Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Nervous Stomach

Yes, I have problems with my current work situation. The stress is not good for me. And I don't mean that in a may-shorten-my-life-span-someday abstraction. It's not good for me in ways that are immediate, painful and occasionally last days.

I went to my doctor about the problem, thinking maybe I was sick, or maybe there was a way to treat the symptoms so I could ignore them.  (Because that's always a healthy reason to go to a Doctor.. geez...)
He said that stress absolutely could cause the painful gastrointestinal symptoms I'd had. He said the only thing he knows to call it is Nervous Stomach.  He said there's nothing he can give me for it, but over the counters like Imodium could help quiet things. The yoga and running and gardening that I do help, but only in the evenings/mornings when I can do such things, they don't help in acute situations.  Situations where the only thing I can do is stay in my cube and try to code/email/document my way out of the stressful situation.  In between trips to the bathroom that is.

It's not a good situation.  I know I do better with stress when I can move, physically move and exert myself, but that's never the solution to the problems and stressors at my current job. The solutions always involve more screen time, more cube time, and/or travel to places with bad food using uncomfortable company cars.

I know any career I have will involve stress. I push myself too hard for that not to be true. But surely I can find a career that has more physical work to balance out the times I'll need to stare at a screen.Surely I can find a career that has solutions to stress that are physical in nature.

I can see what a career in cube-land often leads to. Most of the programmers here have a less than healthy body weight, and postures that would make my yoga instructor cry.  I literally couldn't take the pain of a sit down cube anymore, a couple of years ago I had to switch to a standing cube in order to lessen the physical pain I experience with the sedentary work style.  Even with the standing cube I still find myself antsy, pacing, occasionally on tip-toe to stare out at the slim swathe of grass and sky I can see over the cube walls.

Does the pay I receive for this work mitigate any of that? Do I get paid "enough" to write off the health damage?

No, not in my mind. Maybe others here think differently, would answer affirmative to that. Others probably don't even think about things in that light. But, for me the answer is no.

Knowing that, I'm seeking an exit. I'm not running hysterically towards the nearest exit, but I am exploring what other options could look like.

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