I feel numb right now. I should be angry, I can feel the embers of what would have been smoldering rage at this injustice only a few weeks ago. Now I’m just tired. I’m tired of trying to make things better. I’m tired of having to justify my opinions and I am tired of being ground down by my job.
Today I, with other members of my team, presented 17 reasons why we are unhappy at work to our management. These 17 reasons were carefully thought about. Our process involved each individual writing down their issues and then a comparison was done between these lists. We only took further those which we all had in common. We found examples for each to prove that they are real. We reviewed them to make sure they didn’t come across as catty or whiny. We wanted to appear professional and we wanted to be taken seriously.
That didn’t happen.
I don’t know what I expected really. I knew there would be issues that the management wouldn’t take so well, but I expected at the very least to have gotten some acknowledgement of the situation we are in. Three of their staff members were crying through an impassioned speech and their response was to ask us if we had thought about the way we do things and to see if we might role model what we want to see. No questions about why we were so emotional over it, no expressions of concern about our mental health. When your nurses are breaking down in front of you I would have thought a human response would be to express some concern.
I feel so tired from it all I’m numb. I don’t have the energy to do any more to make this work. I had to claw my way through burnout to put this presentation together and now I feel like I have just made more problems and made work an even worse place to be.
For anyone out there who is having issues with their workplace I implore you, please find the courage to have these brave conversations while you still have the energy. If you are worried you are getting burnt out you need to say something before you hit the bottom. Because down here in burnout lane your reserves are so low that getting through basic daily tasks is an achievement. Trying to create a culture change in an organisation that has long term issues, without the support of validation of your superiors, is like scaling Everest in heals. In theory not impossible, but it might as well be.