during the day.

      Partitioning clients is a good idea and setting up a notification system where they can place their queries, issues and then you can manage them through said system, with audits and this shows you, and them, how much work you are doing for the client. I used this when I did eBusiness for a living.