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Work, health, et.c

My Carpal Tunnel has been giving me a *LOT* of trouble over the last several months, since about the first of the year. Most mornings my whole right arm hurts and my wrist-down is numb. I don’t even remember what it’s like to feel most things.

I started going to the Chiro a while back, and got to where I was going about every week. It’s not *too* expensive, but it’s an expense I’d rather not incur too frequently. The Dr. said I have a herniated disc, and in my recollection it seems worse when I am under stress. I also believe it has affected my feet… I am constantly having foot pain. I have such a hard time getting up and going these days. I feel like an old woman, but I’m only 28. I should not be feeling this way.

Given that I have Empathy I am constantly under stress, mostly other people’s but still added onto my own. At work I can feel EVERYONE’s stress, despite how much I try to tune it out. I no longer wish to get into management, because I don’t want that stress to be my own. At home I feel all of Dave’s stress, which never seems to go away. There’s only one place I can really escape from all of it, over at Sylvan Island. I don’t get to go there as much as I’d like, since Dave bitches when I leave the house.

I don’t know how to relax, but I think that’s in large part due to constantly feeling everyone else’s pain. Feeling what everyone else is feeling can help me to relate to them, but it’s not the most desirable gift. A girl at work is pregnant, making me no longer want children. Management is constantly overly stressed, making me not want to do that anymore. It’s frustrating!

I really wanted to become a manager at Panera because I really LOVE it that much. I love the hard work, despite being underpaid. It’s something I really *enjoy.* Particularly the regulars that come in almost every day. I can’t imagine not seeing these people every day!

But, there are other reasons besides my empathy that I’ve changed my mind about becoming a manager. There are things I don’t think I could ever bring myself to do…

Corporate controls how many people are on each shift. If our store is not bringing in enough sales at any given time, the labor rate goes up, and should never get higher than a certain percentage. If it even gets close, managers have no choice but to send people home, or get punished by corporate.

Despite how hard we strive to provide excellent customer service, we are limited in how we can reward our faithful customers. Despite the fact we have certain people come in EVERY SINGLE DAY we cannot give them anything for free. Or, I should revise that to say, if my GM sees me give away anything for free, I get yelled at. I’m sorry, but I love giving away stuff for free! That’s why I’m giving away free gifts with EVERY purchase this WHOLE month with Passion Parties, because that’s just the kind of person I want to be to my customers. I can only assume that the giving away of free stuff directly correlates with our food cost, and that if it gets too high the store gets penalized there, too. I’m sure that the Corporate office only cares about the bottom line. That’s whats great about running MY OWN BUSINESS. I don’t have to answer to ANYBODY. I just have to hold myself accountable when I become a slacker.

There’s another good point. Even if I became a Store Manager, I’d still be answering to somebody. Even as a District Manager, Corporate still controls what I do. Sure, I gain more and more freedom as I climb up the ladder, but I doubt I’d climb my way to CEO.

And, the one thing I realized is that, since I am my own boss, I can turn Panera into my office, at whatever point I choose to no longer be employed by them. There are plenty of customers that have turned that place into their office, why not me? It’d allow me to stay in touch with the customers there who I have grown so attached to, while not having to be a part of all the chaos that is involved in working there. I’m sure my empathy would still create a problem, but I can deal with that.

I need to learn to just *relax*. I seriously don’t know how to relax. There are times I try, but it sends such great jolts of pain through my body I can’t continue. My body has become so accustomed to stress it can’t handle relieving it. That sucks!

And on that note… I’m going to go for now…

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