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Work leaves me filled with rage and fear, and often suicidal

Discussion in 'Employment, Education & Disability' started by whiteraven, May 6, 2018.

  1. whiteraven

    whiteraven Well-Known Member

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    I have been in my current position for almost 15 years. I am in lower management, and I generally feel like I'm very good at what I do. But the company I work for (and, specifically, upper management) treats employees with complete disregard. Our thoughts or concerns about the work and the processes don't matter (and often are just never considered), issues brought to the manager are brushed off as "overreacting," and any worries we have about personal safety (toxic chemicals used in unventilated areas, fire hazards) are met with the attitude that we are causing trouble.

    I have come to understand that some of my reactions to all this are normal, given the circumstances. I'm not the only one who experiences them, and others feel very much the same way I do. But, as lower management, I tend to be the one to speak up about things. Few others are willing to do so for fear of reprisal. Because I speak up, I am made out to be the bad guy.

    I've stopped saying anything in the last few months, because it is grossly unpopular with my manager, and because I simply can't deal with the fallout anymore. But last week I had just had it. I ended up going to my manager's manager and unloading a lot of stuff. She was generally supportive and is planning to meet with my manager tomorrow.

    I am TOTALLY freaked out. My manager and I are at odds a lot of the time about how to address difficult issues in the department (she hates confrontation and I think you need to meet issues head-on) and in her eyes I make too much out of everything. She is *never* wrong, and I am just a complainer.

    I had a really bad night after work on the day I went to my manager's manager. I had a bad stomachache, came home and sat on the floor and sobbed, and cut twice. On a call with my phone carrier (to attempt to resolve an issue that I've had since I started with them), I was so angry and so not nice.

    I have been under a LOT of stress. It seems that when one thing goes wrong in my life, there is this domino effect. And I'm having a very hard time managing my reactions to all of it. I'm afraid this is going to cost me my job at some point, not only because I don't react well at work, but because my anxiety level is so high I just can't function effectively. It's also started to take a huge toll on my physically.

    Feeling scared and worried and bad about me.
     
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  3. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington _______ in progress. Premium Member

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    Sending you lots of hugs!

    Your direct boss sounds like a nightmare! A manager who hates confrontation?!? Oh my is she in the wrong position!

    I think it’s freakin’ awesome that you took the initiative to go to your boss’ boss! Things like chemicals? That’s definitely something that needs to be taken care of ASAP! No only for the sake of employees, but for the company as well, as I’m sure that there could be fines for improper handling of chemicals should the authorities find out?

    I just want to say that I know you’re under so much stress right now, but you are still able to be a good manager!

    Can you take some time and engage in self care?
     
    Sietz, Still Standing and whiteraven like this.
  4. whiteraven

    whiteraven Well-Known Member

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    Thank you Eve! It doesn't feel good to me, because I've done it before and the culture in this company is pervasive. You just don't complain. I have been fighting the whole chemical issue for over a year. We are in the basement with no windows and there have been times I had to leave early because I couldn't breathe.

    I have considered going to OSHA, but I WILL be let go if they investigate. No, you're supposed to be protected, but I have seen them fire people using false allegations when they simply tried to make things better.

    I'm trying the self-care thing, but it seems that I just manage to get back to "normal" (hahahaha) when I have to go back in and be subjected to all of the toxic behavior there. When I am there, I sometimes make everyone contact me by messenger for help (rather than shouting out all their questions to me at once), wear headphones with soothing music, and I've started to take more frequent breaks (I am "walking away" from a lot of the nonsense way more often).

    But still I cut. And still I think I may honor my date to leave this world because the pain is just so intense.
     
    Still Standing likes this.
  5. Still Standing

    Still Standing Well-Known Member

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    It sounds like you are standing up for the right thing from what you have shared, whiteraven. You are doing what is supposed to be done. If there is a health and safety violation about the ventilation in the basement, you are absolutely right in taking complaints to higher management. You have done what is expected according to OSHA concerns. This is really commendable. I know this is hard, threatening, and overwhelming for you. But, you have done nothing wrong. You are doing your job. I feel so badly that you are in turmoil over this whole situation. I have to believe that because you have been with this company for so long that they see you as a very good worker. It is not unusual for someone to bypass a manager and go to someone up higher in a company with concerns. Sometimes this is what needs to be done to correct the problem in management at a lower level. And if this is a valid OSHA violation, then it would be a foolish company to ignore the complaints. It's hard to do when so emotionally charged and upset, but try to distract and be kind to yourself, today. All the angst you are feeling is not going to influence or defend your work situation. This is something that just has to play out, now. And nothing about this is making you a bad person. Regardless of the end result of your concerns, at work, you did what a good employee should be expected to do and that is to be concerned for the welfare for the people you are responsible for. You are in my prayers, today. Keep us posted on how you are doing and what happens. I hope for good results for you.
     
    Sietz and zombycat like this.
  6. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington _______ in progress. Premium Member

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    I think it would be better to leave an emotionally and physically toxic work environment.

    Can you start looking for a new job now?

    The truth is that this toxic environment starts from the top. You won’t ever be able to change them. You can only change you.

    This job is so not worth your life.

    I have no doubt that this kind of chemical exposure can make PTSD symptoms flare. There are so many reasons to get away from that job!
     
    Sietz likes this.
  7. whiteraven

    whiteraven Well-Known Member

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    Thank you, @Still Standing.

    I think, though, I was not very clear in my post. I actually went to upper management (and the building manager) about the chemicals - over a year ago. And still, it is a problem. Because I was the only one who openly complained (at least until recently) they don't feel obligated to do anything. Apparently, just one is expendable. It feels very disregarding.

    The issues now are much more complex, having to deal with my manager's inability to address staff problems, her unwillingness to include me in discussions with staff, and a whole host of other things. Going over her head to her manager will seem very disrespectful to her.
     
    Still Standing likes this.
  8. Still Standing

    Still Standing Well-Known Member

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    I hear you. Tough situation, but you still did the right thing. And regardless of the outcome, you did nothing wrong. If the manager wants to think you disrespected her, that is her problem, because you still did the right thing by going above her. If the company wants to ignore the concerns, and it is too difficult for you to work under the conditions, perhaps it would be time to change work environments, as Eve has suggested. Let's hope this time the company will address things appropriately and this situation will be addressed in an acceptable manner.
     
    whiteraven likes this.
  9. whiteraven

    whiteraven Well-Known Member

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    I've been wanting to do this for a long time, but I'm pretty sure I am not going to be able to work under anybody without encountering the same issues and I don't think I can make it on my own. I've considered reducing my hours a bit (I can only reduce them by 4 hours a week to remain full-time) and picking up part-time freelance work in something I like to make up the difference. I'm not sure it will be enough, though.
     
    Still Standing likes this.
  10. EveHarrington

    EveHarrington _______ in progress. Premium Member

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    I think you have a bit of a self defeatist attitude if you think that every job will have these same problems (on whole, they won’t), and then saying this job is giving you reasons to stick to your pre determined end of life date.

    Is this post just a round about way that you can argue to kill yourself? Because that’s what I’m seeing.
     
  11. whiteraven

    whiteraven Well-Known Member

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    Nope. Sorry I wasn't clear enough to explain that this is just a series of things that I am struggling with in HUGE ways.

    Every job I've had has been exactly like this.

    I don't disagree. It just doesn't feel doable to me right now.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2018
  12. CT_Girl

    CT_Girl Member

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    For what it's worth I work in manufacturing. In school i was taught that if i see something unsafe the procedure is: report it to your boss. If they don't do anything about it, report it to your bosses boss. If they don't do anything about it, go up the chain of management and report it to your bosses bosses boss etc. If they still don't do anything about it, report to agencies such as OSHA, etc. If nothing is done, as a last resort, report it to the press (TV stations, newspapers etc). So I think if you have to report your concern to your bosses boss, or to OSHA, I think that is completely appropriate.
     
    whiteraven likes this.
  13. whiteraven

    whiteraven Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I am to that point - the OSHA part. But I'm not going to. Because even though there is supposed to be no retaliation for reporting legitimate safety or health issues to them, there absolutely will be because that's how this company is. And I can't afford to lose my job right now.
     
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