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In the first of a very limited series City's self-styled agony aunt offers a shoulder to cry on and some sound advice to those in need:
A few years ago I made a move to a new job hoping that it would help my career. Where I'd been before I'd been overshadowed by others and struggled to make my mark, but at this new place I had a real opportunity to prove myself and establish my reputation.
Unfortunately I found it difficult to settle in at the new job and felt everyone was always looking at me. Before long I found the pressure getting to me and I was making silly mistakes. I couldn't clear my head and kept on dropping embarrassing clangers. Once I'd made one error I felt myself getting into more and more of a flap. There was a change of boss at work and I hoped that might make me feel better, but it didn't. I did well at some parts of the job, but couldn't seem to keep hold of things as often as I wanted to.
After a while my new friends began to seem a bit distant and lukewarm. Some blokes I knew from my old job left and I began to feel a little lonely. People tried to offer comfort and kind words, but I could tell that they felt let down. Some of my colleagues must have thought I'd dropped them in it. Now I'm not given very much work to do and have been passed over for a new youngster who is confident and doesn't make mistakes as often as I was doing.
Now I feel unsure as to what to do. I think I'm good at my job, but don't want to make any more mistakes. I know people talk about me behind my back and it makes me feel miserable. Do you think I should move on or should I stay and try to prove people wrong? What can I do to get my confidence back?
Aunt Dicksie replies....
I feel very sorry for you, but don't despair. You obviously
have problems with low self-esteem. I suggest you concentrate on building up
your confidence by practicing the things you feel you do well, although given
what you say that may be limited to sitting quietly in a chair and trying not to
fall off it. Have you thought about a change of career, perhaps running away to
the circus might be a solution, but don't risk the tightrope, I don't want that
on my conscience.