SRS Boyfriend Hates His Job & Is Hard on Himself

Discussion in 'On Topic' started by chainsawbarbie, Feb 4, 2010.

  1. chainsawbarbie

    chainsawbarbie New Member

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    I have the most wonderful boyfriend in the world. I'm 23, and he's 27, and we are completely in love and (aside from a few road bumps) completely perfect for each other. He's incredibly smart, talented, and driven, and he's incredibly loving and sweet always. I'm pretty high maintenance (don't get me wrong... he is too), and somehow our craziness and difficulties just fit. We're so lucky to have each other, and we both thrive on seeing each other excel and making each other happy.

    In this last year during the recession, he's managed to secure three promotions and a substantial pay increase (all on his own merits). He's about two years out of his master's program, and he's gone from entry to director level. It's pretty amazing and inspiring.

    He made a bad career move back on October. His new company offered him false promises and recruited him into a position that was a step back rather than a step forward. He did everything right: he researched the company, had several extensive interviews, and negotiated. The company blatantly lied to him, telling him that he would receive a substantial quarterly bonus. It wasn't in his offer letter because they were "finalizing the commission structure." He's brought the bonus up several times with his bosses and HR, and he's been told that he is guaranteed the bonus and not to worry. Today, HR informed him that the bonus structure never actually existed. He's working about 75 hours a week, and this news just pissed him off.

    He's been torturing himself about this job. Like me, he's a perfectionist, and he feels that he has ruined his life by taking this job. He feels that he will never advance and that he'll never make the money that he wants to make. I remind him that he's 27 and that he has his brains and ambition as his strongest professional assets. Unfortunately, he's still hard on himself, and he's been working nonstop and just depressed. Worst of all, he works from home (the company is based out of the East Coast with a small West Coast Team), and he's just barricaded for 24 hours a day, except for when he's visiting clients.

    He's in NJ right now where the company is headquartered (we live in California). He's been pretty pissed off, and things have become very heated and confrontational between him and his company. My experience and belief tells me that his company is going to dick him over and fire him. This company is honestly horrible. He doesn't want to stay at the company, but I know him well, and I know that being fired would just devastate him.

    He has a lot of financial obligations. I am several months out of college, and I do not make a whole lot of money (not to mention, I have a killer student loan). He has two dogs, and I pay less than half of the rent for our house (he needs the house for the yard for his dogs). Rent here is more than half my income, and I definitely can't cover it while he's unemployed. He's more than understanding of my situation. Graduating into a shitty economy was NOT easy for me. I found a job that I absolutely love and that pays me well, but let's face it: entry level work is not glamorous... especially when there's limited work for new hires in my industry. My goal is to make more money, but I probably won't make enough until I finish at least one grad program (I've applied to a Master's program for next Fall, and I'll likely get a JD or MBA after).

    My boyfriend wants to get his MBA so badly, but he's waiting for me to get through a master's program and become more stable so that I can stand on my two feet. I fully intend to go wherever he goes and support him through his MBA program as much as I possibly can (and when he's through, I'll be on to graduate school #2). I'm sad that he can't apply to a top MBA program right now. He is waiting another year to apply so that we can stay together.

    In the mean time, I want him to stay strong and persist. If he doesn't, he will fail or at least set himself back. He has a lot going on in his personal life too. His wife left him about a year and a half ago, and he was left with the burden of her debt, her high maintenance dogs, and lots of other financial obligations. It was so incredibly messed up. He has come out of it all the stronger, and we have the dogs with a functional set up, and he's getting on his feet too. I'm worried that he's beginning to lose sight of how awesome he is. How do I keep him confident and motivated, especially since we might experience a lot of financial hardship in the not so distant future? In all honesty, I think he can get a job ASAP as soon as he tries. He's just so worn down from his current job (asshole boss, asshole people, blatant lies).

    I want him to be happy, and I want him to find something that makes him happy and that he loves. I keep telling him to work in the Internet industry (I'm in the Internet SEM/SEO industry). I love it, and I think he'd love it too.

    Sorry for the long post. Thank you to those who respond. :hs:
     
  2. Mettle8

    Mettle8 Blah.....

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    Well quite a long post. Gave me something to read and relate to in someways.

    He needs to find an outlet soon. Someway to distract his mind for awhile. He needs a break from the heavy load, he is carrying. Can you get him to take a break from work. Maybe just for a few days to relax. Get him to laugh very hard until he starts to tear up.

    He needs time away. Even if it is short. Some how try and drag him away. Or get some of his friends to take him away. He needs the mental break. And that is critical.

    How is his sleep? That is very important to make sure he is sleeping well. And does not become an insomniac. That can really slow him down.
     
  3. Darketernal

    Darketernal Watch: Aria The Origination =)

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    This is a piece of wisdom i've received from an extremely succesfull and rich bussiness man,

    Life is like a bus ride, if the bus goes to a place where you don't want to be, then get off and take a bus that takes you to a place where you do want to be.

    So hopefully you can copy paste and send this to your bf about what he said. Its very important that he hears these words. Because it will enable him to quit his current job, and move on towards a better position.

    But there's also a role for you to play. You have to keep motivating him to quit his current job, and find something better. You guys have the drive to achieve things, and this goal orientated approuch will bring success.

    Another word of advice.

    People get screwed by eachother (as you probably know) all the time, so it would be adviseable that he gives it more time before he gives out his trust towards the people that he knows. But a good given was that he indeed did a background check , HOWEVER it must be known that 'DISASTER' cannot always be avoided, because the future can not be 100% predicted, wether you step in your car and get an accident, forcing you to learn how to deal with being handicapped, or someone lying to you which leads to a disasterous situation, it always comes down to that you have to row with your god given peddles in the situation to your best ability that you can provide. This because you can't always forecast the future.

    Or in other words, your bf has been lied towards hopping into the wrong bus which is currently going into a wrong direction and is stuck in that bus that he doesn't want to be in. As my advice stated, he needs to look for the first oppertunity to get out of it, and go back into a direction of life that he wants to go towards to.
     
  4. johan

    johan Active Member

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    Looking back over your long post, the core of the dissatisfaction resolves to two factors:

    1) your boyfriend feels the company was being dishonest, and
    2) his hard work wasn't appropriately rewarded.

    The other issues, school, timing, convenience, future possibilities, etc. are also important, but secondary. Don't obsess over them.


    As for #1, you guys may have some education under your belts, but realize that the corporate world isn't a nice place where all of your superiors are honorable gentlemen who keep their word. No indeed.



    Regarding #2,
    Well, this is just a tough reality to bear.

    I have observed that the long term winning strategy is to create allies, acknowledge setbacks, and with regard to "missing" compensation, just file that away. I don't want to oversimplify it, nor do I have the time to go over all the intricacies.

    But basically your boyfriend should resolve to do a better job of being noticed. I'm sure he's already outstanding in his job.

    But someone, somewhere, felt that he didn't absolutely need to be compensated to the same level as your boyfriend felt he should be getting.

    Maybe he wasn't aware of all that your boyfriend does. (Very common) Maybe he was mostly aware of all the effort, but didn't know about the actual downstream value to the company.
    Maybe, maybe, maybe....



    So.....Who's wrong here?

    The person pulling the strings who has all the power? Or your boyfriend....?
    Exactly....

    This should be an early wakeup call to your boyfriend, that his perception of interpersonal relationships at work aren't as sharp as he thinks. A nice reality wake-up call.



    I wouldn't jump ship just yet, your bf should take this time to reassess.
    Quitting over this issue, without foresight, without planning, is the act of a little boy who reacts emotionally.

    A man however, would decide if this company, strategically, will help him grow in his career.
    Whether this place offers either advancement within...or else, vital career experience that will help him when he does move to a new, better placement.



    Never quit over salary/benefits you "thought" you should be getting. Unless you're a low-end employee.

    But if he really IS at the director level, then he should be planning his career strategically.
    Move when it benefits you. Not over peevish emotional reactions.

    Good luck to you both.
     
  5. chainsawbarbie

    chainsawbarbie New Member

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    Wow, thank you for the feedback! I will post responses when I'm home from work and have an actual keyboard instead of my iPhone to post from.

    Regardless, this is a dead end job for him, and regardless of the $, he needs to leave. He has no way of forming new relationships and has little opportunity outside of his own office. His boss just plain sucks at time/personnel management, and the boyfriend feels that he has taken a step back in his career into a hole.

    He isn't even sure if he likes his industry. He thinks that it looks better business schools to advance in his industry instead of jumping him around. To him, business school is not secondary.

    He isn't sleeping :(. He actually has so much client-driven work that he has to stay up until late hours of the night after a full day of hard work. He works from home, so his company can easily exploit him.

    It's completely nonfunctional and he feels that he is learning nothing. He's frustrated because he was almost guaranteed yet another promotion at his old job where he has great relationships.

    Just want him happy & healthy :(. Tough to see him in such a hole when he's so awesome.
     
  6. GregFarz78

    GregFarz78 New Member

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    Does he have too much pride to quit? What is keeping him there? That company doesn't give a shit about him he has to realize they would lay him off at the drop of a dime, so he shouldn't be concerned with quitting. He's the only one that can improve his situation.
     
  7. Daria

    Daria New Member

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    The original post stated quite a few reasons why he can't "get off the bus" at the moment.

    To the op, the best help you can give him is to help him with searching for a new job. Take some of your personal time and do some research. Find a bunch of jobs that match his skills and then get him to go through some with you on the weekend. You can even submit his resumé for him online. Inform you s/o of the jobs you applied to for him so he can look up the job descriptions and be prepared for a call. Help him to prep for interviews as well. You can do quizzes and research online about interview questions to help.

    You can do this together. Lend whatever strength you have to help him.

    Also, if you notice that he is working extremely hard at his current job, tell him to do enough work that he won't get fired, but to save his energy for rigorous job searching.
     
  8. chainsawbarbie

    chainsawbarbie New Member

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    We both suspect that he'll be fired or "laid off." He's actually not meshing with the team or dynamic. He's never dealt with this before. I was lucky enough to be in the EXACT same situation with my first job out of college. I actually quit before I let them lay me off (I had valid strategic reasons for doing so) without another job lined up. I had two job offers within weeks, but again, he has a higher income and more responsibility on the line.

    If they choose to fire him instead of laying him off, they will probably force him to resign, I think. Will he have to report that to future employers, even though a company is unlikely to disclose that leve of detail during reference checks?
     
  9. chainsawbarbie

    chainsawbarbie New Member

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    If he quits without anything lined up, he won't get unemployment. If he resigns at all, he is legally obligated to return a signing bonus, and he'd have to do it via debt because it was taxed. Options are extremely tough to weigh.
     
  10. Darketernal

    Darketernal Watch: Aria The Origination =)

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    fuck everything,let him get the hell outta there. He's being used like a toy, and he needs to learn that he shouldn't let anyone walk over him, regardless wether its his boss or family, :down: emergency quit now!
     
  11. chainsawbarbie

    chainsawbarbie New Member

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    I wish I could take over some expenses while he looks, but I can't :(...
     
  12. CRXican

    CRXican God Loves Ugly

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    That's absurd.

    We're supposed to feel bad for a guy who has a stable job and gets to work from home? 27 is young these days, tell him to man up and keep his head up and his eyes open.

    Pathetic the things some people complain about.
     
  13. chainsawbarbie

    chainsawbarbie New Member

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    1) He worked hard for his position and earns his way based on merit and merit alone. Why should he be limited to a shitty job JUST because he's 27 when he has the skills and determination to advance?

    2) They work him to a point where he cannot work without foregoing sleep. They send requests at 8 PM and ask him to finish by the next morning. He's one person trying to do 3 jobs that once. And why does it do it? For the money so that he can live and get by while he looks for something else.

    3) He does have his head up. His eyes are open because he realizes that he has 0 success path in his current position and that he needs to get out. He's going through a rough time because jobs at his level aren't handed out. Regardless, he's dehumanized while he tries to balance everything and make ends meet. He doesn't live extravagantly, and he really doesn't want much. He never buys himself anything and instead, works his ass off to get out of the financial rut that his ex wife screwed him into.

    4) Working from home is not a luxury. Do they pay his electric bill? No. Did they pay for his home office? No. Why does he work from home? Because the company does not have an established office out here. They cut costs (and he bears more) from having to work from home. Obviously, from the tone and nature of your less than helpful response, you aren't aware of why businesses make the economic decisions that they do... to maximize profit by minimizing overhead expenses. No office = huge savings.

    I'm honestly proud of him for acknowledging his feelings in addition to the fact that he is in a rut. Too many people spend decades trapped in dead end jobs where they are treated like shit. My boyfriend is 27 and has an unstoppable drive to excel. That is noble. That is having your eyes open. That is keeping your head high.

    I wasn't asking for anyone's sympathy. I'm asking for constructive feedback to help him handle the situation and stay strong while he perseveres.
     
  14. blackbirdbeatle

    blackbirdbeatle New Member

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    It really sucks for him but you are entitled to nothing in life. I actually lean towards optimism but this is life. I'm sure if you asked enough friends you will be able to find one story of a person that rose to the top and got beat down and then rose to the top again and then got beat down, and then rose again. This is what makes great people great. Sometimes it's all you can do. I've started several businesses and some have failed. I have lost everything. I built myself back up. I'm not in the best situation right now but I made the choices, not anyone else. And I know that I'll just get right back up because I still have the knowledge and lessons I learned with me.

    If the next job I or your boyfriend gets is working at the mall selling shoes, then that's the next job we have. We collect ourselves and move on from there. It's only temporary. But the best view is that if the work doesn't violate your morals and ethics, it's not beneath you. And 'embarrassing' or 'I used to be x', doesn't count. Why does his next job have to be a director position? If he doesn't like the industry he likely won't get that level in a different one and even within his industry there are thousands of directors that have 20 years experience willing to work just as hard and for the same pay as your BF.

    I'll elaborate. I went from making 100k a year in my own business riding the oil boom in Calgary at age 23 to happily taking an apprentice trade position for $17/hr. You know why? Because I never had a sense of entitlement and I saw a future niche for an opportunity if I learned the industry for a bit. Even if I hadn't, it would have paid the bills while I looked for something else and I never worked weekends or more than 40 hours a week. That's 35 hours a week I could have dedicated to finding work and I probably would have been less stressed out than your BF.

    And I would never, ever sign anything or trust anyone else on their word save for a select few, when it comes to business dealings. That was your BF's fault, he had starry eyes and dollar signs floating around. Always get it on paper or consider it a bonus if what they tell you off contract actually comes to pass. Because the reason why they never put it on paper when your BF was hired was because they had reservations on whether he would get a bonus. If it's not on paper it's usually too good to be true.

    And if I'm going to keep being frank, I don't think the answer is another masters program for you and your BF. Why do you both need 2 masters programs? An MBA isn't that great of a program in and of itself anyway in terms of knowledge gained. It is infinitely more useful with 5 or more years of work experience.

    I feel for you guys and I hope you guys come out of this with that delicate balance where you aren't cynical with the world but aren't so naive either.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2010
  15. Darketernal

    Darketernal Watch: Aria The Origination =)

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    You can work, but not at the cost of destroying yourself completely. His lifestyle says' im going to have a burn-out' all over him. He needs to learn to protect himself.
     
  16. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Please explain how they will "force him to resign"? They can't without breaking the law.

    Can they make his life a living hell? Of course but they can't be illegal about it and if they are, they should be reported to the state bureau of labor and even the fed.

    If he signs or in anyway tenders his resignation, he will lose unemployment benefits. This should be the main concern. In this economy, millions of highly qualified people with years of experience are unemployed and finding it difficult if not impossible to find another job. Some have gone an entire year without a job.

    That that reason alone, he should stick it out until something better arises.

    He's young and can recover easily once he's out of that situation. I know, I know....it all looks really bleak right now but it isn't. To help you realize this, start making a gratitude list. Write down (don't do this in your mind....write it down!) a list of things you are grateful for. Keep writing for 30 mins or an hour. Don't stop and don't dwell on the negative aspects of your life. Put down only things for which you are grateful.

    This is a simple but extremely powerful tool for helping you change your focus. Your focus determines your reality. If you don't like your reality, change your focus and what you perceive will change accordingly.

    Ever wonder why 2 people stuck in traffic will respond really differently? On person may become angry and frustrated while the other will just be kicking back having a good time. Why does this happen when the stimulus is the same for both? Because they are focused on different things.
     
  17. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    This advice is ridiculously short sighted and quite immature. It should be ignored.
     
  18. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    :werd:

    However, it's easy for us to say this when we're not emotionally invested in the events.
     
  19. Coottie

    Coottie BOOMER......SOONER OT Supporter

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    Because even a shitty job is income. He should not quit until he has another job lined up.
    A better way to say it is, "He lets them work him at all hours of the day and night." The reason they call is because he allows it. He needs to be more assertive about his time off.

    I know, I know....he's different and I really don't understand. Yeah right....the problem is, I've been where he is and I've been higher in a corporation. They will let you work as much as you're willing to work.

    He is not a victim here. The lying about the compensation, well that was a lie but he's learned never to "trust" and instead "put it in writing". Working in the oil business for many years taught me the same lesson and while it's a difficult one, everyone learns it eventually.
    :rolleyes:
    Please stop over dramatizing this situation. He's being worked extremely hard and I understand that. However, if he wants out, he will have to take responsibility and make the changes necessary.

    Even shitty jobs with no chance for advancement can be invaluable learning experiences for us.
    And you're totally discounting the benefits of working from home. Yeah I have to go to an office every day eventhough we have all the tech to work from home. I would LOVE to work from home and would gladly do so on my own computer and pay my own electricity bill to do so.

    At the same time, I think you are part of the problem. Why? Because look at the laundry list of things that you use to justify your positions. I understand you're concerned for his health and well being. However, you really need a reality check.

    The company I work for is getting between 300 and 500 resumes a day. We have 8,000+ employees and we're growing like crazy. You guys have jobs during one of the worst economic downturns since the great depression and you seriously sound like whiny little kids.
     
  20. Daria

    Daria New Member

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    Daily commute = added stress he doesn't have to worry about
    He is also saving money by not paying for gas for his daily commutes and probably has to dish out less money for repairs because he is not putting as much mileage on his car.
     
  21. teo

    teo . => ? => !

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    Eh?
    The game can be played in both directions. Your BF should start playing hardball. It's going to destroy him personally if he doesn't.

    He should start by re-reading the contract he signed to refresh his memory on exactly what he's obligated to do. He should do what is required and do it in a timely manner to a high standard. That's covering his ass. Beyond that, he can push back and demand additional compensation for additional work and responsibilities. The time he regains can be used for job searching and, of course, regaining his personal life. But he's got to stop being a doormat for his superiors (and peers?). The situation isn't going to improve unless he actively forces change.
     

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