Sad work times

Last night I recorded my first ever video blog. I tried to upload it, but it had turned into a sixteen-minute rant and wouldn’t FIT ON THE INTERNET. I took the hint and decided to hone it into a concise, articulate and (hopefully) constructive prose version. This face and voice are obviously not destined for international familiarity. So here we go.

I am having sad work times. Really sad. And it’s not just me. Everyone is sad. Last night my friend said the words, “My soul is dying,” without a hint of irony. I work in a busy public sector building where there are a large group of staff constantly flowing around each other, talking, sharing life troubles, socialising; the full-timers pretty much live in each other’s pockets. And at the moment, that is a dangerous thing. Such bad vibes are going round the place, and what with the traits of our daily ebb and flow, they are constantly getting exaggerated, recycled and passed on. Chinese whispers doesn’t cover it. Even a customer came up to the bar last night having heard a rumour that some of our equipment was broken. BAD VIBES.

Anyway… I am getting worried. For most people there, the job is just food and clothes and a roof over our heads. I haven’t actually heard a word from anyone on what they love, or even like about the job, at least for several months. At some post-shift drinks the other night revolution was discussed, and mutiny is present in everyone’s fluttering hearts. We are subdued, anxious, downtrodden and depressed, and nothing seems to be changing for the better yet. People are bullied and bitched about on a daily basis. A recent staff meeting descended into a destructive subtextual outburst of petty grudges and personal tensions, managers and staff included, and as yet no apologies or disclaimers have been issued as reassurance. Those who were involved are just dealing with the fact that their opposition are ignoring them a bit more, and those who weren’t speaking out on either side are just feeding off the passive aggression that’s flying in all directions. I have worked at jobs that feel more like playgrounds/sleepovers than work before, but we are an older group of people here and should be past that. It shocks me that (especially since this has apparently happened before and reached an extent that required external help) this place is running so loosely, hairy balls and warts hanging out. No one seems to care how they come across. The managerial team are failing miserably to keep up staff morale; indeed things that have been said in a ‘private’ meeting (which I’m sure they know always reaches us before their official ‘news’ or memos) indicate that they barely know their staff at all. No one is keeping it together. I feel itchy on my feet, and dread going into work. Having experienced some tension first-hand for the first time recently, I even feel watched and untrusted on shift. It is very uncomfortable.

I don’t know what to do or who to talk to. I am reluctant to do anything because action seems to be met by disdain or some other kind of reaction that makes your work futile. Not least, my attempt to resolve the problem that was the excuse for a catfight at the meeting has been humbled by a new plan that COMPLETELY IGNORES the reasons behind the problem that made it an issue in the first place. The managers are making out they are giving us something special, while taking away the resolution we had found ourselves. Which, I might add, was with their permission and by their suggestion. So it does rather seem like people are throwing their weight around in a vain attempt to reclaim their thrones.

If anyone has any helpful advice on situations like this it would really be appreciated, because things appear to be in a stale state of “check”. I feel like speaking out will be met with aggression and disrespect only. It is hopeless and out of control, and it’s following me home at night.

Oh, and I kind of resent the fact that this job has become such an issue as to drive me to write my first ever blog about it. Work is boring, let me talk about something else.

I have to paint on my smile each day. Picture courtesy of, bizarrely enough on another post about sad work times.

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