My first job was working as a Handyman in a retirement village. I made my way up the ladder from Handyman to Leading Hand to Maintenance Manager. I worked in the same village for twenty years.
Well, things have all changed for me in a very short period of time. I have resigned from my job, effective September 14. I don’t think I had a lot of choice in doing so, given the fact that my current job is contributing enormous stress to my life and as a result my health continues to deteriorate. I have Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) and I have tried for the past three years to cope with the increasing stress and workload levels ~ however, the levels only increase and never decline.
It has not been unusual for me to be working every day without a break (when not physically at work, I work at home, taking my work home with me) and then to be working all hours in a vain attempt to get ahead. Yet every stride I make only lands me further tasks and projects to accomplish, with there being no light at the end of the tunnel.
There was a brief moment when there appeared a distant light at the end of the tunnel in which I work, but that has now been well and truly snuffed out, as a multitude of new projects began to pop up on the near horizon. Despite my pleas for a break from such things there will be no let up. It is impossible for me to sustain the levels of commitment I am being asked to give, with the load being simply too much. My staff are barely getting by now, as am I. All I can see is a complete health meltdown if I continue at the job, with no personal or spiritual life whatsoever ~ no job is worth the cost that this one is exacting from me.
I have worked with this organisation for nearly twenty years and it will be sad to leave. There were tears in my eyes as I voiced my decision to resign on Friday and I guess that was inevitable. I had thought I might work here until my retirement, but that certainly is no longer a possibility. I can no longer give the role for which I am employed the commitment, enthusiasm or interest that is required, certainly to a level that I myself am personally satisfied with.
The final straw was a meeting held last Wednesday with my staff and senior management. Without going into details, the meeting destroyed my confidence and left me shattered. I felt that everything I had given to the role, with all that it had cost me and was continuing to cost me was far too much, and far too much to ask of anyone. My spirit was broken and I left the meeting not feeling that I was able to go on. I knew it was over right at that moment. The role had exacted its last toll ~ my very soul (or was about to). It was time to end the torture before it cost me my life.
I leave the job knowing that what I had achieved I had done well and that I have transformed the department into a well-oiled working team that has accomplished a great deal in the last few years. There have been massive improvements across the board, not just in physically completed projects, but in the way things are done, procedures, etc.
The Preventative Maintenance Program that I has established and which had returned us a 100% compliance record in our Accreditation round last year is now about to be pulled apart in order to cut costs. I was about to see the good work of the last three years begin to be dismantled and standards begin to dramatically decline – all that work which cost me so much was now to be undone. What a waste of those three years was all that resonated in my mind. Why had I given so much for it to be so thoughtlessly thrown away? How pointless to continue working so hard when this was to be the result of my bleeding for the organisation? It had to end and so I have ended it – for me anyhow.
Sadly, in my opinion, the organisation is barely functioning these days and now my own department, which had struggled against the tide of the downgrade movement, was being forced into the same black hole of mediocrity. Already we were struggling to get work done because of centralisation of decision making, etc. What had taken us mere days to accomplish in the past was now taking us months as we waited for approval to spend anything from a few hundred dollars to larger amounts. We have been bogged down for months in senseless rules and regulations imposed on us from Head Office. The efficiency with which our department had begun to function was being eroded away and was in danger of grinding to a halt, but there seemed no real concern about this outside of my own department. It had become an embarrassment to me and the appearance of this to outside eyes was reflecting badly on me. There seemed no clarion expressions of support and explanation, certainly not to those who were being impacted by what was going on ~ I was left to suffer the blows of dissatisfaction alone. There was nothing expressed from any other quarter to explain the delays in meeting the department’s responsibilities. At the coal face we suffered the blows of criticism alone and then were criticised by the ‘silent’ also, for not meeting our responsibilities, even though it was clear to the ‘silent’ why the delays were there.
Anyhow, I could go on for quite some time cataloguing the issues I see happening in the workplace at the current time, but that is no longer my concern. I have only to the 14th of September 2007 to endure what has become a burden I care no longer to carry. Already the relief is palpable, as I now have light pouring through an escape shaft I have smashed through the tunnel roof in which I have been working and the way out is clearly before me. I will write soon of what the pros are concerning my resignation and what are the cons of the decision.
Well the weekend has arrived here in Oz and I’ve finally got a weekend off – nearly anyway. I have a bit of work to do over the weekend but overall I’ll have less to do this weekend than any since I became Maintenance Manager. I’m looking forward to the relief.
Sometime in the next month or so I’m actually hoping to get away for a weekend – not sure when however. Still, it’s coming.
Well, another day has gone by at work. Flat out today as usual – but at least I’m home only 2 hours later than I should be. So much to do, so little time.
What do I do? I’m the Maintenance Manager at a retirement village. We have been busy getting a central kitchen up and running with not enough time to get everything done. Still, we haven’t done too bad. More of the same tomorrow – except tomorrow its a bathroom as well as a kitchen, then Wednesday a couple of suites as well. So, too much to do and not enought time, staff, etc.
I have been flat out as I indicated I probably would be some time ago. What have I been busy with – not with the website I hear you say. Well it’s true I haven’t been – with the website I mean. My role as Maintenance Manager has kept me very busy and I expect to be so for quite some time (if not all the time). However, things are becoming a little more manageable at the moment and I hope to keep it that way for most of the time except when major problems occur at the retirement village where I work.
A lot of work has been required to catch up with things that should have been completed well before I took over the manager’s role, as well as new projects and things that are happening now. One little thing that’s been keeping me busy is compiling the Chemical Register for the village. This has turned out to be a bigger undertaking then originally thought because very little has been done to keep anything like it before and most of the MSDS sheets were outdated, missing, etc. Anyhow, I’ve just about got this under control, as well as instituting several changes in the way chemicals are stored, issued, etc. All this should make for a safer workplace.
As for me, well I’m a little down in the dumps – truth is, I have been for some time. Who can you blame but yourself for this predicament really? There is no real reason why a Christian should be depressed, at least theoretically! But when you consider your own sin, frailties, etc, it becomes obvious that there are plenty of reasons for being so in a fallen world. But that’s not to say that a Christian should be depressed.
I am down and it’s mostly my own fault. I acknowledge that, but it is difficult to lift the dark clouds once they descend and engulf you. Still, God is gracious and is more than able to deliver me from the darkness of my own sinfulness and thoughts. May the Lord look upon me in His mercy for I am an undeserving sinner!
I haven’t done much work on the site since the new year break – basically because I’m flat out getting ready to take over the Maintenance Manager’s role at the retirement village where I work. I have a lot of work to do and now I need to re-think how much time I can afford to use on the Aussie Outpost site and associated tasks, when things should be done, how often, etc. I really have my work cut out for me and this period of transition is probably going to be the hardest part of it – re-organising my life so everything fits in as it should.
So if you’re thinking that some of the ezines and things are taking their time arriving – you’re probably right because they are. It may be this way for a little while I’m afraid.
2003 is now over – well, near enough anyhow. It’s been an interesting year with disappointments as well as challenges and highlights, etc. I won’t add to much here, except to say the next year is looking quite exciting for many reasons, full of new challenges, etc.
From February 2004 I begin my new role at work as the maintenance manager and part of the board of directors (more-or-less) that will manage the retirement village where I work. This will prove both challenging and rewarding I’m sure. But the most exciting part of this new role is the added cash – why I hear you ask with thoughts of I must be greedy, etc, formulating uin your head … because it will give me some resources to be able to get the many Aussie Outpost ministries and opportunities off the ground and into action. The Outpost is desperate for financial support and this blessing of providence will help immensely!
A new years resolution? Well, how about I start adding to the blog a little more regularly – I am getting better as the directory of entries shows.