“My job is definitely ‘The Job from Hell.’ Any ideas?”

Question: I work for a real estate management company that is co-owned by a mother, son and daughter-in-law. The daughter-in-law’s brother also works here.

I have a vey stressful position of handling all of the tenants’ maintenance complaints. The tenants are negative. The owners are negative. The daughter-in-law is also the office manager, and she is negative about everyone, except herself. She takes off for days at a time and then comes back with a vengeance as to why things did not get done in her absence.

I can’t get maintenance people to stay working for us because of the people I work for, and the low pay scale.

I need this job, but I don’t know how much more of this I can take. Every day my stomach hurts, I get headaches, and my neck and shoulders stiffen up.

Any advice?

         Jonelle 
         Wayzata, Minnesota 

Answer: Dear Jonelle, I wish I could offer you suggestions, solace and support, and ideas for how you might change things around. Unfortunately, I don’t think I can.

Some jobs are just so rotten that they are just not possible to change. Your job – and the family that employs you – seem to be that rotten.

I have given many hours of thought to the subject of difficult employment relations. I’ve come to this conclusion: with any employment relation that is not a good, satisfying, productive employment relation, you have just three possible alternatives:

a. Accept the employment relation “as is.”
b. Improve the employment relation, if you can.
c. Abandon the employment relation as soon as you can.

Considering what you have told me, even though it is very hard to find a new job, I suggest that you do all you can to find a new job as soon as you can. You might start looking in the same industry – real estate management – because that is where your experience would probably help you the most find a new job quickly.

You have also mentioned the negative effects your job has on your health. May I remind you that “Without your health, you have nothing.” Anything that makes you sick must be removed from your life as soon as possible.

I wish I could offer you some ideas for improving the situation. I believe the best thing would be to leave, leave as soon as possible, and leave any way you can. On your own time, I do suggest that you engage in additional activities that you find stress-reducing, such as exercise, prayer, meditation, extra time with loved ones, or anything else, so long as it is not an unhealthy habit, such as drinking or smoking. This is a time to de-stress, to the extent possible. I have taken up yoga, which I find does wonders for me. 

Hope this helps. Hang in there. If you pray, pray for “The Three S’s”:  Strength to get you through the day, Stamina to get you through the week, and Serenity to get you to a better place, job-wise, health-wise, and emotion-wise.

My very, very best to you.

           Al Sklover  

© 2010 Alan L. Sklover, All Rights Reserved.