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Tired of being tired.....

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So a friend of my wife posted this on FB and she forwarded it to me. Sounds like so many people I used to know and was wondering how many here are having the same feelings and what if anything have you done to get yourself out of the doldrums? I was fortunate in life and pretty much have enjoyed my life/jobs and when I din't I just quit and moved on. I realize in today's society that's not as easy to do as it was maybe 20 years ago.

 

I've been struggling the past couple of months with work and how it affects family life and life in general. Lots of people would think I have a cushy job but it is high stress and long hours. I am not sure I am really happy where it has led me over the past 5 years. 

 

It used to be that I was able to do things, go hunting, fishing, prospect for gold or look for fossils with the kids. Now, it seems all I do is work on the computer and am on 24/7 call for issues dealing with 23 stores and guns. I haven't had an uninterrupted by work vacation in 6 years. I take a week off and go somewhere and I am not really off work, I just cut the hours back to 1 or 2 each day and then the always possible "oh shat" phone calls.

 

I've been thinking about looking elsewhere for jobs and I don't know if there would really be anything better. It would be nice to be able to disconnect from work for the rest of the hours in the week when I am not actually working. And Illinois still pretty much sucks for jobs being available. I am 50 years old, wanting to change, but really unsure if I can. I have to be able to keep a roof over my children's heads and feed them, it is rough being responsible for 4 other lives.

 

But it got me thinking, how many other people out there feel the same way? If it is a lot, no wonder we have so many problems in our society. How do we fix it? Is it even possible to fix? Is the hopelessness of people the reason we have shatty politicians getting elected? Are a lot of people just out there voting for a safety net to catch them so they don't have to continue to do something which makes them unhappy but is necessary to pay the bills?

 

I'm tired, tired of being tired. Tired of constantly working and never being able to truly not be worried about working. It grinds a person down, it has ground me down to a nub it feels like.  

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When I was still in the "work force", it got to the point where missing one day of work for a legal holiday on Monday for example, it seemed like that Tuesday after the holiday was hell trying to get caught up.  I got to the point where I dreaded the holidays that fell on Monday, much less taking a couple days or even a week off for vacation.    Sure someone else did my job while I was out for vacation, (but just the bare minimum), and then having to deal with all the related issues from a half azz job being done when I returned.  I dreaded the vacations as well.

Today's "management" believes that one person can do the work 2 or 3 year round since that one person has done it when the other 2 or 3 were out in the past for whatever reason.  Burnout is a very common thing, but everyone needs the job/paycheck for what ever reason they have.  Not many people truly "like" their job and enjoy going to work, it's just gotten to "try and survive another day".  

I don't miss the work force days at all, and enjoy doing things on my own schedule.  LOL

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I was in that exact same place at my previous job. Took me years to get out of there. Do I love my new job, no, but I work less hours and don't take it home. I have occasion to come in for special tasks on weekends, but that is maybe a few hours every couple months. I was working 60-80 hours at my last job. Can you guess my pay setup.?....yep salary.  Now I am hourly if I do OT work. 

It is hard to change because you have to find time and energy to look for jobs, apply, and interview. It can seem like a deep dark hole.

My family had stopped including me in activities. They just assumed that I would be working. That was one of the big reasons I started looking for a new place. The other was my health. I could see how fast it was going down under that stress. 

 

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As a child my parents saw a "skill" I had. I can look at a machine and see how it works, and better can "see" what is wrong when the machine is not working correctly.  My parents feed that skill with books, models, erector sets and the like.

I have always did the work of service and repair, to this day I love my job. So I do not have the "tired of being tired" thing. My issue has been management, bad or indifferent.  I am early for work, do not lay out and do good work, stay late at times as well. This is where I get into trouble, when I need a day off or need to take off early I do, it rubs the boss the wrong way and I get into trouble. That said I just had an yearly eval, got a 2 dollar plus raise and an extra week of vacation.

Enjoy your job and never work a day, or find a skill that you enjoy.

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Sounds like my wife. Elementarily school teacher. What a crapass job that's become.

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The simple, but sometimes not so easy, solution is to push back. Don't answer those after hours calls. Make them leave a message and then decide how important it really is.  Most of it can wait until tomorrow.  

Train and empower others to handle the simple stuff. Don't fuss if they mess it up, reward them for doing something instead of nothing.  

Go to disconnected places for vacation.  No cell service, no wifi.  I read somewhere that it takes the average American about 4 uninterrupted days to really relax and start enjoying a vacation.  And you start dreading going back to work 2 days before vacation is over.  So on a typical 1 week vacation, you get 1-2 days if you're lucky.  

I've got enough work to do that I could work 100 hrs/wk for several months and likely still not get ahead of the curve. But I'm not gonna work that much so some stuff simply isn't getting done.  If management doesn't think it's important enough to allocate or incentivize the available resources, then they must accept the delay. It is what it is.  

It causes me some stress because I don't like being buried with work, but work isn't priority 1. I'm working through it to the best of my ability and that's all I can do. 

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Well, I had a job for 35 years I dearly loved back when I was working fixing cars and light trucks. I looked forward to going to work every day. My if a shop I was working in closed down I would load my tool box and make no more than two stops at other shops around Nashville area. I finally had a friend tell me to check out a location in Brentwood and I did.

I went in an asked if I could fill out an app and the man handed me one ad he said is your name Doug and I said yes sir. He looked out at my pickup with all the boxes in the back and he said you hvae a job. Just finish your app and for the record. I turned in the app and he took me out in the shop and said you will be working in bay 3. I said ok and I asked him about how the pay works and he began laughing and he said yea, I am getting ahead of my self and he too me in his office and explained his entire format. I said can I get some help with unloading my tools and he said yes, the other techs in the shop will help you. When we shook hands he looked at me and said your reputation preceeds and I have wished for long time I could have a mechanic of your caliber working for us.

I didn't have 1 guy that was happy I was hired without his approval and that was the Service manager and he was always allowed to interview all new mechanics and he didn't me. The shop owner hired me personally. The service Mgr. got over his bad mood pretty quick and for the last 10.5 years I worked I loved my job. zero stress at all. I even set my own hours and would be in at 8AM and leave when I had my work done. Sometimes 5 but most times between 6 and 7 PM. Once the Service Mgr found out I was pretty able to fix anything wrong so he would have my work order pegs fill before I ever got to work. I still miss not being able to work on cars back when cars were still cars. Now my son get to work on what they call cars now days...........lol 

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I'd be lying if I didn't say I am the luckiest guy I know. My job isn't quite as fun as it once was, but it still isn't bad. Now the pay more than makes up for it. When I retire from it, I hope I can find something else I enjoy doing.

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Most of us spend more time at work than we do with our own families. To spend that much time somewhere and be miserable just isn't healthy. I'm convinced stress will lead to an early death. I think research is starting to link stress and that constant "fight or flight" response we feel to alzheimer's and such. 

The problem is that there is usually a correlation between the amount of money you make and the amount of stress. I don't make a ton of money in my current role, and it's essentially a dead end, but I have zero stress and I work barely 40 hours a week. I'd love to be making $20K more but in my industry I'd most likely be working 55 hours a week and stressed all the time. 

The other thing that really sucks is that due to skyrocketing health care prices you really have to look at the companies benefits before making a switch. My current company has benefits that are so horrible I can't even afford them. We have to use my wife's which still costs us $300/month. The insurance at my job would cost me around $10K year. It's sad that that's even part of the consideration. 

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I still like the concept and many aspects of my chosen profession. It's the never ending government intervention that has drained a lot of the enjoyment out of it. 

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I enjoy my job.  The pace may be a smoker, but the people I work with are great, and the intellectual challenges I face every day keep me on my toes, which is a satisfaction point for me.  It would be nice if they back filled positions, instead of just reallocating the workload among everybody else...but companies are into that now.  That said, I read the first post of this thread nodding my head all along.  This is the pace business goes in America these days.  One of the reasons I've been posting a lot less than in times past is the pace of my job.  Most of my personal time (especially on weekdays) is spent recuperating and trying to shut my brain off for a rest.  It's probably not healthy, and I've yet to seriously contemplate a limit, so burnout would be the next likely step. 

You can talk about disconnecting all you want, but that will eventually make you less relevant or a drag within the business structure, and at that point, you're seen as a liability instead of a value add, so your job is at risk.  The Europeans seem to have gotten a good handle on making corporations accept that a work/life balance for employees isn't an option...but people tend to view anything European as socialism incarnate.  Maybe ask how they feel about that in August, though. 

Edited by btq96r
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I have liked all my career choices and jobs. Never felt I was being worked to death or could not enjoy life with the job.

I guess I am or was one of the lucky folks. 

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37 minutes ago, btq96r said:

The Europeans seem to have gotten a good handle on making corporations accept that a work/life balance for employees isn't an option...but people tend to view anything European as socialism incarnate

We're a proud bunch so it's hard for us to admit that that are a few things that they get right overseas. It's not like they're less productive either. In fact, most people recognize that a human can only work so much before they actually become less productive. 

Edited by Erik88
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I'm lucky now, but there was a time when I was burned out and miserable. I had to learn that I MUST set limits and look after my own health and wellbeing. 

Turning off the electronics even for a short time every day is critical to my mental health. 

I'm involved in non electronic hobbies etc. Constant contact, emails, texts, etc. will wear you down. 

Peejman offered good advise. I hope it all works out for the best.

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Ditto Sidecarist. My job can and will blow up the phone 7-days a week. You have to set the limits because your employer won't. They will constantly push for more.

 

-  K

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On 12/13/2018 at 5:54 PM, Erik88 said:

We're a proud bunch so it's hard for us to admit that that are a few things that they get right overseas. It's not like they're less productive either. In fact, most people recognize that a human can only work so much before they actually become less productive. 

I learned this year the importance of using vacation time as intended, in a weekly block.

In the past, add a day here or there to a weekend or holiday.

It's a neat experience to unplug.

Regarding stress, income and time investment, depends on what is important...just don't bitch when folks make more money or climb the ladder faster.

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Well I finally retired after working 40+ years. I have had crappy jobs and good jobs, but I will tell all of you that money isn't everything so don't be miserable get to searching for a better job. I worked for a really good company that was sold to Halliburton, then it became crappy, I told my boss I was doing 3 people's jobs and getting paid for 1. Finally I quit and about 1 month later he called and told me he never realized the amount of work I had done or the stress I was in. It was because he wasn't having to deal with it. Seems like we are never appreciated until we are gone. When I got a vacation I had to work like a Hebrew slave the previous week and the weeks after to catch up. It wasn't worth the 2 or 3 days of rest. Now I work for my slave driving wife and get no pay. So ya'll have fun at work while you can!! LOL

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I agree with Peejman- but too much push back jeopardizes your job.  Specifically like dirtshooter describes where management doesn't realize the workload you are carrying.  Businesses will push that position as far as possible until the work is crappy or doesn't get done- sometimes after a couple rounds of employees.  Rarely they will concede some responsibilities to others or hire another person before you would be gone.  Then they will adjust.  Just like your belt this time of year- you push and push to maintain the same notch, but eventually you'll go to the next one out.  Then adjust your diet and get back to the old notch. 

How to fix it- that's a tough one- especially without gubment like europe has done, or unions which have nearly as much negative impact as positive.  The people already have the power to make it change, if they are willing to sacrifice while bouncing around to multiple jobs.  The market system will change when no one goes to work for that company of slave drivers, or buys those new fan-dangled items for 1000% more than they are worth.  

The big question for the original post is what level of cash flow do you require to achieve the family life you want.   That may open a world of other options. 

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My son Ronnie came to talk to me about his job. He is working for a small family business doing general auto repair. They have him salaried at $800.00 a week and work him from 8 to 6 five days a week and sometimes till 7PM if a job needs to get done. The one of the main issues with working for these people is they won't heat to work area. When it gets cold it just gets cold cause they won't turn the heat on. When it's cold he has to wear two or three layers of clothng to work and I know how hard that can be to do. He has work there going on 3 years and every winter he gets sick because of his working conditions and if he took a day off while sick they would dock his pay. On the days when he worked over they did not increase his pay that week. I told him that was not right. I went up to his work place one day and had lunch with him and he introduced me to his employer. His employer is a Foreigner from another country and I didn't ask. He was nice enough to talk with and he said he was impressed with my sons work. He could do alot of the high tech stuff none of his other techs could do.

That was my opening to get involved in asking why the shop did not have an All-Data system to do the system scans on the new cars and he said because we never had anyone that could use one. I said well you do now so he looked at purchasing one. Ronnie was having to do what tests he could from information he could get off his smart phone and that was running his  bill up and I told him employer about that and his employer is now giving him the amount of his phone bill as bonus in a salary once a month. I had to finally bring up the heat factor. I said you spend most of your day in the heated part of the office but the bread winners that keep the money coming in and the doors open. I think I kind of caught the guy off guard with all my questions but the shop now has heat and a All-Data unit to scan cars up through 2018. I only did that because I had another job waiting in th wings for Ronnie in case the guy got offended and fired him but as it is all things worked out.

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3 hours ago, drewski said:

The big question for the original post is what level of cash flow do you require to achieve the family life you want.   That may open a world of other options. 

We tell our kids that we don't care what they decide to do. If they are a PHD or a McDonald's fry maker as long as they are happy and can live on what they make. 

My parents thought college was my ticket to a better life. It has helped with what I ended up doing. I know guys that barely graduated high school that are probably happier than me though. They are happy with how they live and the cashflow it generates. To each their own. 

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5 hours ago, drewski said:

 

I agree with Peejman- but too much push back jeopardizes your job.  

 

Pushing back is a fine line. You need to have a good relationship with your management. You need to be open and honest that there's more work that can be done, and have them prioritize what gets done first. If management doesn't respect your opinion, your probably better off moving on to something else anyway. 

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I loved what I did but the last few years was there were miserable. I'm happy being retired.

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