• Welcome! It’s great to see you. Our forum members are people, maybe like yourself, who experience mental health difficulties or who have had them at some point in their life.

    If you'd like to talk with people who know what it's like

Work and stress

B

Bexii

New member
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
1
Location
UK
Hello.

I'm new to all this but please bear with me as I could really do with some advice.

I am a manager at a convenience store and have been for 6 years now. At first everything was fine and the first few years went by perfectly. However, as time went by things began to change in the store - hours were taken and more jobs were added. That was ok as I always prided myself on being able to cope under pressure. I would joke saying I thrive on stress lol

Well, because I am a salary worker, anything above 45 hours if unpaid work. Well unfortunately it became common place for me to work extra hours for free - sometimes not by choice due to staff phoning sick, and others because if I work the odd shift unpaid, I could use those hours elsewhere, which was handy as my store was expected to work solo hours and my staff were sometimes afraid to do this (but they had no issues with me working full 9 hour shifts solo)

So yeah. Things were fine but then the stress began to pile up. I found myself not sleeping, having frequent headaches and dizzy spells. I had no support as it was just expected of me - all the managers were stressed...
So I carried on like this. Soon I got used to the not sleeping. Not had a full night's sleep in years now and I'm lucky to get a solid 5 hours lol
And headaches are cured by ibuprofen- magic.

I did consider maybe speaking to somebody but I have a hard time expressing myself, plus to do so would mean admitting to failure-that I couldn't do my job - a simple job!

Though things did not improve...
Staff turnover isn't great as you'd expect-it's retail lol. So I was doing more shifts and less days off. Staff would constantly phone me on days off because I'm expected to be, according to my bosses. I'd have holidays and they'd be interrupted by issues at work! I swear, everything major happens when I am off lol

Anyway. Cut to this year. Naturally everybody is stressed! With people going off and retailers suddenly becoming essential, the pressure was on. However, i was having no support. Staff were going off and I was just expected to work and pick up the slack. Working 7 days. Opening at 7am. Closing at 11pm. Expecting to open again at 7am the next morning. I am the manager and it is my duty to look after the shop when we are understaffed. Understandable.

However, soon my perfect poker face began to fade and the pressure really started getting to me. I'd known for years i didn't want to be there but just pushed forward. But now I am struggling to do even that now. I am constantly exhausted. Constantly stressed. I go home and cry because I get no help. I have no work/home balance and the rare days I gave to myself, I just worry about work-worry about getting the shifts covered, jobs done. Even things thst I once enjoyed and used yo relax me just weren't making me happy outside of work anymore-i had no motivation to even do them!

This week really broke me though. Staff off and no help. I'm overworked and then i have somebody ho off because of stress. And I'm happy that they are putting their health first but I am also resentful because they can do that! They can do something i cannot. I cannot even have a sick day because I have nobody to cover the shop.
So I broke. I cried harder than I cried before because while I knew everything was hopeless already, this just cemented it. I just couldn't. I couldn't keep doing this job that expected far too much of me.
So I phoned my boss-i needed help. I was working 60 hours already and I couldn't be expected to work the rest! I was exhausted as it was! I couldn't even get people to do MY shifts so I could have a day off! How could I get others covered?

I phoned them and used the exact phrase "I cannot cope. It's too much."
And i got a pep talk and told to hire more staff and all my stress would go away. That he would check up yo make sure i did this too.
How can I hire staff with no hours-no help!?

I was gobsmacked.

I just feel broken. I knew I'd get no support but to actually hear it.

I have people telling me to go to the doctors. That I am stressed. I will burn myself out.
However, if i cannot even get a day off, then how can I go off when it's clearly obvious it will impact the shop? Who would cover me??

Once again, cannot sleep but I just need to know what to do. How to make myself a better person so I can cope with this stress and not let the others down...

Any advice?
Sorry if the post is incoherent-I'm very tired and have work soon lol
 
C

Coolname

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 3, 2019
Messages
663
Location
UK
Hello.

I'm new to all this but please bear with me as I could really do with some advice.

I am a manager at a convenience store and have been for 6 years now. At first everything was fine and the first few years went by perfectly. However, as time went by things began to change in the store - hours were taken and more jobs were added. That was ok as I always prided myself on being able to cope under pressure. I would joke saying I thrive on stress lol

Well, because I am a salary worker, anything above 45 hours if unpaid work. Well unfortunately it became common place for me to work extra hours for free - sometimes not by choice due to staff phoning sick, and others because if I work the odd shift unpaid, I could use those hours elsewhere, which was handy as my store was expected to work solo hours and my staff were sometimes afraid to do this (but they had no issues with me working full 9 hour shifts solo)

So yeah. Things were fine but then the stress began to pile up. I found myself not sleeping, having frequent headaches and dizzy spells. I had no support as it was just expected of me - all the managers were stressed...
So I carried on like this. Soon I got used to the not sleeping. Not had a full night's sleep in years now and I'm lucky to get a solid 5 hours lol
And headaches are cured by ibuprofen- magic.

I did consider maybe speaking to somebody but I have a hard time expressing myself, plus to do so would mean admitting to failure-that I couldn't do my job - a simple job!

Though things did not improve...
Staff turnover isn't great as you'd expect-it's retail lol. So I was doing more shifts and less days off. Staff would constantly phone me on days off because I'm expected to be, according to my bosses. I'd have holidays and they'd be interrupted by issues at work! I swear, everything major happens when I am off lol

Anyway. Cut to this year. Naturally everybody is stressed! With people going off and retailers suddenly becoming essential, the pressure was on. However, i was having no support. Staff were going off and I was just expected to work and pick up the slack. Working 7 days. Opening at 7am. Closing at 11pm. Expecting to open again at 7am the next morning. I am the manager and it is my duty to look after the shop when we are understaffed. Understandable.

However, soon my perfect poker face began to fade and the pressure really started getting to me. I'd known for years i didn't want to be there but just pushed forward. But now I am struggling to do even that now. I am constantly exhausted. Constantly stressed. I go home and cry because I get no help. I have no work/home balance and the rare days I gave to myself, I just worry about work-worry about getting the shifts covered, jobs done. Even things thst I once enjoyed and used yo relax me just weren't making me happy outside of work anymore-i had no motivation to even do them!

This week really broke me though. Staff off and no help. I'm overworked and then i have somebody ho off because of stress. And I'm happy that they are putting their health first but I am also resentful because they can do that! They can do something i cannot. I cannot even have a sick day because I have nobody to cover the shop.
So I broke. I cried harder than I cried before because while I knew everything was hopeless already, this just cemented it. I just couldn't. I couldn't keep doing this job that expected far too much of me.
So I phoned my boss-i needed help. I was working 60 hours already and I couldn't be expected to work the rest! I was exhausted as it was! I couldn't even get people to do MY shifts so I could have a day off! How could I get others covered?

I phoned them and used the exact phrase "I cannot cope. It's too much."
And i got a pep talk and told to hire more staff and all my stress would go away. That he would check up yo make sure i did this too.
How can I hire staff with no hours-no help!?

I was gobsmacked.

I just feel broken. I knew I'd get no support but to actually hear it.

I have people telling me to go to the doctors. That I am stressed. I will burn myself out.
However, if i cannot even get a day off, then how can I go off when it's clearly obvious it will impact the shop? Who would cover me??

Once again, cannot sleep but I just need to know what to do. How to make myself a better person so I can cope with this stress and not let the others down...

Any advice?
Sorry if the post is incoherent-I'm very tired and have work soon lol
Hi

I can relate to your post. Sounds like what I call going full-pelt. Magnifying the importance of every little task at work, running ever faster to try and do the impossible, to try to keep ahead of the stress. It's horrible.

The way out is to recognise that no-one could cope with this, you are not superhuman, it is ok not to be superhuman. Your health is more important than your job, more important than the shop. You matter, you are not well (and that is normal and acceptable), you are entitled to take time to see your GP. You are entitled to take sick leave, if that is what the GP recommends. Do it for you. You matter.

Please make an appointment with your GP, if you can't get cover, then tell your boss that, but you must go to the appointment anyway. I promise you, your boss will find someone. If they don't, and no one is available to open the store that morning, so what? If you have given advance warning that you will not be there, then that is on your bosses, not on you.
 
anex

anex

Well-known member
Joined
Oct 1, 2020
Messages
84
Location
USA
Wow. First of all, I’m so sorry they’re treating you like absolute crap. Absolutely unacceptable for them to expect you to come in on your days off all the time, especially when you’ve bent over backwards for years. It’s making you sick. It should NOT be expected of you to always come in on your days off. It doesn’t matter if you’re a manager. No human should ever be expected to do what you do. That’s straight up effed up. Put your foot down. Say no. They’ll just have to deal with it. Honestly. It is not your responsibility when people are always wanting you to come in on your days off. You’re a manager- yes. But you are not a slave. And they are treating you like that. Harness your anger. Speak up. This is hitting home with me because I feel you. You give an inch, they’ll take a million miles. You HAVE to say no. You have to. YOU are the manager. You get to say no. You get to have a day to go see your doctor. Your health is way more important than that job and way more important than the BS reasons they keep asking you to come in. You are more important. Your livelihood is more important. You gotta be a bulldog with this, otherwise it’s going to remain the same. I normally don’t push my opinions like this, but this is outrageous. Can you quit? I understand with COVID there are limited options. But is there any way? Start looking for another job at least. That’s my advice.
 
Top