06 January 2010

My First Day Back to Work

I woke up yesterday morning about 15 minutes before my alarm had been set. I got six-and-a-half hours of sleep and felt well rested. I woke up earlier than I had to in order to enjoy some time drinking my hot tea and settling my anxiety about this eventful day. I had no idea of what to expect.

I spent my last day on full time disability (Monday) talking to my manager. He assured me that everything would be fine. The disability claims group approved me to go back to work from the 5th to the 11th at fours hours a day and from the 12th through the 18th I’d be working 6 hours a day. I explained to him the downside of my vitamin B1/Thiamine deficiency with regard to my short-term memory loss and he understood that it was going to take some time for my brain to heal.

This first week back all he wanted me to do was to go through my email inbox and blow away the majority of the unread emails as my back-up team members were taking up the work covering my clients while I have been away. For these two weeks, my out-of-office email auto reply and my outgoing voicemail message still shows me being out of the office. My manager does not want me to interact with my clients for these first two weeks. He felt that I needed a gradual immersion back into the fold. I am so grateful to have such a wonderful manager. After talking with him, my anxiety levels were reduced.

Well, the moment I had been dreading was finally upon me—opening up my email account. There were 1000+ unread emails just waiting there for me. I took a deep breath (and an Ativan, I will admit) and sorted by sender. It turns out that there were so many I could just delete. When all was said and done, I ended up keeping 73 emails that I felt I had to read which I did. Many came with important attachments about my specific accounts that I would have the need to use later. I saved and filed all of those in the appropriate folders; the next thing I knew, it was 1100.

Oh yeah, my boss did agree to letting me change my work hours and now I will be working 0700-1500—no more overtime hours allowed. I am so grateful for those two situations. I wake up so early anyway; to have to wait until 0800 would be counter-productive. In addition, the upside is getting off at 1500 while there is still sunlight. This gives me the chance to accommodate any doctors and therapists appointments. I never did like working the normal eight hours where the sun was just coming up when I started work and already set by the time I was finished. I hate Standard Time and the sun setting so early in the Winter.

My day actually went quite smoothly. I was very methodical in how I approached the day; I received excellent support from my boss; what more could I have asked. Since my day started at 0700 I was done at 1100. I had the rest of the day free and I realised that I needed a distraction so I would not dwell on what may or may not occur my second day back. A friend of mine had been sick over the weekend and I called her up telling her I was going grocery shopping and asked her what I could pick up for her.

When I arrived at her house, my heart just went out to her. She looked liked she felt so miserable. We settled in and spent about two-and-a-half hours just talking. It was exactly what I needed to divorce myself from anticipating the worst for the next day.

Overall, it was a good day. I am not going to fret about the upcoming days or pile more on my shoulders (emotionally) by projecting outward on the worst-case scenario. I have hope that my job will be far more manageable now than it ever was before. Staying in the moment—what a marvellous tool!.©2009


  1. I'm so, so glad things went as well as this Alix. Your boss sounds remarkably understanding - not that that shouldn't be the case of course - and I'm so glad you had his support.

    I hope the rest of the week has gone as well as this and that being back at work perhaps adds a sense of 'normality' to things. Although I struggle with it, I suppose in many ways interacting with people regularly such as in the workplace can improve one's mood and give some sort of mental focus.

    Anyway, really pleased for you. Take care of yourself love. xxx

  2. @SI...the rest of the week went well except for Friday. For some reason my email client, Outlook, requested a password which it has never done before. So I tried a few different ones (there are scads of pws I have to know!) and none worked. So, I called the Helpless Desk and they said I probably needed to change my Windows desktop password in the event that it expired while I was out on disability. Well, that just hosed me up further and then I was locked out of my laptop altogether. I had to wait for a field service tech to come and set things straight which took an additional two hours. By that time, my 4 hr work day was over and I could enjoy the afternoon. Ahh...technology--you gotta love it

    Take care, luv x

  3. Ah, piss. I know from experience what a pain in the backside Windows programs can be. How frustrating :-/ I'm glad you got it sorted *eventually* though and hope the damn thing doesn't give you any more trouble!