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Wednesday Bonus: When Co-Workers Leave

Image Credit: Legacy Business Systems (Google)

Happy Wednesday!!

Hi guys...I hope your Wednesday is going well. I've discovered that today is a public holiday for real. In my you know...I usually rise at the last half an hour...shower and then head into Kingston for my full day with the students. At some point in yesterday's afternoon lab session, I heard the words..."Enjoy the holiday tomorrow!". At which point it dawned on me that today was Ash Wednesday. Usually, in the throws of studies...I tend to forget that things like holidays exist. Since I work part-time...and get to revel in days off...I don't count the days that much any more. I'm on a flow...and sometimes live in my own world as life unfolds.

In any case...I'm sure that those of us who are working have either done or experienced the following when it comes to jobs:

1) Left a job and left responsibilities for others to carry on in your absence

2) Had someone else leave their job, and then you had to carry their extra load

Scenario two is what we as a pool encountered yesterday...but instead of reacting, I actually embraced the change. This is unlike me...who's usually rebellious about things. I'm usually the one advocating for worker rights and fair treatment. At week seven...and with today being a public holiday, I simply let things slide. Cue the beach scene mentally:) Additionally, I decided to use the extra money for either school applications or one of my vacations later this year.

The situation is that one of my co-workers just decided to suddenly leave the job. I'm sure we've all been there. There is usually a two week clause...but she decided that shorten that time. I don't know the root cause of her departure to be honest...but in the middle of the lab yesterday...we had to huddle together and rearrange our schedules in order to facilitate the changes. As of next week, I now work one extra session on Friday of all days. I now have two full sessions, so energy management is key. I have changed my diet...I have my review so I'll discuss that on Sunday.

Organizations are designed for an optimum number of employees in order for their smooth operation. At a particular level, if one specialist decides to leave, or is re-assigned, it can cause problems for the other persons who are at the same level. They will have to compensate for this deficiency. When I was in industry, we had a pool of five process engineers. Each person was responsible for their own departments, but over time, we were taught to understudy some of the other engineers in order to understand their functions, and act for them in their temporary absence. Yours truly...over time managed to learn three departments as a process engineer. Knowing that you had specialist back up, helped to alleviate some pressure, so that persons didn't feel burdened by responsibility...and could do things like run errands at lunch time or take the day off to see the doctor.

The point at which working for your co-worker becomes overbearing, is the point at which the absence of your colleague is prolonged. At this becomes you working for one and a quarter people, or in my position at one working for two people. This scenario usually appears when the organization tries to cut costs by using one person on a project, pulling them out of their main responsibilities and then having everyone else act in their capacity till the project ends. I had a colleague who was assigned to a special project on the plant for three months. This project was involving a new raw materials trial. She had a special expertise which the plant needed, and she was removed from her engineering post in order to facilitate the project.

For the project interim, I had to act as three engineers in one, and the exercise took its toll on me physically. As employees, we tend to want to over give, for the sake of things like promotions, but with time, especially if you're salaried, you'll find that you are in some instances subsidizing your organization. Be careful in how you approach your generosity, because it can deplete your energy. The employees who are promoted are the ones who work smart, and not necessarily the hardest.

One of the reasons that I focus on financial freedom, is because the work environment will affect your health if you're not careful. When my group did our study on millennials, one of the things that we had found, was that the heart attack rate actually rose on a Monday. This is because Monday is the day that people go to work, after a generally relaxing weekend at home. Many people are in situations where they are not happy at work (we have options now and can do things like work from home to avoid these stressors) and the elevated stresses that come with being in competitive environments with people who we often may not like, compounds the odds of an illness. Stress is the root cause of all illness, and if you relieve the stressors...the body will heal itself provided adequate nutrition, rest and exercise are provided.

For right now, the five weeks will be manageable, but once I start working again I'll ensure the appropriate work-life balance. Your health is your wealth. You've heard the tale of persons giving up their corporate jobs for a more peaceful life. It's because they saw things in their work environments that wasn't conducive to their mental or physical health.

Have a good rest of the holiday!!! I'll try to relax today.


**Dr T**

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