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On Burnout

I was reading about burnout and PTSD on a post on Metafilter, and thinking about my own burn out. Specifically, the way a few commenter talked about how it manifested in them: sleepless Sunday nights, because they had to go into work the next day. How any sense of calm and happiness melted away when they had to sit down at their desk, the white hot anger that appeared when they turned on their computer. I thought about how the longest I've ever held a job has only been 2.5 years. I thought about how, around the two year mark, just as I'm getting confident in my job, I'm also getting angry, listless, and how I moved on soon after.

Some of the reasons for moving on were legitimate, like escaping strip mall food service, to escaping a call center, to moving (at least twice for this one). But often, it was because I had to get away from a job. And it struck me how every job I've had has been like this. Eventually, staffing gets cut. Eventually, more profits need to be squeezed from a store. Eventually, the meat robots get worn out and need to be replaced.

And that's another thing that struck me: the feeling so many people had about being worked to burning out and then unceremoniously replaced, as if this is expected by management. As one commenter said, "I have no option but to just keep swimming, until the fish dies." And maybe I shouldn't be surprised, but so many people I know feel that way.

I don't know if this has a point, other than it surprised me how hard I felt the comments.

On a similar note, still waiting to hear back about the position I applied for. Been thinking about making backup plans for that, too. I've been at this job over two years now...


Metafilter post, "Burnout and PTSD"