Junior Member (male)
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Wetumpka, AL
Could this be stress getting to me?
I am having some trouble with what I think is stress, and I think that my work schedule may be causing it. This is kind of long but I really need to vent.
First off, a little back ground on the company I am with and some notes on the situation:
I have been with the company I work with for going on 4 years and I really like my job. However, there are times when I wish that I had another one. I work in a tool and die shop for a company that builds shelves. The kinds of shelves that you see in walmart and autozone and a bunch of other retail stores. Basically I am a machinist. I program and run CNC machines.
What aggrivates me about this place is their crazy hours. First off, understand that we are the die shop that builds and does maintenance on the dies that produce these products. Therefore, if they break something we have to fix it (usually we work without stopping because they need it to make more parts). We also have to be here any time production is running, in case something messes up. Production routinely gets behind schedule, so that puts us here on the weekends.
Very often the salesmen will go out and sell a product that we don't even have a die for yet. And the customer buys like a million parts and needs them "yesterday". So we have to work around the clock to get the stuff made and get it to them. Sometimes they will mess up an order out on the floor because an operator wasn't paying attention or something, and they needed those parts like last week so the commence to making new ones to replace the ones that they messed up...
A somewhat "set" schedule that we go by if nothing is happening is usually 10 or 11 hours a day during the week and then 8 hours on Saturday. That schedule is 5am-3:30 or 4:30pm during the week and 5am-1:30pm on Saturdays. Once in a blue moon we get a Saturday off. Often that schedule changes at the last minute, and it really isn't good because I had made plans to do otherthings besides come in to work. We get in grooves where we work 12 hours through the week and then however long they can keep people here on the weekends. After working 12 hours, I am spent and don't care to do anything else. Too dang tired. So, during the week I get nothing done, because my schedule is 5am-5:30pm. I leave the house at 4:15am, and I don't get home till around 6pm. That usually gives me time to stop and get food (I eat out fast food alot) and eat and watch TV for a little bit then I fall asleep. Wake up and do it all over again. When you do this for seven days a week and there is no break on the weekends to gather your thoughts, I get really frustrated. I can't mow the grass, I can't wash clothes, and I am just burned out on work.
Many of the downfalls of this company can be blamed on cheap labor. They don't pay very well at all here, and about 80% of the work force are non english-speaking hispanics. They WANT to work all the time and they don't care if we work weekends. (I think everyone knows the reason for this, and that could turn into an ethics thing if I discuss it so I won't.) I have seen many instances where an operator will purposely crash a machine or just "forget" about parts that need to be made until friday afternoon at quiting time, just so that they can be able to work weekends for the overtime.
Another problem I have with this place is the fact that they don't pay double time on Sundays. Most factories in the area with a production atmosphere pay double time on Sundays. Our's does not, only overtime.
And the last but not least is when I get invited to do something on a Saturday. The look on people's faces are priceless when they respond with "you have to work on Sat???" People just don't realize how they take their 9-5 jobs for granted...
A little info on my life:
I am 24 and engaged and I will be getting married Sept. 6th of this year. My Fiancee is 20 and pregnant with our first child, and it is due in February of '09. She works here too, but her schedule doesn't yield as many hours as mine. She mostly works 8 or 9 hours a day, and she works some Saturdays. When she has the baby, she will have 3 months of leave, and she will be bringing home short term disability, which equates to about half of what she currently brings home. This is ok, because I pay all the bills at home, and we have no other bills. the only thing that will change for us fiancially is the baby. I know that can be a big change, but it is okay because we can afford it. I am very worried about my work schedule, because I am not sure if I will be able to keep this job after the baby is born. I am worried that I will not be able to find a day care after my soon to be wife goes back to work, and we will be stuck. I don't know of any day cares that open that early in the morning. She intends on going back to work, she is not the stay at home type. She mentioned something last night about going out and looking for another job while she is out after the baby is born, a job that has a schedule more set us and the baby. I told her this was a great idea, but I am still worried about myself working too much and it causing problems within our relationship. I want to be there for the baby, and this job is gonn make that very hard. The stress situation that I am experiencing at work is also starting to show signs of taking a toll on my relationship. We never have any time to do anything and it often causes arguments over diffeent things.
Don't get me wrong, I am very thankful to have a job where I can still work, especially in this economy. The money is good with a ton of overtime, but these hours have just really gotten to me lately. Anybody else have a crazy work schedule like this or a lot of hours?
Now the results of my stress:
I have become defiant, very touchy, and honestly not the person I want to be. Whenever My supervisors ask me about work assignments, or where I am as far as progress on the assignments, I respond with a smart ellic tone. I am worried that my stress, or whatever it is is going to get in the way of my job performance. I have messed a few parts up, one that cost about $300 and the boss just bought me another piece to redo it. It hurts my pride when I mess something up, and it makes me very nervouse when working on other assignments because I feel like the opportunity to mess them up is greater.
I want to find out if there are ways of dealing with the stress I am experiecing, and try to remedy the situation. If you guys have any ideas or suggestions, please feel free to share them. I want my family to have a healthy relationship, and I don't know quite how to get there from where I am now. Thank you for taking the time to read.