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Thread: My job is working me to death

  1. #1
    Member SaraJane99's Avatar
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    My job is working me to death

    Iím new to this forum and could really use some advice about leaving my job. Iím feeling a lot of guilt for wanting to give up and would like to know everyoneís thoughts on my situation.

    I am in a situation now that many would envy: I've got more job security than I can handle. I started a new job over a year ago in sales with a very large, corporate home builder. Ever since I've started, it's been insane. I work about 60 hours a week with extremely rare exceptions. For the past year and a half, I have been a work machine. In an effort to prove myself at the new job and get ahead as quickly as possible (due to the plan of starting a family with my husband), I've worked long hours, took on extra projects, and generally kicked ass. I was actually the top producing sales agent this past year in our division. I suppose I should note here that I am an overachiever and a people-pleaser by nature, which has not always been the worst thing to be.


    Right now I feel as if my head is in a vise grip all the time, like my body is being ground down by a particularly coarse brand of sandpaper. Due to the heavy volume of sales that the community Iím responsible of is experiencing, things aren't getting done on time unless Iím willing to work until bedtime every night and work through my days off... which I do, and have been doing since we opened this new community in Aug.

    I took this job because it has was a wonderful career choice that most realtors would kill for. Plus the benefits are great, I have 401k and with the sales this year alone I have already made nearly 200k in commission! However, the great benefits come at a great price. Currently, all I do is apologize to people who are angry that things aren't getting done to their satisfaction. Which is to be expected having buyers on edge and difficult to deal with... theyíre making a HUGE purchase and trusting us to build their ďhomeĒ. However, after selling 60+ houses in such a short amount of time Iíve started to feel like a doctor who needs to stop accepting new patients.
    But my company is extremely numbers driven... we have quota weíre expected to meet each month, which means the buyers and their agents keep pilling up and with each sale I make, and each sale is more of my time that is going to be needed for the next 3-8 months while their house is being built! Not to mention after they move in, with my model home being right up the street the entire community thinks Iím their personal property manager to pop in on and complain to or at whenever they deem necessary.
    I have a raging flood of e-mail, calls and text from people wanting status updates and deadlines met all hours of the day, 7 days a week. And what my more demanding clients donít understand is theyíre not the only people who need something from me! But to be perfectly honest, I could probably manage the demanding work load and angry clients if I had the support of management. But theyíre actually the biggest reason Iím ready to throw in the towel.

    Since I started making my way up to being our top producer, I was looking forward to making a positive impression on upper management. However, the harder I worked and the more I achieved, the more harassment I started receiving from my bosses. Our division has 2 area sales managers, and Iím only required to answer to the manager over my community. Yet, our other area manager has been in her position longer and appears to have seniority over mine. When my work load started increasing is when the other manger started butting into my sales when she had no idea what was even going on! It first started as a text that she received a call from a potential buyer who couldnít reach me - she would tell me I needed to call them back immediately. Usually she came across very aggravated with me. However, every time this happened I was sitting with clients writing a contract or in the middle of negotiations! My phone rings off the hook and I would loose sales if I stopped to take every call while trying to explain a sales contract to a buyer and their agent. I asked MY manager to please defend me since she actually knew my schedule and how busy I was. And she tried... for awhile. Sadly, time has passed and I believe the corporate environment has taken its tole on her since she doesnít appear to be trying anymore. It has now gotten so bad that ON MY DAYS OFF I am literally expected to report to them when Iím home trying to use the bathroom! God forbid I miss a call while Iím sitting on the toilet!!

    They constantly call me and force me to work on my days off. I have had 2 doctor appointments where the doctor sent me away before I was finished with my appointment because I was getting non stop phone calls during the appointment that I had to take from management. Wanting to know why I missed a call telling me ďsomeone wants to write an offer on a house, when can you call them? We need you to get on this right now!Ē One afternoon I had a hair appointment, missed a call, within an hour they called my office and complained. By the time my manger called to yell at me I had already called the person back. And then was told they may need to see my CALL LOG for that day that I WAS OFF WORK to know exactly what I was doing all day so they could see if I was just dodging calls. I also had to get my cell replaced a few months back because my voicemail wasnít working and my phone was dropping calls. I was told if I didnít get my PERSONAL phone working properly I may get written up.

    I told my manager not to long ago it bothered me that they automatically assume Iím not doing my job, instead of trusting that If I didnít answer a call itís because there was a reason. What bothers me more is the rule actually is we must return all missed calls the same day if itís our day off. Yet Iím getting in trouble for not returning calls within an hour. And this strict rule only applies to me... I spoke with other agents in my division and non of them are experiencing half the harassment that I am.

    I deal with this for 10 to 12 hours a day, eating lunch at my desk so I can try to keep up with the ocean of frustration that threatens to drown me. The onslaught is starting to break me down. My body hurts from being clenched all day. At night, all I want to do is drink myself to sleep. Iíve started loosing my hair or Iím pulling it out. Each week is like a never ending cycle since I donít actually get days off to decompress. I used to enjoy outdoor activities, taking my dogs hiking, running or riding bikes with friends, and just spending time with my husband. I don't have time to do any of that anymore because of this damn job -- I don't have time or energy to do much of anything anymore but try to hold onto this punctured life raft of sanity in a hurricane.

    Iíve even lost a close friend because of this job. She recently had a baby and every time I promised to come see them, I had to blow them off last minute because there was ANOTHER emergency at work.

    The stress of this job caused me to have a mental breakdown earlier this year and Iím currently seeing a counselor for stress management. My husband loves my income but heís ready for me to quite because heís sick of seeing the abuse they put me through. And he knows I wonít be able to cope once we start trying to have a baby. Iím nearly sold out in my current community and will go through some down time soon before my next community opens later this year. So if there is ever a time to get out, the time is now.


    I had another hi stress job before this one that I quite because I was denied a raise after taking on the job responsibilities of 2 employees who quite. I was really getting taken advantage of and got sick of not having any income to show for all the extra work I was doing. So now Iím starting to feel like a ďquitterĒ since Iím in yet another job Iím ready to give up on. Plus the people-pleaser side of me hates giving up and Iím really hard on myself for wanting to quite. Just that feeling alone is even giving me more anxiety. I want so bad to be able to cope with the stress, not let management get to me and keep this job that will more than be able to provide for our family in the future.

    I feel like leaving is the best thing I can do for myself and my marriage. I just wish I could feel at peace with my decision. Instead I have this fear that when I turn in my notice they'll probably just shrug and say something covertly insulting like they understand it's a high-pressure environment that's not for everybody. Itís true, I canít handle their work load, and I hate myself for it.


    I donít want to have a doubt about my decision to leave... my husband has a great paying job to support us. Plus I donít plan to stay unemployed. I do want to go back to work after we have a baby. But what if I really just need to learn to cope with stress that any job is going to have? Would anyone else quite after only working there a year and a half? I really need advice on what to do...

  2. #2
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Get on LinkedIn with an excellent profile, head shot and a list of your education, experience, etc. Upload your contact list and see who you may know to network with. If you do not want it known that you are thinking of resigning, do not allude to the fact that you are job seeking openly.

    No matter what you decide to do having a well written updated resume at all times is a must in your situation. Whether you resign, work elsewhere decide to be a sahm returning to the workforce later, etc.. Discuss boundaries and burnout with your therapist. Again, no matter what you decide or where you go, you'll need to manage your life in a less frenetic way. Including being a sahm, in which case you'll be 'on call' 24/7 and private toilet time will be a thing of the past.

  3. #3
    Gold Member Gary Snyder's Avatar
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    There is a reason the 40 hour workweek is standard........it's not healthy to work to much. Put a 40 hour limit on it, tell them to hire somebody else, hire an assistant, change jobs, or change careers, or get your own business. If you have to work too many hours, you are doing it wrong. Oh, and of course your employer would never tell you this - here's a wake up call - they don't care about you, only the bottom line.

  4. #4
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    A salary based job just isnít for you.
    So get a job that pays a wage.

    There are others that will be ok with with doing what you do and for the pay.

    When you are salary based , there is no time off , just a requirement to do the job even if that means outside of m-f , 9-5.

    If you want legit time off to walk the dogs, get a hair appt , then you need to look into a different career.
    Or stick it out like your bosses , managers have done to get to their position. Years.

    They arenít going to feel sympathetic when they have been in your shoes to get where they are.

    Quit. Get a wage based job in the field for less money.

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  6. #5
    Platinum Member Wiseman2's Avatar
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    Get to a doctor. There are plenty of doctors, lawyers, military, law enforcement, etc. who work much longer hours and have much more stress and responsibilities. The issue is acting like a victim. The job drives you to drink, the job made you leave dr. appts, the job makes your hair fall out, the job is ruining your marriage, the job does this to you, the job does that to you. You can jump around from job to job but without effective and healthy coping skills even the simplest job will be stressful. This is selling houses, not landing fighter jets on an aircraft carrier or brain surgery on a child.

    If you want to stop working, just do so. You need better coping skills and stress management than you are describing in this entire post, not to mention this:
    Originally Posted by SaraJane99
    all I want to do is drink myself to sleep.

  7. #6
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    I did jobs like that for 15 years. I did leave one job (well, almost as my mentor turns out wanted to leave to so I left with him but I was going to quit) because on top of the long hours it was a toxic environment. It also affected me physically. It also was 24/7. Healthy? I don't know -maybe not -I haven't had a standard 40 hour a week job since 1991 and the last 3 years I am a mom who works part time (if I ever did full time again it would need to be standard). Here's the litmus test for me - toxic or harassing environment is a no go if you're going to work those hours. To me toxic doesn't mean long hours or unpredictable hours or high demands on your time/productivity. It means being harassed or worse by your peers or superiors and an environment where people are treated like crap.

    Here's another piece. It is totally fine if this kind of high stress/unpredictable hours/ on call environment is not for you. It's not for everyone. It wouldn't be for me, ever again, because of my current lifestyle. Please do be honest with yourself and it's fine if you're an overachiever -me too -but doesn't mean you have to choose that kind of job -you can achieve and contribute and work your tail off at a more traditional 40 hour a week job. Sadly although I'm "part time" I work "overtime" because it's in my blood, with the difference being that it's not expected and therefore I don't feel external stress. And they really appreciate me (been almost 3 years). So even if I did full time at this job it wouldn't be like your job now. So please please get real with yourself.

    So -one more thing. Because I did that work for 15 years, by the time I was blessed with a child I knew that no matter what I would have the financial security to stay home with him as long as I wanted whether or not my husband made enough $ to provide. He did BUT it helped so much -me psychologically -to be able to contribute financially from my savings from those 15 years. And it meant that when I returned to work I could take a huge paycut in exchange for the ability to telework a lot plus part time plus flexibility -a parent's dream. And I'm doing very important work. It's a luxury to be able to do this but it's because I busted my behind for 15 years that I feel comfortable doing so. As does my husband. So yes money matters if you're thinking of starting a family. And no we don't have a large house -we rent an apartment - and no we don't live an extravagant lifestyle but I never really did. So also get clear about what your wants and needs are as I've heard parents insist they have to have a certain size home, certain kinds of baby paraphernalia/toys/parties/vacations, etc - so they work at certain jobs to afford that. NOt judging just mentioning all the factors I think go into it. Please feel free to PM me.

    I hope you feel better very soon. And it's not the healthiest for your body to be under this kind of stress were you to get pregnant. Maybe another thing to consider.

  8. #7
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    Like Batya, I worked in this type of full-on stress job, where you are constantly weighing the great money you are making vs. your quality of life. I would come home crying, it was so bad, and it's much like what you describe, so when I tell you I get it, I get it.

    Your loss of the friend who had the baby hit home for me, as I was not "allowed" to visit my sister while she gave birth to her first child, because we were all on a business trip which happened to be in my sister's city, at a hotel about 5 miles from the hospital. But I was told that it would be "unfair" to allow me to leave, because everyone else has personal things too. Oh....I was asking to leave at 7 PM, long after the official work day, but I was being held for a "business dinner". To this day, it saddens me, and my sister, that I missed that.

    As Wiseman said, put yourself together in a terrific way, on LinkedIn. Get a professional headshot (not a selfie, not your face cropped out of a party pic, but pay a professional), and fill in the blanks. Add in your current responsibilities and "wins", as well as education, etc. No need to say you're looking for a job, just connecting with friends and colleagues. And then....start connecting. Send out connection requests to everyone who pops up for you. You will be surprised at how many recruiters cruise LinkedIn and contact you. Get your resume professionally done, and make sure you have all the "keywords" you need for whatever type of job you would like.

    I finally quit my highest paying job ever when I came home one day and said I'd sweep floors for a living. I just didn't care anymore. And yes, I lost the paycheck. But, if you're a smart girl, and I think that you are, you'll have been saving, like I was, and guess what....I found another job, in a completely different world, and voila....the money is all back, and I have a job with a stress level I can manage, nowhere near what you are going through.

    If you're looking for validation that you're in a sucky situation, I'll give it to you. This. Sucks. Sounds like it's an upper management problem, and it only gets worse, the better you do. Right? The more stuff you do well, the more they rely on you, and those reliances turn into demands, which suck up your life. Talking to management won't change anything, because they can't even get the light fixtures delivered to the new homes on time....right? So how are they going to manage employees well? They're not. You have to manage yourself.....right outta there.

  9. #8
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    Are you in the U.S.? If so, there are labor/employment laws in this country that protect employees from what you're describing -- emotional distress due to mental harassment, among a bunch of other labor law violations your employers are committing.

    It sounds like you under so much stress, you are on the verge of a mental break, and are in dire need of a "break."

    We have a law/act in our country called FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act).

    By LAW, if you are either mentally or physically ill (and mental stress falls under that category) you are entitled to three months per year medical leave to get well.

    I suggest you take advantage of this act immediately before something more serious than severe mental stress happens -- like a heart attack!

    I've seen it happen, to young people even, over-stressed from their jobs.

    You will need a doctor's note, but my goodness, any doctor worth his salt should see you are in severe mental stress and will write you that note.

    Your employers cannot terminate you during this time, it is against the law for them to do so.

    While you are out, think about whether working 60 hours a week making the money you do for an employer who mentally harasses you the way they are (I mean while you're in the bathroom, on your days off, on vacation?) is worth it.

    Also know your employers are in severe violation of so many labor laws, I cannot even count, which means you have grounds for a very legit lawsuit against them.

    But first things first -- go to your doctor, get that note, and take medical leave, again which you are in dire need of! And get well!!

    After that you can consider filing suit against them, consult a labor/employment law attorney about that.

    Hope you feel better soon and good luck!
    Last edited by katrina1980; 07-13-2019 at 10:26 AM.

  10. #9
    Member SaraJane99's Avatar
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    Thank you for helpful advice Batya33. That was what I was looking for, not to be blasted like a piece of sh*t for trying to talk about the struggle Iím going through. I did mention this isnít an easy decision and one that Iím not taking lightly. However, I did not say I have it harder than anyone else. Iím not trying to compare myself, just wanted to talk about a personal situation Iím going through.


    Anyway, I could go on but at this point I guess I would only be trying defend myself vs discuss what Iím going through with people who care. Just needed a little support because Iím scared to be a Mom and I do, very much resent myself for wanting out of this work environment. Thank you everyone who tried proving I suck. Mission accomplished. So glad I signed back up on this forum.

  11. #10
    Platinum Member mustlovedogs's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by SaraJane99
    Thank you for helpful advice Batya33. That was what I was looking for, not to be blasted like a piece of sh*t for trying to talk about the struggle Iím going through. I did mention this isnít an easy decision and one that Iím not taking lightly. However, I did not say I have it harder than anyone else. Iím not trying to compare myself, just wanted to talk about a personal situation Iím going through.


    Anyway, I could go on but at this point I guess I would only be trying defend myself vs discuss what Iím going through with people who care. Just needed a little support because Iím scared to be a Mom and I do, very much resent myself for wanting out of this work environment. Thank you everyone who tried proving I suck. Mission accomplished. So glad I signed back up on this forum.
    Who made it sound like you suck? I only see one negative post - everyone else seems quite positive.

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