Wednesday, January 9, 2013

What do you do when your world turns upside down??

There is a whole long story...but the short version is my boss is forcing my hand at work, and it isn't pretty.

I decided over the holidays that I need to move on from my job.  I also decided that I do not want to be in "admin" anymore.  I have spent most of my adult life in jobs that I did all the work....someone else got all the glory.  I am VERY GOOD at it. I won't bore you with my work history, but it is a string of jobs that were designed to make someone with an over-inflated ego look even better.  The common themes of my work history are:  Underpaid for what I actually did, Bosses who took all the credit, Bottom of the totem pole.

My plan was to plug away at my current job, while looking for a new one.  I wanted something that got closer to my field of study (my M.Ed. is Elementary Education) or at least wasn't just being an underpaid grunt to someone else, and also closer to my home (I drive 25 miles each way....I was trying to keep it under 10.....save some gas).

I went into work yesterday (with very little voice from being sick), and my boss starts off that "maybe it is a good thing I can't talk, so I can listen."  He proceeds to go on for 45 min about the perception that I am unhappy in the past weeks (um, yeah....because 10 of 13 of your staff screwed up royally right before Christmas....and yours truly had to fix it all), and people are avoiding the office because of ME.  Additionally, that this is their safe haven, and I have to be pleasant and nice all the time.  I am allowed to vent to him or to D, but outside of their offices, my job is to be happy about everything.

He went on about how he knows I have too much work to do in the time allotted, and when thrown a curveball, it does mess up my delicate balance.  So he made a few changes.  He took away the one part of my job I liked....to make room for more stuff I don't like....because no one else likes it either, it isn't getting done.....so now I have to do it.

There is much more to it.  Put he left it as:  If you don't like your job anymore, I can accept that.  But I need someone who does.  I want you to be in this job.  But if you don't want to, then ok.  Take a week to think about it.

Well crap.

He wants in a week for me to accept all his terms and be happy about it.  As I said, there was ALOT more to it, but I would be writing a novel....

In a week, I feel like I have to quit.  I don't want to quit without having a job, but I also know compromise isn't in the cards.  He and I have been negotiating my job for years, and he won't budge.  He wants a clerical job, with clerical pay....but the benefits of having an analyst and auditor.

I don't accept what he says.  He doesn't understand what I do (and we have discussed it many many MANY times).  He won't pay me for what I actually do "because that isn't what the job is" yet that IS what the job is.  He will find that out when someone else does it....and all the "extra" stuff I do doesn't get done.

I was embarrassed.  I was angry.  I was disappointed.  How am I supposed to stay? 

My plan at this point....until I come up with a better one.....is to write him a long, well thought out letter.  It will not only include my counterpoints, but also a VERY detailed list/explanation of what I do.  Beyond that....dunno.

But I have a really sinking feeling that I am going to be waitressing for awhile....

Ask what you want....all ideas are welcome.

ETA:  I am overwhelmed at the responses.  I do want to clarify a few things though:

1)  The office I work in is very small.  There aren't "departments".  There is Boss, Clinical Supervisor, and then licensed professionals (which for the record, I could qualify as if I wanted to go that route) who work in the field (family homes).  And me.  There is no HR to go to.  There is no "transfer" anywhere.  This isn't a corporate environment.  My boss is not "business" trained.  He was a field guy who decided to open his own company.

2) There is no job title to what I do.  This has been a sticking point since I started.  He refuses to give me a "title", therefore allowing me to compare my job to other jobs.  It has sort of been "make it up as you go."  When I mentioned I do more of an "analyst" job....there is not an analyst job.  I meant, alot of what I do is analyze the documents, find the problems and get them fixed before they become a BIG problem.  You can call it an auditor type job too.

3)   My work attitude.  I am NOT saying I don't get grumpy.  I am NOT saying that I don't get annoyed.  I do.  We all do.  However...and this one part I didn't get into above...I have talked to Boss and Clinical Supervisor until I am blue in the face regarding some issues.  And I have been told ok...they will look into it.  And nothing happens.  So we start again.....here are the 45 issues TODAY.....and nothing happens.  

There was ONE time in the last month where I got really upset with someone.....cooled off....and apologized after.  The person who complained about my attitude (and it was not Boss who said I had a bad attitude, it was someone else...and not the person who was involved in the squabble) felt that I didn't like my job, was stressed, and didn't like that I took it out on this person (which again....was already taken care of.....and yes, the person I got upset with was the one who made a HUGE MESS of something and left me holding the bag).  My boss said "you are a nice person....I know you are."  But he wants "the girls" to be able to come to the office and whine and vent, and I am supposed to just take it.  Additionally, during the conversation (which I use loosely since I just sat there), I was not told of any specific incident, just that someone told him they were avoiding the office.  I was not asked about any of this.  I was told it as "fact" without sharing any of my side.

On a side note, the girls work in the field.  Typically they stop in to the office a few times a week....sometimes for as little as 5 minutes.....but usually for about 30-45 min.  Otherwise, I am typically ALONE in the office.  And by alone.....I mean, ALONE.

4)  I am not worried about my resume.  If I quit and waited tables for a while....that wouldn't go on there. I already have a gap from when the kids were young.  If anything, I am more worried that I have too much Admin experience and not as much in other areas.

5)   I am not worried about a reference, as my boss doesn't give them, good or bad....for anyone.  Per standard HR type practice, he will confirm dates of employment.  Period.


So....are we at novel length yet?  Like I said, there is alot more to this story, and I tried to hit the highlights.  There is alot of technical pieces that I dropped because it would require too long to explain.  

I will say this....today....he was sweet as pie to me.  And he sent me work that he said yesterday he was taking away.  I think he may have realized he took it a little far....and was trying to backtrack some.

62 comments:

  1. Time to move on. There is something better right around the corner, I don't think talking or writing a letter is going to change anything. Enjoy that week off, relax and move forward

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    1. I know there is better. I am just freaked out right now.

      Delete
  2. I think I would stay and ask for a raise, better hours etc. Put some terms out there for him.

    HS

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    1. You think I haven't? I have been shot down time and time again.

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    2. Sorry Misty, then I think I agree with everyone, it may be time to leave and find something closer to your dreams and home, wish you the best.

      HS

      Delete
  3. Count your blessings that this may the time to move on. Things happen for many reasons that are unknown at that time to folks.

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    Replies
    1. I wish I could believe that....but I have so many horrible things happen in my life....and I can't see anything good that has come from any of them.

      Delete
  4. Counter in writing - what you did before, what is changing and raise request. Be professional at all times. Look for a job but don't quit. No reason to. If they let you go (they won't) at least you,get unemployment.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. I won't get unemployment. My job classification, even after 5 years is technically "per diem." They can phase me out and not have to pay anything.

      I have been shot down for every raise request, and was emphatically told I will NOT get a raise, ever. This is as good as it will ever get.

      Delete
  5. I agree that you probably shouldn't quit until you find something else. Sometimes its not as easy as just getting up and walking away unless you have the funds to keep you. Does your husband make enough where he can support you until you find something else?

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    1. We need my income, and I never planned to walk away without something else lined up....until yesterday.

      I am not sure what we would do without my income. I wouldn't just sit around the house! But since all of this has happened so suddenly, I have crunched numbers yet.

      Delete
  6. I wouldn't quit as you won't be eligible for unemployment. I would accept the terms, fake happiness, while quietly looking for something better.

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    1. Like I said....there are no real grounds for firing me, and as a per diem....they can phase me out. I won't get unemployment any which way.

      Delete
    2. Ouch, I missed that part!

      Delete
  7. I agree with others that since you have nothing to lose (you might leave, and you can't tolerate the job as it is), you should in a very businesslike way present a request for a raise along with supporting documentation (the list of duties.) If he says no, then oh well, at least that might give him a little clue as to why you left, if it comes to that.

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  8. Quit. Are you getting paid for your week off? If so, wait out the week. If not, quit now.

    I've been reading for a long time and I don't think I've ever commented. But this time you asked for opinions. So here is mine. I don't mean to make you feel bad, but look at what you say in the "About US." You started the blog in 2009 $76,000+ in debt. I've followed along through some trial and tribulations. But girl, you are now $100 more in debt than you were when you started!

    What, exactly is this job contributing to your goal of getting out of debt? At best you've been treading water for over three years. No wonder you're tired!

    This guy isn't going to give you a raise. The power dynamic between you two-- and I'd wager among all of your co-workers-- does not favor *you.* Even if he did give you a raise, what would it amount to? 3-4-5-6%?? 10%? That may compensate for increased social security with holdings now in effect. It will not move you and your family forward, nor will it change the fact that you do not like your job, your boss, etc.

    I am not suggesting you be irresponsible. If the mortgage payment this month absolutely depends on your paycheck-- well, then you have one month to figure out how to change your budget so that it doesn't next month, after you've quit.

    Write the letter if it will make you feel better but don't bother giving it to him. What would be the point? He's not changing. But you can!

    Will you be scared after you quick? Yes. But you'll also be free to change course. And motivated.

    Sorry to ramble. Good luck!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Shoot. Mysti-- I'm sorry. I failed to see this:

    Not included in this number are a retirement loan and our primary mortgage.

    Which *is* included in your total calculations on the home page. OOPS. I sincerely apologize for being so hasty. Bad me.

    (Quit anyway!)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I should update that page....

      The retirement loan mentioned there was paid off last year, and we took out the newest loan...which you can see on the side bar. Mortgage is still not included in any of this...but in case anyone cares....it is 185k at 5.5 %, and we pay PMI of 141 a month for 3 more years....and our ouse is underwater.

      You can see what we have paid off on the Kicked To The Curb page.

      Delete
  10. Thanks for comment. I do like to hear from new people.

    I may not have explained this right....but I am working this week. He wanted me to take a week to think and discuss things next week. So I sat in the bathroom this morning crying and barfing because I had to go to work and face it. I am off on Friday, but that was prearranged.

    My job is not moving us forward....it stopped the hemmorage. We were going further into debt....and now, as you said...we basically have treaded water. This is why I wanted to move into something in my field....closer to home....to be able to turn it around.

    Yep...scared. Terrified to just quit. Yes, that motivates....but wow is that a leap

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  11. I think you know what you need to do. If he lets you go, why don't you qualify for unemployment? You pay taxes on your income don't you? I'd let him let you go but it doesn't seem he is giving you that option. It's either, resign or accept my terms and stfu.

    In my opinion, that's not a proper way to be treated. It's been ages you've been miserable. And seriously you drive 25 MILES EACH WAY!? To be miserable? Time to stop and move on.

    Most times, crises or just the perception of one, are what give us the opportunity to make real, significant changes in our lives. It's time to leave and see what kind of windows and doors start opening up.

    ReplyDelete
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    1. He won't let me go....I am certain of it. My point is that as a per diem, you are paid based on work complete. He could decide he wants to cut my hours back to 1 hr a week. Not fired...just not needed.

      We spend over $600 a MONTH on gas for 2 cars because we live dead center between our jobs...in opposite directions.

      I think he is pushing me to resign so he can bring someone else in at less money. Not that I am so highly paid, but he feels I am "overpaid" based on other companies that do the same work. However, he is basing this on a pure clerical job, which isn't what I do, and he knows it.

      Delete
  12. Hi Mysti - not commented before, but just want to say I really feel your distress, and am sending you virtual hugs (( )).
    I would register with an employment agency in the field you want to work in, and do daily job searches this week on any and every job that is available in a radius of 20 miles around your home. Keep an open mind for this week.
    I wouldn't bother with writing this jerk a letter, it's clearly not going to make a blind bit of difference to him as he is an ass.
    I think you have two choices - leave now or leave later.
    Leaving now is what he would like you to do it seems, but is not the best for you or your family, as you need to have secure employment to go to.
    So leaving later is the best option - later could even mean just one more week later - you need to turn the awfulness of the situation with this bully into determination to leave him in a pile of poop.
    So while you are working each day, just do the minimum and arrive and leave on time.
    Bite your tongue and paint a simple smile on your face.
    In the background, you are preparing for your new job.
    When the new job is confirmed, give the absolute minimum notice, go sick, whatever - but do not let this idiot get the better of you or turn you into a waitress (unless this is what you want to do).
    Remember, nobody can make you feel crap without your permission, ok?

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    1. Thank you. I am also dealing with my "personal" demons of a family who make me feel like crap....so this was not the best timing!!!

      Delete
    2. I totally agree with this advice. Keep the job (for now), and while at work just keep your nose to the grindstone. Don't be uncivil, but don't talk to colleagues except about the actual job. And, then, as others have suggested, start the job search full tilt.

      Another option you might consider would be to be honest with your boss. It's a risk, but could you tell him that you really prefer the non-clerical items on your job responsibilities and you would like to work in that field. You had hoped you could do it in your current job, but you can see that's not what he is looking for. So you'd like to keep the job while looking for something more suited to your skills. And maybe - just maybe? - he would agree to give you a recommendation for what you've done in that realm already.

      Suzanne (new reader)

      Delete
  13. Mysti - please double check on the unemployment issue. If you are a w-2 employee there is certainly a possibility you can collect if you are let go. You maybe an "at will" employee that they can let go for any reason but that doesn't mean you don't qualify for UE.

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  14. Shoot. One more thing - I say write a letter not because it will actually change anything but because it never hurts to document work situations like this.

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    1. I have to giggle a little....I always write something...and then need to add "1 more thing"....and do that 10 times!

      I will qualify for UE if I am let go...but he won't let me go. He will fade the job into nothingness before he does that. As a per diem, it is on the needs of the company...and he can decide he doesn't "need" me but keep me around just enough to get around UE.

      Delete
    2. Though I am not fully familiar with "per diem" employment situations, if they have severely changed or failed to fulfill their word on what your employment has been, or made changes/alterations to it to where it shows that they're limiting your options to "force your hand to make you leave", you'd still be allowed benefits. It'd be a fight, but one you can put up. I deal with UI claims way too much, so if it comes to that, hope I can become a resource!

      Delete
  15. I've only commented once before and got a really negative response, but I'm going to try again since you ASKED for opinions. I read your blog quite a bit. I know his words hurt, and the workplace can be a nightmare of egos and a*holes. This guy may be one of them, I don't know.

    However, just for a moment, before you talk with him, and before you review your letter or response, think about if you were in his shoes. I'm NOT suggesting you have to agree with him on every point, or even like him , but think about WHY he gave you that feedback and what you can take and learn from it. Given what seems like a tenuous relationship, this was probably a pretty difficult conversation for him to have with you at all.

    I'd recommend reading the book "Crucial Conversations" for talking points in the event your conversation gets at all contentious.

    I'd also respond in the form of goals for next year, very specific responsibilities and measures for those goals, vs some demand for a raise. If you truly want a different job in that office (analyst or whatever) what specifically, steps he can help for you to get there and how you will measure those things and when. Talk about if I do x, y, z we will discuss compensation at mid year or something. Explicitly lay out the touchpoints you'll have with him on those goals, as well as feedback on the perception of your attitude. If he asks you to do work that isn't on your goals, use that throughout the next few months to say, "let's look at what we agreed to and edit it" before you get started doing whatever he asked. He may not even realize things that are outside of your "scope" as an admin are even be asked of you or how MANY times that's happening.

    And agree, start looking for something that makes you happier in the long run. Good luck.

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    1. Very corporate sounding....some valid points. I know where he is coming from. As I said...we have had MANY discussions about my job. MANY. And he does what he wants.

      In this case, someone complained, so he is addressing the complaint. He is also taking it as an opportunity to revisit the discussion of 6 months ago regarding the piles of work....and to tell me that he changed his mind about what we agreed on 6 months ago, and this is what we are doing now....

      Delete
  16. So sorry to hear about your job. Definitely time to move on. I've never heard of not being able to get unemployment, unless you were contract labor. Is it your boss classifying the job as "per diem" or the state? Maybe he's wrong and the state would consider it differently. Worth a look into, maybe. Many times employers try to get away with a certain classification to save themselves money but once the state finds out about it they have a different view.

    I agree with poster above, write the letter, if it will make you feel better, but don't bother giving it to him. It will do no good. He has shown time and time again that he doesn't value you at all as an employee, and now with his recent comments it's not going to change his mind at all.

    I hope you can find something new and better soon! If it were me, I'd probably just suck it up and keep working there until I found something else. I'd just be like "sure, I'll do as you ask" and be actively searching for a new job and dump him the minute you find one. He sounds like a terrible boss to work for.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Oh, and totally unrelated - 5.5 is high for a mortgage, have you looked into a refi - FHA refis were at 3.1% with no appraisal requirement last year (so the underwater piece isn't an issue) .. I'm not sure if the program is still running, but it could save you a bit on your monthly payment.

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    1. It was 7.5! We got caught in a mortgage scam. We did a refi 2 years ago. Our concern with another refi is resetting the mortgage again....and tacking on more closing costs. And we do have an FHA loan. We have already paid 2 of the 5 years of PMI, and I don't want to lose that.

      Delete
  18. Is it an option to just do what he pays you for? It might take away some of the stress from your life, and allow you more time to search for the perfect fit. Additionally, your boss may realize that it is less expensive to compensate you for your time than to hire another full staffer to complete the complex tasks you address.

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    1. I am not full time, and he doesn't want anyone full time. He wants a part time person to do a full time job because he can't admit (or stomach the though of paying) that the job requires a full time person at this point. When we were at half the size...it was fine. You double the size of a company.....you are going to generate more work.

      Delete
  19. Mysti, you did ask for opinions. My opinion is your boss is saying "Your attitude at work is not acceptable. Please adjust your attitude, because I would like for you to continue working here. I will give you a week to think about it."

    Quitting is one solution. Another solution might be to try to honestly evaluate if your attitude at work is inappropriate. You have stated more than once that you must constantly fix others' mistakes. Certainly that would be very frustrating. Is it possible that you vent your frustration in an unproductive way?

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    1. Sometimes it's totally unfair to be asked to "act differently" (improve the attitude, maybe) when the other person is not understanding that a legitimate problem may be contributing to the attitude - or maybe there is no attitude, and they are only perceiving it (incorrectly.)

      But is it possible that your demeanor is negative and it's unwarranted or unacceptable (e.g., you could control it better?) Maybe you could air your thoughts to him (verbally, not in writing, so you can have a real-time conversation - for example, make it crystal-clear to him that you will not do what "isn't what the job is," as he put it) and see what comes of it, and decide to either not work there, or work there but with an improved demeanor? Just something to think about. Remember that you don't have to work anywhere, and he can't make you do things he just told you that you don't actually have to do.

      Delete
    2. Petunia - I don't think he is saying quite that. I think there was a week where there was alot that went wrong. ALOT. None of it was my fault (and he said so). But I got kicked and abused (figuratively) by everyone....and I had enough. And someone didn't like that I snapped back.

      I have known my boss for 10 years. I know the undercurrent.

      I am not saying that I can't snap or be short sometimes. But I also have to put some of it on others....like if you see I am on the phone, why would you start rifling through the papers on my personal desk? Or if you see I am involved in a project that has about 1000 pages....why would you give me something, then ask for it back, then give it back , then ask for it back?

      444 - you are partially right that he doesn't understand the situation that is causing the problem. But there is another component that he does understand (his lack of dealing with the staff on issues that are repeated on an ongoing basis)...and doesn't want to admit that he had a hand in creating the situation.

      Delete
  20. Okay Mysti, 7 years ago at the rough old age of 48 with a severe case of RA I finally left a University program that I had run for 11 years. I walked out, took my students and opened my own studio. I was terrified. But it is mine and I get credit for what I do. Before I was making little to no money, making and designing all costumes, fixing the professionals choreography, staging, traveling and doing all the grunt work. No credit. The scariest thing I ever did was leave. But financially it was the best move I ever made. Things have gotten so much better now that I am on my own. You are treading water, it is time to sink or swim. You can do this. Leave and find your dream. It is out there.

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    1. And here you are!

      I don't have a dream...that is part of the problem. I LOVE teaching....but our state has made it so horrible to be a teacher, I don't want to go there. Education.....yes, but not teacher per se. So I have no idea what the new dream would look like.

      Delete
    2. Have you given any thought to educational sales? I worked as an educational consultant for a publishing company and loved it. I only left because that particular job required too much travel. You might want to look up the educational newsletter put out by ASCD Smart brief. They always have ads for great jobs. A MED is a wonderful opener.

      Delete
  21. You can make the mental note to quit, but I wouldn't actually resign until you've found another job or have your finances in a place you can go without this job for a while. Have you tried taking these issues with an HR department, if any exist? They should be involved too if available. If it will be too much of a hardship to resign and go without pay for extended periods of time, perhaps mentally resigning/job seeking while still working there may be the way to go. It may also make the workload a bit easier, since you know that any day soon, you can just walk out, or that you're on your way out. It's such a terrible situation and I'm sorry it's happening to you. Keep everything in writing that you're submitting, and maybe even get a signature from him of these things you're sending. If worst comes to worst and you need to quit and go for unemployment, paper trail helps.

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    1. I care too much about things to just mentally quit.

      Delete
  22. I would not leave until I have something else in hand. Waitressing after an office job does not look nearly as good on a resume. Bite the bullet, and keep at it until you get a job you want. He says you have a week to think about it? Fine. You can think about it. Accept his terms, and keep looking. Fake it til you make it.

    I COMPLETELY understand not being happy at work. I was that way for 8 years --- but keep saying to yourself that you CAN make it through until you have a job you want.

    GOOD LUCK!!!!!

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  23. I would never leave a job without something lined up. He may not give you a good reference. There is the possibility that he is a bit 'tired' of the whole drama and just views you as an employee who should get on with their work, so I wouldn't write a letter either.

    Personally, I'd smile, keep my head down and not complain and look for something else on the side. I'd apologise for being testy when he asks in a week and just get on with my work.

    If you have the money to leave, go for it, but is there much work in your area?

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  24. I also wanted to echo the commenter above, and please know that I am just suggesting this and not meaning to upset you.

    I find it unusual that he is suggesting you leave since you have said several times that you do so much work and the business is on the up. Do you make it obvious you resent your workload at work?

    There is a woman at my work who unintentionally does this and I find it incredibly annoying, as do many others. I am sure this is not you, but she does not realise how much others work without talking so much about it/making every effort clear.

    As I said, I am sure this is not you but if I was in your position, I may also reflect on my own behaviours at work.

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    1. I added to my original post, so not sure if that help explain some things.

      I am alone most of the time....no one there to complain to! Most of my interaction with the staff is email. The staff has expressed to me how sucky it is for me....they see the piles and know that they are the ones that create it. And they all know there is nothing they can do. They have told me themselves....why doesn't he have you here more? It isn't like there isn't work to justify it.

      Delete
  25. I agree with Tanner - if they lower your hours so much, you should still qualify for unemployment. At least check into it! When my son's employer cut his hours down to almost nothing (seasonal) he was able to get unemployment for all the hours he didn't get to work. So, if he worked 4 hours that week, that's what he reported and he got unemployment for the rest of the hours he had normally worked on an average per week (they look at what the company had reported each week for the past 4 quarters and used that as his base.

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  26. Mysti I have had some horrible bosses but none like this. Is there a HR deptartment you can go to. The problem is do not cut off your nose to spite your face its much better to find a job first and just remember you are doing a job you hate for your family not yourself.

    I wish I could help but I am praying

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    Replies
    1. I was writing a little more when you commented. But no...no HR.

      Delete
  27. Eek... after reading your post and all the comments, here's my opinion... you are not in a position to quit without having another job lined up. You have so much debt, and while you're fed up and sick of your job, your boss, etc... you need it. I'd stay on, and look for another job where you may be happier and will have to deal with less. There are many people that would work any crappy job and just be grateful to be getting a paycheck to put food on the table and keep a roof over their heads.

    I feel for you & pray it all works out for you and you find a better job that will finally make you happy. :)

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    1. I am willing to work a crappy job....but at this point to be spoken to like this....isn't about the job. The problem isn't the job....it is the boss.

      The biggest problem now is if I agree to his terms....he has me under his thumb. And to be demoralized.....that isn't part of the game. No.

      Delete
  28. AS a added note I have always lived by the fake it til you make it school of though. My grandparents were big believers in it. You need the money, I wish you didnt but you do. So take a deep breath and do what your have to do. I know what he is doing is unfair but at the same time can your family make it without the money til you find a new employer? Also is there someone there in management who will right a reference if you leave so you have something in hand

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    1. Again...there is no management. There is my boss. End of management.

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  29. Mysti I hope this all works out. I know how upset you are :(

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  30. Mysti -
    Since your degree is in education, what about your own small business tutoring students?

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  31. Call a mortgage lender about an FHA streamline. No closing costs, it's designed for your situation.

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  32. I agree with those who have suggested you just hand on for a while until you find another position with (hopefully) a better boss. You simply do not have the luxury right now of quitting...lots of people are in this boat and I've been there too. It is not fun, but Judy is correct that you should "fake it until you make it."

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  33. I agree with those who have suggested you just hand on for a while until you find another position with (hopefully) a better boss. You simply do not have the luxury right now of quitting...lots of people are in this boat and I've been there too. It is not fun, but Judy is correct that you should "fake it until you make it."

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  34. I have been reading your blog the year and a half or so but have never commented before. Here's my take:
    #1. You have a terrible boss. For someone to say he will never give you a raise, that means your quality of work, your time, and the fact that inflation is 2-3% a year means nothing to him. Why work for someone that is basically using you?
    #2. For that reason, I don't see the point in giving him a letter. He already knows everything you will say because it has been discussed before and more than once. But he doesn't care. He has his version of reality going on in his head and a letter from you won't change that.
    #3. You definitely need to quit but it needs to be strategic. I think that with your financial situation you have to have something lined up (if at all possible) before you quit.
    So how do you cope without compromising your self respect?
    My understanding is that the fundamental problem here is that your boss thinks what you do for him falls under the umbrella of clerical/admin work. Because of that there is no appreciation and consideration (respect, mo' money, etc.) for what you actually do.
    So is I possible to fulfill that fantasy for him???
    Is it possible to wake up tomorrow morning and say, "I, Mysti am strictly an clerical/admin girl, and that's what I'm going to do today"? Follow through with that on the job, "so sorry, that is way above my pay/responsibility grade". If you don't do the auditing and other work that is beyond the scope of your official job, it sounds like there is no one else to do it either. I'm thinking things will go off the rails pretty fast while you are being nicer than nice to everyone. And keep at it until things blow up. And I mean blow up spectacularly.
    That might be the come to Jesus moment you want, where your boss is finally having to admit that he needs more than just clerical work, and you are the only one that is totally up to speed and can jump in and do it, and he is going to have to renegotiate and compensate you for it.
    Don't think of it as disengaging from the the job (which is something you have already said you care too much to do), think of it as stepping back because a willful child has to learn the hard way.
    I see it as you really have nothing to lose. Yes you need the job, but you are currently facing a choice of this job/no self respect vs. no job/self respect intact (for now). Why not try this? You don't even really have to say much to your boss for now except that you have reevaluated some things and going forward will have a better attitude about the work (which is 100% true because you are no longer doing ANYTHING that is over your pay grade). I'm thinking the worst that can happen here is that your boss will start decreasing your hours if you are not doing the auditing/etc. work he wants but won't pay for and even that might buy you enough time to find that "any job" that will bring in income and be a more tolerant able situation while you find something you truly want.
    For the record, I tried this tactic and it worked. Obviously our situations are not the same but I thought I should say something.
    Good luck - Deborah

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  35. Wow, all I can offer is a resource where I've learned a lot--the blog Ask A Manager. http://www.askamanager.org/

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  36. I have always heard that it is easier to find a job while you still have a job rather then being unemployed and looking for work.

    I would not make a rash decision and quit. You could be unemployed for a while and your debt could increase substantially. Start applying for jobs right now today.

    Wish you the best of luck in finding something new.

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