General Question

shadling21's avatar

What should I do?

Asked by shadling21 (6501points) November 13th, 2008

I’ve been working at my current job for two months now. I came in with a lot of related experience, but have had a lot of trouble adapting recently. I believe my manager is disappointed in me for messing up (which happens surprisingly often). This adds extra stress to my job, and I’m tempted to quit and focus on school.

I just stayed up the entire night working on a school project, and I’ve still got hours of school work to go. However, I start a shift at work at noon, and probably won’t get it all done in time (even without taking the nap that I so desire). Should I call in sick?

I am a hard worker, and I don’t want to leave my coworkers high and dry. But I have a feeling I’ll be useless today due to my exhaustion and distraction, and I’ll just antagonize my boss even more.

I love the work I do – it’s already a hobby/passion of mine. But the stress of living up to my boss’ expectations (plus the stress of the job itself, which is only going to increase as the Christmas season progresses) is taking its toll. While I need the cash, my parents would be able to help me out for a while. Hence, part two of this question… Should I quit my job?

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20 Answers

noraasnave's avatar

In the heat of all the decisions and stress that you are facing at this moment you honestly aren’t going to come up with an answers that meets all expectations.

You have to prioritize what is the most important to you and assign priorities to all expectations, then meet the ones that are humanly possible according to your priorization.

Then when this situation has passed and you have a respite, you need to really seek out what you enjoy the most, what your dreams are, and set goals to meet them.

It appears that you are following the goals of other people instead of listening to your own heart. Hope this helps.

janbb's avatar

Two ideas. Maybe call in sick today and rest and get your schoolwork done. Take a deep breath and relax a bit.

Then, before deciding whether to quit the job, talk to your boss. Tell him/her your feelings about you performance and the stress it is causing you. Try to get some feedback about how he perceives your work; it may or may not be as bad as you think. Talk about the stress you are under. When you have an honest discussion with him, you can assess the issue more clearly and decide what to do. You may need to pick up some time management skills or you may have taken on too much. However, you may also just be feeling rundown and are being too hard on yourself.

Good luck!

autumn43's avatar

I agree with janbb. You should call in sick today. Just because you aren’t sick sick, doesn’t mean that you don’t need to take a day off. You are emotionally exhausted and physically exhausted. If you don’t take time to rest your body, it will catch up with you at some point, and you will be sick.

Things may look clearer with a few hours of sleep. Also, it’s nice that you are worried about your coworkers, but they can handle one day without you, I’m guessing.

You shouldn’t try to make an important decision like quitting your job when you are totally exhausted. Make a list of the pros and cons (one big pro being that your parents could help you out). Things will look clearer if they are written down and you can sort things out that way.

If my son had this problem – I would tell him that school should always come first. He has a job that doesn’t break him though, but if he was lighting the candle at both ends – the job would have to go. School is more important!

{{{HUG}}} You seem like you needed one!

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

I agree with janbb, too. Do not quit without discussing your situation with your boss. I think you have already made the decision that 1) school is your top priority and 2) the work is a hobby/passion, so it’s not the work itself, it’s the volume and demands. You recognize that you would be a better employee without school in the way. I would ask about cutting down on your work hours before I quit outright. Your boss may make that decision for you. His response will be based on the needs of the business, and his own experiences of working while in school.

basp's avatar

Since quitting your job means you would have to rely on your parents more, you may want to have a conversation with them, too.

AlfredaPrufrock's avatar

@basp, great point. Even though they may be willing, with the economic conditions, their ability may be constrained, or may require you to live at home, if you’re currently not doing so.

augustlan's avatar

Nothing to add but my best wishes for you, Shadling.

cdwccrn's avatar

pray first for direction. And get a good night sleep before trying to make any major decisions.

La_chica_gomela's avatar

Hey shadling,
I’m in a similar situation. I’ve been thinking about quitting my job (which I love) to focus on school as well.

Definitely call in sick today (I did that earlier this week in favor of a nap) I figure if I don’t take care of myself, I’ll actually get sick, and then I’ll probably miss more than one day, possibly get my co-workers sick, etc.

I would talk to your boss about possibly working fewer hours while school is in session.

And I would tell your parents about the stress you’re going through right now. That way, if you do decide to quit they’ll be more likely to support your decision because they’ll understand where you’re coming from. And in my experience, when my parents agree with what I’m doing, they’re more likely to help me out with it (financially and otherwise).

Only you can decide whether you should quit or not, but hopefully we can give you some good things to think about.

shrubbery's avatar

Bad luck, Shadling. I know how you feel.

I needed the money for something in particular though- but work was just getting too much for me coming up to exam time that I actually stopped enjoying my job.

I had the stress of the rowing season starting added in there too, and I decided to quit.

It was the best thing, I think, and I’m really glad I did. My parents are helping pay for the thing I was saving up for, and I am going to start work again next year after the rowing season has finished to pay them back, and it will be OK because by the time exams come round again next year I won’t be rowing again since it’s my last year of school.

If you’re a good worker, which I’m sure you are, and you were to quit, your boss might say to you “Oh well we’d love to have you back sometime in the future” and so you always have that option there to you.

Think long and hard about what you want to do, talk to people, talk to your coworkers if you feel comfortable, and talk to your parents, and make the decision only when you’re a hundred percent sure.

Darwin's avatar

Yes, call in sick.

Yes, talk to your parents.

Yes, talk to your boss.

Then make your decision based on what is best for you both short-term and long-term.

amurican's avatar

Sounds like you are asking the right sort of questions.If you quit right away then you lose any chance of working through this dilema. The worst that can happen is you are let go. Trust your instincts and if for some reason you cant please everyone all the time then realise you are not alone and try to cut yourself some slack no matter what the outcome. If your manager cant cut you a little slack for your learning mistakes then that may well be their deficite and that’s beyond your control.There might well be something that your manager is going through that has put them on edge.You cant please all the people all the time even in the best of circumstances. It’s never easy and if it were you’d miss out on the challenge! Isn’t that right?

DrasticDreamer's avatar

I can’t help you much, because I’m facing a similar situation. I’m not even enrolled in school right now, but lately, I’ve been very tempted to quit so I can go back to school and focus on that entirely. Nothing else. No job, no relationship. Just my future and my well-being. As it is now, I have a lot of medical debt to pay (and good god, maybe more because I just got my hospital bill and I never had my surgery pre-approved through my insurance!!!), I hate my job and I feel like my life is going nowhere. I definitely do not present that kind of attitude at work that my employers want me to, but it’s because I’m not happy and it shows. I don’t see much point in continuing all the suffering for everyone, myself included.

But yeah… Definitely talk to your parents and see if they’ll be understanding. Make sure they know that once you finish school you’ll be able to get an even better job, which will steady your future to a great degree, which is the whole point. I really, really wish you the best of luck.

(And I’m so sorry for rambling. I didn’t realize beforehand that it was going to happen!)

shadling21's avatar

@autumn – Thanks for the hug!
@all – That support was exactly what I needed. I’ve been “failing” a lot lately, and it’s good to know that there are people out there who understand. <3 GAs!

A funny thing happened after I posted this question: I fell asleep. I accidentally slept until 5 minutes before I was due in at work, so calling in sick was out of the question. I went to work late, assignment unfinished, hair badly needing washing, and dreading the day ahead. Needless to say, I was not a happy camper.

I got to work and noticed it was (rather miraculously) not busy. I pulled my manager aside and said, “We need to talk.” She immediately asked, “Are you planning to quit?” How’d she know? I didn’t ask. I just told her that I might be because the stress was getting to me.

Our following conversation lasted less than 5 minutes. We cleared a lot of air in that time.

For those who’d asked about it, I had spoken with my parents before posting on here. They are willing to support me in whatever I choose. Amazing, huh? My folks rock. However, I don’t just want to take the easy road.

I just think it’s hilarious that everyone on here agreed that I should call in sick, and that’s what I planned to do even before posting, and that’s what didn’t happen. But it worked out to my advantage anyhow. =D

autumn43's avatar

Wow! Sometimes the things we dread the most have a way of working out for the best! Another {{HUG}}. Glad things are back on track for you now.

Response moderated
Jeruba's avatar

@Shadling (somebody please tell me what we put the @ sign in for) – It’s good to know that your immediate situation was resolved (although you didn’t tell us the outcome of your talk with the manager). But you still have the bigger issue to deal with, which is conflicts in your time and a big strain on your energy resources versus your desire to fulfill your commitments, be responsible, and have some discretionary income not supplied by your parents.

Is it time to think about priorities and maybe look for a better balance? For instance, is school your main job right now? Should you think about cutting your work hours? Should you sign up for a lighter course load next semester? Responsible decision-making and balancing your commitments are also two valuable lessons to learn early, and this looks like a great real-world opportunity to practice thinking things through.

augustlan's avatar

@Jeruba: The @ sign is used to direct your comment “at” (to) someone in particular, rather than the original asker, or the community as a whole. If you are referencing someone, you don’t use it. So if I wanted to say to Asmonet that I agree with your answer, it would look like this:

@Asmonet: I agree with Jeruba.

Jeruba's avatar

@Augustlan, thank you. You are a terrific coach and mentor.

augustlan's avatar


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