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Help! Burnout! Really stressed

Discussion in 'Diabetes Discussions' started by Emmotha, Mar 21, 2015.

  1. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    Present your boss with a list of priorities and include the meetings in them. Make sure you have prioritized based on urgency of tasks to be completed and ask him/her if they agree with your list of priorities. If they don't, they can change it, if they do, then you've beaten the meetings.

    One thing I remember being told early in my working life was that there is nothing wrong with excusing yourself politely from a meeting of it was a waste of your time...
     
  2. Emmotha

    Emmotha Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I've done all this before and asked my boss to set the priorities with the boss of the department who keep demanding I go to meetings, but it's not worked. Gosh, either I work a 50 hour week or I'm not collaborative.

    I give up, in the words of Roy from the IT crowd "People: what a bunch of bastards!"
     
  3. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    I missed this thread when nit was created, but looking at the other responses, I doubt I could have added anything anyway.

    Moving to the current situation. You must write to your boss, outlining your concerns, and ideally, making suggestions for some resolution. Having been forced to have time away, the silver lining is all parties probably realise that your not having cover isn't a decent long term option. Or did someone else play the hero/martyr in your absence?

    But. Bottom line is that unless you are a complete subject matter expert, in a highly confidential, specialist technical area, there should be cover, for succession planning at least. What would happen if you tripped over tomorrow and broke an ankle? That could mean6-8 weeks away from work, which is probably an intolerable gap in the work you do.

    I would suggest you ask your manager to share his thoughts for how planned, or unplanned a senses will be covered, so that you can both be assured the cover is appropriate, and any required up-skill img is delivered to the person who would cover for you. Obviously, you can reiterate the overload situation you find yourself in, and ask for support; even if one or two days a week.

    When I used to have these challenges from time to time, from direct reports, I used to ask them to perform an analysis of what they actually did, and how they spent their time, over a couple of weeks. Moto be fair, that was enlightening to both parties. How much time can't you account for? With that evidence, it's hard to push back. Bizarrely though, in my lasts employed role, I idid have someone who was a true single point of failure; which he liked. Meh liked the control. I hated that I could bein the lurch at any moment; given the guy had a bad back, that sometimes got suddenly very bad, needing time off, when the going got tough! In the ends, I had to threaten him with a disciplinary process if he could not show me documented evidence, and demonstrate, his own succession plan. The man was mildly bonkers, in that he could ever have holiday at the start of any month, then used to complain about it!!

    So, please try to adopt a positive approach. Putting it in writing is important for you, should nothing transpire and you need more unplanned time off. Many companies have tight absence policies, and you've already had one caused, at least in part, by your work situation. You have to show you are trying to be part of the solution, not the problem. So, even if you discuss the matter, drop him an email, copyyourself in( then you know it has gone and been delivered. I hate to say it, but this is just protective planning for yourself. I wouldn't necessarily involve ahR right now, until you know what his response is.

    Good luck with it.
     
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  4. Emmotha

    Emmotha Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    Hi all.

    Spoke to my boss today (tried to), and he agreed that I was probably being uncollaborative and that the feedback is not good.

    I really don't know what to do. Do I work 55 hours and week every week and damage my health, or do I deprioritise and then risk negative feedback (disciplinary?) for being non collaborative?
    I've asked him to help on priority setting as perhaps I deprioritised incorrectly, but he wasn't much help.

    What can I do? I went above and beyond working flat out to try my hardest to get it all done, unfortunately got sick, and now I'm being told off for trying to push back on less important tasks (for the good off the company too so at least I am up to doing the work well).

    I'm so frustrated and confused. On the plus side I was angry but didn't eat any chocolate to make myself feel better which is a step forward for me
     
  5. daisybird64

    daisybird64 Family member · Member

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    Could you not look for another job and cut back on hours? I truly feel sorry your boss is being uncooperative . Does your contract suggest you to do so many hours?! These days they are crafty and often add something to suggest you do. What about a letter from you doctor or diabetic nurse. I'm sure they might be able to give you advice about your rights? What about seeking professional help from a solicitor or union to working out where you stand. Other than this I would be inclined to start looking for a new job? Good luck were all behind you xx
     
  6. daisybird64

    daisybird64 Family member · Member

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    In my experience when my husband worked for the NHS would you believe, his managers were very horrible to him. He was made to take holiday leave for hospital appointments etc. He ended up very depressed and went off sick and they eventually dismissed him. However he went to a no win no fee solicitors and they helped him to get compensation for the way he was treated. Unfortunate it had to get to this stage but that's the way it had to be. Good luck and don't let them bully you. You have rights and as I said earlier get some advice. Wouldn't bother with citizens advice. Get legal advice that you can throw at your boss. Be firm and keep fighting them xxx
     
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  7. daisybird64

    daisybird64 Family member · Member

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    Oh and one final word of advice. Keep a diary to reflect back on. Hubby did and it was one of the most important things he had done. Everything needs to be put in writing ie email or letter. Goid luck hun xxx
     
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  8. Sukayalid

    Sukayalid · Active Member

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    I feel for you, I went through an emotional roller coaster with diabetes diagnosis and neuropathy in feet. Got stressed with work as well. Got depression and the moment boss found out, they put me on performance improvement plan which I can never achieve because goalposts keep on moving. They are slowly working me out of the business. You become a liability they do not want to deal with. But I keep fighting. Companies need to realise, We are people not liabilities
     
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  9. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    If this happens in the UK at least, anyone suffering it should make sure that they keep a clear record of all discussions, changes, etc., and are able to demonstrate that they are being deliberately sidelined. No company wants to find themselves undergoing the publicity of a Constructive dismissal case against someone who has the discrimination act on their side.
     
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  10. Emmotha

    Emmotha Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    I didn't realise ppl would discriminate about diabetes? Depression I've read about discrimination there.
     
  11. jack412

    jack412 Type 2 · Expert

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    flick it to your union and have a joint HR meeting, if your immediate boss isn't listening. other than not able to do the hours..you only work the hours you are paid for, or you would finish up getting more per hour on a supermarket checkout
     
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  12. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    You write to him, as I suggested earlier, and copy HR in.

    As I say, be positive, making suggestions, and asking for help to prioritise.

    Get it onto HRs radar.

    If you are ina Union, talk to them. If you aren't, and have one available, join it.

    You need things documented. Memories become very hazy when the going gets tough, and selective memory become crystal clear. Don't leave yourself open to manipulation.
     
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  13. daisybird64

    daisybird64 Family member · Member

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    My point entirely ☺
     
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  14. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    Jack, the majority of UK employment contracts do not limit hours in that way. They list core hours where you must be in the office but have clauses relating to hours that are necessary to get the job done. In these cases there is no "work the hours you are paid for" option.
     
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  15. smidge

    smidge LADA · Well-Known Member

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    Yes, I'm on what is called euphemistically 'indeterminate hours' contract. It is nominally 37 hours a week - which is what you get paid on and what you accrue holiday entitlement on. It works very well when everyone involved is a 'reasonable person' as it allows for periods of high demand when you put in loads of hours and periods of low demand when you flexibly take the hours back. There are no overtime payments. However, when someone isn't a 'reasonable person' it becomes a nightmare. You tend to find these contracts in places where the workload is very cyclical or peaky.

    Smidge
     
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  16. jack412

    jack412 Type 2 · Expert

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    @smidge @tim2000s who acts on the employee's behalf, or is it all individual
     
  17. Emmotha

    Emmotha Type 1 · Well-Known Member

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    we have that set up too. I'm banking hours like crazy, which is great, as I'll get loads of extra holiday or early finishes.... If I can ever take them :-S
     
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  18. tim2000s

    tim2000s Type 1 · Expert
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    It depends on which industry and which company you work for. Some recognise unions, some don't. The industry I work in does not recognise unions in the UK.
     
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  19. smidge

    smidge LADA · Well-Known Member

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    Hi Emmotha. I had a very bad time with pointless, directionless meetings at one stage. Where I work, people seem to judge eachother on how full their diaries are with meetings and there is this 'macho' culture of not taking lunch, eating in meetings while loudly declaring there isn't a single slot in your diary available for lunch all day and just running from one meeting to another with no preparation and no intention of actually doing any of the actions. In fact, people spend the whole time in meetings not engaged with the meeting, but doing their email on laptops and smartphones because they don't have sufficient time at their desks to do their work. However, meetings are a waste of time unless they are structured:

    1. Clear objective
    2. Time-bound agenda
    3. Attendees well-prepared with previous action updates ready - in fact, collect these in advance and only discuss actions which have not been reported on
    4. Clear decisions
    5. Clearly-allocated actions with timescales for which an individual will be held accountable
    6. Notes with outcome and actions with timescales from the meeting produced very quickly afterwards

    Run your meetings like it to show it is effective. Explain to your manager that it's not that you don't want to be co-operative , you just want/need meetings to be more efficient with well-defined objectives and outcomes. Give him examples of meetings where this hasn't been the case. Suggest this structure as a standard for meetings to your manager - it is very hard to disagree with as it is best practice and makes effective use of limited, expensive time. It will also show you are making positive suggestions to fit more work into limited time if you ever need to prove that. You'll be surprised how many meetings disappear from your diary if they require preparation, structure, action and accountability on the part of the organiser and attendees. We now have a rule 'no agenda, no meeting'.

    Smidge
     
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  20. AndBreathe

    AndBreathe I reversed my Type 2 · Expert
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    I wrote my last post at an ungodly hour here, hence its brevity, but it all stands.

    If you haven't already, from this minute, you must, must, must start keeping records, and writing things down. Anything you need an action on, whether it be support, help prioritisation, work delivered by x date for delivery on y, has to be documented, and the other party knowing about it, so probably a brief email exchange. You have to be able to demonstrate you are trying hard.

    I do suggest you do a time/management study for yourself. You can easily do it from a sheet of A4 paper, with lines and columns. Lines of actions, and columns recoding how long. A spreadie is better, but it has to be something you can update in moments, so that it doesn't become another (perceived) big piece of work. Miss all very well a ting you can do that from your Outlook Calendar, but just doesn't cover everything. For instance, you may have a 1 hour meeting in your calendar, but that doesn't include any preparation, or time away from your desk, getting to or from the meeting. If you have to drag some papers together, or print a slide stack, it might only be 5 minutes, but coupled with allowing 5 minutes each end of the meeting Toget to and from meeting rooms on other floors, you have 15. Minutes, or an hour, if you have 4 such meetings in a day. Similarly, with phone calls. Log each one made or taken, and it's duration. You can time them on your phone, probably.

    It's utterly terrifying how it all adds up. Sometimes it's terrifying how it doesn't add up too!!

    Armed with that you have solid evidence for discussing with your boss and/or HR. Not a conversation about being "rushed off your feet". With that evidence, it's easy to ask your boss which stuff you are not to do, or what protective actions you can take. Protective actions could be not touching email or the phone one day a week, to allow quiet concentration, or working from home one day a week. It's amazing how much time is spent with shoulder surfers who just turn up and steal 15 valuable minutes.

    The ball is in your court. It sounds like your boss has dropped a bit of a brick and it might be a tough issue for him to solve if he has losbudget, but by doing the foregoing you are proving your points AND providing HIM with evidence to back up support for you.

    You need to get your head organised over this one, and be strong.
     
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