[-$17,000] Out of the Frying Pan and into the Fire

New Job

I’ve survived two weeks at the new job. The first week was super stressful. Everything is new – process, tools, people. The second day on the job, I had a meeting with a small group of directors, who lead various units, who piled on everything they wanted me to do. I wanted to bolt from that place all day, every day. I felt completely out of my depth.    Read More

Storm Clouds on the Job Front

woman in cubicle - miserable at job to pay off debt

Ahh! The hits keep comin’.

As you know, I now have the task of paying this emergency room bill, which will clean out my tiny savings account and consume most of my next paycheck. After that I have to save up to pay for the surgery that I must have. I now have another reason to save up whatever money I can.

My company has been in cost-cutting mode for years, since before I joined. The magnifying glass and knife have finally made it around to our division. We had a dreaded ‘re-org’ at work this week. Re-orgs (re-organizations) sadly aren’t uncommon where I work. There seem to be at least one or two re-orgs every year. Sometimes re-orgs are just a result of executives being shuffled around, small divisions merging, large divisions branching, etc. Other re-orgs are due to a reduction in force.

This re-org was the second kind and was the first one to affect my division since I started working there. In one day, our Director here in our satellite office, was sacked, and was escorted out with the proverbial cardboard box. Furthermore, a bunch of Read More

The Debt Slave: Do You Feel Trapped in Your Job?

wage slave

It’s 5:45 in the morning and your weekday alarm clock sounds, abruptly yanking you out of a peaceful and cozy slumber, AGAIN. How do you feel? Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed? No? Perhaps groggy, but functional? Or do stress hormones start flooding your body before your feet even hit the floor? A concrete cloud of obligations, expectations and deadlines weighing you down during your hour long commute to your cubicle?

You’d like to take that alarm clock and smash it against your bedroom wall, pull the covers over yourself and quickly slip back under the surface of consciousness. But you can’t. You’d like to have control over your own time, but you can’t. You need that job. You live paycheck to paycheck. You have bills to pay and a standard of living to maintain.  (Wage slave). If you have debt, it’s even worse. The wage slave can downgrade lifestyle and change their job. A debt slave MUST.KEEP. WORKING. at the highest salary possible.

I can relate. This is my life right now.  I hate debt.  I HATE debt.

stress

My workload ebbs and flows with production cycles.  A while ago I was facing burnout; pulling weekenders and all-nighters, taking forever to get basic work done, getting daily tension headaches, body-aches. I was eating asprin like candy. More crows feet and laugh lines greeted me in the mirror. I was so stressed, that I ended up doing something that I only did one time before in my life. One day I had to take a sick / mental health day off  from work. I was a wreck.

Fortunately, the workload lightened; sometimes by a lot, and the world was ok again. Unfortunately the crows feet and laugh lines didn’t lighten. Sigh.

Now, I’m squeezed between two very large, high profile projects with senior executives watching, and I’m dropping the ball. Co-workers are rushing in to do work that I should have had mostly done by now. Goodbye to any possibility of a salary raise.  I’m spending this weekend working to catch up and getting headaches again. Ugh.  I want off of this stress roller coaster, but the price of exit is too high. I must keep working at this job. I don’t want to paint my job poorly, most of the people are quite nice and good to work with. I’ve learned from personal experience that that is worth its weight in gold. I’m not in an abusive job (anymore), so I’m not looking to leave. There are things that I really like about my current job and I’m grateful to have it.

work-stress-depression-400

It’s just that debt reminds me that I have no choice. I’m not here because I want to be. I’m here because I have to be. I’m working, but not enjoying the benefit. Seeing others my own age and younger with their spouses, homes, cars and exotic travel destinations makes me feel like a failure.

They say that depression is born in the gap between where people want/expect to see themselves in life, and where they actually are in life. This is often the case when we magnify and give too much importance to our perceived failures. Maybe that’s what I have. Or maybe I’m just coming to grips with reality. Maybe the vestiges of my youthful optimism have been burned away.

If you have a lot of debt – deep debt – then you know what I’m talking about. When you look ahead, all you see is a long dark lonely road of debt slavery where you realize how trapped you are. You realize that, if you are fortunate enough to have a job, for the next X years of your life, you will work to make others richer. You realize that you will have no choice but to drag your tired body out of bed every morning, get in your car / on the bus and go to work when you’d rather do anything but. You are a debt slave.

At nearly 40, I’m renting a room and riding the bus to pay back debt. I’m putting off life experiences… I’m right back where I started in life. My standard of living will be lower than my mom’s was. At least she could afford her own apartment and car when raising my siblings and me.

I am accepting that this is where I am and trying to deal with it. I’m serving my time.

Enough of this. Time to catch up on my work.
Where’s my asprin?

What about you? Has your job gone to the dogs? What are you doing about it?

careerdog rwbayerscpa com

“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW)

April 2013 Update: Back from the Dead Edition

medium_8551369496 exhaustion desk

I’m back for a brief update. My credit card balance is still at $24,998. Right now, I need to build up my emergency fund. Why? Well, the last few weeks have been brutal on the job front.

Right when my second job started, I became entangled in an unusually large project at my 9 to 5 job that required more and more time. For the past two weeks I have been working all day, all night, weekdays, and weekends. No sleep. No breaks. Between the two jobs, I was exhausted, stressed out, and at my breaking point.

My relationship with my manager at my 9 to 5 job has been rapidly deteriorating over the past several months, and this past week has been one of the worst. I’m certain that she’s already laying the ground work to fire me. Poor work review in writing (where I’d had none previously), check. Replacement hired, check. Oh yes, she’s hired someone new to “join” the team, but it’s obvious to me that this person will be replacing me.

I’ve realized that I’m better suited to working “in-house” at a company than working for clients.

I’m literally waiting for the axe any week now.  I have a standing monthly meeting with her next week, and it will not be pretty. If I walk out of there with my job I will be surprised. In the meantime, I’m submitting applications to various places and have already had one phone screen.

Buckle-up. It’s gonna be a bumpy ride.

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“Debtor’s prison is real, and opportunity cost is a bitch.” (DDSW)

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photo credit: Cristiana Gasparotto @ flickr, “Exhaustion”, Creative Commons 2.0