Published: June 23rd 2012June 23rd 2012
This second week at Irresistible Films has been an incredible learning experience for me as I adjusted more to the workplace environment and found myself in the unlikely situation of becoming ill. As I started the new week, I could not wait to jump back into working on the company’s social networking pages. However, I was hit with a wall of nerves when I came down with a serious head cold that ultimately taught me about the importance of communication in the workplace.
Wednesday morning seemed unreal to me—sniffles, a sore throat, lethargy, and a throbbing headache, but the only concern I had was how I was going to present myself at work. When I arrived at the office I said very little about my illness, but rather continued with my normal routine of asking my co-workers if they wantedtea orcoffee. As the day wore on, I found it more difficult to focus on my work and was unsure if I could stay the rest of the day. I found myself staring at the clock on the computer as to when I could leave and let out my emotions. I felt everything from homesickness to actual sickness and was unsure as to how to approach my supervisor. It was a situation in which I felt completely out of place and uncomfortable sincethe office was silent and I was loudly sniffling away. I am still getting used to the work environment in the United Kingdom and had no clue how to solve the problem.
A healthy amount of the communication in the office is done over email, so I decided to include a quick note in a response I was sending to my supervisor, Evelyn, about my predicament. She could not have been more understanding of what I was going through. “Please let me know if you need to go home. We want you to be healthy.” Initially, I expected my co-workers to not be very understanding given that I am an American intern who is still learning proper protocol in the office, but my supervisor, in particular, told me numerous times to be very vocal about my health once I finally found the courage to bring up my situation.
Although I never actually left the office because of my illness I almost felt better because I had the confidence to speak up to my manager. My nerves went from the height of a skyscraper to the height of my office, which reaches two stories. With this newfound confidence, I had the chance to take part in a marketing meeting later in the week and share some of my personal ideas with my managers.
This week was an incredible learning experience for me as I learned that communicating your concerns and needs to co-workers is crucial to feel comfortable in the work environment. I was successful in conquering my fears of breaking that communication barrier and now I feel more relaxed than ever.