A story when I was a fresher 👶🏻 in an IT company.
I was working on a project where nothing was going good. The deadline was near and the work was mammoth. There was no way we could complete the given work on deadline.
On top of that, we had multiple issues. My team leader had a nervous breakdown. A few team members were lethargic 🥴. I just got a fracture in my leg. The manager was eager to complete the work in any way.
I felt like I was the only one taking all the work on my shoulder. I felt tired 😫.
One day we had so many open items for me, I was overwhelmed, I didn’t know where to start, the problems were so complex - it felt way out of my league, nobody there to help, everyone expecting me to complete everything. It was frustrating. I felt numb 😑.
I did something any impatient person would do. I left. In the middle of the day. Left everything. All I wanted was to not think about work, go home and rest. Maybe I won’t come to work the next day. Or ever!
Then something happened.
As I was leaving, the watchman was standing outside of the building. Out of blue, he started talking to me.
This was his problem: A few days ago, he missed starting his shift on time, he was late for 15 mins. A senior manager had to attend a call from the office and the office was locked (because the security guy was not available). The manager complained to the security firm. The security firm expelled him from the job.
This was not enough, his salary was around ₹5000. The standard cost of living in India would be ₹15000 I assume. He had at least 2 kids and a wife. He was living off on a menial salary but this time he didn’t have anything. He didn’t know how he would provide for food - for his kids.
He wanted to leave everything. He wanted to leave his organization and go back to his village.
Suddenly my problems seemed tiny. I didn’t have a family to provide for. I didn’t have any liability. I was earning more than the standard cost of living. My parents were well off. I had the luxury of getting good education. He had real problems.
I never had to think about food, a roof, or clothes.
I turned around. Went to the office. Started working on problems one at a time (problem solving is not hard, you just have to take one step at a time. Tiny steps. Not think about everything at hand. Different topic though. We will talk about this in detail in another post). Suddenly my engineering lead came for help, he put other good members to the team, I started getting help. We were about to deliver the product on time - of course with countless sleepless nights.
The conclusion: When you feel low, think about real problems people might have, ours are simple. Work on a single tiny doable item.
Now I think that day, I should have helped him in any way possible; maybe financial. I was naive back then.
Still, over time I’ve learnt that, though some have bigger and real issues, some issues are as hurting as the real ones. For example, being in depression or losing a parent; the issue with those issues is, every day you have to live that issue, there isn’t anything you can do to rever or get around. Seek professional help for those.