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I need to grow up?
June 10, 2002
3:34 pm
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Cici
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I went away for the weekend this past weekend - to the beach, for my anniversary (I can't believe we made it 1 year. One day at a time!), and I got completely toasted and roasted in the sun. That's what happens when you drink a beer and pass out on the blanket! ha ha ha

When we got home, I was thinking about my job. My supervisor is really getting on my nerves. I've only been working there a month, but it's already making me crazy. You guys know how I am when people are psychologically unhealthy by choice. And I react pretty badly to people who can't hear anything but their own voices.

The thing is - this woman has gone through 5 assistants in the last 3 years. I even asked her why the turnover rate was so high in the job, and she kind of defelcted me. She very unethically went through every one of her past assistants and told me what they did badly and wrong, or whatever, and she still talks about them with me. I don't say anything usually - our conversations consist of her talking and me nodding sympathetically.

The thing that got me was last week, I realized that this woman is on the verge of having a nervous breakdown. She was all trembly and irritable and jumpy, and yelled at me when I brought her paperwork. She actually said she was going to get a gun and mow everyone down.

I feel like I stumbled into this really bad work environment and I don't want to get sucked down. I mean, I can't keep doing unpaid overtime. My boss works on the weekends and works late every day - ugh - and expects me to be right there with her. This job is NOT my life, and GOD how horribly my life would be if it was all about work!

I don't know whether this really unsettled feeling in my gut is just me not wanting to grow up or my intuition telling me to bail out of a sinking ship.

June 10, 2002
4:50 pm
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UK Polly
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Worthwhile site dealing with workplace abuse is http://www.successunlimited.co.uk. Law is a little different but the principle is the same! Good luck.

June 10, 2002
7:23 pm
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Molly
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ahhhhhhh Cici, welcome to real life.
I haven't found a real healthy work environment yet, har har har....
when you get out of the psych world, it is all about some one else's money, definately not yours. Some one elses ego, thus yours gets tromped, for their's. there is a cost at every job, but working in a bad enviornment will effect your health, and attitude. This job appeared to fall into your lap, so as I see it besides the choices that you have thought of, a) put it in writing, very important. Speak in positive tones regardless if it is BS or not, but out line your concearns,like if the job pays good, and is close to you then hold on to it while working out your issues, or looking for another. sure in a perfect world we shouldn't have to put up with a damn thing, butttttt, it hasn't been perfected yet. Employers know that they can't say things like I wish I had a gun. I had the director once say, I want to fire everyone here, and get some real employees, I put it in writing that the emotional stress of his constant comments of.... and if I am not performing to my job standards please bring it to my attention, and requested the letter to be responded to, as well as placed in my personal file, he never approached me again, no response, except from my friend the mgr, who said the assH**** was shook up and wanted him to find out if I called corporate ! If its in writing, well she will not admit to saying it, unless you aren't the only person that has heard her, and it is unrealistic for her to expect you only there for one month to work her out of balance hours. Most likely is her source of stress. So, if over time is to much to expect her to pay, then negotiate a salary increase and agree to work a few hours ot, with straight pay, or non-compensated hour for hour time off. Its a job, not your life. You are smart enough to figure out if you want to stay or not, employees get to put companies on the same probation as employers, do to employees.
You are so unreal sometimes,getting my life lessons, all in your first 23 years of life. I once went to the beach, cabo, gave blood just before I boarded the plane, didn't eat or drink, just water, and went to bed when we arrived. Got up early and went to the pool while Sybil slept. After an hour in the sun, when the waiter delivered one of those fish bowl margaritas to the person next to me, I ordered one it sounded good. He found me three hours later on the beach with four stray dogs, asleep.
One of the worst sunburns I ever got, and I just can't live down the stray dog thing, know what I mean.
Its just a job, get out if it sucks, but don't forget to create if its possible.

June 10, 2002
11:01 pm
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nikka
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O, Molly!! stray dogs! No wonder you're so wise. I'm impressed. I've been w/ some dogs alright, but they all seemed to know where they were!!! 😉

Cici. Molly's right. I would suggest taking her advice.

If you have no interest in keeping this job and no interest in getting another in the field, or getting any sort of recommendation from them, you may take Blondie's advice.

Swords are great for killing things or sitting in museums, or in doing Tai Chi exercises, but somewhat less valuable as tools to be used in growing things.

Never burn a bridge if you don't have to. You can think 'f***-you' all the way out the door as long as you give adequate notice and don't translate the thought to words.

Hope things ease up on you, dear.

June 11, 2002
12:53 pm
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eve
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Cici,

congrats for your anniversary. Put slices of water melon on your sunburn to cool it 🙂

Your boss sounds like somebody in a management position who hasn't got much of an idea of how to manage (her time, her co-workers, the tasks of her department).

That is a frequent problem, especially if people are expected to do managment on top of all the other work they should do. They simply never learned how to do it. They suffer greatly from the misunderstanding that things should be managing themselfs - and the coworkers suffer from a boss that is chaotic and afraid of loosing control.

Do you know what you should be doing in your job? Detailed - or just kinda *get things done whithout getting in my way*? How you should do your tasks? How you know it if you did them well? How you know if you messed up and what to do if that happens (better: how to avoid it)? Did she agree whith you on a step by step training on the job when you started? Do you know your competences (what are you expected to handle on your own, when do you have to ask somebody and how do you know the difference?)? Do you get feedback on your work that enables you to do things better next time?

If not, maybe these are questions that you could put to her, because it will make your working relation more transparent, and it will make her job and your job easier. Maybe that is even expected from you but nobody told you. Put those questions carefully and as open questions, like: you're interested to know. Because if you put them kind of 'you should tell me' - she propably will realize again, that she didn't do her job well and that's not going to improve her temper.

Take into account that you are new and that there may be a lot of things that you don't know, yet. At our lab it takes approximately one year until a new employee is thorougly trained in her job. Usually people make the most mistakes in the beginning, when they don't know how to do things correctly - and after three months when they think they now know it all. Reflect critically on what you learned and what you maybe missed so far.

But: don't stay in any abusive job-environment (how is communication among staff in general? Easy and open? That would be a good omen). There are lots you can learn at any job, but sometimes not what you expected/wanted to learn. It took me three years in my first job to learn how a bad boss can mess up a whole institution - very useful lessons for me. But I could have gotten that much earlier, whithout falling into deep depression and self-doubt.

Take what you can learn (or earn) from that job, but don't let yourself get worked up.

Good luck
Eva

June 12, 2002
12:37 pm
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Cici
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Oi! Still conflicted. Co-workers are universally hostile, with occassional exceptions (ie, Joe is having a good day so he won't yell at me, he'll just make snide comments). I've heard people screaming at each other in the back of the office, but I just stay out of the way. The VP complains about me to my boss, who usually doesn't say anything to me (though once she said if he didn't like me, even if it was personal, I would be fired). My first week he pulled me aside to explain that the phone should be answered in ONE RING, and they expected me to do so in the future. So even if I have to do something shitty like change the a/c filter, I have to beg someone to watch my phone for me.

I don't get worked up, I just roll my eyes secretly. My Mom says you have to learn to smile and say "F*ck you" through your teeth.

Another complication is that about 3 weeks ago I found out that I have a free ride to graduate school - a complete scholarship. It only lasts until I'm 26. Apparently my Dad has been working on this secretly and just got approval from the VA because he was just recently classified as 100% disabled. It has taken him several months to do this on his own, but my Mom found out and finished the work and now all I have to do is get accepted.

So when I found out, I immediately began thinking about it non-stop. This is a great opportunity, like getting a free car, but I'll be 23 in the fall.

So I sent my resume to some psych professors to see if I could snag a summer research job. If that happens, I can quit and just do that until Spring Semester and go back to school.

I'm so confused! I was a struggling graduate a month ago, and now all these opportunities. Grad school is and always will be my first priority. If I go here, they sponsor my 2 year post-grad internship to be a LMHC or LMFT or even LCSW.

I just sent out some resumes to try and get a job that will give me some psych research experience, and I'll sit back and wait. My hubby and sister both said to just dip, and hang out for the summer, study for the GRE so I can apply by October for grad school, and then I could go back to my volunteering for Hospice (which I miss SO MUCH).

AUGH! (As Charlie Brown would say)

June 12, 2002
3:30 pm
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UK Polly
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Keeping my fingers crossed for you, gf!

June 14, 2002
12:28 pm
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Cici
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I'm just going to hang out in limbo and see how things go. I'm going ahead with my application to graduate school. Opportunities come and go and if you find one that fits your goals, you should grab it. I have my goals, but I am trying to keep them fluid, and trying to focus on the immediate goals.

I remind myself every day how lucky I am. Is it just part of my M.O. that I trivialize my past experiences in comparison with other people's suffering? Three years ago, my childhood abuse, molestation, the rapes when I was a teenager and young adult - they ruled my life. I thought about them everyday. But I was thinking about my life - reflecting, I guess, - and I realized that I think about it less and less. Sometimes things still trigger memories and I find it hard to function, though.

I refuse to allow a few things in my past to shape my identity. It's all part of the same stew, right?

June 14, 2002
3:52 pm
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Molly
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Because of your experiences, you are who you are today, a very remarkable woman !!!! I heard something on the radio the other day, a caller said she was an incest- sexual abuse survivor, and having trouble with hubby. The response was no, your not a survivor, you are a sufferer. When you no longer suffer, you are a survivor. I said to my self damn.
I have quoted you many times regarding the picking of scabs, what a great analogy. Sometimes Cici, limbo is ok, no action is the best action for the time, it is however very addicting.... hard to pick up steam again. However when it is right, it seems like there is no effort, no toil, or trouble, it works. You will feel it, and things flow, I am experiencing it right now, and have been in limbo for quite some time, grrrrrrrrrrr.... its ok though due to the energy level that I have for the possibilities that are evidencing. Some times when we push the in order too's, we never get there, does that make sense ? You are a warior, not a victim, you do find the fruits of life, and there will always be a bump here and there, just part of the character challenge, I guess. Live love and be.

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