Serious help needed. Don't know what decision to make.

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boXd
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Serious help needed. Don't know what decision to make.

Postby boXd » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:00 am UTC

Some of you may have seen my thread on my financial situation here. Well, two weeks ago I got a job to work for twelve hours a week, but I'm having some serious problems now I'm not sure I should bring up. Basically, I'm already seeing that my work in college is suffering from this job, because I simply can't manage the stress of doing both a job *and* getting all my homework done. The stress itself, too, is already getting to me. On the other hand, even though after two weeks I already feel I can't take it, I really *need* that money if I don't want to be in big debt when I finish college. I also think I *ought* to be able to put in this amount of work each week, because for most other people it would probably be manageable. What should I do? :(

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thalia
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Re: Serious help needed. Don't know what decision to make.

Postby thalia » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:10 am UTC

Would it be possible for you to time-manage better? Or is that just really unhelpful? I had a period a couple of years back when I had an extreme amount of work to do in uni. The way I eventually pulled through was by writing my schedule out, and planning everything down to the last half hour, including when I slept, ate and studied. It minimized how much time I "wasted" and allowed me to really see how much time I had during a day or week. I also scheduled "time off" to avoid having a major breakdown.

I'm not a naturally organised person, so for me it was a huge effort. But I still remember those color-coded excel charts I made, with every hour carefully filled in.
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boXd
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Re: Serious help needed. Don't know what decision to make.

Postby boXd » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:20 am UTC

I'm relatively organized, and theoretically I've even got time left in my schedule, so that's not the problem, I think. It appears to be simply a matter of my brain refusing to do anything and shutting down when I have 'too much' to do. I'm not sure if one can have a burnout only two weeks in, but that's how I imagine it must feel.

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thalia
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Re: Serious help needed. Don't know what decision to make.

Postby thalia » Fri Nov 16, 2012 8:24 am UTC

Sometimes I get like that. For a while I adopted this mindset I call DSN -
Spoiler:
Do Shit Now
. I'm not being patronizing or anything, I really have to follow this. I repeat it like a mantra and I don't pause to think, I just move from one thing to the next and I complete one task before starting a new one. Compartmentalizing the work makes it seem less overwhelming. Don't think about your whole day, just the next thing, and the next thing. Leave no room for pause or hesitation. Breathe, and do it, constantly moving along.

You say you have the time available, and you say that other people can probably manage your workload. That leads me to believe that so can you. Calm your anxiety and compartmentalize. You don't have to do EVERYTHING now, but you have to do something. And then the next thing, and the next... it is possible. Progress and feeling in control will help you.
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boXd
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Re: Serious help needed. Don't know what decision to make.

Postby boXd » Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:05 am UTC

I'm not sure how to say this, but that doesn't seem possible at all. Maybe you can, but I can't just 'calm my anxiety' and carry on. At least it definitely feels that way. I'm sorry if that seems I'm just not putting in enough effort.

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Re: Serious help needed. Don't know what decision to make.

Postby Sytri » Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:47 am UTC

If it really is a case of your brain shutting down when you think you have too much to do then I would definitely suggest writing stuff down first. Have a calendar or diary and write your shifts at work down on it; then write when your work needs to be handed in to class. Then work back from that date to see when you need to start doing the work. Add in a day for contigency, two if it's over a weekend (just incase) and then see how you do. Remember that if you're doing college work to take breaks and shedule them in as well.

I'm exactly like you, my brain has a limited capacity to be able to prioritise work that needs to be done and when it reaches that limit it throws everything up in the air and says either, "DO IT ALL NOW!!!!!" or "nope, just sit in a corner and rock. Nothing is getting done today". But I've found that writing down the things I actually have to do and stuff that can wait gives my thoughts some breathing room, I calm down and am able to get on with things.

So I'd suggest you go buy yourself a diary, fairly large and start writing in stuff that has to be done. Then get on with doing it. Try it for a week or two and see how it goes. But remember to keep it updated and to write important things in it.

Hope it all goes well!
Apathy will kill us all. Or not. Whatever.

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thalia
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Re: Serious help needed. Don't know what decision to make.

Postby thalia » Fri Nov 16, 2012 9:52 am UTC

boXd wrote:I'm not sure how to say this, but that doesn't seem possible at all. Maybe you can, but I can't just 'calm my anxiety' and carry on. At least it definitely feels that way. I'm sorry if that seems I'm just not putting in enough effort.


I'm sorry if I made it sound easy. I know it isn't easy. But if you are really in this fix, then some change will be necessary, won't it?

Good luck, then. Hope you find some way to let you do what you need to do. I was sharing the method that works for me - if it doesn't work for you, then just don't take my advice. But don't knock it, either. Because it really helped me, and I was just telling you what I did because you came here and asked for help.

If things seem impossible to overcome, then it might be that you are going through some depression. When we are depressed, life is really hard. Have you considered this?
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Re: Serious help needed. Don't know what decision to make.

Postby Enuja » Fri Nov 16, 2012 11:08 am UTC

I know it's one more thing to squeeze into your schedule, but I suggest a visit with your college therapist. If you're going to continue working, you've got to find a way to get things done without stressing out about them, and a therapist should be very helpful for this type of very concrete task. If over the next week or two it gets worse, or stays the same, instead of getting better, you should quit your job. Focus on school and work towards getting a good paying job when you graduate. Get the good student loans with the grace periods and the low interest, and then pay them off after you graduate. Because it's a lot easier to accumulate large amounts of money to pay for college at a higher rate of pay than at a lower rate of pay.

This is from a person who graduated nearly a decade ago, who has poorly paying jobs. But I wasn't trying to organize my education towards getting a good paying job, so hopefully you'll do better.

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Re: Serious help needed. Don't know what decision to make.

Postby Chen » Fri Nov 16, 2012 1:17 pm UTC

From your finance thread you mentioned doing a double major as well which probably isn't helping course load wise. I don't know if your financial situation (scholarship, loans what have you) would allow it, but if you are finding it too much work/stress consider pushing some courses out. It'll likely mean an extra semester (or summer semester if available) but it can be quite a difference with even one less course. Personally I had a TON of work my first two semesters of university (Mechanical Engineering) and it was quite stressful. My third semester was scheduled to be the same if not more in terms of course load so I took one less course than the recommended course load that semester (and most following semesters). It meant I finished one semester later than expected, but it provided a much more pleasant university stay.

Depending on how much money you're making at the job, it'll likely still be a net gain if you work the 12 hours/week and have to do an extra semester, provided its compatible with your other finances.

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boXd
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Re: Serious help needed. Don't know what decision to make.

Postby boXd » Fri Nov 16, 2012 4:18 pm UTC

First of all, thanks to all of you for posting so much advice. I really appreciate it. thalia, I'm sorry if I made it sound like I was trying to knock your advice. I'm under a lot of stress right now, and I don't always handle things as well as perhaps I should. This is no excuse, but I'm sorry.

Now I need to think about this for a while, and see what's going to be the best thing to do. I'll try to post later once I've figured a few things out and contacted this college therapist.

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boXd
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Re: Serious help needed. Don't know what decision to make.

Postby boXd » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:15 pm UTC

Ok, I'm back. Talked to both my study advisor and a counsellor, and both pretty quickly came to the conclusion that I'm having some serious stress issues going on here. Both of them adviced that I stopped doing extra work besides college immediately, as it was apparent to them I was getting near the 'breaking point' (as my advisor called it). I don't know if this stress is because of only the job, per se, and they agreed, but thought it would be wise to stop piling on stressful things while trying to sort this out. I guess they have a point.

So... I have another inquiry: after they adviced me to stop doing this parttime job, I contacted my boss and told him about my decision. He wasn't pleased (which is understandable), but it wasn't too horrible a conversation (thankfully). However, another 'boss' (who is sort of the boss of my boss, except that she isn't really his 'boss' but more of a coordinator, I don't quite get how it all works here) emailed me and said she wanted to have a talk with me, too, this thursday. So I replied that I guessed that would be sort of okay, except that I already talked to my boss, I think it was clear that I've quit and why does she want to talk to me, too? To which she replied "We'll talk about that thursday."

I'm not particularly skilled when it comes to the whole work-etiquette thing, but is that normal? First of all: why would she even want to talk to me when I've already said I had quit and (as far as I was concerned) that's the end of it? (This isn't exactly helping me with the whole stress-thing, as you may understand.) Second of all, what kind of reply was that? If I ask why she wants to see me, and she replies we'll talk about that later, how the heck does that even make sense? Is that a normal way to react in the whole boss-employee-thing? Heck, should I still even care about this, given that I've already told the person I consider my real boss I was quitting? :/

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Re: Serious help needed. Don't know what decision to make.

Postby SecondTalon » Tue Nov 20, 2012 8:23 pm UTC

I'm not particularly skilled when it comes to the whole work-etiquette thing, but is that normal? First of all: why would she even want to talk to me when I've already said I had quit and (as far as I was concerned) that's the end of it? (This isn't exactly helping me with the whole stress-thing, as you may understand.) Second of all, what kind of reply was that? If I ask why she wants to see me, and she replies we'll talk about that later, how the heck does that even make sense? Is that a normal way to react in the whole boss-employee-thing? Heck, should I still even care about this, given that I've already told the person I consider my real boss I was quitting? :/

Your boss's boss doesn't want you to leave, for whatever reason. She's going to try and work something out where you work fewer hours and still stay with the company. It's possible she may also offer a raise, but I wouldn't count on that.

I'm not sure how much she plans on cutting from 12 hours, but that's my guess.

Or she may just want to move your hours around. I don't know what you were working (let's say 3 hours a day for 4 days) but she may want to see if she can compact that to 6 hours on two days. Or if it was six hours on two days, she may try to spread it out to 3 over 4. Either or.

Or if you were working some odd period where you worked 8 hours on Saturday and an hour here and there on other days, she may just have you cut out that extra time. Without knowing more about your job (and... I don't mean to sound cold, but it's not really relevant that I do know more) I can only guess.

But the long and the short of it is she wants to have the conversation you had with your boss and see if she can convince you to stay on. If it's a retail job, she wants you to stay until at least mid-February, as that's when the whole Christmas/Holiday thing finally dies off.

Whether or not you do is entirely up to you.
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Re: Serious help needed. Don't know what decision to make.

Postby dudiobugtron » Tue Nov 20, 2012 9:24 pm UTC

It's also possible that she's genuinely concerned about the mental health of her employees, and wants to see what (if anything) they can change about the situation, or for other employees as well.

------
@OP: I suffer a lot from this same problem. I can say from experience that everything is easier if you're not worried about it, and most difficult stuff is manageable with the right mindset.
I can't offer you any help on how to change your mindset of course. I can't even help myself in this situation. But at least I can tell you that if you do manage to stop being so stressed out by it for a while, it will all seem much easier as a result.

I also understand it is particularly hard to deal with because the stress is caused by the fact that it seems too hard to deal with, and it seems too hard to deal with because you're stressed out by it. Vicious circles ftl.
Like I said, I can't help you get to the light at the end of the tunnel, or (to extend the metaphor) stop you from getting lost in the tunnel again. All I can do is verify that there is light at the end of the tunnel, even if you can't see it.
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