Take this job and...shove it?
July 18, 2014 7:27 AM   Subscribe

i may have made a big mistake. i was persistently recruited by one of the "big three" food service providers and after turning down a few offers, I finally accepted one from them. i have been in my new position for 2 months now and i can safely say that I HATE IT.

while i know that no one can definitively tell me if i should stay or if i should go, i am looking for anecdotal accounts of why you stayed/left and how you got through if you did stay. was leaving the biggest mistake ever? ALSO, i have a progress meeting today with my immediate boss. can and should i let them know that i am less than happy in the position?

i took a new job two months ago. the new position is a subset of the responsibilities and scope i previously had in my old job - so it's basic. easy. boring. however, there is somewhat less stress, the pay is better (~5k) and the setting is a cultural venue, which has always been a setting i could see myself working in. on the flip side, i used to manage the people at my current level of employment, so i see this new position as sort of taking a step backwards. the schedule is ATROCIOUS. my quality of life has suffered greatly since starting. late nights AND early mornings, scheduled 13 hour days, not having consistent days off, not being able to take a weekend without disrupting the entire operation, lack of support staff, inability to hire needed staff, somewhat of a clique-y environment with a few micromanagers up top and the overall feeling that i'm being watched constantly by my superiors.

a few things that may be relevant: i have worked in food service for many many years, so i know all about terrible demanding schedules. this, however, is beyond horrible. a co-manager and i cover a 100 hour work week while the venue is open, 7 days a week, and that's not down the middle, so we're averaging close to 60 hours a week (not the agreed upon 50). why did i take this position? all was not made clear initially and that is on me for not pressing a bit harder during the interview process, but there was a bit of misleading information given. also, i was stagnating a bit in my old job, so when the opportunity arose for a change, a bit more $$ and what i saw as a huge network down the road (current employer owns 10 different companies that are all in the food service sector), i took the leap. as for internal transfer, i need to wait another 16 months before being eligible. so....stay or get the hell out?

i have nothing lined up right now as a job prospect, but i could always fall back on my first love of cooking on a line in a restaurant in town. my fiancee and i are saving for a wedding this year, so i'd hate to take the pay cut but for my sanity it might be worth it. final question: i have a meeting lined up with my boss today. it's a check in meeting to see how things are going. i'm very frustrated and at the point where i feel that i need to voice my displeasure with the job overall. there are no quick fixes here, so there is not much that can be changed in the long run. this would be more of me setting up my exit. they need me here as a body, so i'm not entirely worried about being shown the door immediately. is it worth mentioning my displeasure? so hive mind....stories and thoughts?
posted by ps_im_awesome to Work & Money (12 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Make a list of problems and ways to fix them and take it to your meeting.

Can you think of ways the scheduling would work better for everyone without hiring additional people? If so, lay it out. Do you get overtime or are you salaried?

Work hours that change erratically are bad for both physical and mental health.

Good luck!
posted by mareli at 7:36 AM on July 18, 2014 [3 favorites]

No job is worth your sanity.

You can raise individual issues to your superiors, and hope they have the willingness and the authority to fix them or help you work around them—but you cannot change the overall culture of a workplace. It's much bigger than you, it was there first, and you're at the bottom of the totem pole.

Whether and how you voice your problems are up to you. I doubt it'll do you much good, though. Sometimes it's best to just put in notice, give them a brief summary of your reasons if they ask, and move on with your life with a minimum of friction. It ain't pretty, but that's work for you.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 7:39 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Ask about the prospects for moving to a better position by transfer or promotion, whether after your probationary period or under the 16-month policy.
posted by lathrop at 7:52 AM on July 18, 2014

If you can get out with any amount of reasonability, do it. The place will not change. You will only get unhappier.

I mean, yeah, ask about transfers and whatever. But make your escape plan now. Plan to be out now.
posted by billybunny at 7:57 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

You've been on the line and 13 hour days are surprising? I envy the kitchens you've worked in.

Anyway, there's no point in keeping a job you hate. However, if you're in an at-will state or still in your probationary period, bringing up a laundry list of concerns can easily have you branded as 'problematic' or 'not a good fit' and you'll be out the door within days.

Better to jump than be pushed, though.
posted by feckless fecal fear mongering at 8:12 AM on July 18, 2014

I second mareli here. I think you should be honest and direct, but be positive and constructive. You will get branded as problematic or a troublemaker only if you are negative and complain without bringing in feasible solutions to the discussions. But if you can make recommendations based on your past experience or as what you see are critical things that could be fixed easily, there is a good chance that the feedback could be appreciated and acted on (doesn't always happen with every manager, but it's always worth a try).

I agree with others, no job is worth your sanity or health.
posted by tuxster at 8:52 AM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: For the job I hated, I regretted not leaving sooner, not the fact that I left. But instead of just jumping without a parachute, I would realize you hate your job, stop stressing about it because you don't actually care if you get fired, and focus your energy on trying to find a new job.
posted by AppleTurnover at 10:41 AM on July 18, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: I think you've got nothing to lose by being very straightforward with your boss about the problems you are experiencing. If you were persistently recruited, then they must feel you have a lot to offer, so they need to take your concerns seriously. If they make changes, then things will get better for you, and if they don't make changes, well then you don't want to be there anymore. So you've got nothing to lose.
posted by Dansaman at 3:37 PM on July 18, 2014

Best answer: Leaving a shitty job has ALWAYS been the right thing for me. I also disagree with the conventional advice that you need to find a replacement job before you leave your current job.

Staying in a job you hate murders your soul. You will become less and less joyful, more and more stressed, and, ironically, probably it will be harder and harder to get a better job the longer you stay in this one marinating in your unhappiness.

Waiting 16 months for a transfer is a bad bad BAD BAD idea. Just don't do it. This is your LIFE here. Don't spend it being miserable about something you CAN change. Go cook for a while and then make your next step with joy and anticipation.
posted by mysterious_stranger at 5:25 PM on July 18, 2014 [1 favorite]

By the way, one of the most pleasant experiences of my life was thus:

I was working as a web developer in a smallish financial services company (couple dozen employees, 3-4 IT people). At my yearly review I was promised a raise. That raise hadn't materialized in my pay check like 4 months after my review, and my boss and the HR dept offered continual excuses for that fact. I was also getting more and more annoyed about various other issues. One night my boss asked me to stay and fix a problem that wasn't my area of responsibility and that I hadn't caused, while he went home (note this IS a problem HE could have worked on too). That was it for me, I packed up my desk and left, sending an email to him that I quit.

Conventional wisdom says you must give 2 weeks notice, you don't burn bridges yadda yadda, but I don't WANT a bridge left standing back towards Shitville. I also believe I don't owe allegiance to someone who doesn't show allegiance to me (and many if not most bosses and workplaces do NOT show allegiance to employees).

Anyway, one of the most pleasurable experiences of my life was sleeping in the next day, being woken periodically by the increasingly desperate voice mails he left. His first one started out with a reasonable tone of voice asking me to come back and saying we could just forget about the email I sent. As the day wore on, his voice took on a comical tone of stress covered over with a layer of seething resentment, and then plastered over with a final layer of really-trying-to-sound-nice, as he warned that he would soon have to tell upper management he quit. It was clear he finally realized my value to the company, and that he was basically up shit creek at that point. I am guessing that quarterly statements went out late that quarter, since I believe I am the only one who could work with Crystal Reports... and that fact pleases me :-)

Unsurprisingly given the corporate culture and business practices at that place, they went out of business a couple of years later.

I never regretted quitting that way, and I had no problem finding my next job, which was a web dev job with more responsibility and a better team, at a NASA location.

I also quit a massage job where I was treated like crap, not having lined up another one, albeit in a less dramatic way, with more notice. Nothing bad happened. I found another, FAR better, job. The end.
posted by mysterious_stranger at 5:38 PM on July 18, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: I stayed at my previous job for three and a half years, even though I near instantly knew it wasn't a good fit. I could go on and on about that horrible, no-good, very bad job, but I'll be concise and just say that, like others, the only regret I have about leaving that job is that I didn't leave it sooner. By the time I managed to get out, I was having daily severe migraines (haven't had one since I left!), crying jags in my office (hadn't had one since!), and barely enough emotional energy to job hunt, let alone worry about how I was going to lie to my boss about sudden time off I needed for an interview or two or three.

The longer you stay, the more worn down you get, and the easier it gets to stay at a horrible job rather than dedicate yourself to finding a new one. Job hunt now.
posted by coast99 at 7:54 PM on July 18, 2014

Best answer: For the most part of my life I have been self employed. I treated myself pretty roughly but I liked my boss so I was able to fix that part. This may sound tongue in cheek but my point is that if you hate how this is going, try to figure out if you can constructively make it better but if that is not the case, start looking for an alternative now. Don't kill yourself over changing this job...and if you were really good at the last one, call them back, maybe they want you again.

You need to talk to that fiancée of yours as well because this now involve the two of you, congrats on that wedding by the way, and see if you can figure a game plan that does not make you want to jump into a deep fryer.

PS I understand food service but how do these people make it work with such chaos? Good luck.
posted by OhSusannah at 2:47 AM on July 19, 2014

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