My Boss is Trying to Kill Me

My boss is killing me. She constantly takes on more and more for our department. We recently got impressive new titles, which elevated us to an exempt salary level (no more overtime), no raises, and a few more hours work per day for each of us. Stress is so high, I dream about work at night (when I can sleep at all), my hair is falling out, and I’m having digestive issues and sometimes, when things are really bad, chest pains. I wake up every weekday morning with a headache.

I’ve been at this job for 14 years and can’t go elsewhere because I won’t be able to put in enough years for a decent retirement if I start over again somewhere else. I want to talk to HR, but I’m afraid my job and boss relationship will not go well after I do that. We have tried to talk to our manager about her taking on more and more work and are accused of wearing our “negativity hats.” I have been on the team the longest and know for a fact that I am the lowest paid, although I’ve always had excellent reviews. I keep trying to tell myself I don’t care about sloppy work and missed deadlines that are now unavoidable, but I DO care. I am very angry most of the time. If I talk to HR, what can be done to help me (and my coworkers) without making our boss mad and our lives even more difficult? Thank you.

Learn how to deal with a killer boss over at BNET.

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4 thoughts on “My Boss is Trying to Kill Me

  1. What happens if this situation is happening IN HR? It's not a single-person thing here, but a wide-spread department issue. What then?

  2. Jeez, you have a lot of "interesting" comment-leavers over there. So much for civility on the internet.

    I feel for the letter writer; that is a horrible situation to be in, and one that I knew up until recently. But truly, they need to decide to leave or stand up for themselves, otherwise their medical bills will eat up any retirement benefits from staying with the company. They seem to be resigned to a terrible fate already, which I'm sure is not helping them deal with the workload.

  3. It's easy to say, "shut up and listen" when you're currently residing in a nation that has much greater employee protections than that of the majority of your readership.

  4. @Anonymous May 05, 2010 8:57 AM:

    It's easy to say "shut up and listen" when that's what the submitter should do. What are you suggesting: that the submitter ignore the boss? That the submitter give up? That they go in there and say, "You're wrong" and not give their boss a chance to respond?

    EHRL's advice was spot on: ask the boss for clear goals and priorities and then honestly consider what the boss has to say.

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