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  • Been in your situation where the management kept saying they are making the changes and after seeing no changes for over 10 years and started to get stressed due to work. Finally, got enough courage to get out of the comfort zone and start looking elsewhere. I must say, it was tough to get out of the comfort zone where you had worked for many years. But within 6 months of looking, I got way better offer for stuff that I was already doing and and know how to do without any concerns.

    Your health is the most important thing! Good Luck to you! and don't be afraid to look and apply for other places. Raise doesn't compensate the stress and mis-management causing you stress.

    Pepper graySpice (6) flagReport
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  • I think you may need a change.

    Pepper graySpice (7) flagReport
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  • Polish that resume and start looking for a new job seriously if they are going to treat you that way it is time to go.  You said another tech left for the same reason so it won't get better.

    Pepper graySpice (9) flagReport
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  • I'm sorry for what you're going through.  You've written much about your boss and your current state.  So, that is where I would like to start.  As an older person, what I have to say may feel insensitive and out of date with the times.  But I feel that social media is doing a massive over-correction in favor of the labor market which is unrealistic.  So here goes...

    We all feel like we shouldn't have to enforce our own boundaries and not have to ask for raises.  Our feelings aren't at issue here.  We work to live, not live to work.  That double-edged statement means that there is an insensitivity towards the personal at work, because it's the trade when you don't take work personally.

    You should ask for raises.  You should enforce your own boundaries.  And, you should go above and beyond when you are at work.  These are not contradictions because you are in charge of what you accept out of life.

    We spend the first 10-15 years of our working careers trying to please others because we believed in what we were told as children.  At about the 15-20 year mark is where we tend to have our midlife crises and realize that we were supposed to take control of ourselves and had a responsibility towards that end in as much as our jobs.  How we handle the 20+ mark makes all the difference.  I'll tell you more about that when I get there.  Right now, I've been in crisis mode since 2017.

    What I can tell you is that moving forward, you can still be polite and diplomatic.  You get to choose some of your own battles, it that you can choose which hits you will take and for what.  That goes for your personal life, too.  I've known some people who were perfectly happy demanding more from family than employers, and vice versa.  You'll find that wisdom when you start making specific choices about how to do the things which make you the person you wanted to be the whole time.

    You've written a lot about how your boss has let you down, but you understand his position.  If you really were thinking about his position, you would have realized all of this a long time ago.  In fact, you still don't understand his position because he is really going through what you are too.  It just looks different to you.

    Nobody is always confident.  Like parenthood, we all make it up as we go along seeking help as needed.

    Now as to changing careers...

    I've had 4 real careers, and I've back-stepped into #3 in 2018.  It isn't all that fun for me, but I did it to pay the bills and keep my wife out of a group home.

    What was fun for me was learning all the things I did in those 4 careers and the other half dozen part-time jobs I've had in my life.  The only real advice I can give to you is that if you don't know what to do, then do everything.  Try everything, however you can.  Because doing nothing will get you nothing.  But doing everything you can find will get you to what makes you happy by process of elimination.

    If you have the opportunity to take a job that will pay the bills and offer you a new perspective, don't let a couple of dollars per hour be the deciding factor.

    ...and my longest commute was 2hr 15min each way.

    Pepper graySpice (13) flagReport
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  • The great resignation is real. What you are experiencing is some of that, on top of the other crazy stuff that sounds like has existed since before this all started.

    Working for an MSP can be quite demanding. Nobody ever has small problems when you are supporting a large network of businesses. I will add that IT in general can be a very stressful career path. There are way more stressful careers true (try to have lived through the last 3 years as a doctor or nurse). That does not mean that IT is "better," its just different, and its a known stressful career.

    Before you give up entirely on IT, have you considered working for a single employer rather than an MSP? Medium to large sized businesses have their own IT groups and can frequently give you a larger smattering of lower stress type issues on the day to day level. Its not always that nicey nicey, but at least you get quiet times every now and again.

    IT might not be your bag, and I get that, but I'm attempting to not lose another skilled IT person to a different profession.

    One good boss, makes all the difference in the world. Sometimes you need a pitbull of a boss, who will turn over heaven and Earth for you, when you start to drown a bit.  This is a heads up as I know there are Directors/VPs/CIOs/and Managers that are on here. Be that boss!  Be willing to stand toe to toe with your CEO, and give him the straight dope, like "we're drowning and we're going to lose good people." Be prepared to step up and say, we're understaffed, and unless we correct that soon, or reduce the projects we take on, we're not going to have anyone working here anymore. The CEO might blow you off, but you can remind them when folks start walking that you warned them.

    Pepper graySpice (8) flagReport
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  • jessevas Thank you for the insight. In terms of career change, the only reason I even find it feasible is because I have many different limited experiences in different fields I basically built a home with my brother-in-law and have some other construction and light metal work experience. I have always been someone that can figure out how to get a job done so I don't doubt my abilities to get into another field. Even within IT, I could change from being an MSP agent to an Infrastructure cabling job. The plus side to my years of experience at the MSP is that I have experience in so many niche IT "micro-fields". I understand there is a lot that I should have spoken up about earlier with my boss and office manager but you also have to understand that my office manager is my boss' sister which makes it that much harder. On top of this, my boss is more of a salesman/consultant rather than what I believe a boss or owner should be. I pretty much have already understood that I need to look elsewhere, I just want to make sure emotions aren't clouding my judgement. Part of the office environment has put me in a position where (as this post shows) I doubt whether I am being a difficult person or not. I am 26 now and just bought my first house so I hope this was my mid-life crisis coming earlier. If this wasn't it, I don't want to know what that will look like. I have been through hell and back many times throughout my life so I know I will be fine in the long run. Just a frustrating and confusing time in my professional life. It's that heartbreak feeling of putting all that time and effort into a company to be treated the way I am treated. One of the greatest things I have done since these issues became "louder" (I guess) is be firm about not even thinking of work when not working. It has helped a lot. 10/10 recommend this to anyone feeling burnt out.

    SHNOOL I have told my boss and my office manager about why our last tech left and that the company was going to fail if he did not change (respectfully of course as I do not intend to burn bridges). I hinted to my office manager that things were already not going well when he put in his two weeks a while back. I was trying to get her to do an exit interview where he could say whatever he wanted (which I believe should be standard) but she decided not to. He ended up opening up to me after he submitted his two-weeks notice when we were eating lunch once. I asked a few questions and I told him to only answer if he was comfortable as I was not his supervisor or anything. The tech that left was definitely no gem. There were so many problems with the tech but at the end of the day he did make our jobs a little less stressful in terms of work load. His faults had a lot to do with the failure of management. No one was managing the tech and making sure protocols and procedures were followed. I had to clean the mess that was him not being managed for a year and there was a lot of mess to clean. At the end of the day, I really did try and told them as many issues. One thing I specifically mentioned was that pay/benefits are AN issue but not THE issue. I did not want the scenario that I ultimately got, which is take more money and shut up. In the end, I do feel like even if I get a job in another field it will be temporary until I find a good fit in IT. I mentioned before but around my area, most larger companies that have their own IT teams are only looking for help desk phone operators for laughable salaries. At this point I am not willing to accept a job purely in the hopes of being quickly promoted. The other side of hiring is companies looking for a CTO who must also be a one many IT army for a company that requires a full team to properly function. Pay is good but it's too much to do as a single person which is why a lot of those jobs have been vacant for so long. A competing MSP was hiring but I was advised by two trusted former collegemates not to work there. One of them worked there for a few years. The other worked for 5 years and was let go before COVID then was offered the same job with worse pay when things opened back up.

    All others not specifically tagged, I appreciate your inputs and best wishes as well.

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  • RussBd2 wrote:

    ...I understand there is a lot that I should have spoken up about earlier with my boss and office manager but you also have to understand that my office manager is my boss' sister which makes it that much harder. On top of this, my boss is more of a salesman/consultant rather than what I believe a boss or owner should be. ...

    This part here is exactly what I drive at.  This isn't something we need to understand.  


    One day, you will understand that this sort of thing never really mattered.  Its how you chose to set your relationship with these people from the beginning which matters.  And your own perspective would benefit greatly from a change.

    Perhaps this can illustrate...

    Much like you, I would work smart and hard and patiently wait for the boss to give me the recognition I deserved.  Others would do half as much, care 1/5th as much, and get bigger, more frequent raises.  I even had one boss (circa 2000 - 2002) explain to me that getting a $1 raise each year was just as fair as the other guy's $0.25 raise each quarter.  He didn't enjoy me pointing out how that added up to an extra $750 per year in that guy's pocket just for complaining, and I never got compensated that difference.

    My last boss (circa 2018 - 2021) was an absolute bully to many and would turn red yelling at people for as little as a phone ringing more than twice.  The very first time he yelled at me, I held firm and used a stern but respectful voice to explain my position.  He started turning red and digging in.  The more he came at me the more firm I became, to the point where I was physically ready to kick his head off but kept my words SFW.  He never yelled at me again, and we had descent, respectful dialog whenever he had issues.  Nobody else stood their ground, and he would push them around as he felt.

    I wasn't different from anyone else in that company.  I simply chose to set the limits of what I would accept in turn up front.  If you don't respect yourself up front, any future attempts will be taken as out of character outbursts by all of your peers.

    It doesn't really matter how your boss behaves.  You will never be able to manage that, or receive it to your expectations.  The trick is that you have all the power to manage how you respond.  When you accept what you receive as what it is (and people for who they are) without measuring against yourself (or who you need others to be), you'll get better at managing those little moments which set the tone for how you are respected by respecting others from a position of self-truth.  

    This one lesson took me 40 years to learn, but it works.  It's real.  And it changes everything from moment 1.

    I'm happy to hear that your experiences are well-rounded.  Lean into that when you need to.

    You are not at your MLC.  Not even close.  And if you can master this one thing, you may never have one.

    Pepper graySpice (6) flagReport
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  • I had a car accident a while back and ever since then, I've had panic attacks. It took me a long time to figure out how to manage this. One of my recently learned tricks is to tell myself: 'it is what it is and there's no reason for any fear as the fear accomplishes nothing.' This has helped tremendously. I've also been taking care of my body with Zinc, Magnesium, and other important supplements. May I also recommend funny animal videos on Youtube? Those help a lot.

    I also took a break from working period, last year. I was burnt out at my previous job, which in-and-of-itself took me years to figure out. It also took me ages to figure out that I could talk about this with my employer. It was a tough time but now things are better because I finally figured out what to do.

    My change came and it was for the better. I hope you end up with a good outcome. 

    Pepper graySpice (4) flagReport
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  • IMO, it's time for you to find another place of employment. No job is worth your health. They've put you in a position that you don't want to work in, so it's time to find one that you do want. My last job my supervisor was saying things would change and promised me a promotion that never came. So it eventually became time to get out. They strung me out to longer than I'd like to admit, but once the promotion never came I knew what they really thought of me. So I went somewhere I felt valued. Good luck!

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  • 1) You already know what you need to do and what you're going to do.

    2) You don't owe it to your boss or employer to feel extra guilt for wanting to stick up for yourself, especially given the context.

    Everything you've written was me in 1997 - 1999 (minus the panic attacks, but everything else, from the nepotism, the other staff abandoning ship, the bait-n-switch, the empty promises).  From both personal experiences of many people here plus the general standpoint of this community, nobody here is going to tell you to continue to endure this mess.  I know you're writing this out to make sure you're not being a selfish ass and opening the possibility of someone telling you that you're being unreasonable, which in a way assuages any feeling of guilt you're harboring by doing what you know you have to do.

    That response isn't coming.

    The vast majority of people here have been through these toxic environments.  We've all done what was necessary to preserve ourselves and our sanity. You alone aren't going to be able to change ingrained corporate culture, no matter how much of yourself you sacrifice.  You already know that.

    You just need to hear it.  So here it is.

    Pepper graySpice (5) flagReport
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  • Don't quit. Really.  But it is time for patience. You were patient with management, and they haven't fixed the issues they've only put you in worse situations. Now, be patient with your exit strategy. You're a fixer, so fix your situation. While you're not happy, work on getting paid more for it. 

    Use this deep need to find another job to sharpen your skills while you're actively working on getting another job. Nothing truly crystalizes resolve like a job that reminds one of chewing tinfoil everyday. For me it was a law firm with about 180 lawyers. It's still my gold standard for toxic environments. 

    I used that as my impetus to get my MCSE cert, a 20K raise, and used it as my ticket out there.   

    These places get so much more tolerable when you are actively working to get yourself out. They're not when you truly lose hope. Hang in there.

    Pepper graySpice (4) flagReport
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  • I wouldn't quit IT all together, but I would stop working for that employer and possibly MSPs all together. Most MSP work is chaotic and bad for your health, no matter who you work for.

    Pepper graySpice (3) flagReport
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  • I can see parts of your frustration, I have had instances in my career where a boss says something and then never really follows through on it. It is annoying, but where i am similar jobs are limited and there are a lot of other good things too. A year ago I got tired of an old cable mapper tool we had been loaned and started looking for our own, i figured worst case i'll get a cheap one for a few hundred bucks. I found 3 I liked, ranging from like 400-3500. The $3500 one was my first pick but figured no way we would get it. My boss ended up okaying it, has made my job so much simpler and at times a lot less frustrating. Maybe I'm odd but to me even despite other shortcomings if they will back your judgment or get you the tools you need, etc or at least try it makes things better.

    I grew up we'd go to fairs I was always told to stay away from horses, later in school, I met someone that raced them and a lot of things I heard made me quite nervous/afraid of them. I had a few coworkers keep trying to get me to try a trail ride, at some point I decided to be fair maybe I should at least try it then I can truly decide for myself. I also saw it as maybe having some similarities with leadership and figured one day if I go into management I may have to do things I dislike, am scared of, etc. Tried took a while to get feel for it, now nearing end of my second summer of riding lessons. I have read and seen stories of people with some issues anxiety, depression, autism and related things something about working with horses really helps them. Sure not for everyone, but I think for me was a very good thing, brought me way out of my comfort zone, and something to look forward to doing, sometimes things just don't go the way you hope and all you can do is be patient and or kind of laugh. There are some places that do equine therapy, I just go to what is basically a riding stable place a coworker owns. 

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  • Really at this point it would appear you have one of two choices, (I base this on what you have written, understanding that this is one side of the story). 

    1. Stay where you are, knowing that the employer is unlikely to ever provide the type of job you are truly happy with and so you will end up flirting with bouts of doubt, frustration or worse. I would guess based on your description that your employer is not thrilled to have you around, but can't fire you because of the potential liability of dismissing someone based on medical reasons or are short staffed and have problem finding capable applicants.

    2. Get out, get out now. If this job and company have caused you this much distress, for your own sake you need to move on.

    Pepper graySpice (2) flagReport
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  • As someone who has jumped ships to another line of work, I left IT after more than 20 years.  I would say think carefully, very carefully, my journey has taken a bit of a crappy detour.  I'm at a crossroad at 58, stick out the current work situation, or try to get back in the IT game?  

    I hope you find the relief you are searching for.

    Pepper graySpice (5) flagReport
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  • I have several observations.

    1.  You are having panic attacks, entered into therapy, and while you say you're getting better it seems your condition has not improved.  Maybe you need a different therapist or treatment.

    2.  You stated you understand your bosses position, but then he's being unreasonable and unresponsive.  See #1.

    3.  You stated you like IT and want to stay in the field, but there are no opportunities except where you are now.  I assume you have bills to pay, so simply quitting is not an option because you have nothing else.  At the very least you need the medical benefits for your therapy.

    4.  Welcome to IT.  You get challenged, solve problems, and get paid.  Sometimes you get help, sometimes not.  Your boss has his challenges as well and he's counting on you given the exodus in your department.  There are lots of resources, both technical and personal.  As an IT one of your skills is to locate and utilize those resources.  Your biggest challenge is yourself and you seem to have given up and come here not for technical help, but for spiritual or mental health advice.  Analyze your situation from a technical perspective and leave the emotions behind, see where that gets you.

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  • I would consider incorporating and starting your own MSP business.
    Think about it, you could operate remote 80% of the time, you work for yourself.
    I would however put 300% priority on hiring a sales person to get you the clients.
    Offer them stable pay and 30% commission on profits. Why? Cause the 1st year is gonna be tough, and you need your sales person to be highly motivated.
    Its a win/win for you and your sales person. 

    Once you get through the 1st year, make sure your initial sales person is promoted to manager.
    Hire Sales first, get the deal, then hire IT as needed to cover your workload.

    In the long run, working to grow your own business successfully will always be more rewarding than working for someone else.

    Pepper graySpice (2) flagReport
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  • I was in a similar postion in my last company. I was 6 years in, and every day I felt that things couldn't get any worse, but they did. The company had 2 offices the other side of the country to each other - a good 4 hour drive on a good day. We had a new MD join the company, and they quickly introduced their partner into the head of IT. OK a few good things came out of it, but they were easly out weighed by the bad. When the company wanted to introduce a new ERP system, it was a nightmare and the blame always landed at the IT dept door. There was only i IT tech at each site, and things got so bad that they other IT tech quit. He had 12 years in the company. I finally quite because I couldn't take the toxic enviroment anymore. Best thing I ever did.

    From the sounds of things you are were I was was in my old company. I would say get out as soon as you can. If work is making you feel that bad than leave it. You spend most of your week aat work and it shouldn't make you feel how you do.

    Pepper graySpice (2) flagReport
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  • spicehead-41q78

    I would say that would be a bad move at this time considering what Russ has mentioned.

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  • IT Operations is by nature a stressful, thankless and not particularly well paid job (specially considering how stressful it can be). And management in your company (Willfully or not. it really makes no difference) is making sure the job is as stressful and thankless as possible. If I were you, I'd find another job elsewhere and leave ASAP. In the long term, The choice between IT and NON-IT comes down to:  Is the money worth the stress? If I could make enough money in a less stressful line of work, I'd leave IT and wouldn't look back. Unfortunately, after more  40 years in this business (37 of them professionally) and being close to 60. I have little choice but to continue doing what I know how to do best.

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  • Came back from the weekend and loved reading all the new messages. To be honest, I forgot about this through the weekend until I logged in this morning. Just a few things I wanted to say today, first of all a giant Thank you to everyone and the Spiceworks community as a whole. Lots of good advice and re-enforcement of what I believe I need to do going forward which is ride out the rest of my employment and just look for a new job. 

    For those worried, when the stock market started to get shaky and things started to get worse at work, I pulled a rather significant amount of money out of my investments. The actually ended up netting me more than if I waited even few days to sell. I did it not so I can quit but rather it's there in case things somehow get even worse. I estimated that I can live without a job for at least 6-9 months. Likely closer to a year knowing my spending habits but I always plan for having less than I actually have. Obviously in today's climate, I do not want to do that at all. Quitting is not really the way I want to leave and I want to try to have something lined up before I put in my notice. As for starting my own company, that isn't something I would like to entertain. The idea of building my own business sounds great but it's not for me especially in this time.  

    Once again, a giant thank you to everyone. 

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  • IMHO you have two things that you NEED to do, and they will lead you to the correct outcome. 

    Stand up for yourself. 

    Start looking for another job (cause you need one).

    If they don't like it, they'll kick you to the curb. You will feel an immediate sense of relief when this happens. If that is the case, it was the right thing to do. 

    If they go whoah! Who's this guy? Lets give him what he needs so he sticks around! Then they were treating you like crap cause they knew you would take it. (Then go find another job cause you don't want to work for people like that).

    You can't stay there and you know it. Leaving is the right thing to do. Get your ducks in a row and get out of there as quickly as possible. 

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  • Hats of for keeping going. That two hour commute must have sucked the day out of your life. 

    I hope your life has happiness. 

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  • Its always tough leaving a job in my opinion. Sometimes its okay to take a break from work in your field though. As long as your staying up to date and current with it though. Sounds like you've been in a rough spot for a while and a change of pace might be in order. I know when I was planning to leave my last job I had lined something up so I wouldn't have but a week of downtime. It was a huge relief and weight of my shoulder when that last day came. Maybe try to do something similar even if its not working in IT. Its possible you just need that little break to collect yourself and keep your head straight. We all need that chance every once in a while, especially in todays world. 

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  • Ian_1608 wrote:

    Hats of for keeping going. That two hour commute must have sucked the day out of your life. 

    I hope your life has happiness. 

    I think the worst part about those long commutes isn't what it did to me.  Because after a few months, it just felt normal.  I enjoyed the time listening to music and knowing that there was nothing more to do than simply to get where I was going.  And, I could map out my day in my mind before my butt ever hit the seat.

    No.  For sure, the worst part about it was how much it took me away from my wife and home.  Doing certain necessities fell out of habit.  And the changes my wife was going through, she largely went through alone.  Right now, I'm working 2 days WFH and a 1-hour commute each way for the other 3 days.  It is sooooo much harder to leave the house M-W-F, now.  Especially knowing that the only reason I do it is because the boss likes having people in the office to collaborate.  Even though we all work largely as independent resources.

    A good friend of mine just got certified in home automation, and is looking to tap into the luxury new construction market.  I'm giving strong consideration to that myself.  But I also know that starting my own business means long hours of isolation from home, even though I'm in the next room.

    So RussBd2​, for different reasons, just know that we all know just how hard the choice ahead of you is.  And nobody has the perfect answer for you.  But you sound responsible enough to figure out how to get through this.

    Peace, Brother!

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  • it's time for a new job. your mental health is important.

    National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

    1-800-273-8255 or 988

            The world is a better place with you alive !

     
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