At the intersection of Rock Rd. and Hard Pl.

I have to figure out how to balance the emotions of my job.

I think that it goes without saying that working in veterinary medicine is an emotional field.  Besides the obvious stress of “customer service” (dealing with owners in a variety of emotions themselves from happiness, to anger to depression) it is also straining to see animals suffering, attempt to control fractious critters, and make sure all the medical documentation is correct.  And that’s just in an average clinic.  We are a large, multi-doctor  practice.  So I have a lot of bosses.  Bosses with a variety of opinions on exactly what the medical protocols are, how they like animals to be restrained, what items are to be prioritized… the list goes on and on.  And then  on top of that, is my fellow co-workers, and then my real boss, the hospital administrator (aka manager).  She has her own expectations, priorities etc etc ad nauseum.

And really, truly, I try my best that when I leave work, I leave my work at work.  I love my job.  Really and truly.  But I go through a lot of highs and lows in each shift, and I can’t come home, second guessing everything.  Saturday was a particularly high-emotion day, we had several emergency/walk-in situations and so one of the vet’s got a bit short with me.  I tried my best to keep doing what I needed to do but I was frustrated with myself for not having anticipated what he would have wanted and so I was crying.  When my administrator walked up to me and basically told me that I did a great job, and that the vet was basically overreacting.  She even went on to pull me aside at the end of the day to tell me what a great job I did that day, and that when I went home to not think twice about the incident.

(I cannot believe how lucky I am to have such a wonderful boss.  One who stands up to an angry veterinarian, and goes out of her way to boost her employees instead of waiting until there is a problem and just reprimanding me.)

But the plain fact is, is that I came home.  Dragged myself up the stairs.  Crawled into bed.  And cried.

Not because it was a terrible-awful-no-good-day, but because I was just that tired.

I keep waiting to not be so worn out at the end of a shift.  And in some ways I am a lot less tired.  But, at the same time, I don’t know how much longer I can do a job I care about so much.  But I also don’t know how to not care.  I can’t imagine doing this and being pregnant, or doing this and parenting a small child.

So, how do I care, without caring too much?  If you don’t care enough, you become a crappy technician.  But if you care too much, you become a zombie (aka bitchy wife – just ask my poor husband)

Rock.  Hard place.  Me.


7 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by babycrazykiwi on January 15, 2012 at 11:32 pm

    Honey I’m sorry things are hard. Definately think that getting as much sleep as you can is the first thing you need to do. Being tired is awesome when you’re trying to keep in control (not lol). I’m a good one for losing the plot when tired so I know how you feel. I don’t have the answer I’m sorry as to how to cope better with the work but I’m thinking of you and hope it gets better my girl.


  2. Sorry you are having such a hard time.

    Have you considered getting your vitamin/hormone levels checked? I only ask because I had mine checked about a month ago; have made some changes in my diet and supplements and feel like a brand new person.

    One should not feel so exhausted from doing a job they love and caring about those in their care. I care for children everday (physically and emotionally). I was where you are just a few months ago; but now it’s a different story…. I actually have the energy and desire after a long work day to clean my house, make dinner, hang out with friends, and spend time in conversation with the hubby.

    Just a thought…


    • I actually was talking about checking my vitamin levels with my acupuncturist last week. I’ve had plenty of hormone levels checked over the course of IF treatments, so I know those are in line, but I haven’t had my vitamins checked. So it’s on my list of things to do after I get insurance…


  3. I have yet to figure those questions out in my own lifestyle. You seem to be the type of person that feels as though she has to please everyone all the time. When you do that you drain yourself. I find that occasionally I need to just say no and shut down. No, I’m not going to be your best friend today and I need to be left alone. No, you aren’t going to get everything you want from me because I have nothing left to give. Of course I don’t say that to people but I think it. When you get home take a bit of time for yourself. If that seems like its a problem then stop somewhere on your way home and get a cup of coffee/tea/hot cocoa and take a few minutes for yourself to relax.


    • People pleaser? Me?! Get out!
      I know, it’s so true, and I really have been working on this. I feel like a lot of it doesn’t really have so much to do with “people pleasing” as much as I just want to do a good job for myself, and I have a bit of a paranoia that if I mess up I will get fired and I REALLY don’t want that.

      But I think that the bottom line is that this is a field that is really emotionally taxing. Plain and simple.

      On top of that, up until now we really haven’t been a couple where we both work – Hubster has usually worked/supported us while I was in school/working part time/taking care of the house. So in some respects Hubster hasn’t really ever had to carry as much weight in the take-care-of-home department, so he’s feeling the strain of adding home to his normal work routine, just as I am added a job to my normal home routine.

      I’m not saying everyone should return to the 50’s days of the man working and the woman staying home, but the truth is that two people working is hard. It’s a lot to balance.


  4. I’m the same way, as far as wanting to do a good job, to the point of killing myself (and maybe a bit of the people-pleasing, too). I actually heard something great on the radio the other day. If you can’t quit your job but feel like you want to some days, you should call another company (preferably in a city far from where you live) and quit “your job” over the phone. Make up some excuse, or use the real reasons your current job is frustrating, just to get it out. I’ve never tried it, but it sounds like fun.

    A few years ago, when I was having a hard time with my job, my husband asked me, if you could do anything, what would you do? His answer was doing exactly what he’s doing now. (My answer was “be a mom,” which was part of the problem.) Anyway, I ended up quitting my job because, as rewarding as it was, it didn’t allow me to have enough of a life outside of work. I think it’s so important to hit the right work-life balance, which is different for everyone. For me, it means leaving work at work. I hope you can find a way to get balanced.


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