All the stress and pain and everything just poured right out of me. I'm kind of embarassed to say that I cried like a freakin' baby for five minutes, but when he finished saying it, I realized THAT'S WHAT IT IS and I couldn't help myself.
Item: I'm in a situation where I must not fail. It's a good job with a good future, and it pays very well, and the skills I gain there are highly portable.
Item: I've been given nebulous goals at best. The conditions for success over the course of this trial period have not been defined for me. I don't know how to succeed, nor do I know how well I'm doing. No one has told me, "Good job! We're happy with how things are going!" or, in fact, given me any feedback about my performance. I don't even know what their plans are outside of a vague "Well, we're going to see how things go again next week...."
Item: When people have to do well in situations where they don't know what "well" is, it is frightening, highly stressful, and depressing.
It fits! It fits perfectly, and the instant he said it tears began running down my face because I knew that is what my fuckin' problem is with all this.
I'm afraid I'm going to fail, because no one has told me what "success" entails, and I'm not getting any feedback from the people in charge. That's why I approached all this with dread; that's why I can't get my enthusiasm up; that's why I feel better as the day continues.
That last point: I start working, no one yells at me, everthing is fine; so I just do my job and it all works out. But the instant I'm done working, the brain starts back up and I remember no one has said whether or not I'm still working here next week and what am I supposed to be doing?
Understanding the problem is at least half of solving it.
So my next move--well, I really have got stuff I need to do now. Now that I understand why I have been unable to approach this job with the right attitude, that should change, because I can take steps to fix the problem.
So, off I go.