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shpadoinkle_sue's avatar

How can I help my mother's stresses about work?

Asked by shpadoinkle_sue (7188points) May 7th, 2010

It’s been brewing for awhile now, but lately it’s been getting worse. I’ll give a little backstory to help explain and get the whole picture. I really need some help with this.
My mother drives for a medical transport company in Vancouver, Wa; a wheelchair van. She likes the work and the people she drives, for the most part. She’s really easy-going and can put up with a lot of flack. She works between 8–11 hours a day depending on the appointments of the clients. We usually have dinner waiting and let ther relax when she gets home.
Lately, she’s been getting really upset about work, one other driver in particular. Ths person is the last to leave home and the first to get back. They all get paid the same so when one person works a 6 hour day and another works a 11 hour day, it’s really upsetting. Also this person is quite the gossiper and has been saying some very not nice things about other drivers.
I’ve been doing my best to just listen and be there for my mother. I understand what she’s going through and I try to help as much as I can. I’m just concerned that this is going to get worse and I was wondering if there is anything else I can do to help, even if it is just to stay out of it.

This isn’t a coincidence about this question’s timing and mother’s day. I just thought of asking it today

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6 Answers

skfinkel's avatar

There are invariably difficult people at work—at every workplace—without fail. The problem here, as at so many places, sounds like it is lack of good leadership, which would be watching and making sure that everyone works essentially the same amount. So, there is little to do. The only recommendation would be to suggest that she make friends with the person who is working less and gossiping, just to see that this person is also human, has reasons for what he or she is doing, and might even change behavior if befriended. Otherwise, I don’t think there is much to do. Although I will watch for other responses and see what others suggest.

PandoraBoxx's avatar

People who are paid on a salary rather than an hourly wage generally do have inequities in how much they work compared to other people; in general, work can not be about time, but about what you do. But money is not what this is about, so throw that off the table.

What’s really going is that there is a slacker in the midst who is sowing disharmony amongst the ranks. The only person that can address this situation is the person your mother reports to. There are two issues at hand: is the person hired to work full-time and is only working part-time, and the fact that the person is a gossip. Aside from talking to the manager, the only other option is to continue to do the best job that she can, avoid the gossip, and suggest that the coworkers do so as well.

All you can do is listen sympathetically, and minimize stress for her at home. These things have a way of taking care of themselves in the long run. The hard part is waiting and not get sucked into the drama.

RedPowerLady's avatar

I know what it is like to resent a co-worker and man it can make your days just down right miserable. Is there a way she can talk with her employer about this other employee? If they all get paid the same but this employee only works 6 hour days that is just ridiculous.

Other than taking action the best she can do is find a way to let go of that resentment. Otherwise it will build. That will have to be something personal to her.

ETA: Uh nevermind.. What s/he said ^^ is pretty much the same thing but worded much more eloquently.

Silhouette's avatar

It might help your mother to know you admire her work ethic and her tolerance of the company gossip. Your mom will get the extra strength she needs to endure the busy body slacker from knowing you’re in her corner.

Pandora's avatar

She needs to talk to her employer. But I suggest that she maybe take some time off. It seems she is over worked and under appreciated. She can do with some R&R and I’m sure her employers will notice slack in the work place while she is gone, making it easier to talk to them about this persons lack of work ethics. She could tell them that she needs some time off because of all the long hours she puts in and is feeling burnt out. This may make them re-evaluate how the hours are distributed among the employees.

partyparty's avatar

Your mum needs to do something pretty quickly about the situation before it gets any worse. She really needs to speak to her employer and see if they can help.
For your part, I would reassure her, keep her motivated, and tell her she is doing a wonderful job. Support her whenever you can.

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