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Susan M. Heathfield

Are You Miserable at Work?

By March 12, 2012

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It is hard for me to imagine doing work I hated every single day. Or, going to a workplace that hurt my self-esteem or made me participate in constantly negative self talk as a result of coworkers. Lacking a good relationship with my boss would make working a real downer. Yet, many people do this every day.

Are you miserable at work? Do you never feel good about getting up and heading to work on Monday? Do you feel unchallenged, unhappy, or not in control? Is your boss the worst? Do your coworkers engage in unjustifiable complaining all day long? Is no contribution ever good enough?

If you continue to participate in any of these situations, you will ensure that you will continue to hate your job. And, hating your job is the centerpiece for a miserable life. Why go there? You don't have to be miserable at work.

Find optimism.

Poll: What Makes You Miserable at Work? You can vote for just one answer.

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More Ways to Stop Being Miserable at Work

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July 26, 2007 at 8:52 am
(1) Terri Headrick says:

As the first HR Director ever at my organization, it is a constant battle to implement policies and procedures. My boss was responsible for pushing for this position and he quit a month after I took the position. Now, I do not have the support I need to continue moving forward. Every day is a constant battle to win over the administration. My last three proposals were rejected and/or put on hold. I am very tired of the continuous battle and daily drama.

July 26, 2007 at 10:23 am
(2) Barbara Simpson says:

Gosh, I hate hearing that anybody would stay in a position where they are not valued for their work. I have had two such jobs, and left both. For awhile, I went back to an old career (waiting tables) because I would rather do something that I enjoyed that paid less than than be demeaned on a job. It has paid off. My current employer is wonderful. He values our opinions and truely listens to what we have to say. When you look for a position with a company, ask to interview other employees. I am now the administrator of my company, and I have two rounds of interviews. I interview the candidate the first round, and I set up a round table interview for the candidate with staff of similar background and allow them to ask each other questions without me present. I do not hire anybody without the approval of the team. We have created a wonderful staff, and we actually enjoy coming to work every day, even though the day may be tough (we are a hospice company).

August 1, 2007 at 11:29 am
(3) Susan Heathfield says:

It sounds as if you have found a situation, and are helping to develop it further, that nurtures the forward thinking about people that I am constantly advocating on this site. Thank you for sharing your current situation and the fact that you had the will and the ability to leave the two bad situations you found yourself in.

May 23, 2008 at 3:41 pm
(4) Jae says:

My boss relies heavily on the “Delegation Management Style”. While I think this style of management can be an effective, it can easily appear as if one doesn’t want to do their own work.

When my bosses boss sends her assignments, 9 times out of 10 she expects me (or my coworker) to complete it and send it back to her. She then submits it as if it were her own work. When we have corporate conference calls, she often thanked for the work…that someone else did.

While earning a living for myself, I’m also earning her a living. That’s a bad boss; nice but lazy.

May 26, 2008 at 12:04 pm
(5) deepak says:

The way you are facing this problem, i am not looking any thing new in it, very common in general, but if can see any way out of this , i’ll apriciate dear. take it as a challange and learn from it.

May 27, 2008 at 3:16 pm
(6) Joan M. says:

My commute in the D.C. metro area makes work miserable for me. It takes me 60 miles, a 75- to 90-minute drive on average, to go one way between home and work. Moving is not an option for us at this time, though my husband and I have discussed it at length.

I cringed this weekend when gas was $4 a gallon in my hometown. At $4.00/gallon, I estimate I would pay over $3600 on commuter gas in a year. I’ve started thinking of finding a job closer to home, which I do not want to do because otherwise I really like where I work. I’m fortunate enough that my supervisor has approved an alternative work schedule and occasionl telecommuting to help ease the financial burden. This will save me about $780 per year (at $4/gal).

But our elected officials and departments of transportation need to step up and provide more feasible and practical public transportation options. Currently, it is faster, cheaper, and more reliable for me to drive my own car to work than to take the bus or train. We don’t have metro where I live, and the first stop of the metro happens to be right across from where I work (no good). Yet, I would gladly use public transportation to get to work. Ask any of us I-270 commuters, and they’ll all agree that things must change!

June 24, 2008 at 12:39 pm
(7) Denver says:

What makes me miserable at work is having twenty years of experience and working with fellow executives who think they know more about Human resources than I. My current company seems to go out of there way create misery and conflict and then is surprised when told that the turnover ratio is 75% or higher. I try to be fair and consistent in everything I do, both those two words seem to be of another language. Fortunately, I am compensated well, but even that doesn’t reduce the frustration level. I came into the position wanting to do great work, and improve the livelihood of all the employees while geting the company compliant with new laws. I’ve learned you can never be an outsider and expect to change a life-long mindset that prefers profits at the expense of all other things.

March 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm
(8) Marie says:

It’s wrong to always blame the worker fora miserable work experience. Usually,management is the culprit; most supervisors in the rigid corporate business world are angry bullies. How could a worker not feel miserable, when corporate managers are neurotically obsessed with humiliating workers?

June 20, 2009 at 9:23 pm
(9) anonymous says:

I am in my mid-twenties and on an entry level administrative track at my office. I have worked extremely hard to get to this point in my early career, but there are two women in my office who make my life very uncomfortable. When I gained weight recently, one joked that I was pregnant and mentioned that she had talked about that ridiculous idea with others (except for the 10 lbs. I have gained, there are no social behavior or other indicators whatsoever to suggest that I am pregnant). Whenever I try to address this situation, I am told by senior management that this particular individual “has a bad home life.” While I recognize that she may be in an unfortunate situation, that is not a justification for her behavior. The other lady is her supervisor, and she routinely cuts me off, ignores me, or makes sarcastic and inappropriate comments. One of the company’s senior leaders says she has never observed this, but that is because this individual only does these things when no one else is around.

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