Come into the office and close the door behind you

Does anyone else fear those awful words?

It shakes me to my very core

When the boss comes out to me and says

“Come into the office,

And close the door behind you.”

What the fuck do you need to say to me

That can’t be heard by anybody else?

What are you going to do to me

Once we’re trapped inside that tomb

That you prefer to call a room,

Or an office, or some other

Much less terrifying name.

Does anyone else feel their blood run cold?

Does anyone else say a silent prayer

When those fatal words are uttered?

But in I go like a little lamb

To the slaughter or at least the place

Where I get a grilling

For a thing I really didn’t mean to do.

I really hope that my words resonate with some people out there because this is a fear that has crippled me over the years. I’m not sure if it is down to some repressed trauma; maybe I got locked in a cupboard when I was naughty back when I was three?

I can joke about it but the fear of being asked into the office has made my life a living nightmare. Every time it happens I can feel myself sweating and my heart palpitating. And then nine times out of ten, whatever my manager wanted to say to me is positive anyway!

I think that a lot of this fear comes from my own insecurities. I constantly worry that I’m going to get pulled up for doing something wrong and a lot of the time this prevents me from even starting something. I sometimes wonder where I may have gotten to in my career if I had been more fearless and cared less about the dreaded office. I wish that I had known in my twenties that it’s fine to get something wrong. We all make mistakes and that’s how we grow and develop into strong and wise people.

If you are struggling with the fear of the office, try to see it as a place of growth. I understand how it quite literally feels like a tomb, like a place that I’m never going to escape from once that door closes behind me. It’s about as scary as being buried alive for me, so I know that it’s worthy of a panic attack. There is nothing to be ashamed of in feeling this frightened but do draw strength from the knowledge that there are lots of us that feel the same. I pray that you find strength and that next time you are called into the office there is a positive outcome.

Much Love,

Rachel xx

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