how did I get so grumpy?

As previously noted (and probably experienced by anyone with a job), coming back to work after a week of vacation can be pretty miserable. Wednesday through Friday of this week has just been awful. I’ve done my best to work through my pile of crap in my inbox, but it seems like if I’m not there to immediately shoo away those colleagues who think I can/should do their jobs for them, they’ll happily wait for me to get back or try to get someone else in my group to do it for them.

The consequence of this is that I have been extremely bitchy this week at work. I have been snappish and cyncial to those I share an office and boss with, and I downright exploded at my internal customers in an email when it appeared they lost all concept of what is their job and what is my job.

I don’t like being that way. I enjoy my job as long as no one is fighting about whose job it is to do what — but too often my daily time at work is spent playing referee between different departments who are both trying desperately to make sure that they are not doing one ounce of effort more than the minimum and push their tasks off onto anyone else but themselves.

But even while my dad was I here it seemed like I was crabbier than necessary. Do I have a chemical imbalance, or was that maybe the cumulative effect of working continuously from the beginning of December (barring Christmas week) through to the middle of March?* Will I ever be able to return to a non-European working environment? And how do I (re-)gain any ability to buck up, take work crap in stride, and not let it alter my personality? Or (and this is even worse) *is* this my personality (now)?


5 thoughts on “how did I get so grumpy?”

  1. Tammy

    Maybe it’s wheat!! I get randomly really grumpy when I eat wheat – don’t ask me what the medical cause of that is, but it is true (and it’s why I avoid wheat). It probably has something to do with the fact that I have a really hard time with digesting wheat. An unhappy tummy makes and unhappy Tammy. Matthias is the best observer of this phenomenon because my random anger would usually hit him in the face after a long day :-) But seriously, look for correlations in diet if you feel that you are unreasonably or abnormally grumpy.

  2. Nargan

    Cliff, sorry to hear about your moodiness, but I often find coming back to work after a lay-off one of the absolute worst work experiences in general. More often than not, I get really impatient with my co-workers, and it never seems like things were fully taken care of during your absence. I am hoping you were able to take one of your Friday Night naps, enjoy a nice couple days away from the office (even if you did have to take work home) and hopefully you’ll be re-charged for Monday. Usually that second week back isn’t as stressy as when you first return.

    Catch up with you and Sarah more soon!

  3. Cliff

    Hi Tammy,
    Thanks, but I’m sure I have no trouble digesting wheat. To scientifically convince myself of this however, we’re going to make a cake tonight. Chocolate. Based on wheat. I’m sure it’ll help, though I am also not unaware of the dependency implications here. Still, it’s what my dad imported the baking chocolate for us for.

    Hi Narg,
    Whoa, lay-offs?! It was just a week of vacation or so! But I fear those are coming as well, and I’m sure that’s adding to the overall stress levels of many people at work.

    I worked about about 2 hours after I got home on Friday and 10 hours on Saturday, but it was therpeutic in its own way. Especially that I read a whole book in just one sitting as a special treat to myself on Sunday afternoon.

  4. Carolyn

    Well you could always try chamomile tea. I’ve been drinking a lot of that lately. Or, even though it’s expensive to do this, there are some foods that are supposed to make you feel better (blueberries, other foods that are colorful and therefore high in antioxidants). Lastly try taking up yoga again. Or, a couple of deep breaths and a quick walk while your ‘puter is processing something works wonders for me. I’ve been trying to take the stairs while I’m uploading files. Hope you’re feeling better soon.

    p.s. rumor has it, apples are supposed to wake you up better/more effectively than coffee.

  5. Tammy

    I’d be happy to write up a happy-Cliff yoga practice. As I remember, you like standing on one foot!

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