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 (278 Responses)
  1. Missy

    I was in corporate America for 25 years and saw many horrible things happen. We were bought and sold 2X and each time the new company could hardly wait to get rid of us. I survived. There came a time when I needed a six month leave of abse nse my daughter was dying from ALS. I waited 4 months for approval without an answer, so I quit. She died 8 months later. I was so emotionally devastated I did not sue....I wonder if I still can?? How heartless the new buyers were.

    February 26, 2012 at 19:26 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Sri

      Go ahead. They deserve to be sued even for next 100 years.

      February 26, 2012 at 20:36 | Report abuse |
    • Randy

      Sounds like AT&T

      February 26, 2012 at 20:46 | Report abuse |
    • Legal Beagle

      Statue of limitations says you can't sue. Sorry about your daughter though 🙁

      February 26, 2012 at 21:02 | Report abuse |
    • allan

      You know what you must do. Thyey murdered your daughter.

      February 26, 2012 at 21:10 | Report abuse |
    • Pam

      I worked with a guy who asked to retire early. He was told no...he died about one month after he retired. People are heartless.

      February 26, 2012 at 21:32 | Report abuse |
    • magnus

      find the people who kept you away from your daughter and give them what they deserve

      February 26, 2012 at 21:32 | Report abuse |
    • cheetahcat

      If you have the energy to sue, I am sure a shrewd lawyer will find a way. I had a horrible experience only to see the same people (6 in a clique working for the state) be promoted. I am choosing to try and move on. These people are no longer worth my time and effort. I still have a nightmare every so often. Working on my PTSD. May you find joy

      February 26, 2012 at 21:41 | Report abuse |
    • EM

      In a socialist system, that would not happen.

      February 26, 2012 at 21:46 | Report abuse |
    • olironeagle

      I am very sorry for your loss, loosing a child is a horrible thing. The sad truth is corporate America doesn't give a rat's ass for anyone but profits.

      February 26, 2012 at 22:04 | Report abuse |
    • namethename

      in a socialist system he would of ate his daughter after she died for protein. True story- happened to my relatives in USSR 1933.
      You might think I am talking trash. Happened. Research hunger of 1933 in Ukraine.
      Socialism ? No, thank you!

      February 26, 2012 at 22:20 | Report abuse |
    • Jeremy

      @EM You're entirely right. In a socialistic system, you would not be told that you couldn't have the family leave by a bean counting, pencil pushing corporate type. You would instead be told that you couldn't have the time off by a bean counting, pencil pushing government bureaucrat who would care even less.

      February 26, 2012 at 22:28 | Report abuse |
    • RNHTaco

      Sounds like JP Morgan Chase...

      February 26, 2012 at 23:23 | Report abuse |
    • Ben Affleck

      You were free to quit at any time.

      "Sue my boss cause they won't give me time off work"

      Yay America...

      February 27, 2012 at 00:28 | Report abuse |
    • Marie

      Is suing going to bring your kid back? How is money going to solve anything? Typical sue happy American...So sick of seeing parents trying to profit off their dead children. You suing just makes it seem your money hungry. Why not do something that may make a difference in the long run???? After you receive that fat check...Then what?

      February 27, 2012 at 00:48 | Report abuse |
    • joe

      I'm sorry for your loss, but what exactly did you want from your employer? You wanted them to pay you during your absence or to keep your job for you. Neither are really fair for them. Workers are not slaves to their employers, neither are employers indebted to you. You want to leave, leave. When ready you can find another job.

      February 27, 2012 at 02:15 | Report abuse |
    • Laylla

      Don't listen to the comments down below they have NO SOULS!

      February 27, 2012 at 08:04 | Report abuse |
    • monah

      I'm sorry for your loss. Unfortunately most companies don't grant six months leave of absence whether paid or unpaid. Although you may not have been paid you should have been eligible to get 12 weeks off under FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act).

      February 27, 2012 at 09:25 | Report abuse |
    • slupdawg

      Monah, that's exactly what I was thinking. Did you apply for FMLA, or perhaps did you not know about it? Your employer cannot deny you FMLA by law. If you simply asked for time off, or paid leave, they're under no legal obligation to allow it, nor should they reasonably be expected to. However, if you requested FMLA and were denied it, then you certainly have grounds for a civil case.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:32 | Report abuse |
    • chefdugan

      The answer is simple: One small joint every night at 6. Works like a charm. You never regurgitate the day and never, ever worry about tommorrow. Just a hit or two works magic!

      February 27, 2012 at 12:00 | Report abuse |
    • kalisto

      The trolls are proliferating today. I'm not sure what you gain from such negativity and spitefulness. If what you put out is what you ultimately receive, you should be worried.

      February 27, 2012 at 13:18 | Report abuse |
    • mary m

      Companies get in the clutches of mean little people who have no lives and aren't happy unless no one else does either. It's a kind of insanity.

      February 27, 2012 at 14:24 | Report abuse |
    • publish

      when its too late to sue. you can still publish.

      February 27, 2012 at 20:42 | Report abuse |
    • Berly

      namethename: IN 1933!!!! Come on.

      February 28, 2012 at 18:00 | Report abuse |
    • It was called the Hodemor

      It happened because of Stalin's collectivization of the farms. Stalin confiscated all of the crops and left farmers nothing. Look it up.

      March 8, 2012 at 10:30 | Report abuse |
    • zatashasquare

      i'm so sorry about your daughter

      April 26, 2012 at 18:55 | Report abuse |
  2. Matt Damon

    Women are bred to be sex slaves and when they decide to enter business, they get snippy. Women are only good for shooting hot loads into until a crying turd comes out.

    February 26, 2012 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Isabel

      Here's a cell phone, go call you mother.

      February 26, 2012 at 19:30 | Report abuse |
    • Thinking7

      You have issues.

      February 26, 2012 at 19:31 | Report abuse |
    • Jimmy B


      February 26, 2012 at 19:34 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth Peterson

      I knew that you are a card carrying member of the Hollywood liberal kool-aid drinkers, but aren't you risking your children's respect by posting this filth? Knowing your particular mind set, and the level of intelligence and wisdom in Hollywood, why should I, or anyone else with a brain be surprised.

      February 26, 2012 at 19:49 | Report abuse |
    • chicago7

      Yeah, um, Elizabeth, that isn't actually Matt Damon. People can type in any user name they want. This guy is likely drinking something, but it isn't Kool-Aid, Hollywood or any other kind.

      February 26, 2012 at 20:19 | Report abuse |
    • Guest

      Cant believe you women fall for people egging them on.

      February 26, 2012 at 20:32 | Report abuse |
    • magnus

      wow, elizabeth really thought that was matt damon. LOL

      February 26, 2012 at 21:46 | Report abuse |
    • Mama Damon

      That crying turd would be you.

      February 26, 2012 at 21:53 | Report abuse |
    • Ben Affleck

      Word, Matt knows whats up.

      February 27, 2012 at 00:23 | Report abuse |
    • Matt Damon Puppet

      MATT DAMON!!!!

      February 27, 2012 at 02:06 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth Peterson's Daughter

      Shut up mom! Matt, I'll receive your seed!

      February 27, 2012 at 02:35 | Report abuse |
    • Elizabeth Peterson's Black Neighbor

      Damn White People!

      February 27, 2012 at 14:38 | Report abuse |
  3. Isabel

    Sue them for everything they got.

    February 26, 2012 at 19:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Thinking7

    Women need to stay out of the workforce. Period. Before you go saying that is such a cheauvanistic thing to say, let me tell you that I am a woman. Women has a natural role. That role is to take care of people. That role is not to push people around in the work environment. Any man who has worked under the supervision of a woman will tell you that it is his worst nightmare. Men don't do well working for women. Truth is that women create a lot of high level stress as managers. Men don't tend to do that nearly as often, and when they do, men tend to deal with it better because they aren't running around screaming and having hormonal attacks. Just saying. Like I said, I am a woman. I worked in a leadership position. I was not one of these women, but there were plenty of them that seemed to love to make people miserable. That is because women are happiest in a home environment.

    February 26, 2012 at 19:30 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt Damon

      Will you accept my offer for free lovemaking?

      February 26, 2012 at 19:32 | Report abuse |
    • Metron

      So true, I completely agree with you. The world would be a better place. I have never enjoyed my female bosses, not a single one.

      February 26, 2012 at 19:38 | Report abuse |
    • Lisa

      Funny how you claim you are a woman, make some wildly false generalizations about women in managerial positions, then turn around and say that these generalizations don't apply to you. I'm a woman and am anything but happiest in a home environment. I thrive at work in a leadership role where I can leverage my education and knowledge to lead others with less knowledge, experience, and education – most of whom are men. Most men are too insecure to work under a woman, but that's not our problem, it's theirs.

      February 26, 2012 at 19:45 | Report abuse |
    • RyanWI

      @Lisa If you think that most of the men working under you can't handle working for a woman, the problem isn't them. It's you. I've worked for and supervised numerous men and women throughout my career. What you are saying is a common crutch used by bad bosses to justify their poor leadership skills. No man who has the problems you described would be long in any industry anymore. In fact, if they are that much of a problem, why haven't you terminated them? I think the answer is that you aren't actually a boss. You are, in fact, a middle manager. And a poor one at that.

      February 26, 2012 at 20:03 | Report abuse |
    • dave

      @Thinking7 – your spelling and grammar are so atrocious it's clear to me you aren't smart enough to know that women can work and can raise children. My mother worked my entire childhood and managed to raise a doctor, a lawyer, an engineer, an accountant and a hard charging entrepreneur. You are either a fool or a troll.

      February 26, 2012 at 20:12 | Report abuse |
    • Befcca

      Well something is not quite right in what you are saying here! You are a woman and you should not have a great job being a boss or CEO of any company because you think the work place as no place for woman??? I guess you must not know men at all as they can be very catty and more so than woman in a work place. And I just bet you can live with little or nothing at all. Or you either have a rich husband that you do not have any worries. But you are really wrong about your comment here and I know it is yours to believe in. But unless you have a lot of money from another source you do not have to work is all I can say.

      February 26, 2012 at 20:14 | Report abuse |
    • John

      I currently have a women boss and you are sooooo right. She loves me make me miserable all the time. It has been one of the worst experiences of my life.

      February 26, 2012 at 20:20 | Report abuse |
    • drillteamer

      some women are happiest at home, others aren't. it all depends on the individual.

      February 26, 2012 at 20:47 | Report abuse |
    • EM

      Women have been a fantastic addition to the workforce ... and a terrible one. The best, the worst. My Dad (WWII vet) worked when there were few women in the office, other than secretaries. I, on the other hand, entered the business world when "women's lib" was taking off, and spent almost my entire career in a milieu where women shared power with men. My Dad and I would compare notes about business and one thing stands out: emotion.

      The office today is a far more emotional place than it was a half century ago. That has made for some amazing experiences, and some terrible ones. On the one hand, senior managers are forced to understand the human psyche much more than the did in my Dad's time.

      On the other hand, that same human psyche has almost spun out of control with extreme stress, that wasn't there in the 1950s. Women lessen the stress, but they create it. How are we supposed to resolve that?

      I don't think we ever can.

      February 26, 2012 at 21:57 | Report abuse |
    • Dobie

      YOU may be happiest staying at home, but please do not presume to speak for all women. I would be miserable staying at home. Everyone is different – what is right for one women is not necessarily right for all.

      February 26, 2012 at 23:27 | Report abuse |
    • Soulcatcher

      I'd have to disagree with your stereotyping. Woman can be very effective, natural managers. The way you have to understand most women managers is they spread the stress more around their workers like a support group. If you look at it impartially you'd know that the best strategy to deal with it is to be more supportive of them.

      I'm a male contractor working in a military organization with plenty of female officers and executives. CYA, watch your back and always bring a wingman though.

      February 27, 2012 at 08:35 | Report abuse |
    • Senator Cletus Scoffpossum

      "Any man who has worked under the supervision of a woman will tell you that it is his worst nightmare." Funny the most stress free work experience I had was working for a woman supervisor. The dude I worked for prior was a negative, controlling stress bag. What a retarded comment.

      February 27, 2012 at 09:19 | Report abuse |
    • Dinah

      I know the type you are talking about....40 or 50 something with nothing in life but work, work, work and needing to prove themselves to break the glass ceiling. Fortunately, not all of us have those traits. Forget the glass ceiling. I am a high ranking female Project Manager who does not want the CEO's role. Unlike my male counterparts, I have an 85% repeat client rate. While I get my hand slapped for being "too good" to clients on many occasions (they call it "goldplating" clients in the industry), they come back to me for being fair and having integrity. The company ends up making more profit. My male counterparts will nickel and dime clients to death and receive praise until those clients disappear after the first project. I find women in the PM field to be more understanding, flexibile, and focused on making clients happy and respecting the needs of the project team.

      February 27, 2012 at 10:08 | Report abuse |
    • AC Summers

      BS!!Some people are just trifling at work. They can't deal with their own issues over the weekend and try to spread their cancer around the office on Monday. As a woman I use laughter and scarasm cause I refuse to let anyone stress me out with their issues. Let me do my work or be gone from my presence. That goes for Monday Lunches to. Don't ask to go to lunch as all you want to do it talk negative..I could be at my desk watchin youtube videos, paying my bills, or shopping online starving..

      February 27, 2012 at 10:36 | Report abuse |
    • gtalum06

      And how do you propose women support themselves if not in the workforce? Good thinkin' there...

      I'd be perfectly happy not dealing w/ workplace bureaucracy (being a female working in a mostly-male office has many challenges), but I have to support myself.

      So much ignorance.

      February 27, 2012 at 16:26 | Report abuse |
    • Kris

      I bet you have never had an orgasm.

      February 27, 2012 at 21:30 | Report abuse |
    • Maggie

      You're Mormon right !!!!!

      April 4, 2012 at 16:39 | Report abuse |
  5. Matt Damon

    If anyone here disses women and then tells you they ARE a woman. They are lying to you.

    February 26, 2012 at 19:32 | Report abuse | Reply
    • EM

      If anyone here tells you that other people are lying to you, then they are.

      If another person tells you that, if anyone here tells you that other people are lying to you, then they are ... well, then THEY are.

      And if a third person tells you that, if another person tells you that, if anyone here tells you that other people are lying to you, then they are ... well, then THEY are ... well, then, um THEY are.

      And ...

      February 26, 2012 at 22:00 | Report abuse |
    • Ben Affleck

      There are no women on the internet.

      February 27, 2012 at 00:25 | Report abuse |
  6. Matt Damon

    The only thing women are good at is knitting and sharing man chowder with their twin sister.

    February 26, 2012 at 19:33 | Report abuse | Reply
    • EM

      Are you sure you aren't Larry Flynt?

      You might actually be, yet think you are somebody else. It's possible.

      February 26, 2012 at 22:02 | Report abuse |
    • Ben Affleck

      What do you tell a woman with a black eye?
      ...nothing she hasn't been told once before

      February 27, 2012 at 00:26 | Report abuse |
  7. Kenneth Goldberg, Ph.D.

    I would like to make sure we include children in this discussion. The topic here is the stress induced by bosses impinging on the weekend for adult workers. What about the stresses induced on families by their children's bosses, teachers, who have the power to assign work at home, sometimes over the judgment of the parents.

    February 26, 2012 at 19:38 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Matt Damon

      Life is hard, suck it up.

      February 26, 2012 at 19:42 | Report abuse |
    • erin

      Oh, please, get over yourself. That teacher is just trying their best to give your kid a chance at having a good future, in spite of the obstacle of having you as a parent.

      February 27, 2012 at 19:39 | Report abuse |
  8. Matt Damon

    Every mother should be allowed a career as long as they don't mind their kids speaking the same language as their loser nanny.

    February 26, 2012 at 19:40 | Report abuse | Reply
    • EM

      As long as they don't mind their kids speaking the same language as their loser Dad.

      February 26, 2012 at 22:03 | Report abuse |
    • Jorge

      As long as they don't mind their kid smoking the same junk as that loser down the street who lives with his parents and calls himself Matt Damon.

      April 27, 2012 at 09:13 | Report abuse |
  9. Matt Damon

    After reading the article it is now official. Americans are all officially PUSSSIES!

    February 26, 2012 at 19:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  10. winstonsmith

    This isn't a man/woman thing, and eitherway men are just as emotionally messed up as women on the whole. The human species is messed up, but we do the best we can. I'm an American and believe in the FREEDOM for any American to choose their life. Stress is normal because our society is about working harder and harder for less and less. We will hit a breaking point. We're a LONG WAY off from the slacker lazy gen-xers of the late 80s early 90s, and I find the worst people I've worked with are all from that generation, now in their 40s.

    February 26, 2012 at 20:13 | Report abuse | Reply
  11. IceT

    I too used to dread going back to work on Mondays, so I did something about it. I started my own buisness. Now I long for the days I had a weekend off.

    February 26, 2012 at 20:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • EM

      But at least you are in charge of your destiny.

      Well, maybe not. I know a lot of people envy what appears to be independence, when they see someone running their own business. They think, "wow, he's his own boss". They forgot one rule: EVERYBODY has a boss.

      For the businessman, it's his customers.

      February 26, 2012 at 22:07 | Report abuse |
  12. Distraught female government worker from pa

    Here is one for you Try working in government and having your female power hungry high ranking elected official give you a bottle of ky jelly for Christmas, basically telling you in so many words watch out I'm coming to get you. Two years of the worst bullying and intimidation n my life which required hospitalization, medication and dealing with those dreadful Sunday's mentioned in this article every work day.

    February 26, 2012 at 20:24 | Report abuse | Reply
    • EM

      I have heard it said from women that they hate working for a woman boss. Women prefer to work for men. When it's women working for other women, it becomes like a lion pride - females vying with each other. I don't know, that's what I heard.

      One thing I have seen in an office is that women hold a grudge far longer than men. Men can get mad at each other, but a week later it's blown over and they're on to something else. Women - well, let's put it this way: they NEVER forget.

      February 26, 2012 at 22:09 | Report abuse |
    • J.Haj

      Damn, girl! How'd you survive? Better question: How did you keep from hiring a hit man or offing her yourself?

      February 28, 2012 at 19:41 | Report abuse |
  13. Julia

    This is exactly how I feel. I'm trapped in the publishing world and I'm suffering through horrible writer's block because I am literally unable to rest on nights and weekends. It's always "more" and "faster" and "sell" instead of taking the time to develop something that appeals to readers rather than stroking the egos of the advertisers. Worse, while my coeditors and I are working longer and harder than ever before, the only people getting raises and able to use their vacation days are the beloved publisher and the egomaniacal sales team, who neither see any problem with asking for a paycut from one part of the staff while giving kudos and praise to the other nor care enough to ask how we're doing. It's now Sunday night and I've been on edge all day. My stomach feels like it's being pulled through my throat. I haven't been able to unplug all day because in less than 24 hours, I'll be back to the grind of pressure and being told that there's "no money in the budget for raises..." I know others feel this way, too.

    February 26, 2012 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
  14. Jeff

    There's nobody holding a gun to your head making you work. If you don't like it you can quit. People need to stop whining and take responsibility for their own lives. If you can't hack it then leave. People need to do their jobs plain and simple. What I have noticed is the freeways are empty on Fridays, so I really don't think people are overworked. People today have become soft and lazy and they expect someone else to do the heavy lifting, well eventually the people doing all the heavy lifting lifting and paying all the taxes are going to get fed up with all the free loaders and whiners.

    February 26, 2012 at 20:25 | Report abuse | Reply
    • batel

      Jeff – The current economy is a gun to your head. If you get a chance you should visit the U.S. sometime. From your comment I can only suppose that you don't live in the U.S. The longest "day" I worked in my last job (an IT position) was 26 hours, paid for 8 and when my health broke after seven years I was shown the door. I'll cut this short though, since you don't understand stress I don't want to induce it, your next customer might want lottery tickets with their fuel and you need to be on your game to make change.

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

      Jeff, it's nice you have a fairytale job and could survive if you quit. I don't believe you work in the US with your lack of empathy; or you are so high on the corporate ladder you still have no idea. What's sad is your day will come.

      February 26, 2012 at 21:52 | Report abuse |
  15. Aj

    I worked for corporate america for 6 years and that was stressful from day one. I ended up quitting without a job lined up b/c the stress was too much I could not take it anymore. I am back to school finishing a PhD and hoping I can get a job or do my own thing. My family and I are happier but poorer ... that is ok. We lost our house to the bank... that is ok. I am really more connected with my kids than before and enjoy the time I have with them. We are really struggling but we will make it through these hard times. Although I think about what I did and regret it for a few seconds every now and then. being poor is stressful and having money in the bank is not bad. Yet it is liberating to be away from an abusive boss and a controlling work environment. I had no evenings or weekends. my stomach was always cringing. ... anyways... I can write an essay about this but you get the point. You can decide to re-position your life and take another course. it will be hard and dark and eventful. You will be less certain that you will succeed in your new life course. But, you will be more certain that you will be stressed and miserable if you stay where you are at. Take action and do something for yourself. Seek happiness even if you never reach it .. you will at least know you tried. love to you all// AJ

    February 26, 2012 at 20:36 | Report abuse | Reply
    • ACM

      It's great that you are connecting with your kids more and understood that the job was not worth your health or the happiness of your family. Not being able to get everything you WANT right away (we are a instant gratification nation) makes it that more earned and enjoyable. Kudos to you and your family!

      February 26, 2012 at 22:44 | Report abuse |
    • J.Haj

      Wow! That's pretty bold there. I don't think I have the nutts for an "AJ" move, but you have my prayers bro/bro-ette. Taking in all of the comments has been inspiring so-to-speak. Knowing there are others in the world looking like the dude in the picture above on Sundays,Saturdays, or even Fridays after work makes my look that much more refreshed. However, I've come to learn that the thought(s) of Monday morning are a whole lot easier with a Yager-bomb or two or three or...hell, you get the picture. Good luck AJ and all the other folks who choose not to be restrained by public opinion. Peace...

      February 27, 2012 at 14:27 | Report abuse |
  16. Pun-Dit

    Do you all think running own business or self employment is 9 to 5 week job? Get real people. It is more stress in this economy than working few extra hours to help your employer competing with their competetors in this ecomonic crisis to pay your salary on time. It is nice if they compensate for overtime, and normally small business owners understand this. On the other hand I agree that most big corporations are very greedy.

    February 26, 2012 at 20:37 | Report abuse | Reply
    • jason83

      I thought the 9 to 5 work shift was a thing of the 1970's. I am constantly hearing and seeing people work 10,11,12,13,14 even 15 hour days. True story form imdb.com, on the last 6 years of the show 24, the main star Keifer Sutherland would work 15 hour days 6 days a week for 6 years in a row. I can not even imagine doing week after week, and that man is still working non-stop. People who work in a hospital, bless you people. They work 12 to 14 hour shifts on a daily basis, and look at teachers who work 10 and 12 hour days and have to bring thier work home nightly and on weekends too, grading papers and preparing lesson plans for the following week. Everybody thinks they get summers off, but they don't. They have to spend their summers doing lesson plans, taking classes at colleges without pay to catch up on their skills and the times. It's no wonder people have high blood pressure, strke, heart-attack, etc. It's also no wonder people get so fusturated, don't say anything to anybody and end up committing suicide although that is somewhat isolated in nature.

      February 27, 2012 at 20:46 | Report abuse |
  17. truebob

    I have a degree from the U of California. I worked my way through school. I work weekends, late night, holidays and sick. I get stressed out by not having the money my family needs/wants and am happy knowing that they still have their home, schools and eat what they want. Stop whining and spend a summer working on a farm, it will change your idea of hard work for the rest of your life.

    February 26, 2012 at 20:41 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Aj

      well noted bob.

      February 26, 2012 at 20:47 | Report abuse |
    • jason83

      I did that for 3 summers on a family farm. That occupation is a 24/7, no holiday's etc. It sure opened my eyes to another world, where a lot of folks who do a lot of complaing should spend some time on a farm to gain a sense of appreciating to the alternatives out there.

      February 27, 2012 at 20:52 | Report abuse |
  18. Sheri

    I've had nine female bosses over the years. Only three had my complete respect. The rest were arrogant, lacked integrity or were just drama queens. The one male employer I had was wonderful.

    February 26, 2012 at 20:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  19. vox

    I remember the summers I spent working @ hotels in Hershey, PA. Housekeepers started working @ 8 am and very often were forced to work until all the rooms were turned...even if it meant a 12 hr day. Those of us who were underaged would punch out after our legally allowed time but continue to work. If u refused ud surely b replaced. I continued working summers @ these popular hotels right through college. We were threatened with termination constantly. We were denied not only 15 min breaks, but our union protected lunch breaks as well. Mandatory 6 and 7 day weeks were the norm. I was young n energetic and made it through without having a nervous breakdown. I often worried about the older women who worked there their entire lives and made a career of it. I heard through the grapevine many of them were fired just before their retirement.

    February 26, 2012 at 20:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Mrosso

    It is very true, leaders play significant role on the emotional life of those under them

    February 26, 2012 at 20:49 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JethroTull

      Far too true.

      February 27, 2012 at 19:30 | Report abuse |
  21. FayeMuss

    The Chewstroke homepage suggested quitting your job, wanting less and helping everybody out...

    February 26, 2012 at 21:35 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. Roger Ogilvy Thornhill

    This is one reason U.S. companies hire overseas. They can work those people to the grave and they don't complain. If we could only get rid of regulation and worker's rights here in the U.S. we could maybe bring some of these jobs back to the U.S. Scott Walker and the Koch brothers have a good start on eliminating worker's rights. Vote Santorum or Romney and we will probably have lots of jobs back in the U.S. by the end of his 2nd term.

    February 26, 2012 at 21:43 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Larry

      Clearly, you do not remember the early days of the labor movement when after much abuse (just like they have today ovetseas), your gradndfather and great grandfather organized and took to the streets risking and in many instances losing their lives so that you could enjoy the rights you have today ... and tou glibly suggest we should just bend over and return those days .... what a fool, an unamerican fool!!

      February 26, 2012 at 23:05 | Report abuse |
    • KanneM

      Interesting how the site declines to show comments that are contrary to the editorial policy of the organization. Nothing like an ill-informed public !

      March 11, 2012 at 16:52 | Report abuse |
  23. woodrow

    I don't like the stress of working either. But I don't have any choice. So I learn to deal with stress and keep my family in food and shelter. It's funny sometimes listening to other peoples reality. Mine seems so different.

    February 26, 2012 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Aj

      This is a choice we made as a family. It took me over a year to prepare for my move to quit to be able to do what I need to do. My family is well fed and we live in a larger home and nicer neighborhood.

      February 27, 2012 at 05:51 | Report abuse |
  24. Tom Tomato

    IIf corporate America goes unchecked we end up with a situation such as in China, where workers are so miserable they commit suicide. I've worked at many of the largest American corporations, and these places are all killing their own workers. II see my coworker's, and my health ruined by stress from these greed factories.

    February 26, 2012 at 21:48 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cm

      Amen brother! I was assaulted at work and it was swept under the carpet and then a while later my work sucked without showing me one thing I did wrong and then I was fired. I worked for a church so no unemployment for me. I am for unions and would love the government to start cleaning up American business boxes besides licking their butts.

      February 26, 2012 at 22:34 | Report abuse |
  25. let it eat

    I say drive them nuts,slow walk them,needs to be done on thursday give it to them on friday.play stupid.you can make money at any job.I quite two jobs in one day.

    February 26, 2012 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  26. John Dorian

    LOL. I went to school for 8 years after high school only to finish with about 250,000 dollars in student loans with an interest rate of 7%. I spend 80-100 hours a week in a high stress environment earning a robust 8$/hr. I worked Thanksgiving day. I worked overnight on Christmas eve. I haven't had a full weekend off in 3 months. Then, to top it off, I come home and, with the hour I have before I go to bed, I get to read all these posts by all of you babies. You should be thankful you even have jobs.

    February 26, 2012 at 22:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Cor


      So you're saying that in the 21st century educated Americans should be happy with an $8/hr job?

      Why not we have the highest COL in any 3rd world country. Let's keep raising the price of goods/services and keep wages at all time lows. Pretty soon worker bees will have to choose between food or shelter because at $8/hr you're not getting both.

      February 27, 2012 at 14:42 | Report abuse |
    • Heffman

      Stop whining, residency ends.

      February 27, 2012 at 17:54 | Report abuse |
  27. Dan

    Wow, I spent all day on the computer applying for jobs and trying to keep myself from feeling bad because I don't have one. I'm not sure if reading this article and the comments makes me feel better or worse. Good luck to all of you.

    February 26, 2012 at 23:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • cm

      Right beside ya Dan.

      February 26, 2012 at 23:18 | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      Thanks, it really sucks looking for work. I hate the whole process. I don't envy all the dbags I met at the job fair the other day as much now.. I swear one HR lady was actually a reptilian.

      February 26, 2012 at 23:21 | Report abuse |
    • cm

      Dan I can relate. Job fairs usually consist of 'going back to school', sales positions, and uniformed services. Temp agencies are a joke too. My name is in several and I do not get any calls. So much for my degree and experience. I hope at least you get unemployment – I don't.

      February 26, 2012 at 23:47 | Report abuse |
    • Dinah

      Don't take it personal Dan. Just focus on yourself and remember that you are a great person with or without a job. A job will come, so just spend an hour or so looking several times a week and know that this is your time to take a breather since those times are rare. All of us have been there and it can seem hopeless at times, but don't sit in fron of your computer and tv all day. Get out and do something for yourself or volunteer to get social and your head out of the unemployment muck. All the best....

      February 27, 2012 at 10:21 | Report abuse |
    • Dan

      No cm I don't get un-employment. Thank you and Dinah for the kind words.

      February 27, 2012 at 13:37 | Report abuse |
  28. Johnny Boy

    Two solutions: Work for yourself or work at a job that doesn't have as much stress but may pay less. Lower your standard of living if you have to.

    February 26, 2012 at 23:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  29. Spider Monkey

    I've had lots of managers over the years and the only one that's been worse than females has been a gay man. He's butch, ruthless, and cold and only wants to hire minorities, gays or cute guys who let him think they might be gay. He's really stupid and knows it, so he's very self-conscious and defensive. I'll take a (straight) woman over that pos any day.

    February 27, 2012 at 00:45 | Report abuse | Reply
  30. Hiroki

    It's natural for us to feel stress in our daily life. We have a lot of feelings, joys, anger, sadness, happy, etc. But people tend to feel very weak when they are faced with discouraging feelings. When you spread bad feelings to your peers, they may take care of you, and support you. Cooperating and giving hands to such people must be done in our society, but I think you should behave not to show your private feelings in business time.

    February 27, 2012 at 03:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  31. Randy

    Any manager can make people do something. A good manager can make people want to do something.

    February 27, 2012 at 04:56 | Report abuse | Reply
  32. Saber

    Wahh, Wahh, Wahh! Boo Hoo! I go to work, collect my paycheck and go home. Is there some job stress? Yes! Is my boss part of the problem? Yes! But the issue that makes it worse are the folks that are not pulling their weight and doing their part. In fact, that is the part which this article should address, and it does not! Its another "Woe is me! I am so stressed out and can't deal with the pressure" article! BS Folks! When you don't do your part you place a larger burden on your work partners creating an unfair load they have to burden because you got LAZY! Are there abuses of power at work? You betcha! But if you are being abused, and there are clear violations of company policy or labor laws you folks are protected under those laws and policies. You just have to have the GUTS to exercise your rights! If you don't you become part of the problem, not part of the solution. Because those problems will not go away, they have to be dealt with directly and quickly. AND... one of those protections is called the Weingarten Whistle Blowers Act. So get over your whining about your dis-satisfaction at work. Do your job and IGNORE the LOOSERS who are too lazy to do their jobs propely. Just my point of view! No I am not in management either. Just sick of all of the "As The Stomach Churns Daytime Drama"!

    February 27, 2012 at 05:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • JethroTull

      Right. As if it was all soooo simple and straightforward to solve persistent interpersonal problems.

      February 27, 2012 at 19:27 | Report abuse |
  33. AC Summers

    -The haters will stress you tfo on Monday. One of them just tried to do that that to me 15 minutes ago by asking a question they knew the answer to. Just to see if I was online. I put the stress back on them with you should know the answer to your own question. Right? They quickly moved on. They do not say Good Morning, How was your weekend? Nothing pleasant which is a sign that they do not come with good intentions just stressful ones.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  34. Dennis671998

    I, too, end up spending my Sundays anticipating the week to follow. I try to relax but it is difficult. Ultimately, I just leave it in God's hands and it helps me to calm down and know that all will be okay.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:51 | Report abuse | Reply
  35. Emanda

    Here's a thought. BECOME YOUR OWN BOSS! I did and it's still a struggle sometimes. I became a housecleaner and I opened up my own small video production company. I was a corporate rat for almost 20 years in the news/video biz. I loved what I did, working with video, multimedia etc but it was the negative TV station that got to me and then the stuck in a rut and cube rat for a casino with NO voice in my own work. I was always told I had one but when I used it, it was never heard. I had anxiety and stress off the charts. I couldn't take it anymore so I quit. It's hard being your own boss but I would rather clean someones home for 4 hours any day and walk away with $60 than spend another 10 hours with my butt planted in a chair and computer and listening to my insides slowly dissolve. I get an occasional client that isn't happy the way something turned out, I can handle that.

    February 27, 2012 at 10:58 | Report abuse | Reply
  36. J.Haj

    4 words folks: F-M-L-A


    February 27, 2012 at 14:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  37. jason83

    This is the first time I've ever asked a question like this. I am currenty 28 years old. I work for Safeway part time. I have been there now for 12 years working mostly overnight and some day work. I am constantly stressed out due to all of the demands manaagement and the district managers enforce. The problem is I have crohn's disease ( auto immune disease)really bad, and it causes me to miss a lot of work in the Emergence Room and having to spend a week or two at a time having to be admitted due to stomach pain. Thankfully, they are understanding about one's health. Safeway does pay for my health insurance 80%. However, out of those 12 years, honestly the first two years were good, then it went down hill, mostly because of the pressures of management and the higher ups. I desperatly want to move on from my job, I did go to college with a Bachelor's degree in Digital Media Design ( television, behind the scenes work) but feel like I'm stuck because of having crohn's disease (auto-immune disease that attacks your body to the point where I have trouble sometimes just getting out of bed) and the medications alone without insurance would be $10,000 versus paying about $500 in medications a month. I'm just curious, what would you all suggest as far as staying in a job and being miserable, but having insurance cover a lot of medical expenses or move on and live a happier life ? I am fully aware I will be working until the day I die (like a lot of people, unfortunally). I'll take any suggestions of how to go about handling this situation. Please don't put me down. Thank You all very much.

    February 27, 2012 at 16:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Mike Hunt

      Nature's Herbs ,Reshi Mushroom

      Get at Allstarhealth.com. Will build your immune system.(3 3x a day) Your move. Your welcome.

      February 29, 2012 at 12:40 | Report abuse |
    • ScienceChick

      Fellow IBD sufferer (UC for me, not Crohn's) here! I'm sorry that your illness is so severe, that sucks. Judging from the cost of your medications I'm assuming you're taking biologics-Remicade or Humira. Have you tried having a resection done? I have a friend with CD and that's lessened the frequency of his flares by a lot. Just make sure to keep the dialogue with your doctor open and do lots of readings, and hopefully you'll find something that helps you. If you can get your CD under control, that would be a huge plus.

      Anyway, about jobs-people aren't supposed to discriminate against you due to medical conditions, but a lot do anyway. It wouldn't hurt to start applying anyway and see if you get a bite. A good employer should be able to deal with your health issues so long as you aren't in the hospital as often as you're at work. Alternatively, if it's super severe and nothing is working, I'd look into filing for disability.

      March 21, 2012 at 16:42 | Report abuse |
  38. jj

    The headline that linked to this said that most people dread Mondays. The article did not provide any proof of this but just referred to the story of one person, Juliet, and then went on to generalize. Poor journalism.

    February 27, 2012 at 17:10 | Report abuse | Reply
  39. JethroTull

    It's a sad truth that supervisors and other authority figures in the workplace wield more influence and set more of a pervasive tone than they realize. More so than they deserve.

    February 27, 2012 at 19:24 | Report abuse | Reply
  40. erin

    Wow, why is the comment section for this article a huge magnet for pathetic, obviously-divorced, bitter, middle-aged, women-hating men?

    February 27, 2012 at 19:41 | Report abuse | Reply
  41. Rafael Clemente

    "Emotional contagion", that's a powerful word. Issues such as this inspired me to become a certified life/leadership coach and to pursue my Master's degree in psychology. Unfortunately most organizational training programs place their focus on productivity without significant consideration of leadership and motivation. After years of being negatively primed by leaders in organizations, my mission is to assist in reshaping organizational focus and creating a healthier emotional environment for those entering the workforce for the first time. I find articles like this to be very intriguing and they undoubtably help those who are stuck in stressful unhealthy environments make more conscious choices.

    February 28, 2012 at 09:14 | Report abuse | Reply
  42. Mike Hunt

    Emotional Contagious. I wonder if my insurance will cover that.

    February 29, 2012 at 12:31 | Report abuse | Reply
  43. sam

    Because they can't hang out at the Bar and Drink ALCOHOL

    March 14, 2012 at 04:52 | Report abuse | Reply
  44. sam

    Or # 2 They have a hangover after drinking a case of beer

    March 14, 2012 at 04:53 | Report abuse | Reply
  45. lrr

    People hate their shi* jobs like I do

    March 18, 2012 at 16:22 | Report abuse | Reply
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  47. hypatia

    This is what those high-paid CEO have wrought: anxiety-ridden slaves. And this is supposed to be 'making a living'. Sounds more like living death.

    April 13, 2012 at 16:30 | Report abuse | Reply
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Get a behind-the-scenes look at the latest stories from CNN Chief Medical Correspondent, Dr. Sanjay Gupta, Senior Medical Correspondent Elizabeth Cohen and the CNN Medical Unit producers. They'll share news and views on health and medical trends - info that will help you take better care of yourself and the people you love.