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My Husband Hates His Job - Need A Little Advice

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  • My Husband Hates His Job - Need A Little Advice

    My husband is starting to hate his job so much that I feel bad for him. He always vents to me, and lately it's just been more than normal. He went to a trade school and makes good money as an electrician. He did work for some construction companies in the past, but had said about a year ago that the company he's with now has probably been his best gig since graduating high school.

    Now, as time has gone on, he comes home miserable in regards to his work. I feel really bad for him, and it's to a point where I don't know what else to say. A part of it might be the fact that he hasn't had a real vacation in over a year. He works holidays a lot (he did half of july 4th, he worked a short shift on Christmas, New Year's Day, and his vacation time he's only used a day here and a day there. The first week of October he is taking almost a full 2 weeks off, seeing as though he hasn't used hardly any vacation time in awhile, and I told him to see how he feels when he goes back after that.

    Even on his days off he gets phone calls and will end up being on the phone for 45 minutes here, a half hour there for guys who are asking him questions who are on the job without him. He's starting to wake up on some mornings saying, today's gunna suck, and I try to talk him out of it, but I can just see in his body language that he feels that way. I've tried looking for other careers he could possibly get into, but I don't know.

    I just feel bad and kind of helpless, and I don't want him to be so miserable. Any suggestions on how else to approach him, or even a career that someone else or their husband doesn't mind doing. I can't seem to find any without a major pay cut, because the biggest benefit to his job is that he makes a lot doing it. We're having our first child soon so a pay cut can't happen right now.

  • He sounds really burned out... which is easy to have happen when you haven't had time off in a year and get bothered about work in the little precious down time there is. He sounds like he has a great work ethic, though.. which is awesome!

    Will he express what it is he doesn't like, or have you been able to narrow down exactly WHAT he is complaining about? When he vents, what is the common theme? That will help you two figure out where to go from here. It may be he really enjoys the industry, being an electrician, but he doesn't like the employer, or he can't handle being "the guy to call" all the time and working constantly.

    These things can be fixed, but they need to be identified first... so, think about it... when he comes home and starts to tell you about how bad his day was, WHAT does he say was bad?

    Comment


    • He knows that you can't fix things -- let him vent. He also knows that he is trapped in this job in the short run because of the good money that it pays. My suggestion is to listen and to empathize. I would also make sure that he knows his efforts (including putting up with a horrible job) is appreciated. I have found that appreciation at home makes things easier at work.

      Finally, be supportive. Come up with a family budget that you can live with on a 10-20% pay cut for him and show him how it might work. That is the best barometer for how unhappy he is at work. He may want to explore other options but does not want to disappoint you. My guess is that he will appreciate your thoughtfulness but keep with the money.
      "The only consistent feature of all of your dissatisfying relationships is you." Despair.com "Dysfunction"

      Comment


      • Yes he sounds burned out but why is he taking calls at home? Is he the boss or supervisor? Does he have say in how the company operates and the people they hire?

        Is this the job he really wants? Was being an electrician his dream? Perhaps it may be time to change to what he does want if this isn't it.

        My husband went through this less than 10 years ago. I could hardly bear to be in the house when he came home. It wasn't his work (he loves being an aerospace engineer) but it was the company he was working for. When he left that company (it was a long 28 years) and got his dream job here it was like someone turned the light switch back on. It was a night to day transformation. He is still doing the research that he was before, but now it's in an environment that is more to his suiting.

        I like Effy's suggestion showing how he could get a less-well paying job and yet still manage. It may well be that with additional experience under his belt he may just find a better paying position. Aren't electricians under a type of guild-craft pay scale in most instances?
        That which we forget may as well never really happened.

        Comment


        • I can identify with the burn-out, I'm there myself. I think the upcoming vaca is great, and I hope some serious down-time fun is scheduled. Try to make sure there's plenty of relaxation, no discussion of anything remotely work-related, electrical or even plugging in a toaster! just kidding.

          You've already had some good feedback, which I agree with. So, in addition, I think if he decides to stay with this company, going forward, encourage him to use those accumulating vacation days more often, for a 3 day weekend or add on days off whenever possible to extend the time away.
          Unless he is in a leadership role where he is required to take off-time calls, I'd encourage him NOT to answer that phone. It's not easy when, at the core, you do enjoy the work & care about what happens, but for sanity & personal reasons, we have to learn to say no.
          I wouldn't be looking for careers for him, he should take those steps on his own if & when he feels it's right for him.

          Comment


          • hey all... thank you... I just read what everyone has had to say... I appreciate the feedback...

            He doesn't mind being an electrician, but he doesn't love it. As far as the work environment, I think it's the people more than the actual work. He isn't in a role where he is the boss of anyone, but his boss kind of refers a lot of calls that he gets to him. For example, from what my husband tells me, the boss turns off his radio and relies on the rest of them to answer it. He gives him a hard time for things that he shouldn't.

            Today, he told me he was up on a ladder changing a ballast that was unsafe. He said it was humming loud and a piece of it was really hot. One of the managers asked him to go change it. His boss walked by and said, what the hell are you doing up there? he made a big deal about it until my husband told him that the higher management told him to go up there. He called me to vent a little and was like, I have no idea why he would break my balls about doing what I'm paid to do.

            From what I can tell, the guy he works for directly is lazy and loves to make comments to him and a few of the other guys, who he says can't stand the boss either. My husband is actually a really easy going guy, he doesn't get mad often, and he works hard. He has said many times that he could never do what his boss does in a high position, meaning he would never shout out commands and not do work himself. That has been his biggest gripe.

            Anyway... I think you all are right in him needing to utilize his vacation time. I've told him the same thing, and I said if they ask you to work on holidays and you're not required to then at least alternate with some of the other guys. Don't just volunteer to always do it, or give in if they ask you. Ya know?

            Well, I appreciate all the responses. Thanks ladies.

            Comment


            • It sounds like the work is alright, it's the people he has to work with/for. I can relate to that quite well... I worked for a bear of a boss for a long time too. I didn't mind the work I was doing, but I couldn't stand working with the team I did. That's not something that can easily be fixed, and I chose to move on. Most people who work outside the home have to spend a considerable time of their waking hours at their place of employment. that can REALLY wear on you, if you don't care for the people you're stuck with for hours on end every day.

              Does he have the ability to push back on his boss a bit without losing his job? If he can stand up to his boss and set clear expectations, it might help with the burn out problem. But it could also make his boss angry and put him on the chopping block, depending on the reaction!

              Otherwise, I would say your hubby might want to look into different employment. Maybe doing the same electrician-work if he likes the money, but working with a different company.

              I also really liked the budget idea... let the hubster know you see how hard he's working, and he doesn't have to if you make a few cuts. His sanity is worth it!

              Comment


              • Hey CCRunner, I meant to respond to this earlier, so I hope you catch this...

                I don't know how it is with other guys, but if I have a really rough day, just hugging/cuddling with my GF makes me feel infinitely better. I often won't tell her why my day is rough (maybe I don't want to bother/burden her with it, or I just rather forget about my day by not talking about it and focus on the now with my GF), but she'll notice I had a rough day and acknowledge it. Just that acknowledgement on her part can be huge. Noticing all the things you've mentioned (like the phone calls on off days) means a lot to him. Trust me! I guess what I am trying to say is I don't really express to my GF how her efforts to "pick me up" on my crappy days help me. They actually are a huge help. Your husband may not explicitly tell you that coming home to you is a big "pick me up," but it probably is. Keep doing what you're doing. It works!
                [B]"Are you serious? You're [i]bleeping[/I] THAT girl?"[/B][B] - [COLOR="#B22222"]jen1447[/COLOR][/B]

                Comment


                • Thank you. Yeah, I try to make sure that I comfort him and am extra nice to him when he gets home and I can tell he had a bad day. I try to cook for him, or at least start dinner before he gets here because he'll insist on helping and he even sometimes completely takes over in the kitchen (which is great for me sometimes) but when I just want him to come home and put his feet up I try to have things ready so he CAN'T help me.

                  But yeah, thank you guys for writing back. This is still an ongoing issue for him, but he is going to be taking a couple weeks vacation starting Sept 29th, so hopefully that will at least help him recharge his batteries a little bit.

                  Comment


                  • I didn't get it. The problem is his trade, or just the place where he works? If it is the place, he could look for another job somewhere else, but in the same trade.

                    It's so unpleasant to feel negative about work. I'm sorry he's going through it.

                    Could he switch his phone off after work? If they couldn't call him, they'd find someone else to call.

                    It'd really be good to take some time off, I suppose, but afterwards he'll be back to the same place.

                    If nothing can be changed, he could try to learn some relaxation techniques. Sports also help with stress related issues. Jogging is an easy to implement one.

                    Do you work?

                    Good luck to you both.

                    Comment


                    • He isn't crazy about being an electrician, but this job is a union position in a mall, so he gets paid better, there is security and he doesn't have to work on live electricity like he used to in his previous jobs. At first, it was a major plus for him. He didn't mind going, the hours were more regular and the electrical work was safer by a lot. He also didn't have to worry about getting laid off in the winter when business was slow.

                      Now, it's more-so the people than the work. He probably could switch his phone off afterwards, but if someone happened to call and he didn't pick up, he would probably get crap for it the next day. That's what he has said to me when I've suggested it. He actually plays hockey every now and then and goes to the gym 2-3 times a week, so he's not totally inactive. I'm just at a point where I don't know what else to tell him, or what to say. I feel terrible that he is that miserable. Friday was bad, and he didn't feel well on top of it. He was just drained when he came home, mentally and physically.

                      I work at a school, and I actually really enjoy my job. I just got hired at a new place over the summer, and I took it because everything kind of fit more for me there. The drive was less, the pay was slightly more. I am a P.E. teacher. I don't even want to tell him all the enjoyment I get from work because he is totally the opposite. I dunno, we'll see what happens in the near future.

                      Comment


                      • Congratulations on your new job! And what a beautiful career. Congratulations!

                        I think you should sit down with him for a talk when he's not thinking of it. You could tell him you're worrying. You could tell him how this level of stress is bad for him and how it has the potential of affecting his health and, in the long term, even your relationship, in the sense he may end up withdrawing from you.

                        Tell him to think of the positives and negatives of it and decide if he wants to stay there. Let him know you'll support him as you can if he decides he really can't take it.

                        But that if he decides to stay, he should seek mechanisms, both inside himself, as outside (relaxation techniques, breathing techniques) to learn to accept it as it is.

                        We can't change other people, but we can change the way they affect us. We may decide to remain calm and never take things personally. It isn't easy, but we can learn. We can learn to take our mind to a calm and good place when in the middle of a problem.

                        We can make a decision to focus on the good side of something and use that to better handle the bad features.

                        You say this job is really putting him down. If he can't take it, good income or not, isn't it better to leave? How many years can he go on this way?

                        Sometimes we postpone a decision only to be forced to take it at an even worse time.

                        Good luck to both of you.

                        Comment


                        • Thank you. Yeah maybe we can brainstorm some ways that he can deal with the stress of the job now while we figure out a plan to help him switch careers. I think eventually it will have to happen.

                          As far as being a bad time, we are three months into our first pregnancy, so it's a little difficult right now as far as a paycut may concern. However, if we find that we can make it work and he finds something he doesn't mind doing for a little less money then that'll be another added variable to expand the possibilities.

                          I want him to be happy, because I know how much time is spend at work. It's a lot of hours to be miserable. I try to be as catering and loving to him as possible when he gets home.

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