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Forums / Staying well / My work is a prison that you can never leave.

Topic: My work is a prison that you can never leave.

5 posts, 0 answered
  1. dizzy316
    dizzy316 avatar
    10 posts
    17 July 2021

    I am a 32yo F in a leadership position in a large government organisation and my job is killing me. I can barely get myself to go and have used all my leave just trying to get by. I am getting more and more depressed, my mental, emotional and physical health is worsening. This has been going on for two years at which point I decided to seek part-time employment as I know this is the solution for me. For two years, every week, I checked the bulletins and finally, the perfect job came up (part time positions are essentially non existent in our organisation!)

    Three days per week, a promotion and change of location. Amazing! My skillset aligns, this is it, my light at the end of the tunnel, my chance to get out of there! I had so much hope, it felt right, the weight I had been carrying around lifted just with the thought and, to my delight, I was offered the promotion!!!!! (Note: I have been knocked-back on three occasions for an ongoing promotion at my current location in the role I am in, however they continue to keep me in this acting role as it suits them). But finally, alas, someone has recognised my abilities and to add the icing on the cake it was part time! I could not believe it! I'm going to buy some new work clothes to celebrate! I was so happy. My partner was so happy for me that he cried!

    Then I got the call. My General Manager decided not to release me for this new position. They are "too understaffed", they need to keep me acting in my current role (but I'm not good enough for it on an ongoing basis?) They have released several others for promotions but due to my skillset they are going to keep me?

    They then took the liberty of informing my would-be new workplace that they will not let me go. And so, all my hopes were shattered and I am back to working full-time, 9 days in a row. I begged, pleaded for them to let me go. For two years I have been waiting for this opportunity to come along! This opportunity won't come along again. I have done everything for you! I have never asked for anything in my 8 years here. My mental health is worsening! Please! But still "the answer is no, you are not going, end of story".

    I am now as low as I have ever been and to make matters worse, as if to punish me further, they have bumped me out of the role I have been acting in and back to the rank below, as if to teach me a lesson for trying to leave.

    I am so lost. I am so sad. I am so hopeless. What do I do? How do I claw myself out of this hole??? :-( :-( :-(

  2. smallwolf
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    smallwolf avatar
    5769 posts
    17 July 2021 in reply to dizzy316

    hi and welcome to the forums.

    everything in your post screamed unfair - to finally get the opportunity that is good for your mental heath and for that to be rejected by your boss and on top of that to then be demoted.

    It sounds as though the GM is very dependent on your and your skills. That if you did leave everything might fall into a heap? Since it is government related, I am a little surprised there is no HR group you could put your case to.

    In my own situation, it was work that got the better of me. Many years ago, I was working from home. The line between work and home blurred. If things did not work it was for me to fix it. Which also meant I was on the receiving end of irate customers. And I had no self-care. With the help of a psychologist I have worked through some of the issues and found ways of dealing with the other in my job that were not good for me. For example, boundaries, being assertive, rocking the boat etc. And then values and beliefs compared to my work.

    These ideas might not work for you and your situation. Nor am I suggesting you get professional help like I did.

    What to do ... ?

    • What is the dread you feel with going to work?
    • What is it about your job that is the having this stressful reaction in you?
    • Stay or leave your job?

    Reflecting on these questions you may find the answer to your other question about getting out of the hole. These are things I had to deal with and I am still doing it to be honest. There are no wrong answers as you (like me) have to work out what it best.

    Sorry, so being so non-committal.

  3. dizzy316
    dizzy316 avatar
    10 posts
    17 July 2021 in reply to smallwolf

    Thank-you so much for your reply. It means a lot to know there are people out there who take the time to listen and respond :-)

    The job itself is fine and very easy but I just cannot do it full time. It simply overwhelms me. I need more balance in my life or my mental health really suffers. Our long shifts and long stretches of days in a row due to the 24 hour roster (I work in a prison, literally) can be draining. Not to mention the fact it is a prison means we are surrounded by negativity, both from staff and inmates. I truly believe we absorb the energy around us. By Day 9 I am just dragging myself there....

    I earn a lot of money but blow the lot. In my past life I worked part time, earning much less but was more frugal and had much more money saved than I do now! This spending is only because of the mental health issues that come from working so much and my need to get instant satisfaction from buying crap (not to mention the same habit of eating crap... 10kgs later!) I know I do this, I know what the problems are, I found my solution and it was taken away from me :-(

    You are right, there will come a time that I need to decide if this is the right job for me and take the leap and just quit (but gosh this is a scary thought and I wish it were that easy). At this stage, I would rather be stacking shelves for minimum wage (and I'm not even kidding).

    The whole situation is completely unfair and I can only trust the universe has a reason for this as right now I just cannot stop crying about it :-(

  4. quirkywords
    Community Champion
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    quirkywords avatar
    12416 posts
    17 July 2021 in reply to dizzy316

    Dizzy

    I agree with smallwolf that is so unfair,

    As I was reading I wanted shout no they can’t do that to you.

    9 days without a break sounds exhausting in any job let alone in your work.

    Is there any colleague at work who you connect with who understand your feelings.?

  5. dizzy316
    dizzy316 avatar
    10 posts
    17 July 2021 in reply to quirkywords

    Thank-you for your reply.

    I know :-( So unfair that I could have screamed my lungs out (which I did the whole way home!)

    My colleagues have been very supportive and are also devastated and angry at what has happened to me. My partner also works there and so he understands and has found it very hard not to tell them exactly what he thinks of them.

    I have definitely turned a corner in my attitude towards them due to this. From now on I will be speaking up more, saying "no" more and being respectful but very honest and matter-of-fact in my intention to move on based on the way I have been treated.

    Something so insignificant to them was my whole world, my lifeline :-(

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