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  1. #1
    ¡MI TORTA! Amethyst's Avatar
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    Unhappy Toxic Work Environments

    It's funny, because I thought about making a thread like this before, relating to mentally toxic environments. However I'm seeing physical reactions to actual toxic work environments...but I'm mostly referring to the mental bit.


    So we've seen these before. Just having a job that pays the bills, that you dread going to. Or seeing jobs where you say to yourself "Man, I could never do what X is doing. That must suck major balls." or "I'll never work in fast food again."

    And then there you are. Again.

    The reason I find certain work environments to be toxic is because it ruins your mentality and your outlook on life either because of the pay, the work, or both, or other factors, like work-life balance or lack thereof. Just a quick back-story of mine, since I haven't been here for years, I graduated college and right after got a job with a promising company in sales and promotions. As an ESTP and a 7w8, this stuff excited me. Lots of opportunities for growth, traveling perks, fun team nights, etc. It was obviously biased, tailoring more energy to the stronger salespeople. I was the top salesperson in the nation for a few months when I had my spark, and mentored people nationwide. But then I got to see more of the company, and really thought about what they have said and promised, and because I was so far in I could really see the actual results, and they didn't match up. So I quit.

    After that, I needed a job ASAP and just took one at a fast food place, because it was the only work I could get ASAP until I found something pertaining to my degree. Unfortunately to myself, friends, and family, my stay there has been long enough, and am always asked why am I still there? I can definitely find something better.

    This is where the toxicity comes in. It might've carried over from my previous job and how fast paced and emotionally ruthless it was, or it developed recently, but working where I'm at now has left me so defeated I see myself getting another position elsewhere as nothing short of a miracle, whereas everyone else in my network would probably say "Finally!"

    Because I usually work overtime where I'm at now, I'm mostly surrounded by my co-workers, all of which have their Bachelor's, some have their Master's, and their toxic mentality of "There's no way I could go anywhere else, everyone has a degree, etc." has become my mentality as well.


    Also, the chemicals we use to clean at work cause a severe rash on my skin, and I know it. I haven't had a rash until I started working there and even when I have three days off in a row it completely vanishes. I need to get out of there.


    So help me, TypeC, or share your story. What got you out of a toxic work environment? Can you really control it, or is it better just leaving and finding something new, even when in your mind where you have only worked menial jobs you don't believe you're good enough for anything better? Are you still in one now? What's your game plan for getting out?
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  2. #2
    Senior Member Qre:us's Avatar
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    First off, I really like your avatar!

    Secondly, the first thing that stuck out in reading your story was that you broke away from the first job, even while being successful because it was toxic (emotionally ruthless, etc), without thinking about 'what's next?', 'can I do better?', etc. You just....left.

    Then, in your second job, which you took as a means-to-an-end, you're again in that position, like the first job, where you're discovering how mentally, emotionally and physically draining it is on you (i.e., toxic), but unlike the first time, you're not doing anything about it. The first time, you didn't think about, 'what's next?', 'can I do better?'...you just quit. What's stopping you from doing that with the current one?

    I guess, I'm asking, 'why?'.

    What was different about your mental space when you quit your first toxic work environment, and your hesitation when facing your second toxic work environment, and following through in the same manner?

  3. #3
    ¡MI TORTA! Amethyst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Qre:us View Post
    First off, I really like your avatar!

    Secondly, the first thing that stuck out in reading your story was that you broke away from the first job, even while being successful because it was toxic (emotionally ruthless, etc), without thinking about 'what's next?', 'can I do better?', etc. You just....left.

    Then, in your second job, which you took as a means-to-an-end, you're again in that position, like the first job, where you're discovering how mentally, emotionally and physically draining it is on you (i.e., toxic), but unlike the first time, you're not doing anything about it. The first time, you didn't think about, 'what's next?', 'can I do better?'...you just quit. What's stopping you from doing that with the current one?

    I guess, I'm asking, 'why?'.

    What was different about your mental space when you quit your first toxic work environment, and your hesitation when facing your second toxic work environment, and following through in the same manner?
    Thanks! It's going to be difficult to find one I like better. I just saw it one day and was like "I need to use this for something!"

    My first job's description I left was pretty short and to the point. The details I think are what matter in this situation, it's just a really long story. Here goes:

    So, I did great from about January until August. I was working with my best friend from college the whole time (she's actually the one who got me the job) and she was about to get promoted to a really sweet position and run an office in another city. It was really exciting, because obviously she needed someone like me to go with her and learn how to do the same thing once I was promoted. Unfortunately, we all learned of this at the very last minute, and was told to go to our next city within a few weeks. We couldn't find any housing anywhere, so we stayed at a friend's house for a month and a half until we got settled and found a place. Granted, I always had questions about this company structure from day 1, but I was being treated so well that I didn't care. But then I saw how my friend started working with her new promotion. She basically gave up her life for this job, and running into mutual friends became awkward and almost painful. They would ask "Hey, how's ___ doing? You live with her right? I never hear from her and we're like best friends" Hell, I even received calls from her mother on several occasions. She definitely changed once she got things going on her own, and it was just really strange...I can't really describe how strange it was. None of it felt right at some point around there, and I just really needed to get out. Even my other friend who was so kind as to let us stay in her home would have conversations with me about it, basically getting to the point "They need you more than you need them, right?" I would just wonder "Why am I busting my ass 70 hours a week for having to work 80 hours a week like she is? How can I even train people and get excited when I'm so full of doubt? Am I just wasting everyone's time?" Along with all of that, and then actually seeing that everything people say is so fucking fabricated it made me sick and I couldn't muster the gall to do the same, I couldn't continue. I quit abruptly, and started applying to jobs I thought were of my qualifications, but I would never hear back from them. I started to downgrade myself until I finally heard from somewhere, which was the fast food place I'm at today. It's pretty common, they serve coffee, their logo is a siren. And yes, it's fast food. They get people addicted to caffeine and sugar.

    It's still awkward to this day, as I still live with the same friend and her boyfriend. I also need to do something about that.


    I should also say that when I quit I was unemployed for a month. I would do any job than be unemployed again. That shit was terrible. So when I got an interview where I'm at and was accepted, I was super excited! And it was exciting, I got free stuff, I met new people, and best part was I got to learn. I love learning *nerd*.

    I think it's just being around certain coworkers who are very intelligent and have their degrees, but the thing is, they left. Either were transferred, promoted, or just found something pertaining to them, and I feel like I could be next. Because more and more people that are coming in are even more intolerable or just plain crazy. I can't quit cold turkey though, because unemployment is the worst.

  4. #4
    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I stagnated in the military and almost made myself stagnate another 6 years.

    It wasn't the benefits of active duty, but it was all of the negative aspects of being in the military with military obligations.. I put my whole life on hold for no reason, and spend countless and thankless hours working for free sometimes to make missions happen and things move forward. I spent semesters not going to school, or working like I needed to, or just being a productive citizen of society in general. I deployed, enjoyed the deployment, and signed on for another 6 years in exchange for a pretty fat bonus check from the government.

    ... And then the check never came. It just... never came. When I needed it the most. I was so angry.. and then, as if it were a sign from the gods themselves, people came to talk to us about how our unit was disbanding, and that we were allowed to be released from our contracts if we so chose to take them up on that. No punishments, no negativity, just an honorable discharge. I remember I had just finished completing a terrible but also fun short-lived mission at the time with a couple joes... and I asked myself where I was going in my life. I looked at my career I'd built.. and where I was civilian side.

    .. and I was no where. And I thought, if I don't do this now, I never will. I'll ride out all 20 years in the national guard, retire, and get paid $200 a month for those 20 years of stagnate service. and have nothing to show for it.

    .. Listen. There's nothing wrong with having a regular old job. It's okay to be educated and then not put that education towards a career. It's okay to just be educated for the sake of that. But at least work a regular job you enjoy. Jeeze, the people at Trader Joe's are always so damn happy I wanna claw their faces off sometimes. Don't work a job that's miserable AND regular. Just transfer first to a regular job that makes you happier.. one of my friends had the time of her life working at Starbucks. The people who came in were nice, and chatty, she heard great stories, and she had a good ole fun time working there. It's the people that make the job.

    I say build your confidence transferring over to a happier regular old work place, and then just .. shove some resumes through some websites. One a week, towards a job that sounds like something you want as a career. Then, just call those guys back once a week too. 80% of my jobs I got I only got because I bugged them enough that the recognized my name online or something. Don't be a stranger.. you're not imposing by being enthusiastic to work at a place.

    Stagnation gets all of us one way or another.. don't worry about what's happened already. Anyone can change their pace at any time. You CAN do this. Baby steps.
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  5. #5
    FRACTALICIOUS phobik's Avatar
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  6. #6

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    No situation is perfect, but staying in a toxic environment can seriously suck your soul. On the plus side, you will know vividly what you don't like in a work environment.

    For instance, I have come to realize, as much as I like working on really cool projects with a great sense of purpose, what I value most are the attitudes and interactions of the people I work with.

    I would like work-life balance at some point, but at this stage of my life, I don't care too much.

    Every person is different, and now you have articulated things you don't like. Painful lessons, but I think it still has value.

    Quitting has a stigma attached in many cultures (in mine for sure). It's not the same a giving up, however. If you are open to possibilities that fit your values better, and eliminate the things that don't line up with them, then quitting (or even getting fired) can improve your focus on these things.

    I'm enjoying myself at work these days, like never before. There are still...hiccups regarding certain things. But, I believe there are ways around these things.

    Accept the past. Live for the present. Look forward to the future.
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  7. #7
    ¡MI TORTA! Amethyst's Avatar
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    There's something wrong with the quote button. I'm glad you were able to get out kyuuei.

    I think at one point I did enjoy where I work now, but a lot of the people I enjoyed being with are gone (and we're a drive thru store by an airport, so we don't get regulars that often. Plus people get angry if they can't have what they want in 30 seconds, which is frustrating.) It's mostly fairly young kids with shitty attitudes, and there is going to be a day where I've had enough and will just rip them a new one so they get their act straight. But in my mind, I think "Wait, I should be the young clueless intern type. Not the old hag yelling at kids to get their shit together!"

    I should call back for a few places. Most I've received rejection emails within a few days, others were just places temp agencies found for me, but it seems like they're not really finding anything I can get excited about. I think one question they asked me was "Can you be excited about working in a call center for health insurance?" And I was like "Uh......no." "Great, you have an interview Friday with said company position! Good luck!"

    I'm not looking for a perfect job, just one that I will enjoy, and probably one that doesn't have a ridiculously low, if any, retention rate. I know no job is perfect, but like ygolo said, if you're happy where you're at, you can find your way around the hiccups. I'm a weirdo and actually enjoy hiccups. It changes things around a bit and challenges me to think.

  8. #8
    Senior Member KitchenFly's Avatar
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    Iv worked in a couple of or a few toxic work environments and it seems the toxic comes down to pore management and lack of leadership or a dogie boss owner who dose on the cheep and is into short cuts like saving money in some way or many ways.

    The would is a toxic work place environment in some way or another and the so called heathy people require manipulating and transforming elements of the environment to achieve they highly effective achievements. Entropy is the enemy and creativity is the dream. Host seems not to dream but host manifested the dreamer who is intent upon creating.

    Wow Iv created my first piece of toxic poetry, I'm cool.

  9. #9
    Lex Parsimoniae Xander's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Amethyst View Post
    ...Just having a job that pays the bills, that you dread going to. Or seeing jobs where you say to yourself "Man, I could never do what X is doing. That must suck major balls." or "I'll never work in fast food again."

    And then there you are. Again....
    Without wishing to sound like an accusation, my wife (also ESTP) changed jobs like most changed what kind of music they wanted to listen to. It's not that she was bad at the work or had a poor work ethic but more that she'd find things in every job that irked her and eventually she'd leave that job and go for a new one only to start the cycle again. The only peace she's found is when she's got her INFJ ghost in agreement. She's now in local politics and is more prone to argue to stay in it than anything else.

    Personally, I've been in "toxic" working environments, including one which ended in me being fired and a tribunal case being had. Each has developed me as a person however. Now few people can achieve that level of concern I used to have when being reprimanded. I still apply myself and have high standards but I've lost my fear of managers and directors....much to the concern of my line manager who's constantly reigning me in from showing these people up for their mistakes

    As for a game plan....I try to keep my LinkedIn profile up to date so if I need to look for work I've got all the material I could wish for to make a new CV and who knows, perhaps Branson is looking for someone to take over from him and is browsing one day....
    Isn't it time for a colourful metaphor?

  10. #10
    ¡MI TORTA! Amethyst's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Xander View Post
    Without wishing to sound like an accusation, my wife (also ESTP) changed jobs like most changed what kind of music they wanted to listen to. It's not that she was bad at the work or had a poor work ethic but more that she'd find things in every job that irked her and eventually she'd leave that job and go for a new one only to start the cycle again. The only peace she's found is when she's got her INFJ ghost in agreement. She's now in local politics and is more prone to argue to stay in it than anything else.

    Personally, I've been in "toxic" working environments, including one which ended in me being fired and a tribunal case being had. Each has developed me as a person however. Now few people can achieve that level of concern I used to have when being reprimanded. I still apply myself and have high standards but I've lost my fear of managers and directors....much to the concern of my line manager who's constantly reigning me in from showing these people up for their mistakes

    As for a game plan....I try to keep my LinkedIn profile up to date so if I need to look for work I've got all the material I could wish for to make a new CV and who knows, perhaps Branson is looking for someone to take over from him and is browsing one day....
    I wonder how she was able to pull that off. I'm never in agreement, I find myself running from my ghost.

    Politics does sound interesting though. Did she know people to get the job she has? I'm curious as to how that works.

    I've been in the same place you were with fear of being reprimanded. Now that I have a Bachelor's in management, and where I'm working now, I don't feel as threatened because I'm one of their best employees and could most likely do the manager's job better than she can, but I might also be fearless enough to say that to her face.

    Haha you never know. Maybe he'll find my LinkedIn profile first.

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