Workplace Should I Stay?

Aug 14, 2006
2,700
1,498
Canada
In April 2016 I took a 14 month contract job with an end date of June 2017. However, the leadership team has decided that they want to keep me and have made some restructuring plans in order to do so. I am part of the HR team, which is very small. We have a director, I am one of two advisors and we also have a coordinator. All three of us report through to the director. With the new restructure created to keep me, the team will be changing in June. We will still have the director, I will become a manager, we are letting go of the other advisor and we will keep the coordinator (reporting to me). The leadership team believes that I will take the new role and they keep reminding me that they are putting a lot of work into keeping me.

On the plus side, this place is so fast paced that I can learn a lot and pad my resume. We have a relaxed dress code, it's out of downtown (so I'm saving $500+ month on parking), and we have a good vacation allowance.

On the not so great side, I feel extremely suffocated constantly by my boss (the director) and her micromanaging workstyle. She is like this with everyone so I know it's not personal to me, but it is causing me some serious stress! She always tells me that she's not a micromanager, but she is actually the absolute worst micromanager I have ever dealt with in my 14 year career. Whenever my phone vibrates (at work and at home), I instantly feel on edge wondering what she is checking up on now. If she doesn't receive a response through my work email (I don't have a work phone, but I have work email on my phone), she will send me a text to my personal phone. When I hear her come into the office every morning I feel like I can't breathe knowing that she is immediately walking into my office to micromanage. The feedback I get is always positive and I know there isn't an issue with my actual work, it's just the constant watching over every single thing I do, providing me with daily lists of things to do. In so many cases I actually end up completing her to-do list for her since she spends so much time reviewing and redoing what everyone else is doing. She tries to cover up me doing her work by saying things about how amazing and fantastic I am and how she shouldn't do this job with out me.

It's Wednesday morning and so far I have completed zero of my task list that I created for myself. I have spent the entire week dropping what I'm doing because I have to tend to her needs immediately. She asks for updates constantly. She will give me a deadline of a week away but want an update that same day. If it's not completed, she will do it herself.

The organization works on a "whatever hours you need" kind of schedule with an unwritten rule of a 7 hour day. My boss has now decided she would like more structure and has put us all on a strict 8.5 hour a day schedule and wants us to check in and check out with her every day. It just seems like such an old school way of working!

I was in an extremely high stress situation at my previous job (3 years) and thought this place would be better but the demands and pressure here is causing me even more stress. It's to the point that on Monday morning while driving to work my hands have started to develop some weird rash, and by Friday night it's cleared up.

One more thing.... she told the senior leadership team that she won't work here without me so if I leave, she leaves. She reminds me that she has children and there's no senior HR management jobs out there right now so if I leave, she will end up with no employment and kids to take care of. :annoyed:

Getting to my question... taking into account the issues listed above, do you think that there is ANY chance that things could get better for me in the new role or should I cut my losses?! My last job caused me so much anxiety and depression that I feel sick at the thought of having to go somewhere else and possibly get into another bad situation.
 
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redney

Lovin' Life!
O.G.
Apr 21, 2006
14,045
5,417
You know the old saying: people don't leave jobs, people leave managers.

Is this the same job you wrote about here? https://forum.purseblog.com/threads/looking-for-advice-support.959078/ Where you're completely stressed out, working on 26 concurrent projects, the employer is firing the person planning to come back from maternity leave and is *expecting* to have her job back? Toxic and bad sitch all around. I posted in that thread and will post here too:

I'm sorry you're going through this. Even with the team restructuring, I highly doubt her behavior will change; it's likely to worsen as she will not only continue to micromanage your work, but will likely put more stress on you as she tries to micromanage you as the manager of your direct report.

Your director is completely, COMPLETELY out of line to hold her personal situation over YOUR head. I don't know either of you but am steaming mad at her over this. This is totally inappropriate to tell you these things to try to influence/guilt you, and by all means please ignore it. I honestly think it's an empty threat - seriously, think about it. She's going to up and quit (likely without having secured another job first and possibly burning bridges with her superiors, thus affecting references, AND leaving her family in a financial lurch) if you do? Please.

I think I've written this to you on some of your other posts about this bad job situation, but remember to always put yourself first in your career decisions ("look out for number 1 because no one else will").

If you wanted to stay to try to work through it, could you have a "come to jesus" conversation in which you describe how her constant urgent demands for things done RIGHTNOW!!! are severely impacting your ability to complete your other tasks for which you are responsible? Perhaps frame it up that when she assigns work, you and she will need to prioritize it in conjunction with the tasks you're already doing. Not everything is - or can be - # 1 urgent priority do-it-right-now stuff. But based on your description of her in your post, I highly doubt she can change in the long term.

Otherwise, I know you like the free parking sitch and some of the other benefits, but your day to day work and interactions with your director is causing an amazing amount of stress to the point where your health and wellbeing has suffered with no end in sight. If it were me, I'd get my resume out there ASAP and go on a hard core, focused job search NOW. You don't owe your Director anything. Anything. Employees come and go - it's all part of doing business. But your health is all you've got, and why make yourself suffer any further?

You indicate you're worried about getting into another toxic situation and I totally get it. But staying in one for fear of the unknown while your health and wellbeing deteriorates isn't going to help. When you interview with other companies, try to ask as many questions about the manager's leadership style, why the role is vacant, etc. to try to ascertain a feel for the culture. You'll never know if you don't try. But staying put seems like a very bad idea from this outsider's perspective.

Best of luck. You know we're here if you need to talk.
 

ccbaggirl89

Member
Mar 26, 2015
7,823
11,842
there will always be a bad situation at every job, it'll be a manager, a co-worker, a boss, the work itself, the commute, the hours, and etc. there will always be a complaint. i kind of advocate that people learn to deal with job stress in other ways, because it'll always be there in some form or another. lots of people don't cultivate outside interests or hobbies so i'd try some lifestyle changes first to look after yourself after the workday ends, before just up and quitting. if you have a rich after-work life it makes the stressful work days much easier.
 
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Minty Tea

Member
Jun 14, 2015
671
384
there will always be a bad situation at every job, it'll be a manager, a co-worker, a boss, the work itself, the commute, the hours, and etc. there will always be a complaint. i kind of advocate that people learn to deal with job stress in other ways, because it'll always be there in some form or another. lots of people don't cultivate outside interests or hobbies so i'd try some lifestyle changes first to look after yourself after the workday ends, before just up and quitting. if you have a rich after-work life it makes the stressful work days much easier.
I agree. Stress is always going to be part of any job environment. I know of several people who will quit because of some minor reason or another. They are wonderful friends but they tend to be a little "delicate" when it comes to dealing with the work dynamics, kwim?
However, OP has stated in the past that she is having difficulty with the work environment and her health is suffering at a result. Hopefully, OP has evaluated all her options and can make an informed decision with the support of her dh.
 
Mar 14, 2006
5,519
859
the lowcountry
Leave. You will only get more bitter and annoyed and grow to hate that boss with every ounce of your soul. You will get to the point where hearing her breathe makes your skin crawl.

I've been in that situation, it imploded and ended so badly that now 6 years later I still haven't gotten over it. It's not worth it.
 

fashiontattle

Member
May 12, 2012
431
159
I have been in a position similar to yours. I dreaded going to work everyday. I can handle high stress environments but this was something else.
In the end it got so bad that I used to have nightmares every night and continued to have them six months after I left my so called "dream job." Leaving was the best decision I ever made.
I wish the same for you. Leave, please go find your happiness. It's not worth it to stay in a constant state of panic. It's going to chip away at your core. Find another job or don't. Just don't work there.
 
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lorihmatthews

A taste for the arts
O.G.
Oct 7, 2006
31,834
7,194
San Francisco
Redney knows her stuff, so I can only add on to what she said.

You definitely need to set boundaries with this woman, and set them now, and be firm with them. Contacting you outside of work hours on your personal phone is unacceptable. If you need to go over your workload with her daily, that's fine, but not on a minute by minute basis.

If that isn't possible, then yes, you need to leave.
 
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ahhgoo

Shopaholic
O.G.
Oct 30, 2010
703
459
Canada
Redney knows her stuff, so I can only add on to what she said.

You definitely need to set boundaries with this woman, and set them now, and be firm with them. Contacting you outside of work hours on your personal phone is unacceptable. If you need to go over your workload with her daily, that's fine, but not on a minute by minute basis.

If that isn't possible, then yes, you need to leave.
I second this thought. Either address the situation with your boss about not contacting you on your personal time and workload issues OR just leave.

Your boss sounds completely crazy saying she'll leave if you leave. I don't believe it for a second...she's got some issues
 
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juneping

couch potato-ing
O.G.
Jun 11, 2007
17,802
917
NYC
that's some nerves to guilt you into staying....so she's aware of the fact that she's difficult to work with?
no amount of money is worth that kind of stress if you ask me.....i can take the work stress but i can't take the personal stress especially it's very direct and no buffer....
 

Sassys

Please get some Common Sense
O.G.
May 14, 2006
37,757
3,621
NYC
In April 2016 I took a 14 month contract job with an end date of June 2017. However, the leadership team has decided that they want to keep me and have made some restructuring plans in order to do so. I am part of the HR team, which is very small. We have a director, I am one of two advisors and we also have a coordinator. All three of us report through to the director. With the new restructure created to keep me, the team will be changing in June. We will still have the director, I will become a manager, we are letting go of the other advisor and we will keep the coordinator (reporting to me). The leadership team believes that I will take the new role and they keep reminding me that they are putting a lot of work into keeping me.

On the plus side, this place is so fast paced that I can learn a lot and pad my resume. We have a relaxed dress code, it's out of downtown (so I'm saving $500+ month on parking), and we have a good vacation allowance.

On the not so great side, I feel extremely suffocated constantly by my boss (the director) and her micromanaging workstyle. She is like this with everyone so I know it's not personal to me, but it is causing me some serious stress! She always tells me that she's not a micromanager, but she is actually the absolute worst micromanager I have ever dealt with in my 14 year career. Whenever my phone vibrates (at work and at home), I instantly feel on edge wondering what she is checking up on now. If she doesn't receive a response through my work email (I don't have a work phone, but I have work email on my phone), she will send me a text to my personal phone. When I hear her come into the office every morning I feel like I can't breathe knowing that she is immediately walking into my office to micromanage. The feedback I get is always positive and I know there isn't an issue with my actual work, it's just the constant watching over every single thing I do, providing me with daily lists of things to do. In so many cases I actually end up completing her to-do list for her since she spends so much time reviewing and redoing what everyone else is doing. She tries to cover up me doing her work by saying things about how amazing and fantastic I am and how she shouldn't do this job with out me.

It's Wednesday morning and so far I have completed zero of my task list that I created for myself. I have spent the entire week dropping what I'm doing because I have to tend to her needs immediately. She asks for updates constantly. She will give me a deadline of a week away but want an update that same day. If it's not completed, she will do it herself.

The organization works on a "whatever hours you need" kind of schedule with an unwritten rule of a 7 hour day. My boss has now decided she would like more structure and has put us all on a strict 8.5 hour a day schedule and wants us to check in and check out with her every day. It just seems like such an old school way of working!

I was in an extremely high stress situation at my previous job (3 years) and thought this place would be better but the demands and pressure here is causing me even more stress. It's to the point that on Monday morning while driving to work my hands have started to develop some weird rash, and by Friday night it's cleared up.

One more thing.... she told the senior leadership team that she won't work here without me so if I leave, she leaves. She reminds me that she has children and there's no senior HR management jobs out there right now so if I leave, she will end up with no employment and kids to take care of. :annoyed:

Getting to my question... taking into account the issues listed above, do you think that there is ANY chance that things could get better for me in the new role or should I cut my losses?! My last job caused me so much anxiety and depression that I feel sick at the thought of having to go somewhere else and possibly get into another bad situation.
LEAVE!! Life is to short. I had a new boss like that after a merger from hell. I was so stressed out my hair started falling out and i developed an ulcer. I would cry every day (we all would). Its so not worth it. If you don't need the job, BOUNCE.

Her family is not your problem. You need to learn how to be selfish and look after your self and well being.