Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Confessions of a Chronic Worrier

One thing I’m learning in my job is that no two days are alike. Yesterday was one of the slowest days ever. No one was returning calls or emails and I sat at my desk waiting for something to happen to give me a lead. Instead, I hit dead ends time after time. I blamed the bad weather- a lot of companies shut down yesterday because of the snow.

Today was a different story. People called me back. I was able to talk to candidates and submit them for positions. It felt like something was going right. Now all I have to do is wait to see what happens next. Ideally, the companies to where we submit our candidates will like the resumes and want to schedule interviews. That would be a nice thing.

My boss likes to give us incentives to get people in jobs. He’s very good like that. Sometimes it’s a monetary bonus. Sometimes it’s taking us all out to dinner. This month, if we meet his quota, he’s taking us all out to Benihana. Most of you probably know what that is but for those of you that don’t, it’s one of those Japanese steakhouses where the chefs cook at your table and use fancy showmanship. They even flip veggies in your mouth. I’ve been to one of those places exactly once. It was interesting but I don’t particularly like having veggies flipped into my mouth so that I catch them. Mostly, it’s because I’m horribly coordinated and I can’t catch. However, I also have a fear of swallowing the object whole and choking.

I know, it’s not likely but one of my special gifts is being able to find something to worry about. It’s not a good thing, believe me. However, if you ever want someone to come up with a worst case scenario, just ask me. I’m good at thinking of bad things that can happen while doing everyday things. This is one of the reasons my car has wind down windows. I have this irrational fear of driving into a lake and not being to get out of my car. At least with a wind-down window, I’d have the chance of getting it to work without having to worry about the electrics shorting out.

I also worry about my puppies. Each day when I leave, I utilize my own slight case of obsessive-compulsive disorder and make sure that the bathroom door is shut so that the puppies don’t break the lids off my cleaners and accidentally drink bleach and whatever else I have in there. I also double-check that the back door is securely latched behind me. This is in case the puppies find a way to open the door and escape because I’ve left the garage door open. This, naturally, leads me to triple check that the garage door closes behind me. I confess that I’ve driven around the block to pass by my house just to make sure it’s shut.

I know. This is all rather irrational. After all, the puppies don’t have thumbs. They can’t open doors or break the tops off bottles but it’s hard to tell my over-worrying mind that because it’s already imagined it and, therefore, it could happen.

I’m a worrier. I admit it. It’s my nature. I have a friend that tells me not to worry so much about everything but that’s rather like telling someone with an addiction not to be addicted. It’s just not that easy. There are ways I control it. I laugh at myself; that’s the easiest way to stop me from going too far with my worrying.

But I still worry. Sometimes, it’s about silly things. Currently, it’s bedbugs. Here in the Midwest, there seems to be a problem with bed bugs. My coworker is obsessed with them and is always afraid she’s going to bring them home from some public place. Thus, I, too, began to worry and found myself going home to check to make sure I didn’t have bed bugs at home.

You’ll be happy to know I don’t. I didn’t really think I did but I had to check. It’s just one of those things. Just like when I lose something and I become completely obsessed with finding it. I can’t focus on anything until I a) either find the lost object or b) finally resign myself to the fact that it’s lost and I stop looking but begin obsessing about when I last saw it and where it could possibly have gone.

That obsession is not my fault. It comes from my parents. My mother does the same thing. I think my dad probably would too but his solution is to blame my mother for losing it and so she feels compelled to look for it. I think it’s my dad’s lazy way of not having to look for it himself. My older brother does the same thing. It’s just a weird family thing. Rather like the obsessions.

I’m sure my worrying/panicking is actually not that unusual. I’m sure I’m not the only one with imaginary worst case scenario's in my head. The way I look at it is as long as they stay in my head and I don’t let them really get in the way of my living my life, it’s ok. As soon as the worry become debilitating, I’ll…start to worry.

It’s a vicious cycle.

Happy Thursday!

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