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Search - "overworked"
A female boss I worked for, pulled an employee retention tactic that still gives me the chills.
She paid dogshit salaries to all her employees. And yelled at them enough to keep them overworked and burnt out.
When one of them tried to resign, she said "fine you can leave us but I won't be giving you any salary slips, no experience/recommendation letter and neither acknowledge that you ever worked here.
You get to leave the company when I decide for you.
You have already stayed here so long that if you decide to disappear tomorrow it will leave a gap on your resume in your next interview."18
If you don't let the company enslave you then you're not a team player.
Also, you're definitely NOT flexible!8
Worst meeting. Hmm..
Embarrassment wise maybe the one where my boss called me the queen of porn in front of everyone. Yes, classy AF. (Just have to know him to know his sense of humor I guess).
Most cringe worthy meeting was probably when our out of state national director came in and basically told us he has no clue what we do nor does her care to learn. We brought up salaries to him as well as we're in the bottom 8th percentile for the industry in our area with HUMONGOUS work loads, like 20 sites per developer at once. This is a huge multi-million dollar corporation, mind you. We told him some of us have to have 3 jobs to survive and he basically said well you're an at will employee so there's the door. He also took phone calls and sent emails during my one on one meeting which we never finished even though he promised to. But he bought us a shirt, so you know, it's all cool. 🙄11
y'know, if your coworkers annoy the shit out of you, sometimes it's worth looking at how the company is treating them.
a lot of what i have to deal with spans from an environment that demands speed at the expense of quality and won't reward developers for their effort, cause they simply don't understand the effort it takes. we have a tiny team responsible for a nation wide program, and people are just shocked when they hear this, because the work we do is in fact amazing for a group of 5. everyone is just tired, overworked and badly recompensed for it. this shit will hit the fan pretty soon5
So...Just got moved from salaried to hourly for an already extremely overworked, underpaid position. Lost our flexible hours and our platform is moving to drop and drag...Watch them say no overtime now. Beyond pissed!😡1
Almost a year and a half. I was so overworked and my failures were so impactful. I would go home and obsess over work all evening and have fever dreams on nights that I could sleep. It was so mentally painful that I was going to jump off a building after a few drinks to make it stop. A military turned civilian doctor told me that I showed symptoms like soldiers in prolonged conflict. He told me “quit or it will kill you” without even knowing about the suicide stuff. So I quit the job and to this day still suffer flashbacks and have crazy mood swings.
Burnout is real. Dangerous stress is real.4
When my manager, blatantly miscommunicated several things to me a couple of years ago, and scapegoated me by saying a comment I NEVER once heard said about me, in any context ever, "you communicate badly-- you need to communicate better", I took it seriously.
Fast forward, two years later. I'm doing wonderful at my job, yet I cannot get over that incident. I thought about it some more. Why did she say that to me? Why did she address it to me after her mistake? Why was she not aware of the real reason I missed the meeting?
Out of all useful bits of knowledge I gathered over the years, it's kinda comical that psychology came in the most handy at the workplace. There's very little to be gained from trying to psychoanalyze strangers, friends, and family... but it's almost saved my life at the job.
You see, if I attack an approach even in the most formal tones, or even worse, defend my approach, there's nothing coming from that. The situation now becomes my situation. When I become "aware" of the truth of the situation I become able to control the situation, not just myself. That way, you're not in a fisticuff fight with your boss, and you are not left defeated by the situation. Exercising control of the situation in such a manner that they are left defeated by the situation, not by you directly, is the only way you can win as an employee.
Any other way, you'll get under-appreciated, underpaid, overworked, overlooked, etc.
So, my boss at the time, was defeated by the situation of her being a bad leader; and instead of clarifying those feelings to me or ignoring them entirely... she validated her false self using her real emotions.
You can only reverse that, by developing fake emotions, to display a real self.
They can't blame you, and when they feel self-defeated, they cannot pretend it was you who caused it (bringing it back to a sane level of reality). They might rage if they're childish but it will not cause a single hair in your body to twitch because you did not "respond to their email" or "throw someone under the bus for their convenience", the situation did, they beat themselves by attacking you while the situation came down on them.
If I had to explain I would say that the situation is controlled by creating a mirror of the employee that follows their orders perfectly. That employee won't feel defensive: they already do everything right. The employee is crafted by becoming aware of the teams impacted in the situation and their true intent and creating "the situation", "the owner".
"The owner" reflects to people from the perspective of the situation and not from your own. This way you can't make a wrong move and are not emotionally involved with yourself.
It enables you to emotionally notice others. It also makes you safe, because you have the situation-mirror that's really doing the battling. The situation-mirror eventually creates a situation where the other person starts attacking reality (the situation) instead of attacking you.
Now, it's up to you whether you want to use that as a way to cooperate with your boss to beat this new reality, or as a way to gain coherence on your reality outside of your boss. I have noticed most people tend to realize this somewhere along the line and retreat and stop fighting, and quit their jobs.
I've been doing this in a corporate environment for a couple of weeks. I have already become greatly stressed and subjugated by the company for which my company works for. 20 of them sit here every day and devalue everything. Yet.... They're completely incompetent, spoilt, lazy and worst of all, they control how the software is being created. There isn't a single person on their side responsible for their requests to make sense and work with each other. So you can imagine how much blame they need to assign to us devs. They don't know what they want but want something anyway and then they'll see if that's what they want but everything under the tightest deadline possible. They're all clients and they all escalate to the board of directors any bad word directed at them. So you can imagine the narcissism that develops in that environment.
I have made them argue with reality and self-defeat numerous times. They have now started to back off and are being more polite and courteous. They have also not escalated anything anymore. Just as I was faking "happy" while I felt intimidated by them. I have not committed a single angry act and yet they are not feeling superior anymore. The reality of the situation is that we need to make a software and if you make them battle this instead of battling you, they can't beat you.6
I think I've reached some kind of job nirvana. My coworkers and I all complain about our work. We're overworked, underappreciated, underpaid, and and have to deal with all sorts of bullshit all the time. Pretty much everyone who has been on the team longer than a year is talking about quitting.
But I started at this company as a level 1 tech support phone technician before I transferred into the DevOps side of things, and that tech support job was SO much worse. Way more stressful, way less pay, mandatory overtime, horrible scheduling, being forced to remain calm while people hurl insults at you over the phone, and it was a dead-end job with a high turnover rate and almost no opportunities for advancement of any kind.
And every time I think back on that job, I realize that what I have now is actually pretty great. I'm paid well (still underpaid for the job I do, but catching up really fast due to my current boss giving me several big raises to keep me from quitting lol). I deal only with other tech people like developers and data scientists so no more listening to salesmen insult me on the phone. I'm not in any sort of customer service role so I can call people on their bullshit as long as I'm professional about it. I'm salaried so they can't make me work horrible shifts. 99% of my days are a normal 9-5 workday. I actually have a reliable schedule to plan around.
People treat me like the adult that I am.
I'd get a similar experience at other, better-paying companies, for sure, but what I have now is still pretty great.
I'm sure I'll be back in a few days to rant about more nonsensical bullshit and stress, but for now I'm feeling the zen.
One of my bad dev habits is that I tend to take up too much work because a lot of devs I had to work with seemed not competent enough. It's a bad habit because I get way overworked which influences code quality and deadlines.
I have to learn to trust more in others and give up some responsibility... it's hard though.
I think a big influence on my mindset has been that I never worked in a team bigger than 4 developers and I had way more experience in web dev than the others.
I sometimes may appear as an arrogant prick, but it's not intentional.9
How to find out your boss really thinks you suck and that he was planning on letting you go at the first opportunity and hadn't yet figured out how to do it:
1. Realize that you're overworked and overwhelmed.
2. Proactively ask for a reorganization of duties and provide two alternatives with several helpful suggestions about how to organize the work so things still get done, but it's not all on you.
3. Mention quietly that you recognize a third option exists of no longer working there but that you...
4. The boss interrupts you at #3 and basically asks, "How soon can you write your letter of resignation?"
Damn, bro. You could have paused for a second or two before hitting me with that.
I'm told when to finish. I flip a coin, if it's heads I honestly tell it's impossible and point out a realistic - unacceptable - deadline. If it's tails I take the blame. It doesn't matter really, we're running more than a year late now and the workforce is a single senior who was given a team of 3 relatively intelligent but already overworked high school students (including me) who try to help as much as we can.