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Is your boss ruining your weekend?
February 26th, 2012
08:00 AM ET

Is your boss ruining your weekend?

Editor's note: CNN contributor Amanda Enayati ponders the theme of seeking serenity: the quest for well-being and life balance in stressful times.

Most Sundays last year, Juliet woke up feeling fine. But as the day wore on, she grew more agitated.

“By early afternoon I felt sick with stress and was walking around snapping at everyone. It was my husband who finally figured out that I was dreading going back to work Monday morning. The anticipation was ruining my Sundays."

Juliet had loved her job until the company where she worked was bought out. The culture of the organization originally built and run by a handful of idealistic scientists shifted overnight.

“The scientists were out, and the incoming CEO and leadership team were these marketing types who set an entirely different tone. The new executives were like these funnels of stress, spreading anxiety throughout the organization.”

“The company started hemorrhaging its best employees. My colleagues despaired for a long time and then left in droves. Eventually, so did I.”

It may be hard to imagine how we could possibly be more stressed out than our ancestors - some of whom may have actually had to outrun a mountain lion or two on their way back from fetching dinner - but stress has been referred to as one of the key health epidemics of the 21st century.

It is blamed as the underlying cause for as much as 70% of all visits to primary care physicians. Are some people particularly influential in this epidemic? Do key influencers contribute to a culture of anxiety by helping to set a negative emotional tone that infects our collective well-being?

There may be a few factors at play.

One is our human propensity to pass feelings to one another in a phenomenon called emotional contagion. We volley emotions back and forth all the time, as part of every interaction we have with another person. We can “catch” other people’s anxiety, depression or stress - all with amazing speed and dexterity.

A second factor is interconnectedness. According to a recent study, what was once six degrees of separation between any two people in the world has shrunk to 4.74 - three, if you limit the pair to a particular country. And this much-greater connection packs a multiplatform punch across a variety of devices that most of us refuse to put down.

Take emotional contagion and greater connectivity, and add people in key positions of influence - our bosses, politicians, media, teachers, among others. A notable few wield their power to inspire, enlighten and advance, but far too many perpetuate a climate of negativity.

Some of these stress influencers are merely passive, thoughtless and irresponsible, while others are actively manipulative and self-serving. Either way, by virtue of their power positions, these people can wreak havoc by spreading anxiety. It is a pattern of behavior perhaps most damaging during times of hardship.

I asked Judith Orloff, M.D., psychiatrist and bestselling author of “Emotional Freedom,” about the possibility of people serving as stress channels.

“I haven’t heard it put that way exactly, but I like the idea. That groups of people can channel and possibly amplify anxiety is compelling. People in power are often models for the whole organization and they can create a high level of stress that affects everyone... Certainly some of our leaders need to go back to compassion school because they appear to have no concept of being in service.”

“We know that people pay more attention to, and put more importance on, what leaders say and do - especially at work,” observes renowned psychologist Daniel Goleman, author of “Leadership: The Power of Emotional Intelligence."

“This means that a business leader, for instance, has an emotional responsibility to help prime emotions in a better direction. There are many studies showing that if the leader is in a bad mood, followers catch it and their work suffers; if in a good one, then the good mood spreads and performance improves.”

“I’d love to see our leaders and the media become more conscious of the toxic impacts of emotional negativity.”

The good news about emotional contagion is that it works both ways: you can choose to spread anxiety and dissatisfaction, but hope, joy and bliss are equally contagious.

And, at least in theory, the same applies to stress channels. Those same influencers can make conscious choices to serve as channels for well-being and unity instead of angst and discord.

Next week I will explore how to cope with potential stress channels in your life - and how to avoid becoming one yourself. But until then, please do enjoy your Sunday. Disconnect, disengage, spend time with your family. And possibly take comfort in the high unlikelihood that you are going to be chased by any mountain lions before dinner tonight.


soundoff (277 Responses)
  1. REBECCA FROM SUNNYBROOK

    nothing upsets me about my boss SHE is very personable and make you feel your worth. There are times and moments i feel my best isnt good enough but with patience im sure i will overcome this like i do everything else

    February 26, 2012 at 12:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • SARA

      Why did you feel the need to emphasize that your boss is a she? Gender has no relevance to a good or bad boss. Then you go on to say that even though your boss is wonderful, you feel that your work isn't good enough. You sound like a classic nightmare employee who's always on the edge of disability claim unless you get positive reinforcement from everyone all the time.

      February 26, 2012 at 13:42 | Report abuse |
    • JOH

      Probably a feminist who divorced her husband and took half his money, and still claims women feel inferior.

      Let me guess. You're one of those women who doesn't want to be looked at like a lustful icon, but takes pic of your butt and breasts and make that your profile picture.

      February 26, 2012 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
    • DLN

      My boss is female, and SHE is the worst I've had in 35 years. And her FEMALE boss is even worse! The point is, I've had good and bad bosses of both genders.

      February 26, 2012 at 14:30 | Report abuse |
    • J. Small

      Women are no different from men in the work environment. Some are a pleasure to work with/for and some are terrible. A huge problem in this era is that bosses are usually the self-absorbed, egotistical type who are very articulate and therefore, many times talk themselves into a job for which they are not a humanistic match, i.e. they have zero people-skills.

      February 26, 2012 at 15:09 | Report abuse |
    • Enough is Enough

      Well said J. Small.

      February 26, 2012 at 15:50 | Report abuse |
    • Ted Striker

      Becky is just sucking up to her boss to show that she is compliant and very obedient. I used to work every weekend for years (on salary -> no pay for overtime), because I wanted to get the work done. I stopped a few weeks ago because it finally caught up to me. No appreciation, got taken for granted and treated like a slave. Now my boss is noticing that (he was used to taking me for granted). He threatened me that if I don't work overtime and on weekends (still for no pay), that I need to start looking. My boss displayed his character and colors.

      February 26, 2012 at 16:58 | Report abuse |
    • Alex

      I had a terrible female boss in the past and a great male boss and currently have a great male boss. GENDER isn't the main factoring in determining if someone is a good boss or not. There are many aspects that make up a good boss and both genders can potentially exhibit them.

      February 26, 2012 at 17:26 | Report abuse |
    • JackWagon

      Come on, this is anonymous, your boss won't see this. You can be honest.

      February 26, 2012 at 17:31 | Report abuse |
    • michflaguy

      25 years in big corporations and my two best bosses? One woman and one man. Two worst bosses? Both men! By the way...I am a man. 🙂

      February 26, 2012 at 18:08 | Report abuse |
    • KJ

      Actually, silly people, there is more than one reason to emphasize the "SHE"– the original reply might have been differentiating her bosses demeanor from her own. Meaning that her boss is personable & reasonable enough with HER performance expectations, but that the author of the reply, Rebecca, sometimes feels that *SHE* is letting her boss down. And, this would certainly make sense– it's a phenomenon that's been growing in labor culture for a while, even when employees meet and/or exceed expectations.

      February 26, 2012 at 19:22 | Report abuse |
  2. randumb guy

    This article misses a major point - what's fouling up my weekend is that my boss keeps bringing in more work and not planning for the personnel to do it - so I get to spend my Sunday mid-morning doing that work while she/he/it is off dreaming up ways to add to the load. The snippy wife in the article on Sunday afternoon is what many of us now get on Friday at 7:01 pm as we ponder what needs to be done on Saturday. As many people in this situation know - something is going to snap - we are building an economy based on extracting more from fewer - all those "inshoring" jobs Obama is gloating about are being inshored at the expense of US standard of living. It's a blend - China prices are going up and US wages are sinking. We are becoming a 3rd world country and our politicians are more than willing to sell us out to the 0.1% club who like Mitt work hard "earn" money on their brilliant investments until it comes time to pay the tax bill then its 'unearned" income. The next decade is going to turn ugly - if the TEA party folks think Obama's a socialist just wait a few years.

    February 26, 2012 at 12:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob in LG

      You should look for a new job if you dont like your current one. Are you some sort of indentured servant?

      February 26, 2012 at 17:11 | Report abuse |
    • Dude

      I worked for a major company that has many lawyers, so will remain nameless.

      Our department was got busier and busier until we reached a point where we were at a full sprint from the moment you clocked in until you left for the day. Then they decided that we weren't accountable enough and added a few minutes to each process we did, for better tracking. Then they added additional work. Then even more work.

      Thanks to tracking 100 things, there was always one that came up a little short at the end of the week. At the weekly meetings they would always bring them up and mention "disciplinary up to and including termination".

      If, at the end of the week, your time added up to 40 hours and one minute, you would get called into the office and written up. Repeated and you would spend 20 minutes on a conference call with HR, where your dedication as an employee would be questioned and a bigger write up etc.

      They also warned you that you could be fired for working off the clock.

      Bottom line, and ALL employees knew this, was to jot down little notes all day and spend 1-3 hours a night looking up need info at night. Also, composing emails and bringing them in ready to send on a thumb drive. Basically, anything you could do off the clock, you had to to stay employed.

      Then they added some mandatory new industry training and they allowed for training on the clock. I had taken some similar training and the time that allotted amount to 10% of what it took to pass the exams. I had taken some of these exams before and advised them of that. They parroted back the training companies claims that 1 hour per day and you could pass in two weeks.

      And as for quit my job. Hey great idea. The economy had just tanked, and they knew it. If you quit your job, you lose insurance and you cannot even get on COBRA. In my state I cannot get health insurance, except through a company. Not at any price. I have diabetes and high blood pressure. both diseases are caused or exasperated by stress.

      So I cannot get insurance with a job and I cannot quit no matter what they do to me.

      Being a "Right to work" state there is nothing illegal about what they were doing.

      Epilogue: In my case, I finally let HR know that we were being forced to word OT for free. I presented the time required for each thing we were required to do and showed that it was not possible in 40 hours. Suddenly I was getting written up for everything and when they had the required number of write-ups, I was fired. Considering that I was number one in many areas nationally, there was little question as to why I was getting written up.

      I was able to find a job in just two months, but the new job only gave insurance after 90 days. Without COBRA, I would have lived every day at the risk of losing everything I owned if I had any serious illness.

      February 26, 2012 at 18:25 | Report abuse |
    • chicago7

      I recently retired from a major corporation where I worked for over four decades. Most of that time, I did a range of things including marketing and management. The last 5 to 7 years of my career were a mirror of everything Dude here says was his experience. That whole concept of, if you don't like it, quit? Corporate CEOs really do understand that, in the midst of their shipping jobs overseas in droves, the US job market is shrinking fast, and with health care attached to employment, workers are much less free to just quit and look elsewhere. And they take full advantage of that, make no mistake. Bob in LG: yep, pretty much, many many people are indentured servants, indeed.

      February 26, 2012 at 18:58 | Report abuse |
    • cheetahcat

      To: Dude. Many points were a replay of my life. Mine was state government. Next, I'll probably name the state and the department.

      February 26, 2012 at 22:02 | Report abuse |
  3. SxH

    lol, from working for scientists to going to work for MBAs is always a nightmare. The scientists are more driven by real, tangible objectives – like getting a machine to work before demoing it to potential buyers, or like discovering a gene that causes diseases – but the MBAs typically only work with paper. So they want everything to look good ON PAPER, nevermind that the product they sell might be sh | t. And also the fact that MBAs aren't usually very bright either. So they obsess over imaginary deadlines and hallucinatory bottomlines.

    February 26, 2012 at 12:46 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Isabel

      Exactly! Why do we put up with these bean counters?

      February 26, 2012 at 12:53 | Report abuse |
    • pepsee

      SxH, you are so ril maght. Whenever my husband's bosses were non-technical managers they had unrealistic goals. Fortunately I always had technical people to be my managers because of the nature of my job. But being technically alright doesn't make a manager good; like the current one I work for shouldn't have been a manager.

      February 26, 2012 at 16:38 | Report abuse |
    • Schmedley

      Because the money to pay for that research and development has to come from somewhere. If there is no balance between R&D and getting things to market, investors/execs won't continue to put in any more money. No money no salaries and no equipment. Would you work for free? Unless you're in Silicon Valley, most wouldn't.

      I am an MSEE by background, but there needs to be a balance between the business and the product side. If you miss the market window, it doesn't matter if you have the perfect product. Ever wonder why so many times an inferior product wins? It's because the one with the perfect product took too long and missed the opportunity. The product can't be garbage, but time and money are key factors too.

      February 26, 2012 at 16:55 | Report abuse |
  4. Isabel

    The new thing corporations do (really not so new anymore) is not to provide the
    tools necessary for one to do his or her job. I've had to buy my own tools to do my job,
    and management expresses amazement that they are needed for the job. Just a bunch
    of clueless bean counters. Corporations today suucckkk!!

    February 26, 2012 at 12:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • J

      This is SO TRUE. The teachers at our school are paying for classroom supplies out of their own pockets. It is ridiculous and wrong.

      February 26, 2012 at 13:12 | Report abuse |
    • corporat_stressee

      yeah, the routinely repeated reason given for not buying more equipment is that although we could use it, it will sit there unused often enough that some manager will notice and ask why no one is using it; then all hell would break loose. Never mind that it was there when engineers needed it to help win the last design in or capture the data needed for a vital customer presentation.

      February 26, 2012 at 15:22 | Report abuse |
  5. Texas Coyote

    If anyone asks yet again, why the OCCUPIERS (OCCUPY is a world wide permanent protest movement for justice and more equity for the working class!) all over the United States and World are protesting. Listen up! “You control our world. You've poisoned the air we breathe, contaminated the water we drink, and copyrighted the food we eat. We fight in your wars, die for your causes, and sacrifice our freedoms to protect you. You've liquidated our savings, destroyed our middle class, and used our tax dollars to bailout your unending greed. We are slaves to your corporations, zombies to your airwaves, servants... to your decadence. You've stolen our elections, assassinated our leaders, and abolished our basic human rights as human beings. You own our property, shipped away our jobs, and shredded our unions. You've profited off of disaster, destabilized our currencies, and raised our cost of living while lowering our wages. You've monopolized our freedom, stripped away our education, and have almost extinguished our flame. Now you are trying to silence us by making our U.S. Congress create and pass SOPA/PIPA type legislation that cripples/sabotages the internet so that we can no longer communicate effectively!! We are hit...we are bleeding... but we ain't got time to bleed. We will bring the giants to their knees and you will witness our revolution! WAKE UP AMERICA! SUPPORT OCCUPY!

    February 26, 2012 at 12:54 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Isabel

      Count me in! It's time for a revolution!

      February 26, 2012 at 12:55 | Report abuse |
    • J

      I agree with a lot of this but honestly I don't know how to take it beyond rhetoric and I haven't heard it put in a way that I feel I can get on board with. We need new leaders who are realistic visionaries.

      February 26, 2012 at 13:21 | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      J – I totally agree with you. Where are the "realistic visionaries"?

      February 26, 2012 at 14:04 | Report abuse |
    • JOH

      Hey genius. Unions may be good for employees but overall they ruin the economy.

      February 26, 2012 at 14:05 | Report abuse |
    • DLN

      Hey, JOH. The economy IS ruined, and unions didn't do it.

      February 26, 2012 at 14:41 | Report abuse |
    • Bob Loblaw

      First thing we do, we kill all the hippies. Viva la Revolucion!

      February 26, 2012 at 15:03 | Report abuse |
    • Ted

      what do you expect when you vote for the same thing? Bush, Obama, what the hell is the difference? quit crying and exercise your right to vote for someone besides the government sponsored corporate welfare puppets.

      February 26, 2012 at 15:11 | Report abuse |
  6. Anthony

    Enough is enough. Corporations are not people, money is not speech. The world's resources are finite and we are blowing through them like a gambler at a roulette wheel. Health and human happiness, real freedom, liberty, and peace do not come with a corporation's brand stamped on them. Why are we all (me included) working longer and harder everyday to give to them, while they think up more effective ways to take from us. The current model is destined for exhaustion or collapse. Prevent it. Occupy.

    February 26, 2012 at 13:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Bob Loblaw

      Your revolution is over, Anthony. Condolences. The bums lost. My advice is to do what your parents did; get a job, sir. The bums will always lose.

      February 26, 2012 at 15:15 | Report abuse |
  7. MAC

    I have seen the change in the work culture in Natural Gas Industry when the Lawyers and Accountants started running the companies. It used to be the people who worked their way up from operating the pipelines and exploration that ran the companies and they took good care of all the employees, not just their lawyer buddies.

    February 26, 2012 at 13:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  8. Zimzalabim

    What do you do when the abusive boss is the Vice President of Human Resources and is universally despised by both her direct reports as well as her peers? This is not a rare occurrence and is often aided and abetted by the COO and CEO.

    February 26, 2012 at 13:21 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Jenna

      OMG we had the exact same issue. The HR department pretty much all quit within 1.5yrs of the new VP, HR's arrival and the VP spun it to look as though it was that the department needed some shaking up and they couldn't get on board with her fresh new vision. Fact is – that VP, HR is abusive, condescending, steals your work and presents as their own, etc. You're pretty much screwed if you work in HR and report to the VP, HR because if that person is a horrible person you have no one to turn to.

      February 26, 2012 at 13:45 | Report abuse |
    • Susan

      What do you do? You just leave, find another job. You're better than that and thankfully, it is a free country and employment is at will.

      February 26, 2012 at 14:48 | Report abuse |
  9. Des Gus Ted

    I use to hate work when the boss would tell you 5 to 15 minutes before quitting time that you HAD to work the weekend and you knew that they were aware of these changes up to 3 days prior to the weekend. This company had no respect for the individual or any long term plans that may have been made. I always give the truth to individuals when the corporation comes into the conversation as the top may have good intentions the lower management treated the individual with much disrespect and caused loads of stress.

    February 26, 2012 at 13:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • corporat_stressee

      evidently, this blog is being censored by the corporate types at CNN. One of my posts referring to the book, "The No A__hole Rule" was prohibited. That prevents a whole area of accurately describing some of these "bosses".

      February 26, 2012 at 15:43 | Report abuse |
  10. Tom

    I agree that some people have become more powerful in creating stress in our lives because our world has become more interconnected. They're already in positions in influence, and that influence – for better or worse – is growing. This is deep – and scary. It adds a new layer of responsibility on our leaders (and each of us, if you think about it). But what are actually supposed to do about it?

    February 26, 2012 at 13:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. Epidi

    YES! That is exactly how I feel every weekend. I had to train my own boss – imagine that! He was a manager in IT for less than 10 yrs and they were getting rid of jobs and since our corp caters to it's managers they stuck me and my colleague with him – someone who has never been in a mfg enviroment before. They tricked us into thinking he was moving into our dept as a peer and once we taught him how to function and do the job, they made him our boss, and gave hiim a nice raise to boot. I have 25 yrs & my coworker has 35yrs in this company and we are both women. I feel completely betrayed and am so PO'd that I can barely speak of it.

    February 26, 2012 at 13:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  12. Branden

    Bottom line, when you always have to work the weekends just to meet the workload required of you every week, something is wrong. There is a reason my Division has shown above average productivity and revenue: Everyone is paid for 40 hours of work yet required to actually work a minimum of 50 hours or ore every week!

    This situation is no longer the outlier, it is the new norm, and the CEO's are laughing all the way to the bank!

    February 26, 2012 at 14:09 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Branden

      That should have been "more" not "ore"

      February 26, 2012 at 14:10 | Report abuse |
  13. NameRequired

    Nice articular observation. But sadly its just another large observation serving a small (and wrong) audience, ultimately making no difference in the way things actually are. MBAs will continue to chase fiction and scientists and engineers will always under their "guidance." Simply because managing, directing and controlling people at multiple levels is a skill not all scientists and engineers are capable of doing. And guess what you need a very personable person who can network across multiple disciplines and business partners to make a company really move. Frankly the social interaction involved is numerous and draining. Understanding and maneuvering around different facades and personalities is literally the job. Does this justify the MBAs salary and superceded prominence over the developers? Not fundamentally but in an artificial corporate environment that thrives on business relationships yo need people like that at the forefront. Rambling....

    February 26, 2012 at 14:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • corporat_stressee

      It seems that many times, it is those who can keep talking even when they're not saying anything who are viewed as being "in charge" and get promoted up the management chain.

      February 26, 2012 at 15:37 | Report abuse |
    • Happy Former Government Worker

      "managing, directing and controlling people at multiple levels is a skill not all scientists and engineers are capable of doing." I agree completely, which is partially why I quit my job. I am a good clinician, but an awful manager. Being forced to manage was turning me into an unpleasant person, to say the least. Unfortunately, the managers who were not clinicians were even worse than I was. The fact that the clinical staff often are more highly compensated than their boss, their boss's boss, and their boss's boss's boss, leads to some resentment as well.

      February 26, 2012 at 15:41 | Report abuse |
  14. C

    I write this from my office job on a Sunday. I am taking a quick break for lunch and this story caught my eye.

    I'd say work has had an impact on my Sunday......

    February 26, 2012 at 14:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ted

      Get back to work

      February 26, 2012 at 14:52 | Report abuse |
  15. kit8

    My new boss makes me work every weekend. Hence, I don't feel stress about going to work on a Monday as I am always at work.

    February 26, 2012 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Fedupwiththesystem

      Great life, isn't it?

      February 26, 2012 at 17:05 | Report abuse |
  16. DLN

    In 2004, the Bush Administration changed the rules as to which employees were eligible for overtime pay. As a result, the people in these jobs are salaried (not hourly), and have more and more work dumped onto them. That's because corporations can easily find replacements for burned out workers, and it's cheaper to make people work 50-60 hour weeks than to hire additional workers. Why doesn't the media report on this? Corporations are sitting on boatloads of money and unemployment is high. Change the overtime rules, reclassify jobs as hourly, and force corporations to hire. That's the only way to turn a "jobless recovery" into a real recovery.

    February 26, 2012 at 14:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JS

      So wrong.

      February 26, 2012 at 14:39 | Report abuse |
    • Happy Former Government Worker

      I agree with you. The last 2 years at my government job, we had a new director who was using my licensed professional (salaried) staff to do jobs that had nothing to do with our professional licenses, simply because we were exempt and so could be used this way for "free" labor. She also thought that everything could be solved by several hours of punitive meetings a day. This left little time to do the real job, and the hours were awful. I don't entirely blame her–yes, the ridiculous meetings were her fault, but the lack of money needed to run operations wasn't, and she had to try to keep it going somehow. Unfortunately, what she got was massive resignations. Resigning worked out well for me–I of course still put in extra hours, but it's to do something worth my while, not something asinine. Private sector pay is nice also.

      February 26, 2012 at 15:27 | Report abuse |
  17. beatenmale

    Most women make the worst bosses. Even women agree that this is a fact.

    February 26, 2012 at 14:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ted

      I have an excellent boss and she is a woman...and I'm a guy. Not sure where you're getting your statistics?

      February 26, 2012 at 14:54 | Report abuse |
  18. My Mindful Year

    This post IS me... or at least it used to be me. I finally had enough and decided to quit my job. The corporate culture shifted dramatically as new management came in. I was told by management and HR that I was expected to work 12-14 hour days with the anticipated workload in the coming year. That was it for me. I also believe that the "contagion" theory is accurate. If you have a manager who works 16-hour days and continually tries to do too many projects with too few resources, that group will feel that they must work weekends and evenings to keep up. The leader sets the pace. This problem is borne out of the tightly held myth that working longer hours makes a company more productive. Working hard around key projects and crunch times is expected and that is fine. But when you set an expectation that 12-hour days are the norm, you are setting yourself up for employee burnout (me!) and inevitable failure to meet your objectives. Our brains are not wired to sustain this kind of work. These corporate leaders don't understand the hard science behind this. We need to let people FOCUS in order to do high-quality work. You can't focus when working these long hours, when you never get a break from the looming workload.

    February 26, 2012 at 14:45 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Happy Former Government Worker

      Well put. I'm going to print out your post, and mail it anonymously to my former direct supervisor.

      February 26, 2012 at 15:45 | Report abuse |
  19. teri

    I dreaded goin back to work on Mondays, couldnt sleep Sunday night. I t was horrible. So I just quit. Found a much better job, that I love to get up on Monday morning. Best thing I ever did.

    February 26, 2012 at 14:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Happy Former Government Worker

      Amen.

      February 26, 2012 at 15:47 | Report abuse |
  20. P

    I feel so fortunate to actually really enjoy going to work. Of course Sunday evening is a bit of a bummer but I really enjoy my work and get paid well to do it. I'll count this as a blessing.

    February 26, 2012 at 14:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  21. S-Hug

    Excellent story. Unfortunately, the business world has a serious case of ADD. As with the case of these scientists, there is no longer a focus on quality and doing things the right way. Today's managers and CEOs are horrible — expecting staff to schlock out all the work instead of professionally and strategically planning projects. A young whippersnapper recently took over my department where I've been working nine years, and told me that the awards I've won for the company don't matter, and very condescendingly undermined my standards of quality and professionalism. But what do you expect? These people got where they are by schmoozing and sucking up, not because they were recognized for their integrity or expertise. This is one reason the foreigners are wiping us out.

    February 26, 2012 at 14:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Caroline

    I work for one of those bean counting micro managing types who does nothing but peer over everyone else's shoulders and give us more work. Honestly, I don't know what exactly it is she does besides harass everyone else. I can relate to the feeling that Sunday is ruined because you know the following day it's back to hell. But I work very hard not to let my horrible boss rent space in my head on the weekends. She already ruins 40 hours a week of my life, I refuse to allow her into my off hours.

    February 26, 2012 at 15:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. Diggs

    It is a quality of life issue. The bar is always set just a little higher than we can reach. Most of us end up with debt not because of things we want, but because of things we need. Need a car, debt; need education, debt; need a home with a yard, debt... Necessities shouldn't cost you your life's work. Personally, it is hard for me to enjoy life when I know I will never get to enjoy the things I expect out of life such as a house, car or education etc. We think we will soon or one day make it over the bar, but we are misled into believing that. Most people retire with debt, investments that bottemed out, and withered bodies and spirits. Granted, we have it much better than 80% of the world that is still in prehistoric survival mode, but to a modern day thinking man or woman, that doesn't offer much comfort. We have to build towards the future we all know we need. Help ourselves attain these things. Only then will we be able to bring the rest of the world along with us. I work 50-60 hours week salary. I am on call 365 24-7 and I know I am well underpaid. I work in a sector that is actually growing, but they know that they can put the pressure on us. It is the idea of profits that is killing us. Trust me.

    February 26, 2012 at 15:08 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Ted

      I hope you're joking. NEED a $40k car? NEED a house with a yard? lol, take some damn responsibility and stop playing the victim. I walked out of a college with 120k in student loans. Today, 4 years later I have less than 20k left to pay. Do I have a yard or a car with less than 150k miles on it? nope, and I don't need it nor the latest iphone nor cable nor a dataplan nor etc etc

      February 26, 2012 at 15:16 | Report abuse |
    • Diggs

      Ted, take some responsability? You don't know me so you really shouldn't be lecturing.

      February 26, 2012 at 15:21 | Report abuse |
    • Isabel

      Ted....
      Was it worth it? I don't think you got you money's worth.

      February 26, 2012 at 15:25 | Report abuse |
  24. JJ Jeffers

    Ruin my weekend? My boss ruined my entire life!

    February 26, 2012 at 15:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  25. Isabel

    Started a new job.... no overtime allowed they say, but the job cannot be done in 40hrs.
    So now I work 5 -8 hrs a week overtime with no pay to get the job done.
    Corporations today ssssuuuccckkkkkk!

    February 26, 2012 at 15:22 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. JT

    I've noticed that I'll log on back at work Monday morning and my boss has been emailing all weekend. I've then noticed my collegues have taken this as a hint that you should be doing the same all weekend. When others are doing it then you had better also in order to look as important and into your job as everyone else. Before you know it, everyone's competing to prove that they are more dediated than you. It's really pathetic.

    I might add that my boss is now having serious health issues that I suspect are due to stress. For some people, sixty hours/week just isn't good enough.

    February 26, 2012 at 15:40 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. mseikeh

    I can not believe this. There was a time, it took a taylor a day of work to make a garment. Now, it is bought for 2$ at whole sale and sold for 20$. My point is that, as we became more productive, it is logical to assume we got to be more relaxed. After all, it take is an avarge of 15 sec to produce the wheat we need to eat in a day and 1 hour to produce all the garment we wear for a whole year.
    What on earth has the "connectedness" to do with our today stress? How could we end up 6 fold more stressed than the guy who spent a day to make a single garment? Could the wise lady answer such a simple question?

    February 26, 2012 at 15:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Isabel

      It's called greed.

      February 26, 2012 at 15:44 | Report abuse |
    • Diggs

      Increases in production are lost in the grey area called concentrated wealth.

      February 26, 2012 at 16:00 | Report abuse |
  28. Paul L

    As a Business owner, My employees are wrecking my life and with the government , it is a nightmare to fire them!

    February 26, 2012 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Diggs

      I am not an owner but a manager and I understand your delimma. However, workers are just people. They are the result of the world they live in and they have expectations of their own. I get all kinds of workers. The best ones are the ones with a sense of responsability and a goal. It is a pool that is dried up though and people aren't getting incentives to work. Somebody who is pushed all day to make minimum wage has less happiness than one who lives off the land. The min wage worker has people bossing him around. This feels unnatural. The suvivalist has to worry about weather and food but is free. We aren't meant to be drones. We are meant to be free.

      February 26, 2012 at 15:57 | Report abuse |
    • Fedupwiththesystem

      I've been on both sides of the fence. Corporate minion, and small business owner. The corporate world demands more and more, yet the more you do ,the more is demanded. There is such a thing they overlook as 'quality of life', that is never taken into account. Stress levels are raised to nearly unbearable levels that few can function effectively at. Loyalty at a company is set at a premium, yet the reverse is completely naive to expect.

      February 26, 2012 at 16:59 | Report abuse |
  29. Enough is Enough

    JJ Jeffers. You nailed it. My boss, and his boss along with 100% clueless HR ruined my career. My boss was let go a year after me, which was way too late. I had already been laid off, not fired, but laid off. They couldn't fire me because I did my job, was a "team player" and did most of the overtime for the group. I had and have no confidence in corporate HR and am appalled by the politics. And my manager used to call me into his office and seek advice about people in our group. Signed, Soured for a Lifetime

    February 26, 2012 at 15:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. management schools

    i don't trust anything that comes out of a management school myself. industrial engineering, yes. management schools, no.

    February 26, 2012 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Jerome Horowitz

    After being laid off and not finding full-time work for FOUR years, I am now employed full-time. I don't care what my boss asks me to do (as long as it's legal). I shut up and thank the powers that be that I have a job.

    February 26, 2012 at 16:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Isabel

      Yours is a normal reaction, but it will wear off soon enough.

      February 26, 2012 at 17:23 | Report abuse |
  32. Ted Striker

    Lots of great comments here. The problem with the MBA crew is, most business school thinking really came to mature during the 80s and 90s, when the stock market just kept going up and up. The MBA crew used this as false affirmation that its management policies were working correctly.

    Now, since we have had a "lost decade," they are paranoid that anything they do will get punished by Wall Street, and so they suck up to them at all costs. This has led to a slash and burn cost cutting strategy, which unfairly puts the burden on the back of American workers, who are working longer, accessible around the clock, and have to re-work all the sloppy output being produced offshore.

    There is zero emphasis on getting employees skills, retaining them, or investing into R&D to grow the business organically and through making actual products. This system is straining itself to the limits and some of the old ways need to come back in order for our economy to continue to grow and for our living standards to get back to where they were 30 years ago.

    February 26, 2012 at 16:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  33. MJSouth

    You have to learn that on Friday you get to a point where you can do no more of value and leave. Worry does not help. If you work some on weekends, fine but again have a stopping point. Also, have a plan how you start Monday rather than stressing on an unknown. However, if it is the job itself and not just a temporary problem, time to look ahead and have a plan to get out.

    February 26, 2012 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Jeff

    Problem in this day and age of our economy is...people are so scared of losing their jobs...they are stressing and overworking to make sure they not only look busy...but over productive and any minute they aren't working is fear that their boss might be thinking they aren't busy enough to keep them around.

    So...even when they aren't busy...they look like they are just so their boss doesn't think they are not being productive.

    It's another reason people are also not taking vacations or time off like they used to 10 years ago. Cause any time off they take is a day they are thinking...wonder if they can get along without me? Maybe I shouldn't take any time off anymore.

    This was probably the way it was after the crash of 1929 and anyone that did have a job were the same way as people are today.

    February 26, 2012 at 16:47 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Disko

    Boss giving you trouble? Just bury him/her in a shallow grave.

    February 26, 2012 at 16:49 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. jj

    as a manager you have to deal with the work load from your boss , do your own work, and get your employees to do thier
    work. stress? you bet. having to deal with princcess personalities is just another work load for the day. not dealing with them may make more work in the end as they will quit and you have to do thier work until you hire and train others. any solutions?

    February 26, 2012 at 16:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. CDM

    Don't take an abusive boss personally. Their own neck may be on the line, and their behavior is often a reflection of their own insecurites. Do the best job that you can do but don't accept unreasonable workloads. Draw a line and stand firm. Don't be a suck-up, bosses actually hate suck-ups and you won't be respected. Live an hour from work, the commute time will give you a chance to wind down. Don't take it out on your family, if you love them, they don't deserve it and they are more important than any job. If none of that works, let them lay you off, you don't want to work there anyway.

    February 26, 2012 at 17:09 | Report abuse | Reply
  38. Colossus Sports

    Not really because I am my own boss:) That's why I started my own business/

    February 26, 2012 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. DanTman07

    Todays' workplaces are by and large a testament to loss ethical values with their 3-1 ratios of taks to employees, constant pressurized environments and nearly total disregard for staff. If you find yourself on the short end of the stick and collecting unemployment benefits, I suggest that your run with it as it may just add years to your life!

    February 26, 2012 at 17:11 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. David L

    I wish I had a job to be stressed about on Sunday night...being unemployed means that every day is like a weekend, only without the benefit if being paid.

    February 26, 2012 at 17:33 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Marisa

    Be grateful and thankful you have a job to go to on Monday morning, especially if it has benefits. I have one of the careers deemed most stressful of professions and I never complain.

    February 26, 2012 at 17:38 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. bob

    I would much rather have to hunt and avoid predators than play politics at a meaningless job. At least you are in control and have a concrete objective and immediate and unbiased feedback

    February 26, 2012 at 17:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Isabel

      Me too.

      February 26, 2012 at 19:11 | Report abuse |
  43. Suzy

    I WANT WELFARE!!! I mean, I should at least get SOMETHING BACK that I've paid into for almost 32 years! Sick and tired of crawling out of bed every morning, to support people on welfare. They have it made. One thing I've learned: The harder you work in life, the more you get screwed. The more you screw off, the more you get rewarded. Enough, already!!!

    February 26, 2012 at 17:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • umcpgrad

      so true

      February 26, 2012 at 18:09 | Report abuse |
  44. umcpgrad

    in all my years of working I have only one good management team -> few years ago my management took my education money that was saved for every member of team for training -> they took it to go to vegas instead I pointed that out and I had a bullseye on my back then afterwards instead of them ordering certain parts for me for 5-10 dollars they told me to make it myself that would costs 50 dollars to make instead of just spending 5-10 dollars...........................

    February 26, 2012 at 18:06 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. squid

    mountain lions are real, and you feel appreciation for life when you escape one. banks, national debt, world economic crisis, corporations, and how you'll afford the next high tech gadget so your friends and colleagues will think you're cool are all human constructs that aren't really real. we've created our own stress for some reason.

    February 26, 2012 at 18:11 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Isabel

      Agreed.

      February 26, 2012 at 19:12 | Report abuse |
  46. michflaguy

    What is ruining weekends are the wireless tethers we all wear. What weekends??!! I am on-call *every* weekend...so I believe *that* is what is stressing out Americans...we can NEVER get away from our jobs. Want me to have less stress? Let me turn in my Blackberry for a weekend!

    February 26, 2012 at 18:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  47. bill

    Autozone; she had to have worked at Autozone!!! Screw the customer, screw the staff!!! Almighty Dollar!!! BTW, if you buy a packet of anything you are the reason they suck but laugh at you on the way to the bank. They got your money why do they need to know anything about cars or finding your warranty? See ya in a year for those worn out brake pads.
    Call and ask about the exhaust fluid.

    February 26, 2012 at 18:23 | Report abuse | Reply
  48. B in SF

    For three and a half years, I worked for a company that provided stress, day and night, not to mention weekends. Believe it or not, I was yelled at for not being within arm's reach of my blackberry on the weekends when my fiance and I were out hiking or at church. "Excuse me pastor, I have to take this call." As many times as I and my colleagues approached the boss with reasonable solutions, our ideas were dismissed and we were told to work harder. It was the recession, and I had to keep telling myself how thankful I was to have a paycheck, as small as it was. Even worse, I wasn't a doctor, I was a staffing agent for a retail company. "We hang bras for a living," I would remind myself.

    Last year, I finally got a new job with a company that, while believing in working hard, also respects the work/life balance. (I grew up around a family business, and I understand the importance of rolling up your sleeves.) For the first time in four years, I feel mentally and emotionally stable, have lost the weight I packed on, have weekends to myself (but more than willing to log on for one hour on the weekends), and am no longer on anti-depressants. To my friends still out there in the trenches, Don't give up, keep looking for a new job and when your HR Manager seems to have an ulterior motive... don't give up! Stay Strong!

    My former boss may be reading this post. Sorry honey if I've stepped on your shoes, but you need a reality check; plain and simple, you're just not a nice person!

    February 26, 2012 at 18:42 | Report abuse | Reply
  49. Jackie

    I used to work in science where the field was pure science. Then businessmen came in and mucked it up. Been there and it is horrible.

    February 26, 2012 at 18:59 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Isabel

      The money changers always ruin everything. I wonder how they would fair if
      they actually had to work with their hands.

      February 26, 2012 at 19:15 | Report abuse |
    • iminim

      Health care is the same way. Last year a consulting firm came in & made big bucks telling us how to restructure our department's staffing & work distribution. Everyone actually doing the job knew from the start that the changes made no sense. Now, 1 year later, guess what! Administration has recognized that we have a problem & they came up with a brilliant solution–go back to the staffing & work distribution structure we were using before the consulting firm arrived. Of course we are now understaffed because of the staff restructuring, but we have been given the go-ahead to hire. I can't help but wonder how much money the consulting firm MBAs got as a result of their worthless and destructive advice. Fortunently, our company's administration has now realized that we know what we are talking about and we have received a bit more autonomy in our department with regards to scheduling, work distribution, and management. Too many times companies are quick to call in business management consultants when they should sit down with their experienced employees, lay out their concerns, and work together to find solutions.

      February 26, 2012 at 23:44 | Report abuse |
  50. Dave Jolly

    Part of the stress problem is the situation where you work and do a job for 2 to 3 people. Meaning I am one person doing a job that requires 2 to 3 people. Do the math. That is STRESS. And effin unfair, but then again life is not fair. I understand that, but to make an enivornment that is stress free, part of the solution is to go and find a new job or even creating one for myself..
    Thats a Goal worth going for!!!

    February 26, 2012 at 19:15 | Report abuse | Reply
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