Work Stress

I would bet good money that the stress levels and alcohol consumption of people across the state who work in my department have risen geometrically over the past six months. We have been working  for several years to get ready for a roll out of a new and very needed electronic health record system. We have been trained and have been doing all manner of paper work to get ready for the transition from our current record system (about 16 years old) to the new one.  Due to problems beyond anyone’s control, it keeps getting pushed back. We were expecting the new system to start this Thursday, after two postponements this summer. Now it is postponed again. Uncertainty is difficult. The new system should simplify things at work and do all manner of good things.  It will do no good if it is started and it doesn’t work, though.

Change is so hard. Before our current medical record system was put in place, all our records were either hand written or typed by transcriptionists.  The angst when it was rolled out was palpable, as people were afraid of change and of computers. Some older employees even retired early so as to not have to deal with it. Now, those who I remember as opposed to the introduction of the old system are clinging to it like a dog to a meaty bone. How time alters things.

Have changes at work been stressful for you? How do you cope with work stress?  

23 thoughts on “Work Stress”

  1. The last office job I had was writing for Democrats in the House of Reps, part of the Minnesota state government system. I was surprised by much of what I learned. For example, I assumed the people I worked for, all Democrats, would dislike Republicans. Wrong. They saw Republicans as fellow workers who just happened to have poor taste but who were otherwise “just like us.”

    There was one group my fellow workers hated. Hated, hated, hated. They were the IT guys (and they were guys, as no females worked in IT). Keep in mind that my fellow staff members were people who hadn’t grown up with computers but, instead, learned to use computers later in life. They weren’t fearless and experimental with computers the way my grandson already is.

    IT guys were despised because they wouldn’t leave well enough alone. IT guys love technology and see its logic, which also means they keep seeing how stupid old technology and software is. And that means the main contact staff members had with IT guys was when those nerds would swoop in to tell us we had to abandon the software we shakily had learned to master and begin using something new, something that confused and scared the hell out of everyone who wasn’t a nerd.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I arrived at work the other day to discover I was getting a new computer. I groaned. Redoing the desktop, again. Finding bookmarks, again. Finding passwords, AGAIN! Groan.
      But this IT guy was good; somehow he had saved it all, helped me log back in, put it all back, and even my music playlists were still there! Yay him!

      Liked by 4 people

  2. I move–exercise is a great stress reliever. Yelling and cursing and swearing at the top of my lungs in my house when my wife is out of the house works pretty dang well too. I always thought a punching bag would be great to set up in the garage too. One of those big, heavy bags that is roughly human-sized and accepts a roundhouse right with a wonderfully satisfying “thwack!”

    More importantly, I try to prioritize stress and not freak out over the small stuff. Occasionally reminding myself that the Earth itself–and all of humanity throughout history–is but a micro speck of dust in the universe and will soon be forgotten drops a lot of “hair-pulling” issues into the category of “small stuff.”

    Chris in Owatonna

    Liked by 3 people

  3. One of my favorite phrases (it should be on a top 10 list!):
    “Any idiot can handle a crisis; it’s the day-to-day living that wears you out.”

    That has been so true lately.
    “Under new management” has been difficult. Feels a little too much like the Federal Government division lately.
    Every day another lengthy email discussion where people don’t listen to opinions and do what they want. It’s very frustrating.
    And it’s hard not to want to just come home and drink every night. Sometimes I will take a swig.
    And remember, ice cream helps. 🙂
    But we persevere. And we try to remember, more than likely, these people will just be a ‘blip’. But how much damage can they cause while they’re here?

    Like Chris, yelling and swearing helps. So does loud music.

    Liked by 6 people

  4. Just minutes ago an electrician and I were discussing how construction has changed. Being the oldest of we two, I related to her (yes, “her”) how in the past we rarely installed flooring until everything was finished including final painting. Those days are long gone. I’m on a break sitting in a room that has no ceiling, all electric outlets unfinished and just a priming coat of paint but the flooring is going forward. Every trade will be working on top of the finished material. It will be impossible to identify who causes the inevitable damage. Years ago, my boss would never have let me start a project like this but now it’s normal procedure. One time we worked on a school in Jamestown, ND. It was one large room. The general contractor kept demanding that Harney (my boss) show up and get it done but Don kept saying, “You’re not ready! You’re not ready”. Well, finally things were so heated that lawsuits were threatened and Don relented. He came with us to the job, and right in the middle of an absolutely clean room was a half dozen stacks of paint cans. Some we’re empty while others were half full. Don Harney refused to let us move those cans. We cut vinyl tile tightly around them. Another guy was sent back later to remove and replace the tile with perfectly cut holes. The general contractor had to pay a premium price for not being “ready.”

    Liked by 3 people

  5. I will stick my head back in here in a little bit and let you know what yeah traffic is affected my wife was kinky bud …

    I have a ticket to the Schubert club piano player this evening at the Ordway at 7 o’clock or 730 if anyone would be interested in going believe this I am here until three or four and then I’ll just turn the ticket back him so somebody can use it

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m confused???? I know I’m hard of hearing (ain’t that a quaint phrase?), but I can’t hear what you’re saying, tim.


      1. that’s the one…i will stick my head in a little bit later and let you know how stress has affected my life but…

        is how it was supposed to work as an intro to the offer for the tickets

        i meant to get them on the blog first thing but didn’t get it done until what 11…

        stress has always been part of my deal but the last little while it’s been standard operating procedure.
        i was always good at keeping it from being front and center. i can’t say i was good at controlling it because my burying it caused me the ulcer popping that about killed me in 85 and was a warning sign that i needed to change my spots.
        i was a hyperactive inquisitive kid who morphed into a person who has a tendency to do more than is possible and get bent out of shape over biting off a portion that kicks my own ass
        my favorite joke is about the guy who works construction and every day he opens his lunch box and complains that there is another peanut butter sandwich in there and he just hates peanut butter sandwiches

        his coworker after listening to this for many days suggested that maybe if let his wife know how he felt about peanut butter sandwiches a different lunch could be prepared.

        you leave my wife out of this ghecworker said
        i pack my own lunch

        too true
        too true

        Liked by 3 people

  6. “Work” is different from what it used to be, since now I’m my own boss. And I still do what I always did under stress – I eat. I just bought some peanut butter krispy bars just to have “on hand” for an emergency. I take them with me when visiting Mom for our tea parties, too, so I have a good excuse.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. During the 1980’s, a lot of people I knew were going through a transition to computers in their workplaces, and found it very stressful. They usually hated the computers. I got a job in an office that had Macs, and no one there seemed stressed or unhappy about working on computers. We all liked them.

    I’ve been fortunate to have long stretches of time when my job was more or less okay, even if I didn’t love it. Having a good supervisor makes all the difference. I liked many of my supervisors over the years,

    Good food and good music are stress relievers.

    Liked by 1 person

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