I edit a magazine and am involved in many other communications vehicles within a professional association. We are extremely short-staffed, and struggling with membership. We currently have five full-time staff (two positions are, for all practical purposes, vacant). And we do huge projects - particularly our two conferences each year (for which I produce the conference materials, and do all the website updates). The President is a nice guy, and bright, but he’s in his early 30s and has huge dreams and huge expectations of an extremely small staff.
One day in late November, I found out that he was unhappy with the magazine production schedule. At the time, I was personally contributing half of the content for the magazine (two large interviews with conference presenters) - and interview transcribing/editing takes a lot of time.
This was coming on the heels of some rather nasty physical problems. I had spent September-October hemorrhaging/bleeding daily, and getting medical tests to find out what was wrong. (Diagnosis: Complex Hyperplasia). I had discussed the symptoms/diagnosis with my bosses. They acknowledged the symptoms but were in denial about the impact on my life.
A few days after being told that the President was unhappy with my inability to hemorrhage and simultaneously do the website, conference materials, write over half the magazine, and get the magazine into production on schedule while having no one to delegate anything to… I started hemorrhaging really badly. Heavy bleeding. Large clots. For most of December.
On the Friday after this started, I woke up with scary heart palpitations and went to urgent care. It was also icing on the roads that morning. After having the doctor tell me to cut down the stress in my life, I chose not drive 15 miles in the ice to my job, assuming that this might be a bit stressful. So my boss wrote me a nastygram, stating that it was her “expectation that” I would have a draft completed on Monday of the magazine action plan for 2008, complete with messaging strategies, alignment with mission/vision/core values, etc. On Monday, I had a very detailed draft complete. She was too busy to read it.
On Wednesday of that week, I came down with a cold that turned into a very bad sinus infection that laid me out from work for a week. During that time, though my boss acknowledged that yes, I really was sick, she sent constant emails telling me to contact this person or that person to get commitments for material for the next issue of the magazine. At the time, I could not sit up at my computer for more than a few minutes at a time without getting exhausted or sicker. I emailed her about this, and she wrote back that maybe I was sick, and maybe we are not supposed to mix sick leave with work, but I still needed to keep the magazine on track.
I got permission from my husband that night (December 20) to quit my job, but I haven’t done so yet. IMO, this job is damaging my health. And judging by my boss’s abusive behavior over the past month, it’s not going to get any better. She also dangled in front of me a Managerial title at one point in October or early November, but she has obviously pulled back on that, apparently under the assumption that I’m “not ready.” This of course ignores the fact that I’m running all aspects of the magazine - including managing the vendors. Job descriptions call what I do “Managing Editor,” but she gets the “Managing Editor” credit because of her Director position. And that does rankle.
From my perspective, I get slammed because there’s too much to do, and unlike my boss, I have no one to delegate anything to (staff of 5). She gets the credit, and the promotion, for my excellent work. (She does virtually no editing work on the magazine - and she’s actually not qualified to edit a magazine). I get to feel like I’m being stepped on.
Yes, I have a resentment. And my anger is starting to boil over into the workplace. In my head yesterday, my internal monologue was automatically assigning swear words to her. And this is always a sign that I’m in spiritually bad shape. I’ve been cooking with this resentment in my head now for the past month, and it’s festering.
I believe I’m being abused and taken advantage of. And I believe that it’s time to pull the trigger on that resignation letter - but there are some large projects to complete. And I actually did like my boss before December. (can you tell I’m torn?).
There’s also the financial insecurity factor. I do not have another job lined up. Thankfully, I’m a writer and editor, I’ve made some good business connections at my workplace, and I can probably find some kind of freelance work in the interim. But the whole thing is scary. And I wonder if I’m just planning to do this to “get even” with my boss. But given my state of mind, I’m not sure I can handle this intolerable situation one more day.
Any advice, suggestions, guidance? Thanks.