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Internal Combustion and How to Deal with It in a Healthy, Professional Way (or: the story of my work life, part one)

May 1, 2014

Image My work has been in a state of chaotic upheaval for the past 3 months. I know I posted before about some frustrations at work, but that pales    in comparison to our current situation.

In late January, our manager announced that he was too burned out (not a surprise considering how my company operates), and that he was  moving to a less stressful department. Now this was sad news, but I knew we could handle it. Mostly because our manager was not very  effective to begin with and other people had been picking up his slack anyway.  However, what I did not anticipate was that instead of being a  solitary event, my manager’s decision to move on somehow sparked a massive rolling domino effect within our department that seems bent  on creating as much disaster as possible.

After our manager left, one of my co workers who was also in a leadership position had a total mental breakdown. Suddenly unable to deal with customers anymore in a customer service industry, she dealt with the stress by yelling at guests. Needless to say, she was demoted and she decided to find another job. This left me with more work to do, but I was still ok because I had my supervisor with me for support.

Image Then came the week from hell. It started out with my supervisor taking vacation and essentially leaving me to be the only  person in  charge of our department for over a week. I came in on monday to see messages from 3 separate employees calling  out sick. I ended  up being at work for 12 hours, running around like a crazy person trying to cover everyone’s shifts. The next  day, another person  called out sick, but someone had come in to cover that shift. But then one of the employees who was  supposed to work that day, came  into the building, didn’t say a word to anyone, threw away all his stuff and walked out. While  this was happening, one of my other  employees decided it was the perfect moment to put in her two weeks notice. I kept my  cool in front of everyone, but I spent half an  hour crying in the bathroom mostly because I had to get the stress out somehow.   Then, the next day I find out that my supervisor  has also put in her two weeks notice. And that’s when I realized I was  completely alone trying desperately to throw water on the  burning wreckage of my department.

So what’s happened since then? Well, I finally got some rest which helps a lot. However, I’m still facing a giant uphill battle trying to get enough staffing so that I don’t have to lose my mind covering every position. The good news is, with all of the staff transitions, I’ve been promoted. At least now I’m making a somewhat decent wage for all of the craziness I’m dealing with. But mostly I’m still plugging along, trying to keep my spirits up and bug HR every day telling them to give us more people to hire. Hopefully I don’t lose my mind.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 2, 2014 8:22 am

    you can do it! make sure they know they couldn’t be getting along without you.

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