Declining Work for Mental Health

  • This was removed by the editor as SPAM

  • Excellent article Steve!  Kudos - and thanks - for writing it.  I hope it encourages others (especially "younger others") to take it to heart, be aware of working too hard, and have those conversations with their manager.

    Keep taking care of yourself!

    P.S. - I enjoyed your talk at THAT Conference this year (as I knew I would).

  • I once had a job where 5 people all acted as if they were my only boss (matrix management for the lose), and one of them actually screamed at me over the phone (on my personal time) that I needed to get more done faster. I went to HR and suggested he should not be a manager and explained why in great detail. He was removed from being one of my bosses. A couple of months later I got laid off and I was glad. I should have quit before then. I got a new job soon enough, and I internalized that lesson.

  • At the very beginning of September, my wife got sick and was diagnosed within days with pancreatic cancer. She was dead 5 weeks later. We were separated, so I not only had to handle her estate, close out her accounts, etc., I also had to find a sublessor for her apartment and sell or move all her stuff. My boss basically told me, "Ignore HR and the bereavement and PTO policies and take all the time you need".  This is the fourth time I've had a family death to deal with in the six years I've worked there, and this is how my managers have dealt with it, every time. It's because even though I almost never work more than 40 hours per week, whenever they've needed me in an emergency, I worked as long as it took to figure things out and get them fixed.

    I've been trying to balance "take all the time you need" with my work ethic and taking care of myself. I could certainly get away with doing less for my employer, but I'm not wired that way and they have definitely earned my loyalty and devotion as long as it doesn't come at the cost of my own mental health. This is why I didn't read this newsletter until weeks after it arrived in my mailbox.

    What do Steve and I have in common (aside from a love of SQL): we work for companies based in Europe. I can't imagine having a relationship like this with an American company.

  • I am very happy to work for a UK company. They definitely treat us well

  • I'm consciously going to make myself very unpopular but feel I must comment on this whole idea of 'working too hard' and the effects on 'mental health'.  I seriously doubt there are many people in the IT community who suffer bad mental health from overwork.  Before my 42 years working in IT I studied Psychology and Sociology in undergrad and grad school days.

    My sort-of-educated position is that if you think you experience bad mental health and work in IT, you most likely would have the mental health issues whether or not you work in IT.  As I have earlier commented, "It's all in how you look at it".

    If you convince yourself that you are working too hard this will as a result affect your general outlook.  I came from a background where my parents both worked full-time jobs, worked a grain-and-livestock farm, and raised and educated three children.   In late-grade school days I was getting up and doing farm chores before riding a bus to school, then coming home to do the chores again in the evening before doing my studies.  In high school I was raising chickens, hogs, and sheep to fund  my college education.  And I did hourly work for other farmers for seventy-five cents an hour in the summer.

    I definitely suffer the PHYSICAL issues of the farm life, but loved every minute of it and would not trade it for anything.  A number of years ago during a psychiatric evaluation for family counseling when combining two families including four boys, our psychiatrist remarked that he had never seen someone as 'normal' as myself.

    During my IT career I worked for eight different companies both large and small, held positions including eleven years as manager of a 24-hour operation where for years I was on call day and night, weekends, holidays, etc.  I dealt with bad managers, demanding company owners, and co-workers who were jerks.   I suffered the loss of a wife to cancer at 35 years of age and cared for two grade-school aged boys before joining two families.  I nearly lost my second wife to septic shock and now she is now a bilateral below-knee amputee.  We're now both 80 years old and she still cooks, does laundry, and creates beautiful handcrafted sewn items that she sells on Etsy and can't keep up with the demand.

    So quit patting yourslf on your poor little head, give yourself a 'swift kick in the arse' and get over it.

    Ok, if you're offended, raise your hand and see if I feel sorry for you.


    Disaster Recovery = Backup ( Backup ( Your Backup ) )

Viewing 6 posts - 16 through 20 (of 20 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Login to reply