Burned out in an IT job: quit or get fired?

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So, what's it going to be?
Quit! 49%  49%  [ 20 ]
Get fired! 20%  20%  [ 8 ]
(not sure, but want to see results) 32%  32%  [ 13 ]
Total votes : 41

sally7171
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29 Jun 2012, 7:41 pm

Peter_L wrote:
The point is that you couldn't do it to most people in IT. Myself? My little lunchtime routine is to turn my mobile off, and head out to a small bakery where I get food, followed by sitting in the park with my Kindle until my break's over at which point I head back.

People just don't call me after work. I tell people to email me any problems and I will deal with the most important ones first. It took them a while to get used to it, but they got there in the end. Most of my phone calls are of the training variety these days, and those are on my desk phone rather than my mobile.

IT support is not particularly problematic, it's how you provide the IT support that matters.


This is excellent advice!


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Aspie1
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05 Aug 2012, 6:32 pm

MAJOR UPDATE!! !

Since the time I wrote my last post, many changes took place. I consulted with a labor attorney, who discovered that my company was engaging in unethical acts. He recommended me suing them for not reimbursing my cell phone bill, since they require me my personal cell phone; however, the effort this required would take more time and effort than it's worth, and even my lawyer agreed. I guess he knew that he was dealing with a low-level tech worker who doesn't have much money. Still, he gave me the name of a psychiatrist he works with in employment cases, who would help me get my situations handled. That, and advice on how to really get my boss to cooperate with me, as opposed to those "ask him to sit down with you and talk" advice they spew on career sites all over the internet.

So there I was, for over a decade believing that psych workers did more harm than good, actually went to see a psychiatrist. I must say, the office looked kind of Freudian in appearance, with a big leather couch, a swivel chair for the doctor, and a box of tissues on the coffee table. I ended up speaking to him over over an hour about my IT job, describing how my boss treated me, and how it caused me to have panic attacks when people say my name at work, throw up in the bathroom multiple times a week, snap at family members, and not be able to fall asleep all night. He prescribed me anti-anxiety pills, wrote a latter of accommodations to my boss, and sent it via certified mail. The letter included a prohibition of anyone affiliated with [my company name] from calling me on any number other than my office phone, among other things. I had the office admin swipe my insurance card, paid the copay, and walked out of his office smiling.

A few days later, I noticed my boss acting strange, to say the least. He became almost avoidant of me, rarely initiating conversations with me unless he absolutely needed to. Even when I made a stupid mistake (and I myself felt bad about it), all the told me was: "Hey listen, that was just plain bad. If it was an honest mistake, fine, but I want you to do better regardless. Call me later if you want to talk about it." I said "OK" and went on my way. He even starting doing things like delegating my normal work to my colleagues; that's when even my conscience starts to have a problem, but as long as I have a copy of my prescription as a legal defense, there's jack anyone can do. And the script meds are absolutely wonderful. When they're working, I feel like I did a few months ago standing on a cruise ship by the outside railing. I could even talk to a normally very headstrong user in a zen-line manner. There's one side-effect though; after about four hours, I feel "slow", but a cup of coffee mitigates that pretty well.

So the you have it. My visions from ten years ago of me being a successful project manager responsible for a team of programmers making great applications, has been reduced to a disgruntled IT support guy who has to resort to popping prescription pills just to cope with the workload. But hey, I'm in a better position now that I was two months ago, and I got a doctor and a lawyer looking out for my well-being, even if they do charge me an arm and a leg for that.



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11 Aug 2012, 3:58 pm

Hi, good to hear from you. :D

Glad things are improving. And the part with the mistake, like a poker player, that may actually end up working to your advantage (especially since it was an accidental mistake, and people kind of pick up on the social trappings of this).

If you want to hear something a little funny. Some years back I took a screenwriting course and the guy teaching the class said the studio executive wants to be helpful, too, so I'm not saying, put a mistake in, but if around page 90, it's a little bit ragged, you may want to leave it in. Then the executive might say, "Around page 90, it's a little bit ragged." And you might say, okay, I'll take a look at it. And it's something you wanted to fix anyway!



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13 Aug 2012, 8:26 pm

And it sounds like the anti-anxiety medication is working pretty well.

I myself struggle with bouts of depression. Haven't yet tried antidepressants, but they're kind of my ace in the hole. What I've read, biochem is complicated and tends to be different for different people, and thus it's trial and error in respectable sense and important to have a doctor willing to tinker. Plus, sometimes it's important to step down from the medication in phases.

Sounds like you're already tinkering with it with a little caffeine. Which is fine, reputable medicine itself albeit over-the-counter, and dose adjustable. :wink:

I'm wondering if your boss delegating some of your normal work to your colleagues can be a positive. That you might be like the elder statesman or longtime coach who uses informal authority?

And please keep dreaming. Of course the corporate world is suck-o. We both know that. Now, 80% of new businesses fail (yes, 8 out 10), that's just the baseline odds. But, the beauty of an Internet business is that it's like an order of magnitude cheaper to start. Maybe recruit and coach newer programmers on mobile aps? And you could treat them like musicians in a publishing house. Yeah, you're going to make some money perhaps even the lion's share, but you still want to take care of your artists.