Friday, 23 March 2012

Not So Happy Days

Ok, so I’ve had an incredibly busy week at work and felt I’d been doing a pretty good job trying to juggle two or three different contracts at the same time. This morning one of my senior managers who likes to drift in and out of these things and who doesn’t really have the full picture stopped by to have a word.

Have you done this, have you done that, have you spoken to projects, have you chased the design team. You know you’ll have to get a grip of these people otherwise it will come back to your door if things go pear shaped at the last minute, blah blah blah.

I’m not the kind of guy who just sits back and accepts these things particularly when I work very hard and have considerable management experience myself. Look, I said. We had a progress meeting yesterday afternoon, I can’t be hassling people every minute to see how they are doing, we have to accept they have responsibility to deliver and its not up to me to micro-manage them.

Yes, but it will come back to you if this doesn’t work out and you’ll be the one who ends up in the shit, blah, blah, blah.

After working particularly hard this week, I’m really pissed off about this. The guy means well, but I’m realising he’s at the end of his career and does things a certain way. The fact I’m in a new industry also means he thinks I need more guidance than I do. I wanted to scream at him that I have 24 years contract experience, 15 at Principal level and a Masters bloody degree in management. But I didn’t.

I knew this would be the type of thing that would irritate me when I chose to change career and took on a role below the level I was working before. That was my choice to be fair, but it doesn’t half annoy me sometimes.

So, my bright and cheery Friday mood turned into a bitter one and in truth spoiled my day. I carried that home with me and snapped at my wife over something trivial. In turn, she completely overreacted and a shouting, swearing argument started up.

Every argument in my house these days starts off with something minor and escalates to world war III within seconds. That’s what 19 years together does for your relationship apparently. The joys of parenthood and particular difficulties with bringing up an autistic child are laid bare for us to see at these moments.

No matter how pragmatic you are, there is tension, blame and stress bubbling under the surface. A little bit of every difficulty faced, every hurdle put in your way and every previously argued point of view remains there like a land mine waiting to be stood upon.

My wife is particularly good at harbouring grudges and berates me for things that happened years ago. I still get pelters for not getting up in the middle of the night as much as I could have with our sleepless daughter. I know that won’t court sympathy from many of the female readers of this blog, but hell if she can’t get over something that happened twelve years ago, there is no hope of matrimonial harmony returning to my life. I’m not even going to start offering the logical explanation that I had to get up at 6am to drive an hour to work etc etc, doesn’t mean anything form her perspective.

The constant battling with authorities and teachers during the abysmal three years our son attended a mainstream school also leaves deep-rooted scars in our life. While I acted professionally and tried to keep objective and communications open, my wife sometimes felt I wasn’t supporting her views. This wasn’t the case at all; I just had experience of dealing with public authority procedures, guidelines and knew how the systems worked.

So, I’m up against it. My flaming bad mood, caused by my boss has subsequently caused an “incident”. It’s still bubbling away some two hours later, you could cut the tension with a knife and I just know that after a glass of wine or two, it could all explode again.

Happy Days ?


  1. having a child with special needs puts an extraordinary about of pressure on our day to day living and sometimes I don't know how we get through the day with work - and the pressures of that - the extreme sleep deprivation and the constant "we have a disabled child", but we do because we choose to. more importantly though we try and get a date night in every month and a night away every other month - we kind of need to keep "us" as strong as possible - with a bottle or two of wine!
    hope that work is better today - good luck with your boss!

  2. but then i might be teaching my granny to suck eggs too - you know what to do that's best for you...

  3. thanks for commenting, I can highly recommend wine too. You'll know that some days are better than others and it can be like a roller-coaster ;-)

  4. Sometimes I think that it is easier to cope as a single parent. I simply have no time to attend to the needs of a partner as well as three children, two with special need. Hope things improve for you and your relationship and thanks for sharing with Love All Blogs

    1. It is tough trying to spread yourself thin, time is demanding and I can see what you mean, probably explains a lot ;-)

  5. Sometimes it's bloody hard work juggling pleasing everyone - the kids, spouse and work folk too. My experience is when it rains it pours- everything goes tits up at the same time just to really grind me down. But when things go back to a happy medium I appreciate them all the more :D

    That was a bit pointless and not much actual help but ho hum!

    1. Yeah, I think you do get to that point where it all seems to implode and then the air clears and you get back on with it all again lol

  6. Its funny, the female mind. I can't forget the time my husband walked away, leaving me in a wheelchair after having his son and the porter telling him to give me a hug or kiss. Fancy a porter telling him to do that? He hates it when I bring it up but really he could have been more affectionate. That was 13 years ago. OK, so that wasnt a helpful comment more of a male v female issue but just to say its hard work being married and raising children, particularly ones with special needs. I sometimes wonder if I'll ever get through this in one piece. Deb

    1. No. Its another great example of perspective where one person has expectations and the other is on a completely different wavelength at that moment - much like autistic thinking ! ;-) we will stumble our way through in the end, sometimes it seems others have it so easy though!