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loufib

Cashew Lou's Yukon Annex

I've got Pop-Pop in the attic.

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Diagnosis Update
wolf
cashewlou
First and foremost, my humble and heartfelt thanks to everyone who responded to my last post--and to those who wished me well outside of LJ, as well. *hugs the stuffing out of the lot of you!* It heartens me to know I am surrounded by such good folks.

A little update for you all: I talked to my therapist yesterday, and he just about went ballistic on me. A little background--he has been my therapist since 1998, and even though I have moved out of state since then (he is back in Iowa), I still do sessions with him either online or by phone. My insurance doesn't cover it, but he is well worth it; he is very good, and not in a "tell me what I want to hear" kind of way.

Anyway, he has been telling me for nearly a year now to break myself free from what he describes as a "toxic" work environment. When I told him about my little adventure earlier this week, he damned near went through the ceiling.

In short, he told me to tender my two weeks' notice immediately; "Now now now!" is how he put it. Even without another job lined up? I asked him. That doesn't matter, he said; every day I stay there is another day I get worse instead of better. He even offered me a small personal loan to tide me over until I found another job, if necessary!

Keep in mind this guy does not have a history of giving bad advice.

Any thoughts?

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The downside is that it is harder to get another job if you don't currently have a job. Employers are very suspicious of any gaps on a resume, and you'll be hard-pressed to explain why you quit the job without raising red flags with an interviewer.

I take it you are dilligently searching for other employment, networking with everyone you know in the area and perusing monster.com and the other job sites?

I am, indeed. I have been for over two months now--but my skill set and the current job market in this area don't seem to be matching up very well. o(:oP

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Well, I think this is a situation in which things are easier said than done. I have discussed this at length with my employer, and they are telling me they will do anything they can to help me work through this. This, however, has been said before--to myself and others experiencing difficulties at work. So that remains to be seen.

I don't know if I have it in me--or if it is necessarily wise--to just jump ship. I still need to think this through.

Here's how I see it.

While you have very little comfort zone in terms of available employment should you immediately terminate your current position, you don't seem to have very much in the way of cushion in your health either. If the current situation is enough to have contributed to a cardiac seizure, then time is of the essence.

While immediately throwing down the gauntlet and storming out the door may not be wise, you need to go and go soon.

Blessed be, you wacky guy you.

Again, to clarify: It wasn't a cardiac seizure, it was a possible pericardial spasm. There is quite a difference in severity, but a warning sign nonetheless.

I do need to go, and go soon. I am throwing all my available energy into focusing on that goal.

Well I think if it's your work life that's stressing you out and cause what recently happened to you... I'd say find a better job and listen to your therapist. You're welcome, BTW. ^^ -hugs back-

Well, whereas my therapist means well, it has been pointed out in other messages here that there is a downside; if I just leave, I cannot collect unemployment. But I am going to redouble my efforts and try to find an alternate source of employment as soon as possible.

We're speaking a a job whose environment is causing you heart attacks.

Get the hell out of there now, hit up a loan from the shrink and get your butt on unemployment.

To be fair and accurate, it wasn't a heart attack; it was a possible spasm of the pericardium--and that is more than just semantics in this case. Though the latter is scary, it is far less serious.

Nonetheless, the underlying message is still clear: I need to get out and get out soon.

Holy snot, that sounds serious. 0_o

Not to sound like a jerk or anything, but as hard as it may be to find work with a résumé-gap, it's probably even harder to find work when you're DEAD.

To quote Anton Ego, the food critic in Ratatouille:

I'd like some fresh, clear, well-seasoned perspective. Can you suggest a good wine to go with that?

And your comment certainly offers that! I have every intention of advocating strongly for myself, and to shun stressful situations as much as possible until I can get this barrel roll under control. If that ultimately means walking out on my current job situation, so be it--but I am earnestly hoping a better solution will ultimately present itself, with diligent work, of course.

I wish I could contribute better perspective, but I'm afraid I haven't been kept abreast of your workplace situation. I do know all too well what it means to be in a job that's a poor fit, or a co-worker/boss situation that's outright toxic, and I've always been glad that I had the fortitude (if not always the wherewithal) to recognize my limitations in the past and quit. During a long dry period that can mean compounded debt, but I tellya something: money comes and goes.

I also recognize that you've shown a penchant for drama in the past. But whatever role that's played in all this, the bottom line is that a very real health threat has arisen, and your therapist had advised you accordingly.
I think you've already made your decision, and are just looking for somebody else to validate it.

Well, I don't know. But I do know there are worse things than being unemployed. Lots worse.

I really haven't made a decision one way or another; I am honestly seeking input from all perspectives. Right now, my thinking runs like this:

If I take my therapist's advice, the current, unbearable work situation will vanish, but there will be the added stress of finding new work, with a potentially lower "hireability" quotient. Then there is the looming, dark cloud of the possibility of strained finances, losing my apartment, etc.

If I don't take my therapist's advice, I remain in my current work situation until I can line up something (hopefully) better. This seems to me to offer the compounded stress of working where I am and seeking new work--but there would at least be income rolling in.

Yes, I tend toward drama now and again; I have always admired your ability to approach things with calmness and a cool head. Though I believe I have improved over the last few years, I know it is something I need to be aware of, and to constantly be working on. In my defense, however, I have had people I work with, with their comments not being solicited, tell me that my supervisor treats me pretty horribly and unfairly.

I need to weigh my options and essentially choose the lesser of two evils. My natural tendency to be a worrier, unfortunately, is not helping the process.

Im sorry I was so delayed, happy hollydays and wish you the best this year L!

Well, after what happened to me when I left IBM, I hesitate to advise anyone to leave employment without something else already lined up... I never would have dreamed it would take five years to find another permanent job, and the one I have is absolutely horrible, but it beats (marginally) not working.

My own recommendation would be to put yourself in the Wally Zone -- simply stop caring about anything at work except not doing anything to get fired for -- and redouble your job search until you can give notice and have somewhere to go. You saw what happened to me (granted, timing was a lot of it, too -- I was a victim of 9/11's impact on the national economy, and no one could've predicted that in May), and you know what my employment skillset is.

Trust me, I keep what happened to you back in 2001 in mind as an example for this current situation. And you are ten times more employable than I am!

As far as the "Wally Zone" is concerned, I just don't seem to be wired that way--even in an extreme situation like this. I just don't have it in me to unplug and adopt an attitude of indifference.

What I think I have going for me now as far as my current situation is concerned is I have both my physician and my therapist basically laying down the law and saying that my place of work must work with me on this. Up to this point, they (my employers, that is) seemed to ignore or dismiss that I was having problems; maybe the input of medical professionals will make them change their tune, and work will become bearable enough for me until I can line something else up.

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