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Topic : Stress at Work

Number of Replies: 237
New Messages This Week: 0
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Created on : Thursday, July 07, 2005, 09:24:47 am
Author : dataimport
How do you manage stress in the workplace? How do you leave the office at the office and manage a stress-free home life? Join us to share strategies.

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October 2, 2005, 10:10 pm CDT

You are Sooo Young

Quote From: yewberry

Hi guys - UK fan of Dr Phil here with a career crisis. Having read this thread, I'm so glad I'm not the only one! 

  

On the face of it, I'm doing okay.  What follows is middle-class whining, please be warned. 

  

I'm a divorce lawyer : I've been a partner since April in a good firm.  I deal with interesting and complicated divorce cases (usually where the folks concerned have  more money than an objective sense of fairness) - I make good money (for the area of England I live in, at least).  

  

I was in academic training to be a lawyer for the 7 years before strarting in practice (not having done a law degree, the path to qualification was longer than usual. I actually did a degree in English Literature). 

  

Compared to many people, I know I've apparently got it good. But but but....... 

  

Now that I've so-called "made it", I find myself hating my job and hating what it does to me. My life is ruled by the chargeable unit and making my time financially profitable ; I manage a team of 20 people and spend a lot of my daily life chasing them to work more efficiently and profitably whilst being pressured by upper management to kick their backsides. I also live by meeting daily targets in terms of time and fees. 

  

I've become at the age of 35 an irritable, curt, intolerant person who can't even wait in a supermarket queue without feeling that I'm going to kill the slow person in front of me who insists on paying for £10 of  stuff with a card.  And who has a loyalty card. And vouchers. And who wants a chat with the check-out lady about the weather. 

  

Or who drives to work and rants and raves at the perfectly ordinary driver in front of her because they aren't driving at 90 mph. 

  

Or who makes snotty comments to friends and family without meaning to hurt them, but because she's feeling stressed-out. 

  

Quite suddenly, it's dawned on me that I really hate my job and the person I've become. Nothing in particular has sparked this off. Maybe I'm just more knackered than usual (knackered = exhausted in English-speak). Maybe my 35th birthday has made me revalue my life. Maybe I'm just bored. 

  

But now I find myself dreading doing through the doors at work. I'm casting about me to think about what else I can do and how I can continue paying my mortgage etc. I'm longing for a complete career change - to something that matters, and to something that doesn't feel like it's crushing my spirit - and at the same time, I'm scared witless. 

  

Phew, good to get that off my chest? Is there anyone here who has been through something like this ?  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

  

to be going thru this sooo soon.  I almost feel that you have answered your own question.  When you become stressed out and lash out (and I love that word Knackered), then you know that it's either time to reevalute yourself,  or your position. 

  

If you stay there and continue to do what you do in the condition you are now - it will start to tear and wear you down, I know - I was at a position where I was basically yelled at almost every day for the money not coming in and what was the result - high blood pressure.  You are educated, and I do believe based on what you wrote that you posses a lot of common sense. 

  

Another thing I see and feel in your writing and if it's done right - you have a comedic gift.  Remember a lot of comedy is based on tragedy.  I had a teacher in math class(alge-pre clac) who was a Major in the military and also had a Phd, but dang if he wan't a good stand up comic with a lot of dry wit. 

  

The money is never worth it if it makes you sick - you should have fun at work (I know your a divorce lawyer).  You should feel good about yourself. 

 
October 3, 2005, 4:40 am CDT

Stress at Work

Thanks Renegade ! :) 

  

Is 35 young ? I suppose it is - but perhaps I'm so, ahem, knackered (in Cockney-rhyming slang, that's cream-crackered) that it feels like I'm 80 sometimes. 

  

Also, the law is a funny business........there's a lot of demand for 0-4 year qualified lawyers, largely because they're cheaper to employ than experienced people and because they're still hungry for partnership, meaning that they work their butts off to get there. 

  

Only to reach that point, like me, and feel that it wasn't worth it. 

  

I dunno if a comedic career would suit me (although I do know hundreds of dirty lawyer jokes)  - I often think about a career which isn't a professional, be-suited, office-based job. Wonder if I could become a lady plumber ?  

  

For those bullied at work - so sorry to hear that. An employer who allows a bully to intimidate and harrass other colleagues is potentially facing a negligence suit - or at the very least, constructive dismissal. Do you have that in the US ? It's where an employer's  actions of lack of actions effectively forces someone to leave against their will.  

  

 
October 3, 2005, 7:07 am CDT

Profee..sdamnit why can't I get the messateg to delete??

Quote From: yewberry

Thanks Renegade ! :) 

  

Is 35 young ? I suppose it is - but perhaps I'm so, ahem, knackered (in Cockney-rhyming slang, that's cream-crackered) that it feels like I'm 80 sometimes. 

  

Also, the law is a funny business........there's a lot of demand for 0-4 year qualified lawyers, largely because they're cheaper to employ than experienced people and because they're still hungry for partnership, meaning that they work their butts off to get there. 

  

Only to reach that point, like me, and feel that it wasn't worth it. 

  

I dunno if a comedic career would suit me (although I do know hundreds of dirty lawyer jokes)  - I often think about a career which isn't a professional, be-suited, office-based job. Wonder if I could become a lady plumber ?  

  

For those bullied at work - so sorry to hear that. An employer who allows a bully to intimidate and harrass other colleagues is potentially facing a negligence suit - or at the very least, constructive dismissal. Do you have that in the US ? It's where an employer's  actions of lack of actions effectively forces someone to leave against their will.  

  

Sorry about the title- I know- there is a ton of stress in the legal field. In addition to the amount in work, there are the ignorant cracks about it from idiots who were in trouble, went to a lawyer adn were in so deep that nothing could save them- so they take pot shots..... 

  

Divorce is a sticky biz- my brother is an attorney, and practices ONLY in the business field- as he says, "Business law, nobody gets too caught up in it because you aren't taking their kids away...." And hes right. Have you thought about checking out the social work aspect? I don't know about the UK, but we are STARVING for legal aid attorneys in the US, no one defends the poor, who need it the most. No, you wouldn't make nearly the money you are making now, but you would be able to enact change within peoples lives. I do a little volunteer work as a reader (reading and interpreting legal jargon to  people who didn't have the  educational opportunities I did) and its pretty fun and very rewarding. Plus, you meet people you might not come into contact with on a daily basis. Then again, I have a MFA, have had several businesses and I sell sex toys at home parties, which is not traditional but  REALLY fun!!!! What the hell- life is great!! :) 

 
October 3, 2005, 12:54 pm CDT

Well that is the upside...!

Quote From: seafalcon

Hi - I recently resigned for a governmental job after 16 + years do to being bullied in the workplace. It was a nightmare. My union rep kept telling me that I would be squeezed out and to seek employment elsewhere that he had experienced a similar situation. I loved my job and tried to stand up for myself and what I felt was the right thing to do (gut instict). In the end, I was off work with severe depression for 8 months, I did file harrasement & retaliation complaint through ca fair employment & housing because my employer would not accept my complaint, stating that I did not have a legimate complaint. Well... my complaint was accepted and also forwarded to the EEOC for action as well. It is a long process but I will follow through. I also filed a workers comp claim for stress, it was also validated after 8 months, but to late to keep my job, I resigned before I was to be terminated. The bully had bullied others before me and they had attempted to file a complaint with our employer to no avail, they were smart and moved on before it ended up with what I have gone through. They have a job, and for the first time since I was 14 yrs old, I don't. 

  

Question: How do you start over again, once your reputation has been ruined? I had A+++ up until a downsizing and mandated job move 2 yrs ago. Since some of you have returned to employment, I'm looking for any advise that will help me return to the workforce once again. 

  

PS I have read about bullying in the workplace and bullies always bully others that they are intimidated by. 

That is true, people who try to bully and intimidate you are secretly jealous or intimidated by your looks, experience, education, personality, etc...  So at least you know you have "something" going on for yourself if people are out-to-get-you, but I think that is all part of business nowadays.  So many people/coworkers out there just to bring you down. I would rather make a lot less money without the stress than to work in another envirnoment that made me physically and mentally ill. No amount of money in the world is worth that and I hope not to anyone else either.  My silent but deadly tactic of calling every top male executive in the company and complaining worked because I do know that one of the women that interrogated me and made my work life a living hell is gone from the company too. I think it is so funny.  As far as your reputation goes, I wouldn't worry about it.  Very few people have squeaky clean business reps and those that act like they do are just superficial and pretentious people anyways who should be ashamed of themselves for acting so holier than thou! I believe life is truly about making mistakes and having to drag those mistakes along with you as reminders of what you've learned.  Quit playing the victim and start being the victor.  Leave the past in the past so the future will open up to you.  God bless you.
 
October 3, 2005, 2:19 pm CDT

Abuse in the workplace

Many people who choose to take the verbal and emotional abuse they endure at work with a smile on their face, only go on to abuse their loved one's outside of their work environment. This is very similair to the school-yard bully, only in reverse. As in most abuse cases, the abused takes the abuse again and again, only making the abuser feel even more powerful. Abuse can be as subtle as an employer who expects undue or unrealistic respect from an employee. There are all kinds of courses, conferences, and books on how to be a better employee. I have heard of none that are on how to be a better employer. 

 
October 3, 2005, 2:54 pm CDT

You do

Quote From: yewberry

Thanks Renegade ! :) 

  

Is 35 young ? I suppose it is - but perhaps I'm so, ahem, knackered (in Cockney-rhyming slang, that's cream-crackered) that it feels like I'm 80 sometimes. 

  

Also, the law is a funny business........there's a lot of demand for 0-4 year qualified lawyers, largely because they're cheaper to employ than experienced people and because they're still hungry for partnership, meaning that they work their butts off to get there. 

  

Only to reach that point, like me, and feel that it wasn't worth it. 

  

I dunno if a comedic career would suit me (although I do know hundreds of dirty lawyer jokes)  - I often think about a career which isn't a professional, be-suited, office-based job. Wonder if I could become a lady plumber ?  

  

For those bullied at work - so sorry to hear that. An employer who allows a bully to intimidate and harrass other colleagues is potentially facing a negligence suit - or at the very least, constructive dismissal. Do you have that in the US ? It's where an employer's  actions of lack of actions effectively forces someone to leave against their will.  

  

have comedic ability.  Cream-crackered is what we Yanks call 'foamen at the mouth' angry.  Maybe I'm the only one, but if you rewrote this with a slant - this would be a good short comedy monolog.  I don't think you realize it but you have sharp Wit! 

  

Well if you became a lady plumber - instead of throwing dirt at the opposing party - you'd be knee deep in it. 

  

I don't think we have that type of law in the US - has to clear cut, with precise instances. 

  

35 is Young and your key phrase is 'feel that it wasn't worth it'.  No job is worth burning your self out for, that's why personally speaking I'm working on a couple of things for myself - and both of them I'm having fun doing. 

 
October 4, 2005, 8:04 am CDT

Stress at Work

Quote From: queentween

Sorry about the title- I know- there is a ton of stress in the legal field. In addition to the amount in work, there are the ignorant cracks about it from idiots who were in trouble, went to a lawyer adn were in so deep that nothing could save them- so they take pot shots..... 

  

Divorce is a sticky biz- my brother is an attorney, and practices ONLY in the business field- as he says, "Business law, nobody gets too caught up in it because you aren't taking their kids away...." And hes right. Have you thought about checking out the social work aspect? I don't know about the UK, but we are STARVING for legal aid attorneys in the US, no one defends the poor, who need it the most. No, you wouldn't make nearly the money you are making now, but you would be able to enact change within peoples lives. I do a little volunteer work as a reader (reading and interpreting legal jargon to  people who didn't have the  educational opportunities I did) and its pretty fun and very rewarding. Plus, you meet people you might not come into contact with on a daily basis. Then again, I have a MFA, have had several businesses and I sell sex toys at home parties, which is not traditional but  REALLY fun!!!! What the hell- life is great!! :) 

I did legal aid work for 4 years and I have to confess, I hated it. For several reasons. 

  

Firstly, it seemed to me that the taxpayer was footing the bill for the ridiculous and stupid battles which couples have when splitting up. Usually, it's about the kids ; the parent with care will often seek to limit contact between the kids and the other parent - not because that assists the kids in any way, but because it's a way of extending their personal, emotional struggle. It's also a way of gaining power over the other parent (do what I say or you won't see little Johnny again). I was so firmly against that kind of juvenile behaviour that I refused to do children work ever again. 

  

Secondly, lawyers have such high targets to meet that doing legal aid work (which is state-subsidised and therefore appallingly badly paid) means that you have to do an average of 12 hours every day to meet the same targets as a commercial lawyer could meet in 5 hours. 

  

Not my idea of fun, I have to say. I don't deny that there are many who need help to navigate the legal system but there are also many who need someone to tell them"Stop being so stupid and grow up".  

  

No, my idea of doing something meaningful lies elsewhere but I'm not sure where. Maybe I'll write the next Harry Potter series ?  

 
October 17, 2005, 1:26 pm CDT

The Stress FREE Me!

When I worked I too had stress at home due to stress from work . So I decided to stay home when I found out I was pregnant. I now have a beautiful 6 month old whom I have seen grow all day everyday except M-Thursday 6-11  because I go to school. I absolutely have no stress now so I love this "mommy thing". Maybe not everyone has the chance to stay home due to lack of income but that is why I love doing what I do because I get to make money also!!! 

 
October 19, 2005, 6:05 pm CDT

lying co-worker stress

Good evening - 

  

I recently (about 3 weeks ago) starting working with a new construction, residential building company.  I work in a satellite office (since we are at the consruciton site) with one other woman.  The other woman that I work with is supposed to train me on everything that this new role entails.  However, I have been having a tough time getting her to train me - just getting a phone list from her was a nightmare!  Concerned that my boss would want to discuss my training with me in detail and that I wouldn't have answers for her, I decided to go to her with my concern.  She suggested that I force this woman to train me and to ask a lot of questions in an effort to get as much out of her as possible.  I took her advice and have been pushing this woman for the past couple of days.  Still, she is being somewhat difficult to deal with.  I did tell this woman that I was told to get the training program completed asap.  Keeping my fingers crossed on that one! 

However, there is yet another issue pending - ugh!  This woman is required to send in certain (how much traffic has come in, how many phone calls she is making to get clients, what her marketing strategies are, how many people she is actually sitting down with and walking through the building process/pricing with, etc.) reports to our corporate office on a weekly basis.  She is sending in the reports as required, however she is lying on all of them.  I confronted her about this and she said she is fudging the reports so her ratios look better.  I feel this is very unethical and am really having a tough time working with her lies.  Not only is she hurting the company that we are employed with, but she is hurting me as well.  I feel that if I don't come forward but am asked about the reports at some point and give accurate info that they will wonder why I didn't come forward earlier.  On the other hand, I'm concerned that if I do come forward that they will feel I have other motives (like wanting her job), or will think I'm a complainer and whiner and will just get rid of me especially since I haven't been there all that long.  If I was the head honcho, I would want to know that this is going on.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks a million!  ~Tan 

 
October 19, 2005, 6:17 pm CDT

Stress at Work

Quote From: tanya_s

Good evening - 

  

I recently (about 3 weeks ago) starting working with a new construction, residential building company.  I work in a satellite office (since we are at the consruciton site) with one other woman.  The other woman that I work with is supposed to train me on everything that this new role entails.  However, I have been having a tough time getting her to train me - just getting a phone list from her was a nightmare!  Concerned that my boss would want to discuss my training with me in detail and that I wouldn't have answers for her, I decided to go to her with my concern.  She suggested that I force this woman to train me and to ask a lot of questions in an effort to get as much out of her as possible.  I took her advice and have been pushing this woman for the past couple of days.  Still, she is being somewhat difficult to deal with.  I did tell this woman that I was told to get the training program completed asap.  Keeping my fingers crossed on that one! 

However, there is yet another issue pending - ugh!  This woman is required to send in certain (how much traffic has come in, how many phone calls she is making to get clients, what her marketing strategies are, how many people she is actually sitting down with and walking through the building process/pricing with, etc.) reports to our corporate office on a weekly basis.  She is sending in the reports as required, however she is lying on all of them.  I confronted her about this and she said she is fudging the reports so her ratios look better.  I feel this is very unethical and am really having a tough time working with her lies.  Not only is she hurting the company that we are employed with, but she is hurting me as well.  I feel that if I don't come forward but am asked about the reports at some point and give accurate info that they will wonder why I didn't come forward earlier.  On the other hand, I'm concerned that if I do come forward that they will feel I have other motives (like wanting her job), or will think I'm a complainer and whiner and will just get rid of me especially since I haven't been there all that long.  If I was the head honcho, I would want to know that this is going on.  Any advice would be greatly appreciated.  Thanks a million!  Tan 

I believe honesty is the best and if it were me, Iw ould voice my concerns and what you have seen, maybe do some documenting before going to to the boss. At least with whatever happens, you will know that you were honest and with nothing to hide, if they take her side then they will be the ones losing out and in the long run, they will eventually find out, I certainly would not want her to be found out and me still standing by her side without making the issue known, I think it would look worse on you if you did that for you too would be put in the same category as her. I know you do not want to lose your job and all but I personally would rather lose my job over being honest then being put in the same category as this person. I was lied on once by another employee and when the boss approached me about it, I was able to tell her what exactly happened and she kept her eyes and ears opened with the situation, remember the Truth will always make you a winner in the end.
 
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