My buddy Steve (who just quit HFC) put it this way. I couldn't have stated it any better in trying to describe what life was like working at HFC/Beneficial. "A constant state of fear," was his response to my lament of the brain chemistry in me that must have changed over the years, and now I am trying to "get it back."
Fear of the customer saying no; fear of the actual customer; fear of my manager yelling at me for not selling enough, fear of my manager's boss doing the same for the same reason--or for not kissing up. Fear of breaking the law; fear of breaking the company's numerous, uncountable bylaws. Fear of my coworkers stealing my leads, fear of them for telling me I am stupid for not knowing how to solve a "problem" or fear of being attacked for my religious beliefs. Fear of my sales assistant for telling me I am hopeless for forgetting some minor detail; fear of my manager cornering me for doing the same (such as making a mistake on my time sheet, or forgetting to take a lunch at the appropriate time). Fear of not being able to pay bills or get a better job because of being fired. Fear of being fired. Fear of not having an established career.
Anxiety attacks, and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (the pure obsessive kind) were the result of a "constant state of fear." I recently read a doctor's account of what actually happens to brain chemistry when a person lives in a prolonged state of anxiety: the neurotransmitters in the brain--which serve as the brain's natural tranquillizer--are destroyed by hormones called to the brain because of a constant use of adrenaline. The ubiquitous presence of the adrenaline in the brain occurs because a person is in a constant state of fear--anxiety. When neurotransmitters are destroyed, the brain feeds itself negative thoughts. Negativity breeds upon itself, and now the person has to stop the source of anxiety and heal.
That is what I am doing.