Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Work Situation Falling Apart

The work situation is going downhill....FAST.

We talked yesterday.....twice.  The first time we were at a stalemate, so he decided to try again later and make the Clinical Supervisor be the mediator.  Yeah, that didn't work so well.  All that happened is she felt awkward and uncomfortable.

I tried to compromise....no...this is it.  I tried stating that he wants a clerical person with the benefits of all the other things that I do....so then let's just go back to clerical.  He said no, I can't "stop" doing my job.  At one point (although previously he stated otherwise), he said "anyone can do XYZ."

Well fine.

He sat there and told me how the "office" is unhappy, and it is my fault.  He fails to see how others have contributed to the situation, including himself.  I was also told that the staff that are causing the most problems for me....well, too bad.  He isn't going to make them follow the rules (since when do they get to make up rules that benefit them??), and part of the job is to suck it up and deal.  He even said it may be unreasonable to expect this....but this is what he wants.

20 people....all making up their own rules as they see fit. 

I was also told that I am expected to be happy about all of this. 

Yes, I am told that he is taking away part of my job that I like (which when I told him why that part of the job was important, he said my reason didn't influence the core function of my job....which really goes back to the idea that he doesn't understand what I do).  He is giving me something I don't like (which I told him, and he said, well....no one else likes it either but someone has to do it).

And again, part of my "job" is to be happy. 

I said I can perform my job, but I will be forced to have less contact with staff, because he has now created an environment where I am afraid to say anything to anyone because they might view it critically.  And he said, no.

I got really upset, and at one point said that we needed to stop there and pick it up again, because I can't talk right now.  And he pushed it and said "no."  I said, Boss....if you want to finish this conversation, then fine.  But then I am FINISHING the conversation.

Here is the thing....he is deathly afraid I am going to leave.  And he knows that is where this is going.  But he isn't willing to do anything.

So, back to work today, for another uncomfortable and miserable day.  I need my job.  But he is making it REALLY hard to suck it up.  Being told that anyone can do what I do, that I am expected to eat the $hit I am handed by staff that are disrespectful to what I do, that I am an overpaid clerical person (and I am paid this because he knows he can trust me with all the other stuff), and that this is the job and there is no chance of it changing.  And that I am expected to be happy about it.

I don't think it can get much worse.


  1. It actually sounds like he might be trying to get rid of you. He has all the power. It isn't as though there are not multitudes of others he can hire in your place.

    You may need to eat some humble pie and do what he says or find yourself unemployed.

    For your sake I hope he is afraid to lose you....it just doesn't really sound like he is.

  2. I think it could get worse...you could find yourself without this job and with nothing lined up to take the place of this job. Why not start looking for something else immediately so you can leave on your own terms when you are ready? In the meantime do your present job to the best of your ability and with as much grace as you can muster. You are not alone. There are lots of people in this horrible economy who are holding on to work they hate until something better opens up. Chin up--you can do it.

  3. I'm sorry to hear about the continued job issues. The only advice I can tell you is to make sure you have your "ducks in a row". Try looking elsewhere to bring in some income, including working from home. Keep an eye out for word of mouth opportunities, and include that you will consider all options available, including seasonal work.

    While this may seem like the perfect time to quit, keep in mind that there are lots of folks who are out of income, looking for jobs to keep their bellies fed. You don't want to put yourself in a situation that proves not to keep our finances, home and other loved ones fed.

  4. I find this idea that you have to be happy bizarre and really lacking good boundaries. He can't control what you think or how you feel, that's People 101. You have to be cordial and foster a good working relationship with others, but "happy?" Big red flag.

    I just wanted to reiterate my suggestion of Ask A Manager (http://askamanager.org)--great resource!

  5. My teacher/coach husband has been in one miserable job situation after another. He left the last one despite tenure because of the stress level and looked forward to finishing his last 3 years where he is now. The position was labeled 'interim,' but he was ASSURED his job was safe because he was replacing someone who had left. He finally allowed himself to believe them and enjoyed the students, staff, and administration. We were miffed to learn that he missed out on a much-needed county supplement because his job was labeled 'interim' but decided to brush it off since all else was okay.

    Just before the holidays, though, things started changing. The principal, who had always been extremely personable and accessible, started avoiding him like the plague after giving him a less-than-stellar observation. No matter that he explained he was doing EXACTLY what he had been told to do by the controlling department head. The assistant principal also began acting different towards my husband.

    Well, surprise, surprise - seems the assistant principal's son, certified in the same areas as my husband, needs a job. During a chat my husband initiated with the principal last week, she reminded him that his job was 'interim,' so he knew then he'd be booted to the curb at the end of the year. Instead of trying to find once again a decent situation for just 2 years, we decided it's time for him to escape. He'll be retiring at the end of the year.

    I don't know what options you may have for other employment, but I do know that just thinking about ditching the education madness has awakened some creative thinking in both of us.

    Might you be able to do what you like on a freelance basis? Our daughter majored in photography and enjoyed working mostly with one photographer while her husband was wrapping up grad school. She discovered that she preferred editing for him and for other photographers, so that's what she's mostly doing now.

    I expect something good to come out of your situation, and I hope it's soon!


  6. I think Theresa has a point. You may know better than any of us, but the way he's behaving isn't the way someone who wants to keep somebody acts. He's trying to cover up his trails (justified termination). Having a witness may not have been as much of a mediator as to have a witness in case it becomes his word against yours. Either that, or he KNOWS there's a problem in the office, but you're the easier one to tack it on. Either way, I can't see him treating you like he values you enough to fix the actual problem. Some positions are like that, sadly... People see it easier to replace one person than fix a whole office.

    But do keep your chin up and continue to apply to places. Make it a top priority as if you were already unemployed. If he thinks it's so simple to replace you, he'll have to put his money where his mouth is.

  7. I hope you have lots of resumes sent out so you can start the process of getting out of this job! He is not trying to make it better. He's just trying to document that he keeps having to "talk" to you about your performance. Maybe even find something through a temp agency for the time being?

  8. Mysti I thought about you all week. I would be looking for another job, anything to get me through, because this is not good and you need to leave with your head heal high, but you have to leave to something as your financial situation demands this. Since you like to teach and are experiences have you ever thought of running a nursery or prekindergarten school? Obviously you are vet well qualified to work with children. Say 5 in the morning for 2 hours and 5 in the afternoon for 2 hours. 4 hours a day and charge accordingly.

  9. I think that Kim has a great idea. Pre schools run by qualified educators are valued.
    I think that your boss is being an unreasonable ass. This is not a factor that you will be able to change. Keep looking, apply for anything that could be better. Change is as good as a rest!
    One of my bosses (Dragon lady) has dropped my salary by 45%. It is enough to make me want to loose my shit. It is hard to work what I can with my injury and then she needs to be a rude ass to deal with on top of things. I understand, I commisurate, and I hope things play out better for you!