Mon | Jan 22, 2018

Dear Counsellor | Work worries

Published:Wednesday | August 17, 2016 | 12:00 AM

Q I have been working at this place for 12 and half years and it is getting to me. I enjoyed the work for the first four years. The staff was motivated. The managers were supportive, friendly and understanding. The pay and benefits were good. In those days, we looked forward to going to work. Even after work, we would hang out at the sports club, and some would even use the gym.

Now all of that has changed. It started with the new owners. Then followed the constant changing of managers, each one worse than the last. Each new manager changes the direction and policies of the company. There is now a new policy of staff paying gym fees.

In the first four years, I got time off and help to pay for my first degree. I applied to do a master's degree in the field that would enhance my performance on the job. However, the boss refused to help with tuition and said no to study leave. He said I would have to resign. Most of my co-workers have left for one reason or another.

I am a single mother and need to work to help my two children.

I am now having sleepless nights. Work is a big worry. I am not handling it very well. What can I do?

A The work world can be harsh and difficult. Sometimes workers expect too much. There is nothing wrong with the company asking for a contribution towards gym fees. The company can change its policy concerning the gym. However, there should be consultation and explanation and adequate time for the new policy.

The change of ownership and frequent change of managers is a sign that the company is not as profitable as before. Perhaps these managers are under stress just like you are. Perhaps they are given impossible targets. You need to talk with your human resource manager.

There is no rule that your workplace must fund or facilitate your studies. You need to consider doing evening classes or online classes.

Finally, if the workplace is unbearable, then you need to dust off your résumé and look for a new job. In addition, have a lower expectation going forward.