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I worked at a place like that for a while. The projects I worked on were great - really a lot of fun. I liked my co-workers too. However, the management kept getting worse and worse until eventually it was horrendous. We ended up with a GM who thought self-reviews were a good idea. This was in a fairly small community where most people in the industry knew each other so word started getting around about how bad things were. About 2008 or so, when the economy was really bad, we actually had a fair amount of work and needed to hire more people. We had personnel requisitions open for months and months because no one wanted to work there, even with job openings being very scarce. The head office sent a squad from HR there to interview people and find out what the problems were twice. Of course, they did nothing with their information so the issues persisted. I was actually grateful when I was laid off from there. A little more than a year later the entire division was closed and I don't think anyone was surprised.
Today I work for a company who could have been a customer of theirs in the past and whenever we put out an RFP I make sure my former employer does not receive one because they have changed so much I would never, ever even remotely consider them as a vendor. For those of you who know me IRL I will be happy to explain why.
"They have a consciousness, they have a life, they have a soul! Damn you! Let the rabbits wear glasses! Save our brothers! Can I get an amen?"
I've generally kept myself in a position where I can turn around, phart in an upbeat tone, and leave. I can almost here them saying "Oh, - now what?"
Part of this is a financially conservative life style - except when newly out of school, I don't spend to please others (clothing, cars, etc.). Big saving cushion. Now, I can retire whenever I want - literally working for the entertainment value.
Hindsight reminds me that, even though I make less than most - I've had a damn good setup in terms of not letting my employers lord it over me and cause horrid stress. Nonetheless, if I were born rich, it would have made things that much easier.
Refactoring is due in keeping myself busy when I pull that retirement trigger. Now that's intimidating.
225 articles on CodeProject. I think you may have already have some experience with harsh criticism, and don't think you would have written that much if you'd be overly sensitive.
You can't work under fear; stress will slowly eat you.
Marc Clifton wrote:
stress if I take longer than 30 minutes for lunch, etc.
You're not more productive by making sure that you spend as much time as possible behind the keyboard. Sometimes it helps to take a walk around the building in the rain to get a new perspective on a problem.
Pretty sure that a lot of companies would like to have a legend and master among them
Bastard Programmer from Hell
If you can't read my code, try converting it here[^]
"If you just follow the bacon Eddy, wherever it leads you, then you won't have to think about politics." -- Some Bell.
I can relate this this and it is possible to recover from these sorts of experiences.
I don't necessarily think that you are over-sensitive - I just think that life has a habit of sometimes putting things in our way that can harm us and spending 8 hours a day working with others is pretty much a guarantee that you are going to work with someone who may want to cause you harm or at least not care if they cause you harm.
What I found really helped me was CBT - in its most basic form it's a distraction technique and really helped me to deal with the habit of dwelling on bad work experiences from the past(it's not a magic cure but it's the best thing I have found so far to help with depression), in its more advanced form it's a tool for putting yourself in uncomfortable situations and changing your response to them.
“That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence.”
Not claiming it's as bad as working for psychos, but working for people who totally ignore your work and its contribution to the business and ignore your advice (when they even bother to ask for it) can be as demoralising in the long-term.
They complain that our web site isn't as 'wizzy' as the latest wiz apps online totally ignoring that it was built on Java Faces back when that was considered - by some (mainly @Oracle) to be all-singing-all-dancing, and purchased from a third party vendor.
And we don't have access to any Java development software or a Java compiler.
I try to contribute, I really do, but I'm losing the will to live.....
Work is another form of relationship. There have been a number of realisation for myself when watching some drama about "why does she/he not just leave she/he if they are so unhappy?" and think, wow my job is like that, why do I keep going in? And some similarities when long term couples see the surface level of another couple (job opportunity) and think wow, that looks like a great couple. Why are we not like that.
One caveat; just like any drug, some people just crave the adrenaline rush that goes with high-pressure work. (I lump the abusive bosses/constant pressure in the same category). Not sure I'm expressing what I'm thinking properly.
I'm not saying that's a good or healthy thing. I'm just saying some people get almost addicted to the stress.
I agree wholeheartedly with your sentiment, Marc. It's amazing what can be accomplished when an organization hires smart people and empowers them to do good things as an alternative philosophy.
In short, for less-experienced people: bad situations are not worth it. If you're in a situation where you hate getting out of bed in the morning, start looking.
Oh absolutely. My experience at work from 2010-2015 was consecutively horrible. I too had a psychopathic boss. My previous career from 1978-2009 was pretty comfortable. Just the usual project death marches and stuff.
It was so bad it left me shellshocked. It interfered with my interviewing for new jobs, caused me to ask questions that probably disqualified me as a candidate. I ended up retiring to write geeky books on C++ and experiment with all the software I never had time to try out when I was employed.
unfortunately, due to reorganization (layoffs) in my previous company i have been assigned to two different bosses.
one of them, my older boss, was trying to prove to the director that this new "thing" is not going to work, albeit in a passive way. without telling him directly, but by sabotaging my daily work, giving me instant assignments that confronted my current assignments from the new boss.
the new boss on the other had was a totalitarian psychopath who used to phone us on 20 minute basis to ask for progress, status, etc. in one word micromanagement at it's worst. he was also at high stress by this reorganization. the director also, everybody was taking some king of stress reducing pills. the place was falling apart.
during that period i have developed insomnia and a nervous tick i still can't get rid off, even that now i work in a beautiful stress free company. 3 years have passed since then.
one morning, after spending a sleepless nigh, i went angry to the directors office and said to him "you will assign me to only one boss, i don't care which one, or i will come to work but i'll stop working". he was afraid being caught on the radar by upper management so he complied. either that or he used me to the maximum and had to loosen up a little.
a few months later a left that IT job for an unqualified workers job as a electric meter reader. in the past 3 years 5 of my colleagues have left that IT firm voluntarily and another 5 were forced to leave. the rest of them, some of my best friends, are still battling high pressure.
the motto "stress increases productivity" is like mass hysteria. it doesn't leave the company once it's in, unless something huge breaks.
"When you are dead, you won't even know that you are dead. It's a pain only felt by others; same thing when you are stupid."
Ignorant - An individual without knowledge, but is willing to learn. Stupid - An individual without knowledge and is incapable of learning. Idiot - An individual without knowledge and allows social media to do the thinking for them.