Work is hellish right now. Just when I thought work could not get any worse… well…
This week I only encountered one crying co-worker. I did not cry once this week, if that is any consolation. I am now a pro at dealing with tears. It used to freak me out. Now I just take a deep breath, stay calm and ask if they need a minute. After a pause, I ask if there is anything I can do to help. Usually there isn’t, I can just listen.
Why is everyone crying so much?
For starters, we are all exhausted. Fatigue has lowered everyone’s frustration threshold and even small irritations can seem like insurmountable challenges. This fatigue can also lead to unhealthy choices. Lack of exercise, too much caffeine and sugar and Netflix binges which lead to poor sleep. Poor sleep causes fatigue, which leads to unhealthy choices… and so on.
Our workload keeps growing at an unsustainable pace.
Too many managers, not enough worker bees. I can’t tell you the number of people I work with and their sole job is finding out the status of things. What is the status? Where is this? Where is that? When will that be done? Did you finish this? Is that ready yet? &^%$#* off already!!!
Change. Everything is changing and this is not news but a good reminder that change is hard and stressful.
Life in Captivity
What’s the good news in all of this? Well, the fact is, even if I don’t believe it all the time – I have choices. Plenty of them.
I am working on a project now that might be the highlight of my career (or the end of it – not sure yet.) I have made the choice to stay until that project launches early next year.
After that I am “voting with my feet.” Unless something changes, I am leaving. I have already started the process and will spend the next few months reaching out to my network, reconnecting and looking for something else. If that does not pan out, I may ask for a “leave of absence” to take some time off. If that fails, I may even quit. Who knows? What I do know is that for now I choose to be at work. I choose to finish this project. I choose to tell people what is reasonable and what is not. I choose to manage my workload.
My employer may not like my choices but they are mine. I am so thankful that we have stashed away some money. I recommend it. It is not hard or complicated. Start with $5 dollars a week if you have to. You just have to start.
It beats living in captivity.