Wednesday, March 23, 2016


After taking the weekend off, I returned to work on Monday morning, at which point my boss threw me right back on the same hopeless project.  I worked on it, working overtime and repeatedly telling him that I was on the verge of a breakdown and could not continue to work on the project, running on about 6 hours sleep in the past 48 hours, until this morning, when I broke after half an hour at work.

After getting myself enough together to compose an email, I emailed my boss, telling him that I would be taking unpaid personal leave for health reasons starting immediately.  I again told him that he could fire me if he wanted to, but I could no longer work on that project under any circumstances, and I left the office. 

After driving around aimlessly for some time, repeatedly having to pull over to compose myself enough to get back on the road, I headed home, intending to change into hiking clothes and hit a trail to try to relieve some of the relentless anxiety.  My boss CAME TO MY HOUSE and told me that I HAD to come back to work.  I told him, again, that my mental state was extremely precarious, and I felt I had to take some personal leave to recover.  He reiterated that I HAD to come to work and work on that project, at which I flipped the fuck out.

Oh my God the DRAMA.

Guys, over the past 29 years, I have worked on many, many projects which were not particularly enjoyable, as anyone does.  I have rescued my boss from disaster more times than I can count, but when he handed me this project, which needed to be done by someone with his skill set and his professional education, I was doomed to failure.  He gets $175.00 per hour to do this particular job, and he dumped it on my desk and expected me to deal with it.  I could not.  It would be like taking me into an operating room, handing me a scalpel, and expecting me to perform brain surgery.  It was an impossible task for me.

Where do things stand now?  I don't know.  I need to accomplish some goals before I can make any decisions.  I need to be able to eat without throwing it back up (yep, that's happening, too), I need to  be able to sleep more than two hours at a time without waking up in a blind panic, and I need to be able to stop hyperventilating every fifteen goddamn minutes.  Once I can get myself off the precipice I'm currently on, I may be able to make some decisions.

My boss told me this morning that I was putting him in a "terrible position", and I wanted to say, "Like you did when you handed me a project you knew I was in no way capable of completing?"  Part of the problem is that he's about to leave for (another) month in Europe, but I can't be concerned about that right now.  Maybe he should have thought about the timing of that particular leisure trip, while he was right in the middle of doing construction management on a million-plus dollar project.

So that's where things are right now.  I need to regain my mental stability  before I can make any decisions about returning to work, and in the meantime, if my boss fires me, he fires me.

To be continued ...


Becs said...

Can you get - I know this sounds trivial - a day pass to a spa? If you can, take it. Get a massage. Get two massages. Contact your doctor and tell him/her what's been going on at work and how tenuous your mental health feels. I'm sure the others will have suggestions and I think one of them might be to get a labor lawyer.

James P. said...

It seems to me that the signs could not be MORE CLEAR that it is time to leave that place of employment NOW. I would consider that this could be the norm, off and on, for continuing there.

James P. said...

P.S. I believe that you respect your older brother's thinking. Can you talk to him about making this kind of decision?

~~Silk said...

There is one more way you could go with this - tell your boss you will work on this project for $100 per hour, limited to 8 hours a day, with no guarantee that you can actually do it well. If he agrees, put it in writing. Then relax and do what you can, but no more. Collect your $4,000 a week, while you are also sending out resumes. If things crash, no skin off your nose. You did what you contracted to do.

If he refuses your deal, you have no other option than to refuse the task and wait for him to fire you (do NOT, under any circumstances, quit!) You may not get a reference from him, but there are others in the office, right?

Portia said...

Can you go to the doctor? Seems like you should be able to claim workman's comp to cover the expense.

Who is paying your boss $175 an hour to do this job? Do they know that you have been doing it instead of your boss? Seems like there is some fraud going on here and you have been pushed into participating. I'm sorry. That probably just adds to your stress. But I agree that you should probably talk to a lawyer.

But first...take care of your self. Keep us posted.

spiffikins said...

{{{{rocky}}}} big hugs to you - that is such a hard position to be in! The reward for being competent is apparently to be given more, harder stuff, until you break!

fmcgmccllc said...

What Becs said, then go to the doc and get a temp medical to CYA.

Not advice-just my experience-when I had pre-menopause my doc prescribed low does valium for when my head felt like it was gonna pop off.

If for any reason you have to go back and work, send him an email with every friggin question and copy someone else if you can. Also copy your personal email account. Put a post-it note on every document, print the page if you must, with the questions you need answered on the post-it. Take a pic with your camera.

Find out if your IT Dept. keeps an off-site copy of all daily computer stuff, usually for some kind of compliance.

Every email he sends forward to your personal email. Start a file on your personal email account named Boss Instructions.

Start a diary and document his visit to your home on the visit page. Update the diary daily, this is your log. Even if he does not talk you that day, document that.

Hugs to you.