Posted by: Amy | 2007/12/03

Work is sucking my life out of me.

I have been a social worker for a teriary institution for the last two years. Within my first year of service I also got married. I have been unhappy at my work for a long time now. It feels like people are manipulating you here. You cannot apply for another job without your principals permission. I am currently running three portfolio's since my campus is small. This is causing me a lot of stress since I do not get to do one job decently. If you voice your concerns, you are lablelled as lazy and incompetent. My job also asks for a lot of over tome at certain times of the year, should you dare say that you have other commitments or that you are unable because you have a spouse to take care off they also say that you are not committed. I work 6 out of seven days a week and never take lunch because I am always to busy.

In this company there is a lot of gossip and backstabbing. Collegues start lies about you so that they can get a promotion in your place. I have tried my best to talk to my managers about this. They say that you are negative if you do. Our staff turnover is very high because people are so unhappy. The warnings are going around like"fit in or F off" or if you share to much how you feel in this company you will get "pushed out" I have even been on anti-depressants this year due to work stress. Unfortuneately I am the main bread winner and do not have the option to resign.

I have a real passion for people and standing up for those who can not defend themselves. If I dare to stand up for a collegue you get the threats of being dismissed over your head. I am also the only married person in the company. The others are either single or got divorced since they started working her. Are all these things a red light for me?? I am not objective any more. If I was single I would have left long ago but I need to think of my husband as well. Please advise.

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Our expert says:
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Hi Amy, sounds like a very frustrating situation. And some aspects of the conditions of work, like requiring permission to apply for another job, sound contrary to the spirit if not the letter of labour law, and would be worth checking with the CCMA <br>Traditionally, one talks of burnout when the stress and disillusionment is related to the stresses of the actual work itself, especially in human-oriented work like yours and ours. But in some work situations, being disillusioned could be simply realistic. Its a sure sign of a sick organization if ALL criticism is interpreted as "lack of committment" or worse, on the part of the worker. Sounds like a bunch of incompetent bosses making excuses for themselves. And such high staff turnover is a sure sign of bad management and a sick organization. <br>Are there other job options ? And do consult a labour lawyer to be sure you're able to defend your basic rights. <br>Meanwhile, as part of the effort to remain sane, remember that THEY are in the wrong, and that though the situation is designed to discourage you from voicing your dissatisfaction, there is no need to blame yourself. <br>And remember one of my favourite stories from a researcher on job stress and sabotage. A guy, mistreated as you are, worked in a factory in the UK, which made "Blackpool Rock" --- we don't seem to get it here, but it was a form of souvenir one bought at seaside towns, a thick stick like a truncheon of solid hard candy, cleverly made with lettering embedded in it so a cross-section of it would read something like " Souvenir of Blackpool" or wherever. Anyhow, this guy was unreasonably given notice, but it was only some time after he left, that the bosses discovered that he had manufactured and sent out to dealers, several kilometres of rock with an unusual inscription buried within it. Something like "F*** the Bosses " Talk about revenge that tasted sweet ?

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Our users say:
Posted by: Amy | 2007/12/03

Thanks - l l l -

Some of the others either go to another campus or have boyfriends and family who can support them financially. I know it is a matter of time but I have been looking for sth else for a year now. At this stage my husband and I agreed that I will even be willing to work for less. Our budget does not nessicary allow it but we are willing to make a plan. I just want to stay sane untill then. :-)

Reply to Amy
Posted by: -|||- | 2007/12/03

I feel for you. It must feel very catch 22-ish. Is there no other job in the line that you are qualified for that you can get that will afford you more time with the family ? Where did all the others (resignants) go ? As long as your husband understands the situation. I agree as long as everyone can see the situation as being temporary one can bear with it. Yours is a situation that offers no light in the tunnel as you see it now. Maybe CS has a solution on how one keeps 'sane' under these circumstances because you'll have to get a way of coping otherwise it is going to pull you under. Best of luck.

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