Insecurity and Self Doubt

I have had a lot of things going on in my life. Work and home. I have remained strong for the most part. I have a lot of self doubt. And that is all on me. I try not to let others know how insecure I am. Sometimes it takes over and I think the worst of others and what they are thinking of me. I am trying to be a mentor and guide for others and it makes me feel like a failure when I think that I am not good enough to even be a mentor. I know I have a lot of knowledge to give but I keep getting knocked down and made to feel like I am incompetent. It is hard when the people you trust and look up to are the ones knocking you down and talking to you like you are stupid and have no idea what you are doing.

We all have moments of weakness and self doubt and insecurity. It is how we deal with it. I have recently been under a greatly increased amount of scrutiny in my job. I am trying to deal with it in a positive manner but have become very worried. It seems to me that they are telling me that everything I am doing is not good enough. I put in 12-14 hours a day Monday through Friday for many years now. I have given up my life for this company. And for the longest time I was praised at how well I was doing a great job and just needed to continue doing what I was doing. Then something changed and I was all of the sudden no longer doing anything right.

I have taken some time off over the past couple of months. Which is when all of his comments started. I have been dealing with employee shortages and people quitting and not showing up or calling in sick and all of those things without him knowing details for a very long time. He had to deal with it for 2 days here and 3 days there…(he would text me almost all day on at least one of those days off complaining about my staff). So I really didn’t get to take any time off because he wouldn’t leave me alone long enough to spend time with my family.

His comments were worded just so that I have come to think he was going to fire me. Or worse try to make me quit by forcing some issues with me. I have a strong personality and so does he and for years that has led to a great collaboration us. At this point it has become a bit of a power struggle. I had an employee that left me 2 times. The second time he left it was right after I went to bat for him to get a raise. (and he got it) He then puts in his notice right after. And this was the second time. On his last days he would not be respectful addressing myself or the owner. Calling him buddy after he was told that the owner did not like being called that. Another manager hired him back after myself and the owner was against it. I have repeated stated that he is an awesome young man. He is great with the customers and he is a very likable young man. I have also stated that I do not wish to have him back at my location. He is not loyal to me and has stated that he wants my job. The owner has stated that he wants to put him at my store and that he has grown a lot while he has been gone. He is now married and is now more grown up. That being said. He is not loyal to me having left me twice now and the second time right after a raise.  I want people that are loyal to me in my employ.

The owner put in my store on my last two days of vacation and the people on my payroll got their hours cut in the process. This does not make me less paranoid about him trying to out me. But I am not sure how to deal with this. Go in and be honest or just go with the flow and not say anything. I have a hard time not standing up for myself and what I do not want but this is a touchy subject with him. So I have a decision to make.

I have enlisted the help of a close friend and coworker to help me streamline all of what I do to make the owner happy again. It doesn’t seem to be working but I know I am not horrible at what I do. I am pretty darn good at what I do. So I have to figure out what the owner is saying…looking between the lines…

  • Why is he looking so hard to find something wrong?
  • What is going on in his world to cause his mood change?
  • What is going on in the business to cause his nervousness about the smallest of details in my store?
  • Is there anything I can do to relieve him of some of this stress?
  • How is his personal life?

Well he has had some issues in his family that has caused him some stress. The company has purchased another piece of property that the company now needs to make payments on. He is part of a 3 person incorporated ownership…so he does have others he has to answer to. All I can do is keep running my store and do it the best I can and take his advice to heart and try to make sure that all of his suggested that can be implemented are implemented as quickly as possible.

Now I do have a lot of insecurity that I am making the owner happy like he was just a few short months ago (where he was saying that I was awesome). And I am not sure if I will have a job for much longer. I cannot seem to make him happy about anything but… I have been doing this since 1994. I have spent the majority of my life in this industry. And more that 18 years with this company. And I still have a lot to learn. And I have a lot of self doubt that I can continue with this company that now seems to no longer appreciate the time and effort I have put into making it what it is. I made this my life. Big mistake on my part for sure. I have always had a need to prove my worth with long hours and extra stuff. Doing more and more and more…

I have decided to spend less time at work. And only give what I can without losing myself in the process. This will be very difficult since I have made my job who I am. I have to go on a search of who I am and figure that out. But first I have to stop working so much to figure that out.

Do only what you can because the extra really isn’t appreciated in the long term.

Workaholic 

I am (admittedly) a workaholic. I do love my job and there never seems to be enough hours in the day. You see I manage a dry cleaners. Now the first half off my day consists of getting the items due that day cleaned, pressed, inspected, bagged and put into place. Now while I am trying to make sure that is all happening with a nice flow I get interrupted… Not always a bad thing but can get a little like this…

I am bagging an order of say 12 pieces… Which takes 3 to 4 bags normally…I get one group bagged I have a phone call…while on that call I have 2 to 3 employees asking me questions…after the call is over I have a customer wanting to talk to me in the lobby…done with customer and an employee needs me to come and look at their press something isn’t right…done with that the owner wants to ask me a question in the office…I am coming down from there and the Libby is full of customers so I help get them waited on and on their way…done and come back to start bagging again to find that for the past hour no one else has bagged one item. So joe the bagging line is much much longer. 

Now not everyday is like this but more often than not I get pulled in 5 different directions at the same time. I love the challenge but I do have to gather my thoughts sometimes. Which is hard because even if I run to the bathroom real quick it never fails that as soon as I get in there I hear…” Kim, are you in there? You have a customer in the lobby waiting for you.” Lol

Now for the last part of my day is where I do all the little things that the customers pay extra for me to do personally. Yes, I am good at what I do…but if my dry cleaner was more customer friendly and patient he could do some of it and at times I have given items to him with specific details as to how I wanted them done for him to do it his way anyways. He is good at what he does. His patients isn’t always there for spotting in items. We both read care labels and sometimes you cannot go by the care label. And I won’t go by the care label if I know that there is a chance that something attached to the item could be damaged by the process. I will use an alternate process. If I feel any process will harm the item I will make a call to the customer and discuss the different processes and let them make the call they would like for me to do. 

Now I get to work at about 6:30 am and most of the time I don’t get out until at least 7:00 pm at the earliest. I am trying to train others in what I do and show them the exact reason as to how I decide on the process to take with each item.  This is an art. And I am great at it. But I also make mistakes like every one. I have gotten rushed and made rash decisions that cost me in the end. But my record is far better because I take the time needed on every piece I touch. Most items are easy and you can make a split decision on them but when they have anything attached either by glue or sewing makes an item much more difficult to clean properly. And care labels will often say excluding embellishments  (Which really cannot be removed) or they are mislabeled completely. Leaving the dry cleaner the one to blame for any errors made. 

I care so much about retaining and making our thousands of customers happy I get lost in time in the afternoon trying to get everything done that I have on my plate. 

Now I love my family very much! I work hard to make the money needed to provide for my family! And I am working on a way to leave work earlier so I can spend more time with them.