• November 1, 2014
November 01, 2014, 4:27:32 AM *
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with your Chronicle username and password
News: Talk online about your experiences as an adjunct, visiting assistant professor, postdoc, or other contract faculty member.
 
Pages: [1] 2 3
  Print  
Author Topic: Finally, I can say "I hate my job."  (Read 29706 times)
maybeitsmebut
New member
*
Posts: 36


« on: June 06, 2011, 2:47:47 PM »

This is my first time posting though I am a long time lurker. I hope this is in the right area.

I am finally at the stage where I can admit that I hate my job. Before I only complained and whined. Today cemented the fact in my head that I have no control over my work or the environment. There are several factors, including not doing what I feel I was hired to do, feeling like I'm sitting here killing brain cells, doing work that is garbage work, working in a department that can't grow under the current leadership, and the kicker...dealing my supervisor's secretary.

I feel their relationship has a lot to do with my job dissatisfaction.  For example: Whenever she calls out or takes planned annual leave, I have to leave my office to sit at her desk all day. I lose a day of work because her computer is sub-par and more. I said she takes annual leave. Can you believe she will not even give me the courtesy of advanced noticed? He lets her do whatever she wants to do. My position has nothing to do with hers. I am a training coordinator in an entirely different part of the building. I am the only staff person asked to do this as a part of my job - and there are two other male staff members. I want to know how is it that she can take off when she wants with me required to sit at her desk, but if I want to take off she gets first dibbs on the days? I feel she is using this power to "toy" with me. And, she can tell him that she doesn't want to do something, starts crying, and he gives the assignment to me like it was his idea. Oh, I'm so frustrated.

Ok, so that is not all. I once thought this position held so much potential, the department also. I am doing things like making fliers and programs, sitting in on meetings he is supposed to attend, placing interns, working as an "assigned" member of committees (I am the only staff person assigned), creating and duplicating departmental publications, and etc. When what I should be doing is working with students individually on writing skills. Which, by the way, I am slowly losing myself. I swear I can't put a good sentence together anymore. I used to feel that writing was my talent. But, not anymore. I feel dumb.

This job affords me a few small perks like a tuition waiver, good hours, my kid can get discounted tuition if he chooses to attend here. The money is definitely not why I do this job. I am almost 40 years old with advanced education making less than 40k. It is embarrassing really. The motivation was once the students for the most part. Even they are becoming a disappointment.

I just can't take this place much longer. How do I bring about change when there is no one to complain to that will help?
Logged
madhatter
We proudly present the fora's Least
Member-Moderator
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 8,100

Just killing time


« Reply #1 on: June 06, 2011, 3:18:14 PM »

Apply for jobs elsewhere?
Logged

"I may be an evil scientist, but it doesn't take a degree purchased from the Internet with your ex-wife's money to know how special and important you are to me." -- Dr. Doofenschmirtz
maybeitsmebut
New member
*
Posts: 36


« Reply #2 on: June 06, 2011, 3:23:42 PM »

I am being left with no other choice, I guess. It's not right though. Why should I have to leave my job after 6 years to get a better title and more money? Why isn't promotion within and on merit in action here? Doesn't loyalty account for anything anymore? Am I crazy or do other people feel this frustrated?

I don't know. Maybe you are completely right madhatter and I just need to move on. That process is a whole 'nother ball game, isn't it?

Ok, before I give up completely; isn't there something I can do about his maltreatment?
Logged
maybeitsmebut
New member
*
Posts: 36


« Reply #3 on: June 06, 2011, 3:24:50 PM »

One more big question: Why is it ok that the people who truly care about the job and the students are the ones who get mistreated and forced out? Something is wrong with this system, yes?
Logged
madhatter
We proudly present the fora's Least
Member-Moderator
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 8,100

Just killing time


« Reply #4 on: June 06, 2011, 3:28:09 PM »

Because the world wasn't set up to reward your perception of fairness.

Sorry to be harsh, but you've gone beyond documenting some problems and annoyances with your job to full-blown self-pity mode. We've all been in jobs that have sucked for major and minor reasons. If the problems outweigh the benefits, then you need to channel your energies into moving on.
Logged

"I may be an evil scientist, but it doesn't take a degree purchased from the Internet with your ex-wife's money to know how special and important you are to me." -- Dr. Doofenschmirtz
zharkov
or, the modern Prometheus.
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 9,567


« Reply #5 on: June 06, 2011, 3:58:34 PM »

Because the world wasn't set up to reward your perception of fairness.

In a nutshell, that is pretty much how it goes.

I've been around, in industry and academia, and I could say that every organization is dysfunctional to one degree or another, things are seldom that fair, and that people don't usually get what they deserve, they get what they negotiate.

If you don't want to sit in the secretary's office when she is out, have you asked whether you can just forward her phone and leave a note on the door?  Have you asked for your male colleagues to share the "minding the store" duties?  And so on?  Or are you hoping your boss develops ESP?

Logged

__________
Zharkov's Razor:
Adapting Zharkov a bit to this situation, ignorance and confusion can explain a lot.
maybeitsmebut
New member
*
Posts: 36


« Reply #6 on: June 06, 2011, 4:11:37 PM »

Thank you for the replies. Madhatter, you are spot on and I appreciate your truth - even if it is harsh. I want to continue to do better and to be a better person. Thank you. I actually shared your response with someone else, with my own message about deciding to move on.

Zharkov I have talked to him. He refuses to let me sit in my office and forward the phones. He insists I must physically be there. Also, he told the secretary that I have to be the one because I can help the students, knowledgeable about the department. However, that isn't the case. Plus, this gets me, he has faculty members with offices in that building literally less than 15 feet away from the secretary's desk. When I talk to him, he blows a whole bunch of, well you know, up my, well you know. He goes on about how valuable I am, blah, blah, blah.

I know I can make a difference with our students if he uses me for my strengths and lets me do my job NOT other peoples'. I won't even get into doing 95% of the committee duties and not being a chair or anything.
Logged
alto_stratus
Middle cloud,
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 2,011


« Reply #7 on: June 06, 2011, 7:46:23 PM »

You are correct:  you do not have control over your environment.  Your boss does.  If something isn't right about the environment, you can raise the issue with your boss, but if your boss decides that's the way it's going to be, that's the way it's going to be, and you're the one who has to determine if you can deal with it or not.

From your post, I had a hard time understanding whether the writing assistance component was part of the original job description, or just a talent you identified you might be able to apply in this job.  If it was part of the original job but you don't have time to focus on it, it may be that priorities have changed, that these other duties are more important (even if mundane), or even that they feel that coaching others on writing isn't your relative strength.  Being able to write and helping others write are two different things, and maybe there's a gap there.  If helping students with writing wasn't part of the original job description, then yes, I think you are asking too much for your employer to develop you and alter your job along those lines.  Some employers would be willing to do that for you, but many are too busy, or have significant reasons for keeping a job the way it is.

Getting frustrated with the secretary is not a good strategy.  It sounds as though the secretary has seniority (years on the job), and an understanding with the boss.  That is to say, whatever working relationship they have, it seems to be working for them (however dysfunctional it may seem from the outside).  There may be reasons why her schedule is managed differently than yours, but at any rate, if the boss doesn't care, you shouldn't either.  Work with it.  To do otherwise will only frustrate you.

Also, in any job, you get paid to deal with a certain amount of frustration.  If it's not worth it to you, it's fine to recognize this isn't the right gig for you and move on.  As others have said, there's little benefit in complaining that life's not fair.  It's not.  If you're not happy, have asked for changes, and are still not happy, then you either suck it up or move on.  I know it's frustrating, but that's how these things work.
Logged
larryc
Troll Proof
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 23,004

Be excellent to each other.


WWW
« Reply #8 on: June 06, 2011, 11:40:04 PM »

Your boss has made it clear that your job is not going to change. You can either leave, or become more crazy and bitter by the year.
Logged

Trolling for sex is not what this forum is all about.
amewa_silk
Senior member
****
Posts: 414


« Reply #9 on: June 07, 2011, 12:15:29 AM »

I agree that there is something wrong with the system at your current institution, and that it is not dissimilar to other institutions I have experienced myself.  Take it as a call to locate a new job where teaching is valued.
Logged
alleyoxenfree
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 4,753

Countin' all these posts as publications


« Reply #10 on: June 07, 2011, 12:30:38 AM »

A book you need to read is, Too Nice for Your Own Good.

As others are saying, you won't get what you want and need by being nice and hardworking and hoping he notices and will want the things you want.

You need to identify what you want.  Then figure out how to put yourself in a position to get them.  For one thing, while you're sitting at the crap computer, start writing application letters in your email (not on the desktop or as a Word document), and surf for other jobs.  Take it as a given that you won't be able to help the students full-time at this job because they want you to be a fill-in admin.  Start looking for a job where you can be a writing tutor, or whatever it is you want, full-time.

When you get an offer, you can then negotiate with your current boss.  Get your job reconfigured the way you want and get them to hire a fill-in student or temp to do the things you don't want to spend time on.

Bottom line, you need to get in a stronger negotiating position.  They have shown their hand - they don't care about gender issues or fairness or whatever.....you're a cog in a wheel.  Find a better one.
Logged
maybeitsmebut
New member
*
Posts: 36


« Reply #11 on: June 07, 2011, 2:32:38 PM »

Thank you all for taking time to talk to me about this. I have decided that there is nothing wrong with putting feelers out. Something great may come from this. I also was given this great web site about workplace bullying which maybe happening. http://www.workplacebullying.org/faq/

Read #7 that talks about being one of the more skilled workers in the workplace. This could be at work, particularly on the secretary's part which drives her to exercise her power under him.

alleyoxenfree--thank you for the book suggestion. I went to Amazon and am purchasing it. I also passed this title on to someone else. I guess, I have a fear of saying "no" because of that little clause in my job description that allows for any assignment to be given by supervisor.

amewa_silk --thanks for your reply. Yes, I think you are right about what is valued here. I am beginning a search for a place where I can make a contribution and it is beneficial for me also.

larryc--I don't want to be that person who is just angry and bitter, oh and crazy. I don't. So, you are right that I must accept that it is what it is. I have to change me. Thanks.

alto_stratus--the writing component is in my job as a way to work on retention. But, I have no time to do that because of the admin duties. The needs of our students are many and I know I can help here. I can't be everything though. The PR functions of this department need to fall on the PR people in this department. The admin work needs to fall on the admin people. Yes, their relationship is really dysfunctional. I often question if there is more to it than work. But, that is my opinion and I have no proof. Circumstantial stuff. I mean, what secretary doesn't take messages for the boss? Really? However, I've been shown that she trumps me and that I have to accept and move forward. I think for her, this is the last stop. For me, it is just another position on my career path.  Good suggestions. Thank you I heard and will definitely consider a new direction.

I was worried about posting. I am definitely glad that I did. It is nice to get perspectives from others in  the industry who know what I'm going through and have great experiences to share. Thank you. I hope to pay it forward.
Logged
larryc
Troll Proof
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 23,004

Be excellent to each other.


WWW
« Reply #12 on: June 07, 2011, 2:41:28 PM »

I don't think you have to change you, you have to change your job. Don't "put some feelers out" put some applications out. Get the hell out of Crazy Town.

Good luck!
Logged

Trolling for sex is not what this forum is all about.
bigtwin
New member
*
Posts: 18


« Reply #13 on: June 07, 2011, 4:58:58 PM »

My advice: start hunting for a new job outside academe.  In my experience, non-academic workplaces don't tolerate a lot of the BS that goes on in university depts.
Logged
alleyoxenfree
Distinguished Senior Member
*****
Posts: 4,753

Countin' all these posts as publications


« Reply #14 on: June 07, 2011, 8:39:42 PM »

A lot of workplaces are a little better about making sure that the work you do, is actually the work that's in the job description.  Doesn't mean you won't occasionally take on additional tasks, but it sounds like they configured the job one way, recruited you, and either that wasn't what they really needed or they're not good managers or something else.

Anyway, now that you've got an accurate read on how it's likely to be, you can make plans to move to your next position.  You will also be savvier about things to look for in future job descriptions and in "reading" the supervisor and political situation of the next job interview.  You have more information about yourself, what you like and dislike, and that's always info you can do something with. 
Logged
Pages: [1] 2 3
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.9 | SMF © 2006-2008, Simple Machines LLC Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!
  • 1255 Twenty-Third St., N.W.
  • Washington, D.C. 20037
subscribe today

Get the insight you need for success in academe.