My newest job as of 2 1/2 months ago is with a retailer / wholesaler. I am on their team of software developers for their internal systems. We make not only the customer websites, but their support and warehouse systems. The warehouse systems get down to printing out picking and packing lists, as well as shipping labels from UPS and USPS. We also sell and thus interface with Amazon, Walmart, and more.
And I am now a warehouse manual laborer for them too! I worked one very long day last week – most of 12 hours. And today marked my first day of what will likely be every work-day for the next 4 weeks of 4-6 or more hours in the warehouse! It’s prime season now with Christmas approaching, and we just can’t get enough quality temp workers. So full-time folks like me pick up the slack when needed!
And I love it! I’ve been thinking I might like to do something like this someday, since I like shopping. But its always been hard to know if that was realistic for someone like me that is used to working with my mind. I’ve also been aware that I don’t necessarily want to work at a desk full-time much longer, so its been even more on my mind. And now I have proof that I can do it – and actually enjoy it too!
Now I’ll gladly admit that I don’t see myself working many days over 8 hours, let alone the weekend. I know the main hourly laborers need to do that to actually make a real living. So I’m probably not going to be their main warehouse worker – but that’s ok. For now I’ve got the best of both – a full-time combo of software dev and warehouse work! The future will decide the rest when the time comes.
I recently learned my Enneagram type was Type 1, i.e. the Perfectionist. I ranked high as Type 5 also, the Investigator / Observer. Both of the descriptions resonated strongly with me, but there was one major difference. They break the 9 types out into 3 categories for Head, Feeling, or Gut. Type 1 was Gut while Type 5 was Head – and I would have guessed I would be in the Head category.
This exercise really helped me understand much more about myself. I had no idea there was a “Gut” category, let alone that I might fall into it. I assumed because I’m “academic” and not about “feelings” that I would be in the “Head” category. But while I spend a lot of time thinking, and am very detailed oriented, I am frequently more about “action” than just “thought” or feeling!
Gut types have more “anger” issues while Head types have more “fear” issues. This also really confused me at first because I do have lots of fear and anxiety – and I thought very little anger. But unlike Head types, I usually work through my fears because I take action! My anger doesn’t come up often, true enough, but when it does it is not something I have learned to work through well!
Finally, it looks like my Mom is probably a Type 5! She is not “academic” so at first this seemed weird, but she is “stuck” in her Head and does not resolve fears! Maybe her strong influence is even why I have so many fears – but at least I move on with my Gut. So I have learned a lot about myself by looking into Enneagrams. I am a Gut person more than a Head person – this makes sense!
A man behind me in the checkout at the grocery store seemed very rushed to me. I was taking my own OCD time to get my items on the conveyor belt the way I wanted them. And they were still finishing up with the lady in front of me, so I thought I had some time. And it really doesn’t take me that much time anyhow. But he seemed a little agitated and it felt like he really wanted to get his stuff on the belt ASAP.
Then I finished and the clerk started with me and my items started moving to free up space. At that point I realized the problem was not that he felt I was taking up too much time or space, but that he needed even more time and space – because he was very extreme OCD! He wasn’t just organizing his items – he was putting each item down in exacting fashion, all totally lined up precisely and never touching.
He was likely never concerned about me at all. He was simply anxious because of his own peculiarities. And that really is what anxiety is about – our own fears. We may tell ourselves its what others think about us, or even our own perceived shortcomings. But its actually about our not adequately coming to terms with our own peculiarities. Anxiety is really just about not completely accepting ourselves.
Anxiety is something I have a lot of at various times. That probably would surprise most that know me because I do a great job of hiding it. How? I tend to do what I’m good at and avoid what I’m not good at! So I appear confident instead of full of anxiety.
I love my new job, and I’m great at most of it. But some things are of course new to me, and some of those are complicated. So far I have risen to each challenge as it comes, yet each time there is a lot of anxiety first. Am I good enough? Am I taking too long?
It seems like my anxieties are growing though. They seem to happen in more settings, and more frequently. And they seem to run deeper, and be more troubling. Am I just allowing myself to be in more diverse circumstances? Or is it something else?