View Full Version : Are most of the people around you at work happy with the job?

5-16-11, 4:54am
I was wondering this today as I heard like the third tale of woe from people in job areas that are not very closely related.

I don't mean happy as in the "dancing on the ceiling" or even "moderately content" but more like "not throwing up every day before work" type happy.

It seems I am encoutering more and more people that are in the desparately unhappy mode. Of course, the local economy is probably worse here than even the national average, so that may be a factor in the stress levels.

5-16-11, 7:52am
I would say most at my work are happy, at least outwardly. Though this year the stress level was detectably higher and even I was feeling less than content throughout the winter.

In public education I just wonder how much people can give. We keep having to do more with less and the demands keep increasing with few funds to accompany them.

5-16-11, 8:08am
most of the people around me are not happy in their job. It is because of work load increases over the past few years along with the salary freezes.......

5-16-11, 8:20am
when DH and I left the workforce a few years ago we were terribly unhappy. We had both worked for medium sized companies that seemed to care about their employees. At about the same time they were bought by huge companies who immediately came in and "cleaned house" getting rid of a lot of older loyal employees and putting in new management. Overnight it became about making money, and the bean counters swooped down and made new rules. Benefits were decreased while work increased for the worker bees but the big boys at the top got multi-million dollar bonuses. It is similar to what is happening in education as well as many government and private companies today. "work smarter, do more with less, and if you don't like it you know where the door is." People started getting stress related illnesses. The expectation was if you don't get your work done then stay late or come in on the weekend. We were among the few that had pinched pennies all along and were able to get out. We still do some part time work that we love but I think today more than ever curtailing unnecessary spending, saving first and being debt free are more important than ever.

5-16-11, 8:22am
Most of the people I work with are generally happy. There's a woman who is generally unhappy with life, but she's always been the discontented one. With the weather being so gray and rainy this past month or so, people have not been thrilled, but every sunbreak is appreciated. There is a lot of stress, but for the most part stress is dealt with and we all go on. I work in a small hospital where we know each other, and that could be the difference.

5-16-11, 10:27am
The vast majority of the people I work with are desperately unhappy in their jobs. These are meager, low-paid, greatly under-appreciated jobs, but most employees feel they have to stay (despite the stress caused by chronically unhappy customers and the negative environment caused by management) because of the job market. And they all need to vent. Often. And to me. :o)

5-16-11, 11:04am
I don't mean happy as in the "dancing on the ceiling" or even "moderately content" but more like "not throwing up every day before work" type happy.

From what I've seen: I think those that are happier are those in slightly more prestigious positions (yet I'm not even talking management necessarily). I doubt many are "throwing up every day before work" unhappy but many are stressed out. And many are staying when they would rather get another job just because THERE ARE FEW JOBS OUT THERE!!! There's really more than there usually is of: "I'd rather move on to another job, but sending out resumes isn't getting anywhere ...."

There's also a lot of well hidden fear. I could even say it's fear that compels a whole lot of it, the whole of corporate America. Yea maybe people have always feared losing their jobs, but the fear goes deeper for some than I EVER realized it did. It a shocker, how deep in runs for some. Just absolute horror of doing anything that might look bad on a resume etc. and secret hatred of the whole situation they are in and putting on a smiling face every day. Me personally I was unable to do it, if I hated my job enough, I wouldn't show it openly and make a whole scene out of it or anything, but neither would I smile much at work and pretend.

Is the job situation bad? People were commuting from other states to the job!!! I wish I was making this up, and hey CA isn't some tiny little state like on the east coast, where that's a short commute :) Of course some of those were prestigious positions so maybe they were just given a LOT in the way of incentive for making that choice .....

5-16-11, 12:25pm
I think that most people I work with are generally happy/content/at least not actively unhappy where I work (environmental consulting). I think it makes a difference that, with the exception of the Admin. and Finance departments, everyone here went to college, got their degrees related to the field, and chose specifically to do this kind of work. That's why I feel extremely lucky to have ended up here, sans degree and transitioned from Admin. to a project team. Whew, I count my blessings to have a good job every day.

Although, we just had our annual review cycle (mine went very well) last week, so people are either more happy or less happy than usual right now.

I have definitely had my share of crappy jobs (had to bail out a drunk driving boss once!) and worked places where everyone was unhappy.


5-16-11, 3:17pm
I freelance and most of the freelancers I know who have gotten their businesses off the ground are moderately to very happy, with a slight turn toward unhappy for some in the past couple of years, depending on how much the economy has affected their niche. Of course, you should have asked me last week when I was still working overtime on a large project that had been dragging on for 6 weeks already - where's the puking smiley - but today is the day I write the invoice :D so I'm in a good mood.

Some freelancers make more freelancing than in their old jobs, others less, but the freedom really does make a positive difference despite the money. Of course, you still have to do what it takes to get and keep customers, but at least you can do it your way.

5-16-11, 5:14pm
I'm in a situation similar to treehugger -- most of the people working in my organization have advanced training and several years of relevant experience, and are in a field they chose to be in (non-profit management with a focus on educational/cultural exchange). In my immediate office, everyone is about as happy as I have ever seen a group of 10 workers be. We have a great boss who is a real mensch, and who cares about us personally as well as professionally. That is golden, especially since I have experienced the opposite close up (just reading Krakauer's kindle single about Greg Mortenson and Central Asian Institute's issues and wondering if Mortenson and my former boss are twins separated at birth....). I think there are probably more unhappy people in our head office back in the US, simply because it is in NYC and only offers modest non-profit salaries, so that is hard if you aren't frugal. but most people seem to be frugal by nature in our organization. Also more bureacracy and rules back there -- dress code, etc. I also work pretty closely with a lot of U.S. Government employees, mostly foreign service people and civil servants in the State Department, and they seem to be a fairly content bunch, though the bureacracy and internal politicking is definitely at a higher level than we have to deal with as contractors.

The recent near budget freeze was a bit scary, and the main program I work on has taken some cuts But we are a strategic country and Sec. Clinton is strongly supportive of what we do in terms of public diplomacy, so I think we will stay solid. Also have been working hard at developing new work this year, so I think even if the budget for my main program decreases over time, I will still have plenty to do. I'm actually a bit worried about getting too busy, and have asked my boss if I might be able to take some unpaid leave this summer in order to take advantage of a relatively slower year this year.


5-16-11, 5:32pm
Most of the people are pretty happy. Last year we had a big budget cut and were very short-handed, and it seemed to become the habit in my workplace for everyone to air all of their petty gripes, constantly. That was really a drag. We are still short of staff, but the mood here is much improved. I was surprized by how unpleasant work was when everyone was complaining.

5-16-11, 10:03pm
Actually, I think most are happy. Younger staff seem happier than older, which has often not been the case in workplaces I've been in in the past.

We have a couple of workers in their late 50s who can't wait to retire. On the other hand, there are several over 65s who seem very pleased to continue. Though one of them admits that she needs to work because her husband retired quite young due to health issues.

5-17-11, 10:05pm
where I work, people are afraid of losing their jobs, and they are simultaneously being asked to do more with less due to cutbacks. I see either unemployed or overworked people in our sector ... if we could find a happy medium where people could choose to work 30-35 hours a week with less stress, and more of them could be employed, general happiness would increase.

5-18-11, 9:38am
Most of the people I work with seem generally happy. I work in Higher Ed and no one here makes a fabulous salary, but we have a stable work environment without a lot of pressure, pretty good benefits and a workplace that for the most part cares about its employees. DH and I both worked in IT for major corporations before this and we would never go back, even though our friends still in that realm make a significant amount more than we do - they face a lot of day to day stress and most of them have dealt with layoffs multiple times.

There are a couple of folks here who are genuinely unhappy and bring the mood down for everyone sometimes. I am pretty sure it has to do with other things in their lives that they are bringing to work. I don't really have much to complain about at all, but they will find mindless things to gripe about. I think if you are determined to be unhappy you will be, even in a decent work setting.

5-22-11, 12:13pm
My immediate department are all reasonably happy, which I credit very much to the positive, supportive attitudes of my boss and his boss. Of course, that's only a total of 6 people including the bosses. I work for a very large international corporation, in an office with about 400 people, and for the most part don't have too much interaction with people outside my immediate department, so I have no idea if our group is an anomaly or not.