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Almost to the breaking point

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by Stitch, Aug 22, 2010.

  1. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Anyone tell their boss they just couldn't handle the workload anymore, especially if there are others at the paper who should be doing more.

    I don't want to get into specifics, but there has to be a point where a lot of us would say fire me if you have to, but I won't do it.
  2. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Active Member

    Have you taken said concerns to your boss before or is this a new problem?

    If you're on any kind of a football beat, I don't imagine things will improve once football tab season gives way to real football. Better to make your concerns know now than soldier on and suffer a breakdown -- physical, mental or otherwise -- at a particularly inconvenient moment.

    Not sure how much help I can offer otherwise. Would you be willing to share specifics via PM?
  3. pressmurphy

    pressmurphy Member

    Stitch, I died on that hill a couple of times while serving in dramatically different roles in the biz.

    It's a plausible route to consider taking in a thriving economy and while the journalism industry is going gangbusters. Now ain't the time.

    I'd dare say that almost every business these days has some of the issues you're describing. It's obvious that a few people were still at their two-hour lunches when the "we have to do less with more" memo got circulated.

    Those are the assholes who deserve to die a painful death more so than anyone else. Their top-tier enablers -- the bosses who look the other way -- run a close second.

    The rest of us -- the guys and gals who cram 60 hours or work into a 40-hour pay period to make up for the slackers -- deserve a bit of he blame as well, but that's no reason to volunteer for the wrong side of the firing squad.

    Don't do it man. Just take a step back, take a deep breath and come up with a Plan B.
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    It's an ongoing problem and the "we'll just see approach" isn't going to cut it, especially in the fall.
  5. Riddick

    Riddick Active Member

    Stich, sounds like we're in the same situation and I'm working on a Plan B. I wish you luck, though.
  6. TrooperBari

    TrooperBari Active Member

    Is said boss saying "we'll just see"? And again, have you made known your unhappiness with the imbalance?

    If you have, then perhaps you need to take your complaint up the chain of command (assuming that's possible and won't leave you persona non grata in your section). You don't need to point fingers at those doing less work -- not right away, at least -- but calmly lay out why the current workload is untenable, why it is likely to get worse as fall sports begin and how the problem can best be remedied.

    As pressmurphy said, downing tools and walking away isn't really advisable at this point. Only after you've exhausted all diplomatic means, and even then only if you think your long-term health is under threat, is such drastic action an option.

    I'm sorry you're under such stress, Stitch, and wish I could do more to help.
  7. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    I didn't blindside anyone. It's an issue that has been brought up several times to no avail. Going up the chain won't help much either.

    I'm lucky I live in an where I can get a non-newspaper job rather quickly if I do get canned to pay the bills.
  8. Rhody31

    Rhody31 Well-Known Member

    I've thought about it, but what is it really going to accomplish?
    Schieza and I do more work than anyone at our company and it's not even close. Our editors bitch about not enough time to do their work, which makes me laugh.
    We'll do 10-12 stories for our weeklies, plus take our own photos, and do 12-15 pages of layout. The editors? Maybe 3 stories a week and 8-10 pages of layout.
  9. novelist_wannabe

    novelist_wannabe Well-Known Member

    Start looking. When you get an interview, go talk to your boss. I wouldn't deliver an ultimatum, but as Trooperbari suggested, simply lay out your case. If you don't get a firm answer, then continue looking and take another job.

    There are two reasons I'm making this suggestion: 1.) Nobody will take care of you but you. Period. If you're unhappy with your situation, it's up to you to change it. 2.) There are so many people out of work in this business, they can replace you with a warm body in a heartbeat. Nobody is irreplaceable. It's harsh, but dem's da berries.

    One other note. Assuming you get interviews for other jobs, refrain from playing the victim.
  10. WBarnhouse

    WBarnhouse Member

    "Now listen to me, all of you. You are all condemned men. We keep you alive to serve this ship. So row well, and live."
  11. Fredrick

    Fredrick Well-Known Member

    That's a great quote but admittedly depressing. Stitch depending on your age it's ride it out or seriously consider a new field.
  12. Dick Whitman

    Dick Whitman Well-Known Member

    Do it diplomatically, but do it nonetheless. A lot of times, bosses may not realize you're overloaded. You should never, ever, ever work more than 40 hours if you aren't in a salaried position. Your boss probably means no harm. He just relies on you and doesn't even realize he's overloading you.

    A lot of editors want to know if their people are being overworked. If they don't know, then they can't ask for more help from above - like overtime or extra staffing.

    If I were a sports editor, I'd be pissed if someone was working 60 hours a week and not letting me know about it. It hurts the section.
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