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Can you help this person? They have a problem with
Overworking Issues and need some advice.


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This is the original problem from an employee...
I have worked for the same company for almost 20 years. I have held supervisory and non-supervisory positions and for the first 17 years consistently got very good to excellent performance evaluations. I currently hold a non-supervisory position by choice, in the past when I had switched to a non-supervisory position by choice a new supervisor approached me with the offer of creating an assistant position under him (with supervisory duties), and if I would be interested. It was explained that this had already gone through channels and all I would have to do was say yes and it would happen. A former supervisor also approached me and encouraged me to take the position. I respectfully declined. For the past 10 years I have been in a non supervisory role. Three years ago the company underwent major restructuring. They were overwhelmed and spent the first year or two just trying to figure out how to adjust.

Shortly after the major restructuring it became obvious to me that my workload was far greater than almost everyone else with the same job title/same pay. I requested adjustments be made, my boss took that to his boss and reported back no adjustments would be made. Non long-term employees with higher than average workloads, but not close to mine, left the company. My bosses boss left his position becauses the group he was in charge of had much harder workloads than the other groups. His new position put him in charge of paperwork. He would make a point of praising one of my co-workers (who had a significantly LOWER workload than me and others left on my team) for being up to date on his paperwork. This created a very negative work enviornment for me as due to my workload it was impossible for me to keep up with the paperwork.

As the company continued to make adjustments they focused on organizing the other groups work to make things easier for the workers, the group leaders, and higher level administrators. Our group got tougher assignments and went without a group leader for a year. Then they disolved my team, dispursing the team members evenly to the other teams.

The other teams all had easier jobs than the team members on my former team, and they continued to add additional resources that made their jobs even easier, while not addressing the problems me and my former team members (who were left) faced with especially difficult assignments.

Then the company started to issue deadlines around paperwork completion with warnings for not being up to date. Additionally, prior to the disolving of my team, we were informed an employee on each team (I will call them job X)in addition to the assistants, would be doing all of paperwork form A (takes several hours to complete) for each and every employee that held my positon. The other teams followed that new plan, my team leader did not. He made me and the other employees still responsible for form A, and job X employee would review the form and send it back to us for corrections, re-review it, etc... essentially it now took twice as long to complete the form as it did prior. He then eventually issued warnings with deadlines for all form A's to be completed. All the other teams did not get such warnings and in fact were following the practice of having job x person and the assistant complete the forms as had been the plan from the outset.

Eventually I informed my boss in supervision that my workload was much more difficult than the others (it's either the most difficult of all 50 employee's or possibly the 2nd most difficult) with it being probably 30% more difficult than 90% of the employees. My boss didn't want to hear this, he denied it immediately (I wasn't accusing HIM of anything) and told me the work assignments wouldn't change and if I didn't like it I should find another job. I tried to explain some of the specifics, that a lay person would be able to understand as to why my job is much more difficult, he deflected and refused to address it.

I wound up getting a warning around paperwork, not meeting a deadline, and in the meeting with my boss and his boss raised this issue, pointed out 1 or 2 particular obvious examples. A short time later she hired a new person to work in part with some of those examples, but still only me and a couple other of the 50 did that kind of work, the vast majority didn't have any such work.

At another point in another supervision I raised the issue again and said in essense "I want the workload assignments that all (95%) my co-workers get. I have 20 years seniority and receive the same pay as everyone else but have the hardest or one of the hardest workload assignments and it's not fair". He told me he could not support a transfer for me because I was behind in my paperwork (which begs the question- since I have much harder workload it's impossible for me to keep up with the paperwork. In essense I have 10 hours of work to do each day in an 8 hour day while everyone else has 8 hrs of work in an 8 hr day). A short while later he informed me he told his boss what I said and she was going to keep a bit of work off of me (still my job was much, much harder), which she did. In response my morale changed for the first time in years, I stopped getting sick like I had been, started looking forward to coming to work, and was able to be more productive.

Then my boss told me "I know you asked to work with similar jobs as the others so we are going to give you a couple of those jobs". Again I was happy. A couple of changes were made but they were not significant and I still have 50+ hours of work to do in a 40 hour week while the others have 40 hours of work (this is not salaried employment, it is hourly).

Other threats of paperwork deadlines have come down, I pointed out the unfairness. I make the mistake of including my bosses boss as a cc in an email exchange that made him look bad, that in part was him saying that "everyone FEELS their jobs are harder, they are all the same" and how he is talking about punishments for not meeting deadlines when the other group leaders are not, and how he had us all resonsible for job X's document A on his team, along with threats of punishment, when it was already decided by the company that job X was supposed to be doing the document A. He gave me another warning for something that happened the week prior. He has since been trying to trap me into being insubordinate through provoking emails and using a new employee who acts like my friend but I am aware is basically a double agent for him, doing his bidding whatever that may be (in this case trying to get me to say or do something he can write me up for). I didn't fall for it.

What I want to know is what I can do to simply get a fair workload. My boss has a plan to make a couple more changes in my workload, one will happen quickly, the other will take a year.... this will help but will not take care of the backup of paperwork that goes back 3 years. Given the nature of my job, and the unfair workload, there are things that must be prioritized. I do my best to keep up with the priorities but am unable to do a lot of the other things that the other employees can because they have a whole team of people that assist them with their work. I just have me, and sometimes my boss to assist.

I simply want fair treatment. A fair workload (I don't want to nit pick and am not afraid of hard work- but something close to fair) so I can feel good about my job and do my job effectively.

My bosses view, and his plan, is far from adequate. Discussing it with him is pointless and will casue more friction and potentially put me under attack by him.

My company has a 'grevience' policy where one, if they have problems with their supervisor that can not be resolved, can write a grevience. Supervisor has x days to respond. If either party is unhappy it can go to the division head. They respond. If any party his unhappy it can go to HR. That is the final step. It stipulates that people can not be retributed against for using this. I have contemplated using this venue for about a year but have not.

Another option is to email a couple of Sr. people in the agency outlining how my workload is unfair, providing factual examples that it would be extremely difficult for a reasonable person to not acknowledge, possibly propose solutions, etc.
These 2 people recently spoke in group meetings about upcoming changes and said they were looking for input. They talked about people being allowed to attend 2 meetings to give that input but due to my workload and schedule I was not able to. I could email them and ask if they are still looking for input but feel I would have to mention one area I wish to give input on is workload fairness and ask if that is OK to them.
I also don't know if this would further upset my boss.

The unfair workload was no one's fault to begin with, but refusals by 2 different bosses to even consider it, ongoing denials by my boss that it exists and refuals to listen to any arguments supporting it from me, etc leave me very frustrated and confused at how to proceed.

I'm not looking to get anyone into trouble. I am simply wanting a fair workload so I can do my job effectively. Any advice appreciated. I do not belong to a union.  
Employee: Demoralized
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