Saturday, November 03, 2007

Awash in Anger and Anxiety

I work in finance. More accurately I work for people who work in finance.

You may know that I'm afraid of math. Not afraid of the math itself but afraid of doing it wrong. I've always been this way. I can, on some level, do math but I certainly do not do it well. The issue, I think, is that I'm smart about certain things. For instance I have almost always read really, really well. I read pretty fast. I also read in chunks. My eye moves relatively fast over the page and my brain thinks it's reading each word when in fact it's relying heavily on context clues unless I deliberately slow down and pay attention to the reading. I'm a good proofreader, it's just a totally different skill than reading for content. You can see how this puts me in a pickle math-wise, right? Skimming and inferring are not recommended when paying bills and the like.

Part of my job is making sure that certain amounts of money are transferred at certain times for certain investments. Usually people send me a piece of paper and it has wire instructions and a date a few days to a few weeks ahead of the date upon which the paper is sent and a number like [insert very large monetary figure]. Today a co-worker sent me an e-mail and the date is tomorrow and the amount wasn't an amount it was "25% of the total investment."

I immediately became overwhelmingly angry at her, so angry I couldn't even look at her. She sent this at 4:30 on a Monday. The bank has a deadline that will be very hard to meet and my bosses were both out of the office and unreachable by this time to give their permission and I had to figure out what the actual amount was!

I do know how to figure 25% of something. I often find that I'm the only person at a table who knows how much the tip should be for a meal, actually. However, with the speed and the math and everything the anxiety about doing it wrong just crashed right over me like when you miscalculate in the surf and the wave breaks exactly over your head and drags you under. How could she!?!?!!?

It was an interesting lesson to learn about me, that math, simple math, still fills me with so much negative emotion. Learning it didn't make me feel any better about it I was in a crappy mood all the way home and I'm still embarrassingly enough pretty mad at her a few days later.


  1. O that totally sucks!! I would be SOO mad too!! Thats really inconsiderate of her!! What finally ended up happening? Was it done on time? are you gonna mention it to her at all?

  2. Sis, yes, Math, NO, EVER!
    Me too smart. Very smart. And yes, you are very smart too.
    Creative smart.
    Sew, read, paint, write, draw, landscape... none of which get me paid...
    but did get me laid in school!
    Its comes down to accountability and who's job was it to do what was to be done?
    Yours or hers?

    I hate my job life right now so get in the boat Sis. I will row you right along.

  3. Jenn, it's not really her fault, you know? She doesn't have responsibility for my anxiety and my inability.