I have worked as a web applications developer for a small software company (10 full time employees plus two semi-retired directors) for two years. Going back, I worked in support and databases, but did a PhD in my 30s and then ended up working as a Java programmer for a year, then Winforms for 4 years. I really struggled to fit into the technologies that my current company uses as I had no previous web experience, and nearly got fired during my probation period for lack of productivity. However eventually I passed probation. I continue to find the job a challenge, despite being labelled a 'senior software developer' I rarely get an opportunity to help other developers, and need help to finish tasks on an infrequent but regular basis.
I regularly speak to a director (X) who is a non-technical but very experienced person that interfaces with the customer. I find her instructions vague. It seems some of the other developers do also, but I don't speak to them much as we have been working from home for nearly one year now. An example is "Customer must be able to hide the menu". So I said "no problem, there is already a button you can press and the menu disappears". X said "no, I meant some of the menu items but not others".
I also find the company's systems confusing. We store information in different places, things are not versioned, there is incorrect and out-of-date information out there. We use a project management app to manage our jobs but often there is more than one place to look on this app as we use one for confidential information such as time estimates, and the other the customer sees. The customer keeps making comments on the app and you have to read through all the comments, and often they are vague. You have to remember where to look for instructions and because things are not clear and consistent I find it stressful. I am always scared of developing the wrong thing. Or if they are consistent, they are not consistent across the company as a whole. During this job I have worked on projects for at least 5 clients (all in different industries), and we keep switching back and forth between clients, and this adds to the stress and difficulty of the job.
Recently X has shown clear signs of irritation towards me. There was an incident where I asked for more information about how to do a job, and I was given that information and completed it (or so I thought). I had forgotten that one of the 'jobs' on the system was a fake job that was just a link to a document that acted as a specification for all the other jobs on the list, and that you had to keep reading that (as well as the comments on the job itself, and the comments on the other internal place). And the information X gave me verbally conflicted with that document. When the customer got something they didn't want, X reminded me about that document and because it had conflicted with what she said it just confused me at the start, and she began to get irritated with me saying "I think it is perfectly clear".
On one call they finished and they thought they had muted the mic but hadn't. They were saying "oh for fuck's sake I could cry. Do I have to spell everything out for these people?".
How can I repair the relationship with X? I feel so inadequate at work now, it really is beginning to affect my mental health. My daughter says that she has noticed that over the last month I am always ‘on edge’.