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Old 04-06-2019, 09:37 PM
663 posts, read 197,252 times
Reputation: 1806


Does anyone else struggle with work/life balance to the point that they've worked themselves into the early (if not full blown) throes of a nervous breakdown?

It's something that I've long struggled with (I work in a specialized segment of a pressure-filled industry), but it's become exceedingly worse these past few months to the point that many days I'm hoping to get fired so I can at least get a break to take care of a laundry list of house projects, if not an actual vacation.

I love what I do and the grass is definitely not greener in other pastures (we have some unusual perks that I am able to take advantage of), but five years without being able to take any vacation time (and not being able to cash out my vacation pay is galling as having the extra money would help soothe me a bit), moving/selling a house without taking any time off (I worked on both moving days because the business had opened the month before I sold my last house and purchased the next) is beginning to take a serious toll on my mental health and interpersonal relationships. I fear that my physical health is next as I'm finding it difficult to sleep and eat.

Work is a gossip mill, so as much as I like most of my coworkers and my immediate supervisor, there is no one who I can go to about this issue. Private conversations between supervisors and employees do not remain private and I do not wish to be perceived as lazy, incompetent, or weak. While I do understand that we're stretched thin and everyone's stressed, it's difficult to watch everyone save me get to schedule time off and take vacations.

I usually manage to catch a few days here and there during our slow season which help to take the edge of my lack of usable vacation time, but the good news is this: slow season didn't happen this year and the bad news also: the slow season didn't happen this year.

Quitting is not an option--partially out of pride; partially out of the hope that I can find a solution to this conundrum.

Does anyone have any reasonable suggestions or stories about how they learned to achieve work/life balance short of quitting, retiring, or winning the lottery?

Old 04-06-2019, 10:17 PM
2,404 posts, read 684,967 times
Reputation: 3394
Unpaid overtime is corporate welfare.

We have a "hot economy" so what is stopping you from getting a new job that has an actual work life balance?

"Quitting is not an option--partially out of pride"

This is not about pride. You are being taken advantage of. The sooner you realize that the sooner you can find a better job.
Old 04-07-2019, 01:52 PM
Location: Tennessee
23,557 posts, read 17,535,380 times
Reputation: 27607
It’s rough in a lot of industries. I work in IT for a large employer. We’ve lost several staff members that had twenty years experience here, citing poor work life balance.
Old 04-07-2019, 01:58 PM
1,673 posts, read 548,866 times
Reputation: 3560
You're hoping to get fired, but are unwilling to quit?

If it's that bad, talk to a therapist (I've done that many times). Getting fired is significantly worse than quitting without having a job lined up. Ego/pride is no reason to do something that makes you miserable.

How many hours/week do you spend job hunting and networking right now?
Old 04-07-2019, 02:12 PM
11,121 posts, read 8,527,266 times
Reputation: 28084
Originally Posted by Formerly Known As Twenty View Post
Quitting is not an option--partially out of pride; partially out of the hope that I can find a solution to this conundrum.

Does anyone have any reasonable suggestions or stories about how they learned to achieve work/life balance short of quitting, retiring, or winning the lottery?
See the bold above. YOU are creating your own problem by not being open to realistic options.

In the real world, we cannot control other people. We can only control ourselves. So, if the job really is as described, you either make a personal choice to live with it or you choose to leave. If you choose to stay, you are signaling your approval of the conditions and how you're being treated.

What pride? What solutions are you hoping to find? You can't make those people or the company do anything they don't want to do.

Are you wishing upon a star? Using magical thinking? Seriously, in grown up world, what do you realistically believe is going to change?

If you stay, then you can't complain. You have options and are just choosing to not exercise them.
Old 04-07-2019, 03:28 PM
663 posts, read 197,252 times
Reputation: 1806
Before I left for work this morning, I reread what I wrote on this forum last evening. Doing so lent me a fair bit of clarity and helped me to breathe, calm down, and to make a few decisions regarding my job.

There are some serious and unusual perks that come with this position as well as the fact that I'm fairly well-paid (my salary taps against the "ceiling" for what I do in my area), have excellent benefits, and my *daily* schedule has a fair amount of flexibility in it. I'm also pretty much the head of my own mini-department and have a lot of autonomy and creative control. When viewed in the light of a new day after an especially brutal past few months, the "pros" definitely outweigh the "cons."

Networking and seeing what else is out there is something that I've always done as my field can be a bit volatile depending upon the economy and the overall management of a particular business. The grass is definitely not greener and lack of taken vacation time taken and stress levels aside (we're all stressed in this business--it's just a matter of degrees), I do have it pretty good overall when compared to my peers within my chosen line of work. I also have had the option to leave many times, but the offers weren't nearly as good as what I already have in terms of both pay and autonomy. It's not a rationalization on my part, but the truth. I've worked in places that were far worse and have chosen to leave jobs in the past so it's definitely not fear of the unknown that's holding me back from leaving.

Wishing to get fired is simply that--just a wish, not something that I'd ever deliberately cause to happen. (I've been laid off due to business closures, but have never been fired, by the way.) Words written or spoken out of fatigue and frustration is very human thing to do.

As so often happens, we often hold the solution to our own concerns within ourselves. I scheduled a meeting with my immediate supervisor so that we can discuss the issues at hand both professionally and openly and come to a resolution. I don't work for a large, faceless corporate entity (we have fewer than four hundred employees) and gossip aside, we're a pretty close knit team (many staff members--including me--have been there since the opening of the business). It's highly likely since my work has not slipped in terms of productivity/creativity/consistency that my supervisor is unaware that there is a deep-seated problem, so that part is definitely on me.

A slight schedule change and a long weekend taken here and there, if not a full vacation, would go a long way to keeping me from pulling the plug on a job that I really enjoy, but really need to get away from at times so I can come back refreshed, mostly de-stressed, and with new ideas.

Thank you to those who provided their advice.

Last edited by Formerly Known As Twenty; 04-07-2019 at 04:02 PM..
Old 04-07-2019, 09:40 PM
Location: NW Indiana
40,200 posts, read 15,174,148 times
Reputation: 102173
Thread closed at OP's request.
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