anxiety · job anxiety · phone anxiety · social anxiety

Second Day of Work Meltdown

Well, it happened. I had an anxiety blow-up that cumulated with me crying in the work office. This came about after I answered the work phone and I was in a panic for almost every time I picked up the phone. One of my co-workers was advising me to speak louder because everyone in the office needs to be able to hear me. I understood this and still, I kept retreating to my habit of speaking lowly when I feel self-conscious. I answered the phone once and pushed myself to shout my co-worker’s name (after I put the person on hold) because the call was for her. This was the start of it. I felt tears collecting at the corners of my eyes over how relieved and anxious I felt about answering the call and having to notify my co-worker. Afterwards, she was still advising me to speak louder and to follow the phone script that Alan gave me. I answered another call from a man that wasn’t the typical, “Hi, I’m looking to speak to ____” call and instead the guy went on about an appointment he was coming in for. I put him on hold so I could deliver the message, but when I got back to my desk, I realized I had accidentally hung up instead of putting him on hold. He called back fortunately and one of my other co-workers took care of it. However, I realized I had delivered the wrong message and misunderstood the caller’s words. That, in addition to my coworker trying to walk me through the phone script as I was attempting to hold my emotions in, is what killed me. She noted I looked scared, and that is when the dam overflowed as I burst into tears. It felt like an out of body experience. I could hear her saying reassuring things, like how I didn’t do anything wrong, how I’ve been doing well so far, and that it’ll just take some time for me to get used to the phone. Rome wasn’t built in a day, she said.

I couldn’t speak at all during this and just kept crying and nodding. Alan came back from being gone since I came in that morning and he tried to cheer me up with a funny story but I was too deep in my pain. I went to the bathroom to wash my face and spent like 15 minutes inside continually crying until I cleaned myself up to be presentable. Later my coworker was trying to explain some paperwork to me but I was half-listening and almost completely out of it. I think she could tell because she ended up holding my hand for a portion of this lesson when I was supposed to listen to her conversing on the phone with a representative.

I don’t know how I managed to talk to Alan for a bit before I left. For some reason I feel like something in my relationship with them has changed since they saw me cry. I said goodbye to my co-workers and somehow it was less awkward because one of them told me to not worry about what happened today and that it’s not worth getting upset about.

Also really random is the man I spoke to on the phone later arrived. I learned he was a matchmaker and he even suggested getting Alan and I together. Today was the first real time I feel like I spoke to Alan about matters besides work. It was for at least 15 minutes and I even missed the usual bus I take home. I think it’s just a fluke though. I’m expecting to still feel anxious and nervous tomorrow. And I admit that while I was recounting my crying fit for this post (while typing this during my bus ride home), I kinda almost cried again. 😖


4 thoughts on “Second Day of Work Meltdown

  1. I felt so sad reading this 😦 Honestly, I don’t see why you need to tell Alan about your anxiety issues. Perhaps he might understand, perhaps he might not. It is a very personal thing, and even someone else who has anxiety might not experience it the same or if they do, they deal with it differently and for that, some might judge you for that. This might sound harsh, but I’ve come across some people with anxiety who are like that and they and me just don’t click.

    Not too sure why your co-workers tell you to speak louder when you’re on the phone, and why everyone needs to hear you. I’m a soft-spoken person myself. There have been a few times when I’m on the phone at work and the caller could hear my louder colleague talking on the phone right behind me – and the volume/speaker on my phone has been adjusted to very high.

    It’s just been your second day, so understandably you wouldn’t know everything and naturally your colleagues should understand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I don’t get why everyone needs to hear me too. It seems like the culture in the office is that people nearby need to hear so they can jump in if needed. Idk. I’ve seen a couple of times already that someone could get off the phone and then be prompted by another person about what the caller just said. What I dislike so far is when I have to notify someone a caller is on hold for them when they’re already busy on a call. Idk how people can concentrate like that. If I was on a call and someone just started telling me I have a caller waiting for me, that would make me feel stressed. It’s also hard to hear the caller sometimes if there is too much noise in the office. I have to cup my other ear to block out the surrounding noise.

      I’m definitely afraid Alan wouldn’t understand if I did tell him.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m sorry to hear you had a stressful time at work. It might have a positive side to it, though, if it does help to break the ice a bit with your colleagues. It sounds like some of the people you work with are understanding, which is a good thing. If it makes you feel any better, I’ve made countless mistakes since I started my new job in April. I still don’t feel confident in all aspects of it. My Dad says it takes a whole year to learn how to do a new job properly and feel fully confident in it, so I would try not to worry (impossible, I know!) about making a mistake on day two.

    Have you considered telling Alan that you have some social anxiety issues? Not making a big thing out of it, but just making him aware of it. I know that’s a big and scary thing to do and I’m not saying you should definitely do it, but it might be something to consider at some point.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I appreciate that you can relate and have had the experience of what it’s like to start out at a new job. I just have a hard time believing things will get better because I perceive everything is going so slow right now for me. I didn’t expect to deal with what I did today or for things to turn out the way they did. In a way I’m grateful I wasn’t able to predict what was going to happen because I always go into a situation thinking certain things will or won’t happen.

      I don’t know if I will eventually tell Alan about my social anxiety issues. There is no privacy in the office anywhere. Everyone’s desks are in the same room and the only other room is for the toilet. And there’s no like fixed schedule for everyone to go on lunch at the same time. I don’t think I would be comfortable asking him if we could speak outside knowing someone else could come out and overhear. Then again, I’m only on day two of this job. Idk how I will feel months from now.


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