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Author Topic: work burnout -- your thoughts?  (Read 1447 times)

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Offline CalvinC

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work burnout -- your thoughts?
« on: March 04, 2020, 07:16:54 pm »
Hey all.

I teach at a reputable university, but I'm not tenured; it's more like part-time permanent contractual work. With my picking up other courses beyond what my union contract mandates, I make a pretty good living.

Problem is, I think I'm burned out. Like, really burned out. I have to work about 2.5 times what a regular prof does to make the same wage. I realize that, okay, maybe I could cut back on work. Yes -- but since I get paid per course, I'd make less.

Part of the issue is the lack of a time-off benefit. I get other very good benefits; but since I am not tenured (and, thus, not permanent faculty) I can't go on sick leave. Since I am contract (other good benefits aside), I can get a couple of months off, max. But then I know that if I later apply for courses beyond the mandate, the Department is sure to then think twice. "What if he gets sick on us again?" Of course, if I were tenured, this wouldn't be a problem at all. But I'm not, and tenure is not in the cards. I'm squeezed. Must work, need a break.

I'm doing all the do things -- lots of exercise, eating well -- but my sleep is way off and my social life (not to mention a non-existent daing/sex life) is the pits.

I'm wondering what others here who have been in a similar situation (ie, precariously employed) have done and/or have handled the situation.

Thanks, Cal

Offline Jim Allen

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Re: work burnout -- your thoughts?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2020, 10:49:22 am »
Hiya, no suggestion to add but just wanted to wish you well and I hope things get better soon.

Best, Jim 
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Offline harleymc

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Re: work burnout -- your thoughts?
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2020, 06:19:46 pm »
What advice have you received from your union/ professional association?

Offline CalvinC

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Re: work burnout -- your thoughts?
« Reply #3 on: March 17, 2020, 03:50:14 pm »
Thanks, Jim.

Harley: I haven't contacted the union. I looked at my benefits, and it's clear: up to two months with doctor's letter. That is it. Our contracts are four months (three semesters a year), so I can't be sick continuously, so to speak. Even though I am guaranteed work, each semester's contract is new.
..... actually, now that I think on it, there's room there for discussion. If I am guaranteed work, why can't I get longer sick benefits? Hmmm. Going to contact the union!!

Offline Cyborg

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Re: work burnout -- your thoughts?
« Reply #4 on: April 01, 2020, 10:47:00 am »
Hey Calvin, sorry to hear about your distress. I think it is always important (especially with the present crisis) to be familiar with the unions. Years of work precarization will have by now affected many people, and we canít just go ďoh well, thatís lifeĒ and accept a targeted non-consented diminushment on quality of life.

Also, consider using your possibilities for sick leave without thinking ďIím not really illĒ. Burnout is real, but because its psychological we tend to push it into a non-essential category. IT IS! Take care of your wellbeing, Iím pretty sure you can get doctors on your side.

In my experience, I worked myself away from dealing with becoming hiv+. Got a nice burnout, one year basically stopped in depression. Was without a job for a long time and have been financially fucked ever since. but quitting the job was definitely the right choice and I got to have quite some time for therapy and rest. It was also not the right job for me, but I think it would have been more bearable if I took myself some sick leave for loosening and tightening some screws here and there.

Offline CalvinC

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Re: work burnout -- your thoughts?
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2020, 12:12:06 am »
Thanks, Cyborg. I can see that your solution was unsettling but brave and necessary. Encouraging, thanks!

Offline PozChilean

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Re: work burnout -- your thoughts?
« Reply #6 on: April 12, 2020, 04:09:53 pm »
Hey Calvin,

I work teaching at a local university here in Chile. I'm under contract only until December so I'm getting rumors of possibly being laid off due to the financial crisis that's about to come with Covid-19.

Working from home has proven to be incredibly stressful and demanding. I work 20 hours per week but this home office system basically requires me to be available Monday through Friday at any time. It's taking a toll on me, I feel the burnout and I'm thinking of quitting once the semester is over in July, even if it means a LONG period of unemployment.

My point is... I understand where you're coming from, and I sent you lots of support.

Offline CalvinC

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Re: work burnout -- your thoughts?
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2020, 01:23:48 am »
I hear ya, PozC. Precarious work is a bummer. I suppose it is the same, then, in Chile as it is in North America: contract workers carry the big workloads for far less pay, and the universities would fall apart without them; and because of that knowledge, universities, and some tenured profs in particular, look at us as reminders of their privilege -- which only makes them despise us more. Stay strong!

Offline Tonny2

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Re: work burnout -- your thoughts?
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2020, 03:14:45 pm »

       ojo.         Hi there!

I was diagnosed in November 1994 with aids, I went back to work in January 95. I was working ten hours a day six days a week, I think that working so much, saved my life...just a thought...hugs


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