Monday, 10 March 2014

WordPress Daily Prompt: The Heat Is On

Do you thrive under pressure or crumble at the thought of it? Does your best stuff surface as the deadline approaches or do you need to iterate, day after day to achieve something you’re proud of? Tell us how you work best. 

Photographers, artists, poets: show us PRESSURE.

Black swatch

This is actually Mr. Swiss Swatch, I have the same in other colours with a transparent case. He said I can wear it, as he prefers his other watch. He is Swiss and they invented watches, so who am I to dispute his decision. I quite like this watch, although the hands are in dark blue and sometimes not so clear.

What’s pressure, something like stress? No, I just deal with it. I worked for thirty years as an export clerk and export seemed to be the inventor of pressure, although I never really realised it. It was just a way of life. I was never an organised person, more the chaotic. I just took things as they came. I often noticed when I did take a problem home with me in the evening, the next morning everything seemed different, so eventually I thought why bother. We had a few stress lovers in the office. I think without the pressure and the worry they felt that something was missing. I even got some criticism because I was not running around like a headless chicken and pulling my hair out.

I had a job to do and did it. My experience showed me that even if something did not result as it should, the world did not fall apart and I still had my job the next day. Over the years systems changed and everything seemed to become “just in time”. The customer orders in the morning, you despatch the goods on the same day and he expects them in the factory the following morning, bearing in mind that he was not sitting in your country. Perhaps his order was flown or taken by truck, but the goods had to be delivered the next day. I had visions of machines standing still all over the world because the goods had not yet arrived. I just took it in my stride, until the day when I arrived home from work and said “tomorrow I am not going. I can no longer deal with this rat race.” There was astonishment all round “she always has everything under control”, but I discovered that every person has their breaking point and mine had arrived.

I visited the doctor and she wrote me free from work. I believe it was about three months. Afterwards I returned but was at the beginning only working 50%. Funny thing was that within a week the “just in time” system was altered. Helping hands were engaged along the line, making the work less stressful, less pressure. I just felt that I should have reacted sooner.

Anyhow I survived, The next development was the general economic situation. Companies all over Europe, the world, had failing orders and had to begin to minimise their big ideas: as I was then only two years away from retirement, I was invited told that my working days would be shortened, and that my retirement would be two years earlier. In a way I was not prepared, did not want this. On the other hand I was treated with consideration from the company. Eventually I left and it seems that a week later there was someone younger at my desk. Was I annoyed, was I hurt? Yes, but I survived. I still had two years to consider the situation after leaving the company before I was officially retired and planned the two years carefully. Reflecting on the situation today, I realise this was the best thing that could have happened. Mr. Swiss was already retired, being a couple of years ahead of me, and I could at last practice for my golden oldie life.

The stress became another sort of stress. Being woman I decided my new company was home, I was the boss and I could at last do the things I had wanted to do over the past thirty years, but never had the time. I am not house-proud, but just do things that need doing. I have become quite a logistic expert in housekeeping. I even have a little time table (oh shock), but not that it has to be kept. I just realised that when I do things regularly, it cuts the work time down, and I can adapt.

Today I had to adapt as the States has daylight saving time. In Europe we still live in the dark hours and have not yet saved anything. This means my challenge arrives an hour earlier and everyone in the States has an extra hour of daylight to write their prize winning blogs. This does not stress me, I still write when it suits me, although I spend more time reading all the entries. It arrives during my golden oldie sleep after lunch so no problem, this is just part of my own golden oldie life. 

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1 comment:

  1. I work best 'under pressure', which is just as well, because my job is high-pressure most of the time.