Posted by: Stressed | 2008/08/13

Work stress has me in tears daily

Hi all

I am team leader of my department at work and I am responsible for making sure that everything is running smoothly as well as doing the same 9-5 job like the rest of the team. If the team does not deliver I am the one who gets it in the neck!

At first I was reluctant to take on the job because I suffer from panic attacks and depression and stress sets me off. But I was chosen because I know all the ins and outs of the job and I am the most organised and reliable.

We recently had a meeting with the director and he told me that in order to meet our deadlines overtime will be mandatory every month - at least 3 x 12hr days including at least 1 weekend per month. When I told the rest of the team they flat out refused and when I reported back I was told not to come with problems - I must force them to work. But thats nt legal

As a result I had to pull 5 x 12hr shifts and work Sat and Sun in order for us to meet our deadlines. I am mentally and physically exhausted and emotionally I am a wreck. We had a meeting today and the director gave me a warning because I hade made so many mistakes during this period. I was so mad that I called a meeting with my team and told them next month I dont want excuses - they will pull their weight and they again refused and said they wont make that kind of sacrifice for the company and they are all angry with me and see me as the enemy. I was so frustrated and upset that after the meeting I cried for nearly 20 minutes in the bathroom

I feel like going to the director and resigning from the team leader position because I just cant cope. I feel like I am going to have a break down and I am so angry and hurt that after I put in all that time and effort, after saving their butts by meeting our deadlines they stabbed me in the back.

What can I do? Do I have any rights at all? I just want to resign completely and give up.

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Our expert says:
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Sounds like it'd be worth consulting HR, the Dept of Labour, etc., as I doubt it is legal for a boss to enforce so much overtime, nor to insist that you must do so and to not even be prepared to take responsibility for this himself. The extra overtime you did would risk ANYONE's health, let alone someone with existing problems.
Why not resign as team leader, as the task as posed to you now is unhealthy and untenavble ? And why not invite the understandably rebellious members of your team to approach the boss and tell him what they think of his expectations. WHy not write a formal letter to him advising of exactly what has happened, and how, though he tried to insist that this must be entirely your problem, you feel sure he needs to know the attitude of the rest o the staf, and the impossibility of meeting his expectations.

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