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Work Stress too much.

Starless

Starless

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Joined
Aug 18, 2011
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Hey all, it's been a while.

I just need to jot this down mostly to make sense of it for myself (if I bloody can!).

I've been working for a small local business for the last year, working directly under the Director. At first it was brill, and I was doing a great job, being one of the more reliable people he's hired - very flexible, able to carry out work by myself to a high standard without too much oversight etc.

So about six months in, all's going well still - I've helped complete some huge projects in a very stressful year and the business is going from strength to strength. I also have my own business to look after, and as the months have gone on I've been working 6 nights a week, with frequent shifts during the day too. Making bank which felt brilliant, but also starting to get kinda tired out (with no holidays either - I'm self employed). It was fine when my own business was going through a slow patch (it's fairly seasonal, my own business). Anywho - at this point I mention that I've been an administrator before and would like to move away from being on site to being in the office to administrate and help to organise the business (because it was already chaos).

So I start doing more in the office, and still going on site to do jobs at the same time while "there wasn't much admin to do". (There was a never-ending pile of admin to do that he just had not done... ever). So before I know it, I'm trying my best to pull back from my daily site jobs (hiring other people to do them, effectively replacing myself) all the while, more jobs coming in which I start off covering while we find other people to take them over. Everything is always last minute because he never plans ahead, and when I try to he's actually obstructive?! Actively getting in the way of me doing a good job for reasons I will never understand!?!

And the cycle continues where without really wanting to, I'm on site at an early job, then in the office all day, out on site in the evening effectively doing 14 hour days back to back. Barely see my husband. Barely time to plan my own life. No time for my business, or friends unless I can sneak a bit of conversation in while I'm organising the stock room etc. Husband is pissed and lonely.

This goes on for a couple of months up until May where I take a lot of it off because my business is getting busy again and I need time to prepare for a show - once that's done with, I tell him for what feels like the billionth time that I need to just be in the office please - can we *just fucking please* hire a Supervisor or two to run around and do HALF the jobs I'm currently doing each? Because half my work load is too much for one person alone. (seriously, didn't see this as a problem until I was drowning in it)

Answer is no - can't afford to have two supervisors atm. It can wait... So June starts, and a series of things happen in quick succession - someone else who is working very hard had a bad day and screamed at me at work. I was their supervisor in this situation and all he did was placate them and give me a thumbs up. No apology. I told him that next time that happens I will walk, because I let nobody speak to me like that. He nods fine. We all move on.

The next week, he contacts me on a Sunday night and says "next week is full on - can you help with XYZ." Sure. I can help. What could possibly be more difficult than usual?

Well, it also happened to be the week in which a small mistake I made 6 weeks ago (on little sleep, no good food and now I think about it during a period of depression) catches up with me and causes a major ballsup that has everybody ringing either me or him wanting to know WTF is going on. It was horrible. My mistake caused a range of reactions from confusion to upset, to anger and a panic attack. This was Friday just gone. I had to call back the lady who was had a panic attack on the phone to tell her something else that was only going to upset her more. It was fucking horrible, and I still feel like utter dog shit that I had to do that. I sent out an email explaining/apologising, but jesus it didn't help and the best my boss could do was shrug and say it was all fine now. Well, I don't feel fine.

This was at the end of a week where we had other small fires to put out, I was right at the end of a week of 14 hour days (with blessed weekends off) and instead of being able to go home soon, I still had to go fix some things on site later on. I had been supposed to do a trial shift with a supervisor candidate, but I asked if I could swap with my boss and fix problems at another site and do some staff training instead. Boss is understanding after a really difficult day and says it's fine, we can swap no problemo.

I sort tools etc for him to take to his site, and remind him about the last item he'll need, which he'd supposedly picked up earlier in the day as there is none in the stock room etc. I drop off gear with him, then go to meet our Op at the other site. This particular Op is one I really get on with - we chat and work and have a good laugh together. He also has severe depression and there's been times when I've bailed him out and gone to help when he's had a shitty night etc. Being his Supervisor, I didn't tell him about any mental health stuff going on with me at all, but we have discussed depression before so he knows I empathise.

Halfway through this shift (which was going well, problems getting fixed etc) boss rings, says can we swap helpers as he needed to speak to the Op that was with me, and also can he bring the thing he'd forgotten to pick up earlier. *eye roll*. I wasn't keen as he was about to send a really strong looking bloke I've never met before into a large dark space where it's just me and him locked in there at night... No thank you! I asked if I could not do that and instead send my Op with supplies and then get on with the job. (sites are 2 mins away from each other)

Nope - we had to swap. Also could I interview this guy and see if he's a good fit for the job. Okay. Nervous as I'm SA survivor and this is a very fucking uncomfortable situation to be put in.

Wave bye to my Op buddy, this new guy comes and he's very nice and friendly, but stands waaaaay too close to me for my liking. Forget covid - this guy's up in my personal space before it was 2 fucking meters away. I'm super uncomfortable and all the while trying to distance myself. Eventually get him to fuck off and hoover elsewhere for a while.

I knew by this point that I needed a break. I needed to run away, or something. Just not be there. Messaged my boss to ask if he was going to be popping into this site before he headed home (this was 8pm) - nah, not going to unless you need me to. I immediately reply with "yeah, it's a late night after a long week but would appreciate it if you could".

Trial shift guy leaves at 9pm, pissy that I hadn't told him the trial shift wasn't paid (it was supposed to be an hour, not the three my Boss made it!). Boss and Op buddy arrive back with me about half an hour later and I near enough lost it. I held it together enough to tell my boss that I needed next week off because I'm so stressed I think I'm gonna snap. Actually, no. I need to quit. This is TOO MUCH. No normal human can take this much stress.

Yep, no problem. Take next week off.

But I quit.

We'll talk about it when you calm down.

Wasn't going to argue. Wanted to hit something - was reasonable, but shaking by this point and so just left.

So this whole weekend I've been equal parts happy to have quit, guilty to "drop him in it", sad to leave, sad for the people I let down, angry about the gaslighting he's been doing to me and letting me make excuses for him about why he's been behaving so badly, gaslighting myself(!?!) that actually I'm completely overreacting and should go back.

Logically, I know I'm better off out of there. But I also feel attached to this job. (WHY GOD WHY!?) My best friends have been pointing out to me that wanting to harm myself or end it all is NOT a normal reaction to a job and I should not be doing it. The warning signs have been there for months. I've often been driving home past 11pm thinking some reaaaallly dark thoughts and then just going back to it the next day and ignoring it.

Currently, my head is an absolute mess. My husband says I shouldn't go back - we'll be fine whether I have that job or not. Boss obviously thinks I will go back in a fortnight. I honestly have no idea if I will or not. I actually have another job starting 1st July which is hectic, but with set shift patterns and no take-home work. I can't possibly do all three jobs. (the two, plus my own business)

Everyone thinks I'm crazy for working this much, but I do love work. I'm just honestly in such a mess at the moment I don't know what to do. Or what I want to do. I keep having waves of anxiety that literally put me on the floor. If I stay very, very still it goes away for a while until I think about it again.

Of course, I'm a total idiot and texted boss today to say that I can cover stuff this week in an emergency. Daren't tell my husband - he'll be very annoyed at me because he knows better than I do (apparently) that I need a rest. But I honestly can't tell if I'm already losing it, or if the job is making me lose my mind, or if worrying about going back or not is making me lose my mind. Either way - I'm hearing voices again at the moment and I'm sure I can do some basic stuff at work, but also can I? Will I screw that up too? Probably? Can I stay professional and not want to end my life on my way to/from work? Will I have a full on melt down one morning or will it be okay? I don't know the answers to any of these questions and realise they're all hypothetical.

I'm not really sure if writing this down is helping tbh. Sorry for all the swearing.
 
Tawny

Tawny

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Nov 10, 2019
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8,505
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England
I'm really sorry i couldn't read everything, but i would never work 14 hour days ever. Unless i was working 3 days out of 7 with 12 hour shifts on only 3 days, it would not happen. Can you get another job? Money is not important.
 
Argon

Argon

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Aug 27, 2019
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807
Location
USA
At most I worked 12 hour days. I got paid time and a half. 3 - 4 days of that per week for about 9 months. I saved a lot of money.
 
Starless

Starless

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 18, 2011
Messages
5,075
Location
The Moon
Sorry to be a PITA again, but would a mod be able to delete this thread please?
 
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