Thursday, 29 May 2008

Workload Anxiety

Tomorrow morning I should be moving into a new office at work. I am quite happy about the move because the office is a very beautiful one and it is also extremely quiet. I will be sharing it with another colleague.

In spite of the change of office, there are many things that are worrying me at work. During the last couple of months, my workload has increased a great deal. I have discussed this matter with my manager, but I keep being told the same few words: "The company has no intention of hiring any additional staff within our department!"

When I was in El Salvador in early 2005, I remember attending this teacher-training event. The speaker, who happened to be from the US, said that if you have a sandwich which has way too many things stuffed inside, a good deal of the filling will splatter all over the place as soon as you try to take the first bite. He was talking about how some teachers attempt to transmit too much information to their students.

There are times when the same image comes to my mind whilst sitting at my desk. Having worked in insurance for almost two years and being in possession of the CII Certificate in Insurance are definitely important assets, but this does not mean that I have reached a level of expertise which allows me to take on huge chunks of work. Sadly, the management guys seem to fail to understand this point! They keep pushing and raising their expectations in order to achieve goals that were never discussed with the grassroots employees.

I am very pleased about the fact that my company strongly encourages further studies as well as training. Academic training is always positive, but on-the-job training is also extremely important. I must say that even though a staff development hour has been introduced some months after I brought the issue up with one of the directors, I still believe that more time should be devoted to training. Of course, as an employee's performance improves, the amount of training is expected to decrease, but it is ridiculous to expect relatively inexperienced staff to master certain procedures after a couple of demonstrations!

I guess that I am not the only person who dislikes feeling overloaded at work. In my case, I must admit that this issue is gradually taking its toll. On most days of the week, I leave the office feeling totally drained. Coffee helps a great deal to keep me going until around 10:30PM; in its absence, I would probably drop asleep in bed shortly after arriving home!

Given that most of my colleagues leave at 5PM sharp and that we are not paid for working overtime, I usually try to leave a few minutes after the aforementioned hour. Having said this, it takes a bit of time for me to draw those mental curtains that serve to cover the many things that still have to be done at work. I am extremely grateful to have La Delirante in my life since she does a great job at helping me to relax. I really cannot imagine what life would be like without her!

When reading the above, there are some people who might say: "Why not change your job?" My answer to such a question is that even though there might be better jobs out there, I believe that the overloading of employees at work is a central component of the capitalist philosophy. Have we forgotten the famous idea of maximising profits whilst minimising costs??? The typical employer will prefer to avoid employing additional people given that this means denting one's profits. Consequently, the work that would be done in a much better way by, say, three people often ends up being carried out by only one person. The fact that trade union membership has decreased so much during the last few years has not been a positive factor in order to combat this tendency.

Well, I just hope that things will get better... :)


ecrunner said...

i recently switched departments at work, and its almost as if i am now doing what i dont like doing, more of it, and for the same income as previously... what do you say to their response of "but there are amazing possibilities to come..." it gets frustrating and it gets annoying. in the end, you sound like me... but here is something that will help you- a vitamin that helps you to relax and calm down from anxiety. it gets me through many stressful days, hopefully you could benefit from it. and dont worry, in a growing company, there has to be help eventually- or else it cant grow anymore.

La delirante said...

As I have just posted in my blog: Life at the bottom of the corporate ladder sucks...I just wished we were not Juniors anymore.