Friday, April 17, 2009

What in the World Is Going On

I have commented often in the past that I have a very busy job, but I don't generally blog about it in detail for a whole lot of reasons.  The main reason is the fact that bitching about your job in your blog is not exactly a career-enhancing thing to do.  And, besides, about 99.9% of what I do is very confidential anyway. So the details remain vague of necessity.

This is not confidential and it's not about my job specifically, so I'm going to blog it: WHAT IN THE HELL IS GOING ON? I used to think that it was just my job that was super-busy and crazy.  It seemed to me that other people had more or less "normal" working lives, some jobs were busier than others, but for the most part they were in the range of "normal" (whatever that might be).  In my work life, I have always walked on the high side of normal. I have come to the conclusion that is because as an employee, I'm kind of an Evil Knievel.  I like to push the envelope at work.  I like to see how much work I can do in the allotted time. After I left most of my previous jobs, the employer hired more than one person to replace me. They didn't ask me to be a crazy woman, I just am made that way. I'm probably every employers dream.

Lately, however, my envelope has been pushed to the outer edges of its tolerance -- and beyond.  I'm starting to experience small rips and tears.  I fear the big split if I am not careful.

What is more, every person I have talked to lately on the phone or via email -- which typically adds up to dozens of people a day -- has told the same tale of woe:  things are crazybusy; they feel out of control and frightened; there is no end in sight to the deluge of new work.  I have the sense that companies are trying to do more with less staff, and the remaining employees are stretched to the max. That is to be expected what with the economy in the crapper, I suppose.  

The part that is disconcerting is that the busy-ness is not due to "booming business".  That kind of "busy-ness" is thrilling and exciting.  The "busy-ness" these days is a lot about people being scared to speak up and ask for help.  I am going to start counting the number of times people say (or I say), "no matter how bad it gets, it's a job."   I hope the day comes when workers will no longer feel that they have to put up with such unhealthy conditions just to have a job.  That is sad.  I hope the day comes (soon) when employers will once again feel they can hire enough staff to allow the employees to have time to do their job to the best of their abilities, instead of just hanging on to a speeding train, doing the best they can and praying that they won't make some kind of unforgivable mistake. 

As for me, I feel reasonably safe in my job, but I am still freaked out by how busy I am. I am terrified that I am going to screw something up and lose it all.....

I've been in the workforce more than 30 years [oh. my. god!!!] and I have never seen things this bad.  I usually try to comfort people in my workplace (actually, I tend to play "Mom" because I'm old), but these days I have no comfort to offer, other than the totally unhelpful "consolation" that we're all in the trenches together.  

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