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Need advice before I do/say something crazy!

I’m feeling very upset, stressed out and annoyed with work. I was hired to work for 3 people and was told my focus would be to help with acct management , making sure I stay on top of my bosses to stay connected with their clients with follow up meetings, calls, making sure we give clients the data they need or request etc.
I do a lot of scheduling meetings and calls overall.
About 4 months into starting this position, a new partner asked if I would mind helping him to do basically the same thing for him and his team. I said it was fine because I don’t know how to say NO!
Fast forward a bit… I am now helping 4 partners, doing expense reports for 6 people, getting email requests from other colleagues to see if I can schedule internall meetings, coordinating travel, etc.
I have now let the ball drop on quite a few things because I’m OVERWHELMED! I’m getting questioned about things not being done and my bosses are probably starting to doubt that I am actually getting all requests done.
My question is.., I’m supposed to report to one out of the 4 partners and I really think he doesn’t have enough respect for me (in my mind). I feel like I want to tell him that i feel like I’m doing more than I thought I was hired to do but not sure how that would sound.  He’s not the one who keeps me busy the most, but since I’ve started helping the new partner, I don’t communicate with him as much as I used to. This newer partner has me doing things I don’t care to do- He is super busy! I just can’t handle his calendar anymore and staying on top off all the emails I’m copied on for him.
It’s bad enough that I don’t want to work to begin with. Now I’m dealing with this.
Is it better to be fired and collect unemployment or just quit?
I honestly just want to hand in my resignation letter aSAP but not in a position to do that financially.
I’m so annoyed and feel like I’m about to lose it any day now.

Replies

Hmm, sounds like a hard situation.  I do wonder if you are going to jump out of the fat and into the fire, looking for another job….

Do you have your initial job Description and Contract?  What do they say about what your job is.

If you are concerned about saying something inappropriate, perhaps putting together a letter with the help of someone trusted, might be better.  I would personally include:
Initial expectations
Your key achievements
The extra work you are doing
Explain that this is more than you can cope with, and ask to drop one of the partners - perhaps they need to employ another person, part time
And explain that you want to continue doing a good job and maintain professionalism, but you feel things are slipping and would like to look at how to get things back up to the standard you want.

If they are reticent, explain that it is causing you some stress not being able to do your job as well as you would like and that whether they decide to employ another person and ask you to leave, or if you do leave of your own accord, they are going to have to pay to hire someone else and get them trained etc, when actually you know the systems and could function comfortable with the three partners.

Then if they muck about, just start looking for another job.  It is far easier to go from one job to another, than to risk being unemployed, esp at the moment, so you won’t do yourself any favours just quitting, or waiting to get fired, as you say you do need to work.

Take Care and good luck!

Posted by Wuftytufty on May 15, 2013 at 6:39pm

Yes, I would agree with Mr. Wuffytuffy, or is it Ms.? It’s always best to have another job before you quit the one you have, of course, so if you want out, get your resume together immediately. But also, before you do or say something crazy, you owe it to yourself and your employers to sit down and state your case with the most appropriate person. Dividing your time between four masters in some sort of undefined way is disaster waiting to happen. Be prepared. Organize your thoughts. Write it down. Details. Examples. Be professional. (All of this in your spare time, of course, I said humorously.) You have put yourself in an impossible situation, impossible for anyone, and even more so for someone with ADHD. And, it never makes sense to burn bridges by walking out in a huff and/or saying things that feel good momentarily and then haunt you evermore. Good luck.

Posted by Tom K on May 15, 2013 at 7:04pm

I like the idea of writing a letter to the group, outlining what has happened (blaming no one, especially yourself) and what you need in order to do work that is up to your standards and theirs. That way, if you have to quit and look for another job, you have the letter on file that explains what happened, in case they don’t give you a good reference.

It seems to me that the newest partner could be told you’ve found you’re not able to handle his work, on top of the full-time job you already had with the other three.

Good luck! Saying no is hard, but an excellent skill to develop. If you don’t say no upfront, you’ll probably end up saying it sideways - as in, by quitting the job.

Posted by pnwsuzie on May 15, 2013 at 7:31pm

SHJ125,

I would go to the partner you report to and tell him the situation. Let him know that you had no problems staying on top of his work & the work of the other 2 partners for the first 4 months.

However, you can let him know that you wanted to help the team and agreed to do the work of the 4th partner after 4 months on the job, but that is now affecting the quality of work you can perform for everyone at this point.

Let him know you’d love to help get the work done for all 4 partners (which is why you agreed to take on partner #4), but at this point it’s not possible for you to do all the work alone.  Let him know that you will be happy to train another new hire so that there’s two of you to perform the account management for the 4 partners… but that something needs to be done…. and ask him what he recommends.

Remind him that you did excellent work for the first 4 months before you took on the work of partner #4, & that you’re just unable to do the account management of all 4 partners alone.

I think this would be a genuine & sincere way to help get you what you need—- the partner you report to will either hire an extra person so that they’ll be two of you doing the account management…. or he’ll tell you to drop partner #4 since he was not part of the deal for the first 4 months. You can ask the partner you report to if he can let partner #4 know that you’ll no longer be helping him…that way you don’t need to confront partner #4.

I think you’ll be OK.  You took on the extra work in order to be a team player, but cannot manage the work of all 4 partners & need some help or need to cut back to the original 3 partners. It seems very understandable to me & I think it will be money well-spent for the 4 partners to hire a 2nd account manager. Additionally, if you can train the 2nd account manager you have just made yourself a “supervising” account manager!  wink

Good luck,

James

Posted by JD/ADD on May 15, 2013 at 8:08pm

Spot ON, James! You sound like an experienced business-person.

Posted by pnwsuzie on May 15, 2013 at 8:15pm

I agree with writing a letter and discussing it with a trusted friend. I gain perspective that way. The key may come from underlying issue of not wanting to work. I share that but only due to many unresolved feelings from previous work experiences. School was and is my default. I m an amazing taker inner. Less comfortable less proficient at applying or putting out. My crucible continues to be in the workplace. Add an intimidating boss and I am really done for! Sounds like you are very capable…..don’t leave without giving yourself the chance to set a very reasonable boundary and to ask for the cooperation of those you work for. All the best…..you will learn something valuable either way. God loves us….important to remember! Sue

Posted by martha sue on May 16, 2013 at 5:51pm

Thank you all!

The 4th partner asked me to add something else to my plate and I told him I would try but to keep in mind that I divide my time between 6 people( I do expenses and travel for a couple directors too) and that I would like to continue helping the team without affectiing the quality of my performance because I feel like things are slipping.

His response:
“Ok, no need to pick this piece up-  I’ll track it.
Lets just keep rest of the train on the tracks. Very important that you keep the practice together as we grow.”

I don’t know… This type of job is so not for me anymore…. I don’t know what else I’d be able to do right now if I decided to switch jobs. I have the most experience doing these types of roles. I don’t like taking on a lot of responsibilities because I have a fear of failing (and success).

Posted by SHJ125 on May 17, 2013 at 2:31pm

SHJ125,
I understand that you are feeling overwhelmed. I know that when I see support staff who are competent, capable, etc. at work and they get all of the stuff I ask them to do done, I just think, great now I can give them more. The end result, is just like you are overwhelmed, I end up overwhelming them. I didn’t realize this, until someone told me. Now I tell them, you have to let me know if I start overwhelming you. Because what I see, is someone who is efficient at their job and always gets their tasks done in a timely manner.

I think that James is exactly write. Sit down with a trusted friend and write out what you want to say. It doesn’t have to be word for word, just an outline to ensure that you say everything you want to. I find these types of situtations stressful and then I always forget to say everything. Then make an appointment with whoever you report to talk about this. Start off by telling them you enjoy the work and you want to be a team player. In that spirit, you agreed to to help out partner #4. You didn’t realize, however, that partner #4 generated more work than the other partners you were initially hired to aide. Having specific numbers and examples here would be hugely useful for you to present to your boss. Tell him that your now in the position that you feel the quality of your work is slipping simply because there aren’t enough hours in a day to get everything done. Ask if he is okay with you going back to supporting only those you were hired to support or alternatively is there any chance of hiring someone at least part-time to help with partner #4. It sounds like the “practice” is growing and if so, then the support system also needs to grow.


Good luck - and if you do decide to quit, find another job first if possible.

Posted by faye on May 20, 2013 at 10:30pm

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