I’m getting pretty good at not giving a fuck at work. Funny how the possibility of losing a job
you basically loathe you’re not that attached to will do that. I’m more heartbroken about the fact that I couldn’t eat a delicious-looking scone in the lunchroom this morning thanks to the Elimination Diet of Sadness than I am about the idea that I might potentially be unemployed by The Most Wonderful Time of the Year™.
It’s pretty liberating, actually. All my life I’ve had issues with perfectionism. I’m more or less guaranteed to stress out over stupid details that no rational human being would fault another human being for overlooking. If overthinking stupid shit were an Olympic sport, I wouldn’t be able to walk under the weight of all my medals. And the second I step into a professional environment, my innate need to be above reproach skyrockets even more out of control.
For example, I have a habit of double- and triple-checking any kind of business correspondence several dozen times over (and then once more for good measure) before sending, just in case the first fifty-odd readings didn’t catch a typo like “Kind retards,” which I would never make in the first place because a zillion viral internet posts concerning that particular mistake have drummed it into my head that I need to be hypervigilant about ensuring my regards are pejorative-free.
Later, I’ll hit up my Sent folder and read the whole thing through a few more times just to make sure nothing slipped by my radar. Y’know, ’cause I could totally do anything about it at that point.
Or, at least, that’s how things would have been once upon a time (i.e. a few weeks ago). Now?
I mean, I’m not gonna stop proofreading anytime soon (let’s not be crazy), but for once in my life I feel okay with leaving things at “I’ll just give this a solid once-over” instead of “I have read this email so many times that the text has lost all meaning. ‘From’ is a weird fucking word, isn’t it? It is a word, isn’t it…? Shit. What if I made it up? Should I check a dictionary? Hm. Maybe I should take a half hour break and revisit this when I can brain again. Right after I make sure I didn’t actually type out ‘shit’ when I thought it just then.”
That’s just one example. Now take the time I wasted stressing over the simplest of emails and add it to the time I spent stressing over report formatting, coworker interaction, filling out routine paperwork and even just signing on the dotted line for a delivery, to name a few others. I knew it was idiotic. I knew it was a waste of perfectly good time and effort. But I still couldn’t bring myself to ease up. Not until now.
It’s like someone stuck a plunger into my mind and fumbled it around until my entire workplace thought process suddenly became unclogged. And just like that, the big red “THIS IS LITERALLY LIFE OR DEATH” emergency stop button in my head that used to be so trigger-happy finally learned to calm its damn britches.
Who knows, maybe one of these days I’ll even stop compulsively readjusting the contents of my cubicle’s recycling bin so everything lays nice and flat and even.