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Ask L2: Too much work and a toxic boss

“My staff was cut in half, but the work was not . . . My boss seems to believe none of us are working ‘hard enough.’”

Disclaimer: Identities are kept confidential. The advice given here should be taken at your own risk. If you are having true mental or physical issues, please seek professional assistance.

I’ve been in a new job for eleven months and every day is overwhelming with work. My staff was cut in half, but the work was not. How much work is too much?

My boss threatens to fire me every week (one-year probation), gives us 48-hour deadlines, and seems to believe none of us are working "hard enough." Can this be salvaged? I'm settling in for another three hours of work and it's 7:30 pm.


It sounds to me like you are doing the absolute most, and yet you still have someone holding the loss of your job and livelihood over your head as if you’re a petulant teenager who shows up when you feel like it. Honestly, what is there to salvage?

A one-year probationary period seems abusive enough to me. Is it normal in your field to expect someone to give a full year of their life before being granted any kind of job security? With the way you describe your leadership, it doesn’t sound like there is much to fix as much as there is plenty to survive. I worry that you will put in a huge amount of emotional energy to do right by a bunch of people who have no interest in doing right by you, and the result will be the same.

Obviously, it’s a little hard to say without more detail, but self-preservation seems like the name of the game here. Protect yourself and your mental health, don’t give them control of your emotions, do only as much as you can, and hold tight until the next thing comes along that will give you better . . . everything.




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