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I don't know where to put this

I looked around to see where to post this; it doesn't really warrant a thread all on it's own.  But I couldn't figure it out. 

I am feeling lonely. My main support system, the people I talk to and interact with and have meetings with and occasionally a lunch. We are all in the same work, which is difficult for others to understand, so it is a good support system.

With the changes to the program we work under, I am now officially an employer, the boss, and they officially work with me. We used to be more or less a team. I was the team leader, but everyone could do their work they way they wanted. More respect for them, and also, more money. The new system pays them a LOT less and I have to "make" them do things with the new rules. 

I continued this job and my work, when I really wanted to retire, because they all said (months ago now) they wanted to continue even with the lower rate and new rules for at least a year so they could see how it went and then also figure out something else to do. 

So, from my point of view, I was doing them a favor. I invested a LOT of time and money to set up this  new arrangement.  I didn't expect them to be happy about it, but I wasn't expecting the anger and now, basically ghosting me, unless they "have" to talk to me. 

So, this woman, who I have been friends and in  fact, I used to work for her, for maybe 15 years? I thought we were really close, as these things go for an aspie, even sharing personal issues, which I generally don't do. 

So, it just plain hurts. That's all. I'll live. I even function pretty well. It just hurts. 

My husband says that all the people who work for me now are people who have essentially run their own businesses for 10-20 years and these are people who don't like or even can't work with bosses. I get that. I will give everyone time to adjust and I realize this is difficult for each of them. 

I just didn't realize things would change so much. 


  • HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor
    I'm sorry to hear that your co-workers are having animosity towards you over this, and have changed how they treat you due to it. I haven't been in a situation like this before, so I'm not entirely sure of what to say, but I really do hope that they come around and realize that you didn't intend to anger them with the position you've been put into. It doesn't sound like anyone's enjoying this arrangement and it isn't your fault that everyone agreed to try it out.
  • Statest16Statest16 Citizen, Mentor
    If you want to retire,retire,what is stopping you
  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    edited August 2021
    I take it you are working in that Public-private sector where budget often get squeezed. Often the companies that seek government contract in austerity are some of the worst vultures, lacking in experience but willing to under bid whatever the consequences. So it could be worse they could be working for them.

    I suspect the resentment is really about  the loss of control. 

    Have you thought of a transactional management style given that all have run thier own businesses for that long?

    I personally have been self employed longer than an employee and have corrected clients who have got the relationship wrong, I even won't work with some that don't get it. My boilerplate contract is called a Working Relationship Agreement which outlines how the relationship works and how hours/days are allocated, but doesn't allocate them. This is before Statements of Work or Non-disclosures etc
    Rather than you the 'client' / agent writing the WRA. They could each  play a part in it

    I get that they aren't actually contractors and even with contract work often the wrong party is writing the bulk of the contract.

    I also get that they can't control the budget, but they may be good at different things.

  • Hugs blaze. There has been a shift in the balance of power at your work and as you say your co-workers no longer regard you as an equal. Perhaps they feel they can't confide in you  in case it boomerangs against them? I am so sorry you are feeling this loss of friendship.
  • Statest16 said:
    If you want to retire,retire,what is stopping you
    I have a moral commitment to my clients, most of whom I have worked with for 10-20 years. Were I to stop right now some 165 people and their families would be hit hard. 

    Also, I made a commitment to my team to keep them employed for another year.

    I am the business and with the new rules, they would not be able to continue on their own.
  • Verity, I had to look up transactional management.  I’m not sure how it applies. 

    We always have had to follow state guidelines, but now the state is micromanaging how we work. Then there are state and federal labor laws that we didn’t have to follow in the past. 

    They can still work whatever hours they want and decide when things are done, so long as they meet state deadlines.

    Our clients “hire” us, but the state pays us. We are restricted by statute how many clients we can serve. The rate we are paid is determined by the state legislature. It is a flat per client per month rate. We cannot refuse to serve a client who chooses us, no matter how difficult or intransigent they are.

    So I don’t think there is much wiggle room. I am open to learning more if you have suggestions.
  • Hylian and teach, thank you for your support. It means a lot to me.
  • verityverity Administrator, Citizen
    edited August 2021
    Yes I suspected you were in the public-private sector.

    The experience Amity had really shaped my view. She was very much advocate of the client being customer, in adult education. However this model definitely has it limitation, and her experience of abusive students and the lack of support she got from the company and eduction board definitely demonstrates the limitation to these models. Episcopally as it was to the detriment to the whole class and the well-being of herself.

    These models only work if everyone is working to the same objective and cooperating. Often there is far too many ideologies and social theories involved in these sectors and not enough pragmatism. Which is why there easily exploited.

    When I talk of transactional management, I'm less talking about a simplistic reward/punishment system, but more an organisational structure which in some way mirror, them being separate entities, and you being the agent, who is commission the work.

    I do get their are limitation given that it is a flat fee.
  • Well, I am having substantial issues with my work. I suppose I should have seen it coming, but I didn't. 

    I could sum it up as "nobody likes me, everyone hates me, I am going to my garden to eat worms." 

    Not really, of course. But I am not suited to be a real boss and I feel unappreciated and taken advantage of. One employee is blatantly blowing me off. She does great work with the clients, but she is really playing a nasty game with me. She told amother employee that she is going to quit, because I reassigned one of her clients. 

    If she quits, that is screwing up her clients, who suddenly don't have a caseworker. If she gives notice, that would make for a good transition for the clients, maybe, but she is not trustworthy and I worry about what damage she could do to the agency. She is very angry with me, for business decisions. But she doesn't tell me that. I believe she is what is called passive-aggressive.  Her threatening to quit, alarmed that employee. 

    I wonder if I should just call the whole thing off. Or just ride it out to the end of this fiscal year, to June 30, 2022

    Another problem: I am not able to keep up with all the extra work that is required. I have been sick for many weeks. I want to keep my commitments to my clients and to at least one employee who has been a friend for more than 20 years. But maybe I can't. 

    Anyway, thanks for listening. I know I have decisions to make and none of them are easy. Input is always appreciated. 
  • HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor
    Has that employee ever came to you with her concerns, or does she always just tell other employees what her issues are? Would she just become increasingly passive aggressive if you tried to talk to her about why she's so angry?

    Maybe she somehow thinks you are unfairly targeting her by reassigning her client, but I'm not really sure how to address that if it's already been explained to her why that happened. Some people are just super passive aggressive and don't like having to be told what to do.
  • I used to know a few social workers. 

    For some reason, there's always people in the social services sector who must flaunt their egos, or else do something to screw co-workers.  I wonder why that is.  

    I feel like this is a situation which is all too common.  I guess, if I were you, I'd just dot my "i's" and cross my "t's," and hope for the best.  And always have a "paper trail" to save your butt.

    This is probably similar to what you have been doing in previous years.
  • Before covid, we worked closely together. I took her to lunch almost every month. During covid, we couldn’t see each other and I missed her. Usually we agreed on most everything. I respected her opinion and really listened.

    She started making suggestions about how I run the business and I did not agree with her on some. I had to intervene between her and another employee and she didn’t like how I handled it. 

    The client transfer was in his best interest, was agreed to by the guardian, and resulted in less work for her. Go figure.

    yes, Kortie, I am documenting. I also consulted with an attorney. She has refused to meet with me. She is too busy.

    and in my head I am thinking, who is the boss here?
  • Blaze I have no useful input but I am holding you in my heart and hoping that this difficult time for you will ease very soon. 
  • I am sick again and had to cancel visits. I feel like I cannot go on with this work.
  • Oh blaze! Are you resting enough? Are you getting appropriate medical treatment? People who dedicate themselves to taking care of others often put themselves at the bottom of the list. 
  • AmityAmity Administrator, Citizen
    I am sick again and had to cancel visits. I feel like I cannot go on with this work.
    I remember a while ago when you were faced with this difficult decision, to become a boss in the more typical sense. Moving away from being a co worker as a way to provide continuity of service to the clients and keep the people you work with in employment; the alternative at the time was not a route you were comfortable with.
    You gave it your best Blaze, there should be no regrets there. Its okay to listen to your autistic needs, to meet them with kindness, otherwise why even acknowledge that you are on the spectrum eh?
    The dynamics within the setting have changed, you didnt change them, but that isnt considered by this person, you are the figure head per se.

    Can you take some time off to recover?
  • I am months behind in entering my notes into inconnect or even into Box. And each month gets further behind.

    I have been praying for direction for weeks. I gave a last good try with the one employee that was unsuccessful. I think I need to let that whole mess go. I think I don’t have a team any more and that makes the whole process distasteful.

    a couple days ago in meeting for worship, there were spirit-led messages about looking for the path that is the will of spirit. I am looking for leadings toward a new or different path.

    I think I can take 60 days off, if I can get coverage which is questionable. I can talk to the one responsible person left to see what she wants to do.

    I stumbled on a website teaching self care to people with ME/CFS. They have a template for rest and work that might be useful.

    I have to stop pushing and listen more. 
  • HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor
    I do hope that you are able to take some time off, Blaze. You really deserve to be able to and to have some time to look after yourself.
  • So, just to make things more interesting, the employee that was giving me problems as quit, now, effective today. 

    Due to various state regulations, we will now lose most of her clients and the income we get from that. 

    This means I will lose more than $1000/month in income and have even more work to do.

    I know this sounds stupid, but I can't bear to quit and leave my one other friend without a job. 

    The state monitors are also coming this month. 

    I am at my wits end. Everything seems to be pushing me to close this down.  I just don't know how to do it and  cause the minimum amount of damage. If I just shut down there are 150 or so clients with no coordinator and advocate. 

    I am just ranting. Need to tell someone. My husband is off on a canoe trip with his father and nephews and is unreachable and I wouldn't want to spoil his vacation anyway. 
  • I’m so sorry this is happening to you.
  • So, just to make things more interesting, the employee that was giving me problems as quit, now, effective today. 

    Due to various state regulations, we will now lose most of her clients and the income we get from that. 

    This means I will lose more than $1000/month in income and have even more work to do.

    I know this sounds stupid, but I can't bear to quit and leave my one other friend without a job. 

    The state monitors are also coming this month. 

    I am at my wits end. Everything seems to be pushing me to close this down.  I just don't know how to do it and  cause the minimum amount of damage. If I just shut down there are 150 or so clients with no coordinator and advocate. 

    I am just ranting. Need to tell someone. My husband is off on a canoe trip with his father and nephews and is unreachable and I wouldn't want to spoil his vacation anyway. 
    Dear blaze I wish I could help you. Is there any voluntary organization that could offer you free advice who understands these matters? You and I both share deep faith, please hold on to your faith and ask your meeting friends to be there to support you. Changes are inevitable in life but that doesn't make them any easier. Sending you much love, I am praying for you.❤
  • HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor
    I don't think it's stupid to not want to leave your friend without a job, plus have all your guys' clients lose your services, and I'm very sorry that coworker abruptly quit and left you both with this conundrum.

    You are always welcome to vent here as much as you need to, whenever you need to. ❤ I'm really hoping that you and your friend can figure out a solution to this.
  • I am really going downhill with this work stuff. I know I am repeating myself and it becomes truly obvious when one puts it in writing and posts it on the internet. 😢

    I entered this fiscal year burnt out from a year of fighting the changes that were enacted effective 7/1/21. Then I had to implement them. 

    Then I became seriously ill in August. 

    Then I had one person quit without notice, leaving me with 43 uncovered clients. 

    Then the state review  decided to review me using the NEW tool, which went into effect on 101/21. Never mind it isn't fair for us to be evaluated using a tool that went into effect before we had a chance to implement it. 

    Since October 6, that is all I have been working on. I have had no time for anything else, except the barest of attention to my clients. 

    Now I am so far behind on my clients, it is a reasonable assessment that it is not possible for me to catch up. 

    Today I learned that another organization head, with a bigger one than mine, has quit. I spoke to her and she feels so good and so relieved and I want to feel that way too. 

    My husband is not happy because I am always either working or sleeping and I am crabby all the time. 

    It has been terrible and getting worse over the past year. 

    I am working with my remaining long time friend/employee on this. She would like to take over the company, but not yet. 

    I could turn the whole thing over to another provider. 

    Or I can continue to muddle through.

    Why can't I make a decision and just move ahead? Rhetorical question, 
  • Blaze, what does your heart tell you to do? 
  • magpiemagpie Citizen
    edited November 2021
    Of course I can't tell you what to do... It's hard to make such decisions.
    Can you manage to get some silence for your mind to process it? It feels a bit like preparing to hand things over is the call of the time - at least that's what I read in your words.
    Anyway, you need to process it yourself. I hope you find some quiet time to do it.
  • Hey, friends. Thanks for the suggestions and kind words. I am, at the moment, feeling okay. I'm sure I will have more periods of darkness, but I've done a few positive things. I have said some firm NOs. I have stood my ground when I don't agree with the reviewers.  I have started the process of sharing ownership with someone whom I trust. I am  ignoring some things until I have time or energy to do them. 

    Right now, I have not even read what is likely an order from the top to turn over a paper file. Everything is in the state computer. The new region does not need the old paperfile in any sense. But they are holding up the client's services until they get the paper file. 

    I explained the demands on my time and that it is a two hour drive, one way, for me to deliver the file and I will do it as soon as I can work that into my schedule. Period. 

    So you can see I am getting pretty cocky with the powers that be. Hah!

    I also talked to our Region head at length. My complaints are not isolated. Many, Many similar complaints are coming in and he is sending it all up to Tallahassee. Apparently the legislator, Aaron Bean; this reorganization is his "baby", is really surprised about all the problems. Hah! As if the legislature or Tallahassee has any idea of what this work is like. 

    Anyway, I'm up and fighting again. But this time, I am putting myself first at least some of the time. 

    Thank you all. 
  • HylianHylian Citizen, Mentor
    It's really good that you are able to put your foot down about these things. I think being "cocky" is completely warranted in this situation, and that you should have the right to regain some control over when and how things are done. Hopefully everyone's complaints are being listened to by the legislators.
  • A bit of an update because it illuminated my situation a bit: I am going to be transferring and mentoring the person who is going to take over my business. She is very interested in this and I've known her more than 20 years and she already does an excellent job. She is highly motivated because she knows I am on my way out and if she wants to keep working in this kind of a job, being as independent as we are.

    We decided to make the partnership begin on January 1, 2022, as a nice round date for starting something new. We have a lot of business to discuss and come to agreements on. I was trying to set up a meeting for us this month and she said she is actually going to be taking off a lot of time during the holidays and so this is not a good time to arrange this meeting. 

    So, my brain goes into stall mode...what is going on? And I realized that she takes the time to do the things she needs to do for herself and is not apologetic about it. 

    Interesting. Think I could learn something from this????

  • I can't express how happy I am with this news blaze, it is wonderful.❤
  • Another piece of good news today. As you know, I am been concerned about my young office assistant who lives in El Salvador and works remotely.  It has been clear for some time that I wouldn't be able to keep her on indefinitely. And I did not want to let her go.

    Today she told me she has won a scholarship to study for a semester in Spain. She is leaving in January and won't be be till August. Out of her whole school, she was the only one who one. I am so proud of her. And I won't have to worry about her. She is going great places, this young woman and a semester in Spain will open up her world.  And I don't have to worry about letting her go. 

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