How many of you folks work in a poisonous workplace? Probably more than a few. Every organization has initiatives in place in order to keep their employees, if not happy, at least somewhat satisfied with their jobs. If your organization is anything like the one where I work, you probably receive questionnaires every year asking you how satisified you are with your job, your management, your working conditions. You fill out the questionnaire, and that's the end of it. Nothing ever changes, because apparently no one who reads the questionnaire seems to care.
I try not to post about my work place too much because, well, one never knows who is reading our blogs. But things are so bad where I work that I feel the need to "vent", as it were. Stress is a killer, but even more dangerous than stress is the feeling of helplessness. This is a feeling that permeates many workplaces at the moment, and I think ours is no exception. And it is taking its toll on people at all levels, not just the so-called "front-line" employees. In the past five years, in our relatively small office, these are the folks who have been affected:
A. Had high blood pressure and died of a heart attack.
B. Had high blood pressure, a heart attack and cancer.
C. Had cancer, died.
D. Is battling cancer and recently had a heart attack.
E. Had cancer, died.
F. Has high blood pressure.
G. Has high blood pressure and heart disease.
H. Is battling cancer.
I. Had a stroke while sitting at her desk.
J. Quit suddenly, due to stress.
K. Is on a four-month stress leave as of yesterday.
L. Several more have quit because of stress.
If I were an office administrator in an environment like that, I think I would want to take a serious look at what is going on. Instead, the approach is to crack the whip even more. Disciplinary steps are taken against folks who speak out about increased work loads.
How does this happen? What kind of a society have we become where people are so expendable they are regarded as pieces of machinery -- robots. The bottom line is how much money the organization can save. People leave and jobs are doubled up, folks are forced to take on more responsibility.
I rarely -- if ever -- hear laughter in our office anymore. I do see a lot of frustration and tears. In the past few days I have witnessed people crying, I have had other folks asking me, "Is my face red? I think my blood pressure is soaring today." And these are folks in management as well. Yesterday I had lunch with one of the doctors, and she was so stressed and upset about a situation, she just needed to talk to someone. She told me she always feels better after talking with me.
The situation in our workplace has taken a toll on me as well. I go home at the end of the day, and I am too demoralized to do anything. I rarely paint, I don't enjoy blogging as much as I used to do. I don't read as much as I used to read, I feel as if a switch inside me has been turned off. Do any of you have any suggestions? Believe it or not, we belong to a union in our workplace -- a union that used to be one of the strongest in our country. I think it's time to get them involved. Having said that, I like my job, and I love the people with whom I work. They're a wonderful bunch of people, but enough is enough.
In the meantime, please bear with me, and I hope you will continue to visit my blog. If I don't always have the opportunity to reply to your wonderful and thoughtful comments, I love hearing from you. Have a fabulous day, everyone...!