emotional response

I hate my job.

This is what it’s come to. I went from not really wanting to work here to being overwhelmed to being in pre-burnout to hating my job.

Lovely.

And so I’m sitting here, pretending to work, really just taking a chance to vent. And I can’t talk about it. Not in any great detail. Because the moment I let one thing slip, give out information that I really shouldn’t have, I just know that that’s when I’ll get myself into trouble.

Paranoid, I know. But I’m at a place where paranoia is a good thing.

Overworked and underpaid is a slogan many workers have these days. I don’t care what job we’re in, what lifestyle we have or what our personal situations are – nobody feels appreciated for all that we do in the workplace.

I’ve changed things a little. In my job I used to work 10 and 12 hour days frequently. I’ve scaled that back to an average of nine a day out of sheer self-defense. I used to come in on the weekends to get caught up with all the stuff I didn’t get finished during my regular 50 to 60-hour workweek. I’ve stopped doing that too. I was taking work home to edit, review, and brainstorm as I sat on the couch in front of the television or at the kitchen table and pretended to listen to my family. That’s another practice I’ve stopped doing.

I haven’t scaled back on my time investment in work because my doctor told me to take it easy, though he did. In fact, his exact words at my last physical were “find another job.”

My sinus headaches have gotten worse, which my doctor attributes to stress. This year alone I’ve had two abscess infections, one on my jaw and one in my elbow. Though those can’t be attributed directly to stress, he thinks that lack of sleep weakened my immune system enough that the infections became worse than they would have been. And, of course, I’m not sleeping at night, which makes me groggy in the morning. Normally not a morning person to begin with, having the handicap of sleep-deprivation is not helping.

I eat at weird hours of the day because our major disasters happen between 11 a.m. and 2 p.m. and then after 4:30 p.m. I’m out of the house before 7 a.m. and usually not back until after 7 p.m., assuming I come directly from work.

My doctor told me that I need to get out before I screw up my health beyond what’s going on now. And he looked very serious when he said it.

I haven’t scaled back on my time at work because I miss my family, though I do. In fact, although my family lives with me, I hardly ever see them. If Arianna weren’t there to take care of the “wife” details (my brother’s school functions, my Dad’s nursing home visits, my Mother’s frequent passive-aggressive needs) I don’t think the arrangement would have lasted as long as it has. But I do miss doing family things with them and I never have the time any more. Or if I do have the time, I’m so wiped out mentally and emotionally that all I want to do is close myself off in my room and not come out for several hours. That’s not really conducive to a close family relationship.

[[Since I started working fewer hours, I’ve actually had time to do stuff like go to the museum, watch a movie, go shopping, and have dinner with them.]]

I’ve stopped spending every waking hour at work mostly because I can’t stand to be there any more. My boss was fired. Her boss was pushed out. Though I get along well enough with my new boss, the atmosphere at work now is suffocating me. Nothing we do is good enough, fast enough, responsive enough, or effective enough. I have so many projects on my desk that many of them are getting shelved just to deal with the day-to-day crisis stuff.

When I first came to work here I thought that I wouldn’t be able to handle the pressure, the workload, the pace, but I did and I adapted well. No we’re two people short and our project list seems to multiply overnight and we’re in a campaign year and we’re still recovering from one of the worst natural disasters to ever hit the city and I don’t think I’m gonna make it another month, let alone to the end of the year.

I want so badly to find a nice boring job to regain some of my sanity. I need to find something where I can still make the same amount of money, or more, and have about half the workload. I need to go work somewhere where political consultants don’t get to go behind us, criticizing everything we create, establishing the standards by which we are judged, though they have more personnel and get paid at least four times as much as we do. I need a job where there’s actually money for stuff like graphic designers and printing and mailing, where every single phone call we make isn’t up for public scrutiny, where we don’t suspect that our phones are being listened to and that every person we talk to is a potential threat so we can’t say anything that’s not on the script. Even if I’m at a party or a restaurant I have to assume that I might be overheard, taped or just plain watched.

It’s a ludicrous life. It’s a ridiculous way to live. And I want out.

Author: Paloma Cruz

Find out more about Paloma Cruz through the About page. Connect with her on Twitter (www.twitter.com/palomacruz) and (Facebook).

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