Anxiety attack at work: Well just when... - Anxiety and Depre...

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Anxiety attack at work

Ripley7 profile image

Well just when I felt like I’ve improved on staying mostly ahead one of my bosses’ random mood I was sorely mistaken last night

I’m a hostess/busser at a little restaurant and one of my bosses (actually she’s the owner- not my direct hiring boss specifically) had told me the name of the party I was to collect and lead them to their table so first place I checked was a seating area just in front of where the hostess station is and I called out the name twice and saw a couple sitting there and they confirmed ( a usual protocol so far and nothing out of the ordinary-I’ve done this a million times before) so I lead them to their table and all is well...

Well evidently it wasn’t the correct party that she was referring to. She evidently knows the person I was supposed to sit (I did not unfortunately) and she unfortunately didn’t notice that I had gone straight to the area in front of where she and I were standing and called the name and they proceeded to get up and follow me. Meanwhile the boss lady had gone to the bar area and found the lady that I was looking for and told her and her friend to go ahead and sit but they couldn’t because there were already people sitting there.

So right in front of the whole restaurant she blesses me out demanding why did I seat another party there when (party’s name) was right here.

I was all stuttering and confused because I’d just asked for that same name and the other people confirmed. She just kept acting like she didn’t believe me. I profusely apologized to the correct party (come to find out they evidently regulars and I noticed that I recognized the friend but not her. If it were under the friends name I wouldn’t known the face to look for for sure,but I had no face in my head to the name on the wait list.

They were super nice and laughed good-naturedly about it and sat they’ll just keep waiting over at the bar area and have another drink until the next table opens up and that it’s no big deal.

So my boss leads me to the hostess stations here the wait list is and starts ripping into me pointing at the name I was supposed to call- I said I did call that name immediately after she told me and I looked at the name that was right below the correct one and that they were similar phonically and that the other customers and I both happened to just misunderstand somehow.

She didn’t care and was near hollering at me saying that I should be verifying customers phone numbers before seating them.

I have never been instructed this by the way in the year that Ive worked there more have I see her or anyone do this. There’s no need to obviously unless someone were to accidentally put two of the same first names only under and you have to verify which one they are.

I just said yes mam and let her fuss a bit more then she stomped off to go smoke a cigarette in the back office.

I tried to look ok and not ruffled but my stupid tears started fighting to release and I had to go sneak to the bathroom to try to calm the inevitable anxiety that followed.

Anytime I’m publicly humiliated by someone especially authority figure it sends me into practically instant panic attack- part of the social anxiety no doubt.

The rest of the night I avoided eye contact t with anyone so they didn’t see I was constantly fighting tears. I looked like a whipped puppy it was horrible.

Before the ‘correct’ customers left she saw meat the hostess station quietly preparing menus and what not and gave me a big hug and said to please don’t worry it’s ok and they come here so much it’s practically a second home so it’s no big deal at all to them.

I really appreciated it but I was still feeling the sting of being publicly and loudly berated by the owner.

Shortly after the verbal beating from the owner I went and took a low dose Xanax which helps me when I have these attacks- and it did after about 29 or 15 min - at least it stops the panic mode but that’s it- not the racing thoughts and the reruns in my head and depression for falling victim again to my stupid emotions

The employees were very sympathetic- they said they how she gets. I appreciated the understanding from them, but still it’s just one more thing that keeps my social fear and an anxiety going so strong.

After whenever I have these anxiety attacks I then start to experience what I can only describe as somewhat of a hangover type of feeling but it’s like a deep deep dark depressing feeling mixed which utter shame and guilt and self loathing.

So I ended up later at home doing a little bit of the self harm cutting thing. I can’t do much of that lately (fortunately I guess) because my boy has been off for a week for the holidays and he pays close attention to what I’m up to because I’d confided to him prior about the self harm.

This isn’t the first time the owner has chewed me out in public but it’s been awhile and since the last time prior to yesterday and usually I managed to watch her moods closely and act accordingly- like staying a step ahead of her moods and by no means say anything but pretty much yes mam and no mam.

There’s nothing my hiring boss can really do either because that’s his mom.

Also this is the only job I’ve managed to get after being unemployed for over a year despite that I’d gone back to school after my divans gotten a degree and a couple of diplomas. So I’m not in the position to quit. It wouldn’t be so bad if she didnt randomly yell at me in public like that like I’m a child in trouble or a dog in trouble.

Anyway if anyone’s read this far many thanks to you. If anything at least I’m venting I guess. I just can’t shake that dark depressed shame guilt feeling that makes me want to do the stupid self harming thing.

I’ve been fighting a nasty to boot so at least for today I called in and I’m sleeping all day to recover. I hope things will be ok tomorrow when I go in. I’ll still be respectful to her as usual but it’s just screwed up how she explodes at her crew and acts like it’s no big deal later. 😔😢😠

By the way on top of that I’d seen my counselor yesterday and it’s thought that I have Aspergers (high functioning I’m guessing?) and bipolar. In a month I’ll see the psychiatrist to be tested for bipolar but in the meantime I’m not sure what to do with this information from the counselor.

9 Replies

As i read your post i feel that the content means less than your need to quiet your mind. It seems you're not in control of your life. Rather you're at the mercy of the whims of those around you.

If you'd connect with your true self; take time to listen to what you're feeling; believe that you might demand respect from yourself and others.

It's not about what others are doing to you; it's about how you're treating yourself.

Ripley7 profile image
Ripley7 in reply to l8blmr

Thank you- you make a great point. I was just thinking to myself earlier today about how frustrating I find it that I tend stay in jobs, even romantic & nonromantic unhealthy relationships, even friendships where I am constantly walking on egg shells so as not to set them off or just make them mad.

I know any rational self respecting person would show assertiveness and respectfully confront the person who is constantly being disrespectful and demeaning to them. I imagine myself saying something like:

“I’m proud to say that I am a hard worker that’s willing to go above and beyond for anyone and I always make a point to be respectful to authority, my peers, and the customers. My belief is to treat others with the same kind of decency that I would deserve.

I have no problem at all owning up to any mistake I make and I’m more than willing to learn from them. But if there’s something to point out to me that was incorrect there is absolutely no reason to pick me apart in front of the whole restaurant.

I really enjoy working here-I care about the staff and the customers, and I like the friendly atmosphere here.

However I nor does anyone else deserve to be talked down to like they are less than a human being; even worse in front of their peers and customers.

If there’s something that needs addressing it should be done so privately and civilly.

If this continues any longer I will with a heavy heart be forced to give my notice.”

That’s if I had a backbone but I don’t even talk like that in general. I’m intimidated by authority and by any type of confrontation so it’s all I can do not to be a stuttering mess forgetting what I’m saying.

Plus she’d say ok well if you feel that way then I’m sorry to see you go.

It’s a restaurant with your typical high turnover and evidently this is how she’s always been. I’m not even going to pretend she’d have some sort of epiphany and change for my sake. Her husband is even worse. He’ll cuss you- I’ve dealt with him doing that to me before. I practically pee my pants in fear around him. It’s not that I feel in danger physically by no means but again the public shaming does me in.

I’ve toughened up some lately by reminding myself they are only people. But sometimes it happens when I’m totally unprepared.

Maybe cause I’m dealing with a cold lately thats making me less prepared to deal with that kind of crap from them.

Ugh I hate myself for being such a wimpy spineless wuss.

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to Ripley7

Hi please don't beat yourself up over that nasty incident as it wasn't your fault. The owner had no right to have such a go at you in front of others too. She is the one who has shown herself up not you. I am sure everyone involved understands the situation and felt for you being bullied like that and it reflected badly on the owner.

You are not a wimp, but you were just caught in a bad situation and it's very hard to stand up for yourself when the other person has all the power. Why not just have a quiet word with her in private? You could just say you were sorry for the mistake but feel you didn't do anything wrong. Keep it calm and cool. You might find she apologises to you and says she has lots of things going wrong in her life at the moment etc. At the very least it will make her think twice before shouting at you again and she will respect you more for being a bit assertive. x

Ripley7 profile image
Ripley7 in reply to hypercat54

Thank you for that- that’s excellent advice. One day soon I hope to build up the nerve to say something in private to her about blowing up at me.

I’d probably burst in tears anytime soon though because I’m so intimidated by any kind of authority or confrontation for that matter. My goal is to work hard on building up my courage so that I will stand up for myself and not allow people to walk over me, authority or not.

Thank you again for the insight, kind words, and very good advice. It’s means a lot to me. ❤️🤗

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to Ripley7

Ah years of experience and being in a similar situation! One time I was a temp and the supervisor took a dislike to me and would criticise me in front of others trying to make fun of me. I went over her head to her boss and calmly told him saying that as a supervisor I have no problem with her telling me off but do object to her doing it in public. Guess who was the first temp to be let go?

Another time was in a call centre when I didn't realise the manager was at lunch and asked her a question. She shouted at me that she was at lunch and to leave her alone.

This wound me so so when I returned from lunch had decided to say something. I apologised for disturbing her lunch earlier but asked her not to shout at me again. She just looked at me but didn't do it again :) x

Ripley7 profile image
Ripley7 in reply to hypercat54

Yes- I seem to find myself often in these types of dysfunctional situations myself, whether job-wise, friendships, and relationships. I’d read a lot about that kind of thing because it baffles me why the same type of situation keeps repeating over and over with just different faces. Seems that I’m of the co-dependent type if I’ve come to the correct conclusion.

Very frustrating.

hypercat54 profile image
hypercat54 in reply to Ripley7

Yes me too. I have also been bullied at school and at several jobs in the past. I asked a long term friend about it once and she said I have a friendly attitude of here I am please don't hurt me. I have always lacked self confidence and self esteem and I think bullies pick this up. I have an issue with authority figures as well which goes way back to my mother and her er... unstable way of parenting. I always had to walk on eggshells round her as I never knew when she would explode with rage or pick a row with me.

I am also a nice person but some think this equates the same as being weak. Over the years I have learnt to deal with this and people only make that mistake once as I now have a sharp tongue and am not afraid to use it. :) x

Wow! You are working a very stressful job

I know I wouldn't be able to handle it. I think you did a good job of recovering.

Ripley7 profile image
Ripley7 in reply to Trishwiggins

Thank you - I sure hope I can learn to control my emotions better when that happens though. Maybe I’ll get lucky and something better will turn up job wise. Until then I’ll continue to work hard on toughening my skin and remind myself that it’s just a job and they are just regular people with their own issues too.

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