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chipotleisgood111
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Old Nov 18, 2023 at 11:06 PM
  #1
 
Hi everyone,
To start off, I started this job October 2nd. This is my first job after graduating, and I really like it. It's a small company with 40 people and everyone is friends with each other. I wanted to be a part of that too, but I ended up trying too hard and pushed people away. First, I felt insecure and anxious by asking if "everyone hates me" and I kept asking for feedback on "how am I fitting in socially and culturally." This got back to the owner (who is also HR), and he was concerned about me. He felt like I was causing a distraction to others, preventing others from becoming successful, and caused others not to enjoy working with me. In a nutshell, people were becoming uncomfortable and distracted about my constant need for reassurance. It was truly not my intention to do any of that, I just saw how everyone else was fitting in and I wanted to be a part of that too. After a little while, the owner forced me to go on leave. First, he told me to take 2 weeks off, but he is telling me until January 2nd.
What pushed him to put me on leave is that I said an inappropriate joke to a co-worker. I was talking to my sister on the phone a few weeks ago and she was asking me about work and everyone who works there and I told her "well there's these 4 guys who went to high school and college together...." and she was like "are they gay?" ( have nothing against gay people, we just thought it was funny that those 4 guys who have been schooling together their whole life are now working together) and I told this joke to one of those 4 guys. I didn't think through the repercussions or how it would make him feel, but from what I heard, he felt uncomfortable. He told the owner, the owner talked to me, and he even though he knows it wasn't my intention to be hurtful, he felt like I was trying to hard. He felt like my anxiety of wanting to fit in and be liked caused me to not be aware of what I was saying. What I think also pushed him to put me on leave is when i asked the owner those same questions for reassurance such as if everyone hates me. I feel like if it were just about the joke, he just would've warned me not to do it again, but he saw my anxiety and intense desire to fit in was causing a problem. He told me I should seek some therapy and professional help so I can build a better foundation for myself, and that we will talk again January 2nd about the possibility of me coming back to work. I begged for him to keep me there because I really needed the money and I liked the job, but he said he didn't want to risk me causing any more distractions.
To give more background, I was bullied and excluded a lot during my childhood. I never fit in or had any friends. Even in middle school, high school, and college. This is why I keep questioning if everyone hates me or not. This is also why I kept pushing for friendships so eagerly and so soon. I wanted that social interaction so bad. It sucks that I'm on leave too because I feel like I cut off my only opportunity for socializing and connecting with others, since I don't have any friends and don't go anywhere. I was always so happy in the morning to get up and go to work. I never felt that happiness before, but I can't for a while.
I was also starting to make some friends there, but I shared too much too soon. There are a few people in particular: A, K, and L.
With A, we were starting to be friends because we shared similar values. Before I was put on leave, I would ask her for reassurance if everyone hates me and would ask her for that feedback on how I'm fitting in. But ever since I was put on leave, I texted her constantly about the situation and was worried she wouldn't reply so it fueled my anxiety and I kept texting. I was scared if everyone was talking about me, if everyone hated me, etc. From what A told me, she felt uncomfortable about the multiple texts and felt like I threw a lot at her even though she has her own problems. She said she felt uncomfortable having these conversations because she reassured me enough and that she lost a lot of trust in me, and then she blocked me. It hurt me a lot. It fuels the feeling that she hates me. In everyones opinion, do you think I ruined this friendship? Does this person hate me? If I come back to work in January, do you think this can be fixed and I can rebuild that relationship and trust with them?
With K, it's a little similar to A. We shared similar values, and was also talking to her constantly after my leave about the same things I mentioned to A. K is still supportive on me, but I can tell she is tired of it as well. Again, can this friendship be fixed once I come back?
L was the one I told the inappropriate joke to. Again, it wasn't my intention to hurt his feelings or be offensive. I didn't think it through and I made a mistake and I regret it deeply. I even tried apologizing, but I got no response. Before hand, I would also ask him for reassurance as well. I would also message him just for social talk and he would be nice to me and responsive. But after I said that joke, I can tell he was upset because he stopped responding. From what I learned when L told the owner about what's going on, the owner told me that L felt like I was coming on too strong and that I shared too many personal details with him. The owner said L could see us being friends, but I was pushing it too hard. Did I ruin my chances for friendship with this person? Do you think I can fix this once I come back?
Yesterday, I started weekly therapy sessions. Today, I started anti-anxiety medications. I am hoping and praying that it helps me.
Lastly, should I go back to work for the same company in January if the owner says I can? Or did I cause too much damage? Do you think these next 7 weeks are enough time to give people space and forget about this? I just feel worried if I come back, everyone will not want me there or want anything to do with me because of the things that happened, despite my improvement in fixing them.
This was also the email I got from the owner about my leave to give more people clarification and context:
Hi,
Thanks for talking with me on the phone today. I want you to know that I care about you, and want only the best for you. You have asked me repeatedly if everyone (teammates) hates you, and if everyone (teammates) doesn't want you here. I have tried to reassure you that I and everyone (here at the company) care about you, want you to be successful, and want you to help us all be successful.
It seems like your fears combined with your intense desire to fit in and succeed have resulted in frequent email, slack and in person interactions with people at our company that have become counter productive for you and for our company to succeed. I (and several others) have attempted to talk with you and be helpful. Unfortunately, we do not have the skill or ability within our company to properly help you. You mentioned that you spoke with your sister about getting therapy. I also suggested that you ask a doctor about what kind of help may be available. You told me that you've had similar things happen to you in high school and in college. There is no doubt in my mind that you have the drive and determination to make changes, and I hope you can find professional guidance and feedback to show you the way.
I sincerely hope that you can get the help that you need.
Next steps. As I described on the phone,
Company will pay you for the next two weeks, but we will not expect you to work for the company during that time. We hope that you will use this time to focus on finding and getting help for yourself.
Company will pay for your health insurance premium through December 2023.
Company will put you on unpaid leave through January 2.
Let's meet on Tuesday, January 2 to discuss your progress and improvement plan, and evaluate the possibility of having your return to work at our company. The key will be if you can avoid the interactions that negatively impact our workplace.
Thank you very much, and I wish you the very best. I look forward to talking with you soon.
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Old Nov 19, 2023 at 06:19 AM
  #2
 
I recommend that you speak to your doctor and obtain some type of help. Do you have a diagnosis? If not speak to your doctor about finding you a therapist and start exploring what help you need.

Itís good to make friends and to fit socially at work but thatís not why we have a job.

I recommend that you focus on task at hand when you go back to work. Perform work duties and donít worry about making friends or if people hate you or not. Stop messaging people unless itís about work task and you are required to send messages

What line of work is it?
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Old Nov 19, 2023 at 10:53 AM
  #3
 
I have found that, at work, if you just stop doing whatever it was that people didnt like, they will forget your past and take you as you are now. Unlike my mother, who would constantly bring up the past and never let me forget it! So i found work to be more accepting of me in that way,

So its not a matter of "fixing" relationships or apologizing to everyone, it will be about being able to focus on the work at hand, and for you yourself to accept that you are part of the team.

I think some sort of group therapy or other group participation, a running or a knitting club, whatever you like, volunteering somewhere for the holidays, might give you the social training and support you need, and help prove to your boss you are changing.
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Old Nov 19, 2023 at 11:36 AM
  #4
 
Work is a place where you focus on work and relationships come slowly as you focus on work. These people have been together for a while youíre new, you need to relax and realize It will take awhile. constantly asking for reassurance is not the proper work place behavior. You need to focus on work, not relationships. It was not good to text that girl constantly.

It sounds like a wonderful company. They are giving you a chance to be more professional and get help. Itís good that you are seeing someone, make good use of that time. Use the therapist to ask her for reassurance donít bring it up at work.

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