Q. I recently got a promotion. I was so excited. I got a raise. I was so excited. I am now salaried. I am not excited. No one told me that meant I would be working more, let me repeat; I am working 10 hour days most of the time. Can you help me survive? —-Carol

A. Carol goes on to say: “I hear people talk about work – life balance. I was a bit off balance before but it was manageable. I am so far off balance now, I actually don’t have much of a life. When I get home I am so tired; forget going to the gym, meditating or watching my favorite show. Once I hit the sofa even taking a shower seems too exhausting. By Friday evening I am beyond fatigued.
I notice that I am forgetting things; little things, like paying routine bills, forgetting to do laundry that I need for the next day and preparing food. My husband is worried about me and also feels neglected. We have not had a date night since I got my promotion.
When I am not at work, I get emails, sometimes many emails. Really, does this job ever end. Who knew a health care job would slowly TAKE my health. When you think of the word HEALTH-CARE, it is really kind of a paradox. This job does not allow me to take care of my health. I am fatigued, no time or energy to exercise, eat poorly and sometimes feel depressed.
What is so difficult is that I actually like some of my job responsibilities. I was thinking this promotion, besides making more money, would provide more opportunities for future growth. But I don’t think I will live that long.”
When I was an assistant manager (assistant head nurse) I would walk into a meeting and notice how many of the managers looked depressed, fatigued and bored. I thought, “that would never happen to me.” So I became a manager. The hours never seemed to end. There really wasn’t a beginning or end to my day.
I noticed the following in many of the managers:
1. They looked older – stress was aging them.
2. They gained weight – too many junk food meals.
3. They were depressed – some on medication/some riding it out
I became ill over the three year time period in my job. Very ill!!
Carol also shared the following: Don’t ever calculate what you are making an hour when you are a salaried manager. I put a pencil to it and realized I was making about $8.00 an hour!!!!!!!
I am rethinking the rewards of this promotion vs the damages!! My health is worth more than $8.00.


Vicki L Mayfield, M.Ed., R.N., LMFT Marriage and Family Therapy Oklahoma City

If you would like to send a question to Vicki, email us at news@okcnursingtimes.com