Overwhelmed by work

Another archived draft that was never published, in late 2017.  Based on my career change lately, I feel it’s topical to share this now.

I’ve blogged in fits and spurts for a number of years, and it all started due to having a lot of idle time at work.  Whilst I’ve remained with the same employee, I have let this blog take a back seat and really seen my career grow and change in the past few years.  I largely don’t blog about work, but if you are interested, I have a smallish collection of tagged posts.

In early 2014, I did a six week period ‘acting’ as a manager, and from there, other opportunities unfolded as my company (six months as a manager of a small team in late 2014) saw many restructures and many generations of staff leave.  I was permanently appointed as a Field Manager in April 2015.

In those to two and a half years in the role has been all elements of managing field staff (here’s the ‘one week in‘ debrief, and ‘one year in‘).  They are powerline workers and labourers who install poles.   Overall, I think the job is a fantastic fit to my skills and my personality.  I like being involved with ‘day to day’ works.  I love that we do emergency response.  I like that I have such diversity in my role: from chairing interview panels to assisting with logistics on setting stock levels or appropriately scraping materials, managing a huge fleet and the renewals/upgrades/returns.  Days rush past and I can nary remember a time when I could draft a blog post in working hours!!

But wow, of late, I’ve been overwhelmed.  Where 2015 and 2016 saw reductions in field staff, and that was brutal and destabilising, 2017 is the year of reductions from all the supporting staff.  There’s been wholesale changes to sections like: training, HR, fleet management, engineering & standards and clerical support.  As an organisation of thousands, I believe have ‘subject matter experts’ in areas like that, REALLY help.  They can make business wide decisions or at least ensure consistency.  They can have specific knowledge.  They can negotiate quantity discounts.  However, with every in a full time employee comes from ‘business savings’.  Sometimes, what that means is pushing some of those tasks to the regions.  Now, I do things like

  • scan and file log books into a centralised system (but only one type – heavy vehicles do TWO log books everyday)
  • updating what was fixed & when.  Previously a paper form went to someone else to process.  I knew those people – they used to get SO bored!
  • write interview questions, complete inordinate additional tables/forms to appoint and wonder why it takes from April to August to get a job even CLOSE to filled

Everything seems to take so long.  And be so hard.  Every decision or email seems to need a handful of people included.

I keep thinking if I do more, I’ll be on top of it.  More will be achieved.  And… I mostly succeed, stuff gets done, things improve or move forward or change for the better.

Then I realise – I let work take all of me.  I literally get annoyed when a friend/date asks me when I’m free during work time.  In my mind, I’m sometimes indigent they’ve also interrupted my day with yet another demand.  How could I possibly predict if I’ll have ANY energy left on a week night to meet with them.  Then I resent that I crowd my weekends with ‘have to dos’ with chores to keep the next working week afloat.  I actually ‘worry’ I can’t socialise as I won’t get the week ahead prepared and chaos may descend.  It’s ridiculous.  This is NOT how people live.  People actually cook and prepare every meal fresh; not batch cook on a weekend or live off ready prepared freezer meals.  Or is that a ‘should’ – I listened to a podcast today and the presenter admitted he doesn’t cook, and I didn’t think he was a bumbling non-adult.  He just… didn’t. Doesn’t (Well he does now, it was an ad for Blue Apron, but anyhow).  Who knows how he feeds himself and his health.  That’s it right – I worry.  I worry I am not eating healthy ‘enough’.  That my convenience meals are generating waste (which long time readers KNOW I hate).  Some of my errands and chores are adding to the burden on weekends – needing to go to a bulk store, drop off compost, drop off soft plastics, return books to the library.  But none of those will I give up, as I really DO feel they align to what’s important to me.  But I resent that they are seemingly taking up time I could have fun in.  Time I could enjoy with others.  And I blame work.  Well, I blame me.  I stay back an hour or two to get some more done.  I know I have a commute, and really, without it, imagine!  In the past few months, I have pushed myself to exercise more and overall, I can’t fault that decision.  I just need to find a balance between work – exercise – life.

Does your work gobble up your life? How do you stop that from happening?

This entry was posted in Career

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