Enterprise Software

The top workplace stressors and irritations


If you're looking for good news today, you've come to the wrong place. I am really stressed out, having just read an article about the effects of stress. As a result, I'm not only stressed about the normal stuff, but I'm stressed that I may have a heart attack because of the stress.

In an article on ThomasNet, a Web site devoted to industrial market trends, I found some interesting facts:

  • IT is at the top of the list of most stressful occupations; even trumping the field of medicine. Here's why.
  • According to the National Mental Health Association, stress ranks among the top three workplace problems for employee assistance professionals.
  • Studies from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) indicate job stress increases the risk for development of back and upper- extremity musculoskeletal disorders, cancer, ulcers, and impaired immune function
  • And from the Journal of the American Medical Association: You're more likely to have a second heart attack if you work in a stressful job. (Incidentally, other studies say you're more likely to have that first heart attack if your work is stressful.)

Still with me?

So what's causing all this stress? Writer David R. Butcher, examining the results of a SkillSoft study of more than 3,000 people, reports the top 10 work stresses are:

  1. Workload
  2. Feeling undervalued
  3. Deadlines
  4. Type of work people have to do
  5. Having to take on other people's work
  6. Lack of job satisfaction
  7. Lack of control over the working day
  8. Having to work long hours
  9. Frustration with the working environment
  10. Targets

And here are the top ten irritations having to do with colleague behavior:

  1. Seeing others not pulling their weight
  2. Managers changing their minds about what they want to be done
  3. Lack of support from managers
  4. Pressure from managers
  5. Feeling put-upon by managers
  6. Interruptions by colleagues
  7. Interruptions by managers
  8. Bullying behavior by managers
  9. Lack of support from colleagues
  10. Bullying behavior by colleagues

So what can be done about the rise of stress in the workplace? Some organizations, concerned with the hundreds of billions of dollars lost due to stress-related absenteeism and employee non-productivity, decided to take the matter seriously. Many have designed internal programs to reduce employee stress. (Here are some examples of organization-led changes.)

I think the corporation itself can play a big role in stress reduction, but a lot of it has to do with how the individual deals with things. I think the most important lesson I ever learned was that you can't change other people; you can only change how you deal with them. What is your take on work-related stress? Does the burden fall more on the individual's shoulders, the corporation itself, or a mix of both? What is the one thing your organization could do to alleviate some of your stress?

About

Toni Bowers is Managing Editor of TechRepublic and is the award-winning blogger of the Career Management blog. She has edited newsletters, books, and web sites pertaining to software, IT career, and IT management issues.

35 comments
JohnMcGrew
JohnMcGrew

Before Windows, I spent most of my time making it possible for my clients to do things that they could not do before. Generally, once you got something up and working correctly, it stayed that way until either the power or hardware failed. Most of my time was spent on developing and implementing. Relatively little was on support and upkeep. After Windows, everything changed. Things that worked just fine one day didn't the next, frequently for no obvious reason. My life slowly devolved from creating new capability to diagnosing frequently nonsensical issues. More and more time became consumed by fixing corrupted registries, conflicting device drivers, or overseeing that OS patches didn't trash something. Most of my time now is spent on OS issues and preventative maintenance rather than developing new capability. Sure, I have to give it to Microsoft and Windows for guaranteeing me a consistent (and growing) revenue stream. After all, it takes a lot of work to sell a client on the benefits of spending money to create new capability, and then a lot of work to make it happen and keeping it on budget. But when something that someone is dependant on and has been working fine for years suddenly stops working, there???s never any question about spending any amount of money on fixing it, and fast. More easy money? Certainly. But far less job satisfaction.

Shriks
Shriks

Since the time i joined my new company 16 months back, I have heard news of 8-10 employees kicking the bucket. Out of these, maybe 3 or 4 met with accidents when they were doing daily chores or were outing, but for the rest of them, who were most probably in their late 20s to early 50s, the reason is not known. going by how the business is getting squeezed and the squeeze being passed down to the grass root level employees, the stress in the IT company is increasing by the hour... esp. with so much of e-communication controlling ones lives. I myself have had bouts of illness - cold and body aches, that is a result of reduced immunity due to stress. and this I am talking about is in India

nacht
nacht

... since we're talking about the IT world here, where things change very quickly, how do we know we're still the most stressed? ;)

RW17
RW17

1) Lack of Training / knowledge - is rampant in the IT and IS consulting world - proper training and certifications for, say SAP Consultants, are non-existent these days, or so it would seem... this leads to intense stress of the employees behalf due to the fact that they are supposed to be a professional and full expert on the subject matter and they aren't. 2) Deadlines - the way to win contracts these days is to say that your consultants etc can do it in less time (and thus, cheaper)... Well, that is great for sales people and their commissions but generally unrealistic for those who must implement the promises made by these sales people! Also, PM's are often not ex-consultants and take the shortest possible estimate for task enaction. This only exacerbates deadline promises! 3) Do It, Defer It, Delegate It, or Drop it! Well, there is usually only one option in these 4 tenets to being efficient for an IS consultant... and that is "Do it"! Defer it is semi-available but you must be intensely careful about this! All items are urgent, don't you know! Drop it is not an available option - it is a requirement so it must be done. Delegate it... who has subordinates - IS consultants are basically in a 1 job = 1 person assignment! Combine this with harrassing deadlines and you are stuck with a combination that breeds failure in the eyes of superiors just too often! 4) Our own Perceptions! We expect to get it done! We expect to get it done well, and by the deadline! We put this pressure on ourselves! Being "Type A" sucks sometimes, doesn't it!

cd003284
cd003284

Thanks for the article, Toni. I appreciate your bringing attention to the suject. Still, the medical recognition of stress, its nature, and effects, short and long term, have been known since the 60s and the 70s and 80s brought hundreds of studies and books. We already know everything we need to know. We already have everything we need to have, to solve the problem. Some people, companies, corporations, organizations do something about it, but most don't. It's up to the individual, and stress management is usually not easy, since it often requires substantial changes in how we live, and those changes may not be without serious career consequences.

drowningnotwaving
drowningnotwaving

Toni, Some of this stuff is analagous to tabloid media drivel. To the point that I am wondering if you are, in international jargon, "taking the p1ss?". First let's examine the "IT is the most stressful career" bit. If you read the points in the article, for example: [i]Four out of five IT consultants feel stressed before they even enter the workplace, in anticipation of another day juggling complaints, pressure from managers and daily targets.[i] Remove "IT Consultants" and insert any other career title, e.g. (oh, I don't know, let's just go for) POLICE with some m'f'cker aiming a .38 at their head; Ambulance drivers putting up with a crack-head or Ice overloaded patient; um lets see what about Triage nurse, or indeed any nurse in pretty much any publicly funded health institution (certainly in my country). If the definition of true stress covers 80% of people before they even leave home, what lesson is to be learned? Perhaps our definition of "what it takes to get out of bed, get your ass clothed and go do your farking job" should be widened. IT the most stressful career of all? PLEASE give me a break. This is only topped by the recent thread that seriously compared IT trouble shooting to doctors!! [i]A staggering 97 per cent of people working in IT claim to find their life at work stressful on a daily basis. [/i] If you really wanna be specific, that seems to relate to the percentage of the population that experiences some stress (to what extent that is or isn't defined). The article doesn't actually compare the stress or measure it in any relative sense. I wonder if you ask the question: Rate on a scale of 1 - 10 which you think would be more stressful: * a complaining boss? * a stupid customer? * a pimp aiming a sawn-off shotgun at your groin? * having to cater for multiple aircraft taking off and landing with 25,000 passengers on your shift? (Scarily, by the measure of these recent threads, I suspect a lot of IT people could probably vote for 1 or 2). Do you think that, by potentially trying to take ourselves TOO seriously, we could end up with the opposite effect and make ourselves look ever-so-slightly foolish?

Tell It Like I See It
Tell It Like I See It

My opinion is that both are responsible to some degree. No, that is not a cop-out; here are some examples. Some things are the responsibility of the corporation and its management. An example of this is resource allocation. The standard line employee has no control over the resource allocation; yet if the corporation allocates too few resources to the project or process, the stress of any workers involved will mount. The only people who have this responsibility is the management (i.e. the corporation). Often, part of the reason that fewer than necessary resources are allocated to a project or process is because management finds out that a product or process was underpriced. The solution in the minds of the managers is to allocate fewer resources to compensate. This only works in the short term; the REAL issue that should be handled (but often isn't) is that the project or process was underestimated in the first place (by management no less). As for the worker, it is the responsibility of the worker to stand up and say "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH!" Often times, if the employee doesn't stand up like that, management will often think there's not an issue. It is also the responsibility of the individual worker to say, "Not now," or "Take your gaggle elsewhere," when interrupted by others (whether other workers or managers). In the case of bullying (in particular), the worker should try to handle it themselves first (if they feel comfortable doing so) as that will have the best results. If the bullying continues, the individual worker may need to go to their manager or even HR with the issue. Once such a complaint reaches the manager or HR, it becomes the responsibility of the corporation to deal with the issue. Hence this issue potentially belongs to both and they must cooperate. As for what an organization could do to alleviate stress, I don't have just one thing. I have two. First, make the managers get down in the trenches so they fully understand the employees they manage. Make the manager do some of the work. This is especially true of those managers who make the decision about layoffs or who have to decide what to charge for a project or product. This "job exchange" also works when there is trouble between individual workers. Have them exchange jobs as best as possible and see what the other person does all day. Second, hold managers accountable for the health, welfare and opinion of the workers they are responsible for. Ask the employees a simple question -- "Would you work for this manager again?" If the vast majority say "Not a chance," then you've located a likely problem -- the manager.

dr.phil
dr.phil

After 26 years in IT I can honestly say that if I had to do it over again I wouldn't have gotten into the computing business. No matter what the subject and no matter what the business line they all have one thing in common; un-believable stress and job burnout. I plan to publish at least 4 books outlining the bullying, harassment, burnout, and unbelievable lack of morals on managements part. Those books will be my "un-winding" process after years of stress.

ashknazi
ashknazi

All twenty reasons mentioned by Toni Bowers about stress and irritations are causes for tensions in relationships between workers and workers/clients. Those reasons are also catalysts for loss of promotions, opportunities and the job itself sometimes. Depending on how unbalanced is life of someone (love, financial, sex, family, drugs or personal problems [including how much he is already stressed and irritated]) just one between those twenty can be that small drop that makes the world to overflow.

nyabdns
nyabdns

I've been in IT since 1986 and I thought it was stressful at times. In the last year I've had diabetes, Rocky Mounting Spotted Tick Fever, cancer, infection from biopsy and and a whole slew of side effects including heart trouble from the cancer treatment and medication. Let me tell you, what happens at work, unless your life is in mortal danger, does not really matter. When I was in the cancer treatment center I gained a whole new perspective on life and it's perceived problems. 99.9 percent of what people stress about does not really matter. Whatever is stressing you, get over it and learn what is really important. I just thank God for every day I wake up and am able to get up and get dressed.

plainbroke
plainbroke

You are part of the problem, Sales and Marketing are the biggest babies and neediest people I have ever dealt with and the first to say aw you poor baby. Get a life and solve your own problems for a week or two without IT showing you how to print your little reports. Or showing how to format an excel file or I think you get the point.

jedmundson
jedmundson

Stress is specific to the individual. Let's compare the stress of work to that of doctors, as was stated as ridiculous. After having spent all morning rebuilding my crashed e-mail server, I had to leave my site for an annual physical. When I got to my doctor's office, they took my blood pressure. The doctor asked me if I had run up the three flights of stairs to the office. I said "No" and told about the e-mail server. My doctor replied "I couldn't handle your job, there's too much stress in it." I thought I was having a normal day. Just goes to show, you couldn't handle a physician's job and they can't handle yours both because of stress.

PsiFiScout
PsiFiScout

In reponse to your "reality pill", I would like to point out the truth of reality. Perception is reality. After High school I joined the U.S. Army, I served 22 years in peace and war. After retirement I went into IT as a place to "Unwind"...Big mistake! If you fear physical danger, and don't care a whit about your reputation, then IT (not a war zone) may be the place for you. But if you are the type who sees failure as worse than death, then IT is definitely not you place. I feel more stress in IT than I ever did as a Combat Arms NCO in a Cavalry Troop. It is the fear that no matter how well you do there will always be some "brain dead" manager (whos greatest claim to fame is graduating college or passing a certification exam) will say that your efforts will never be good enough. I have a somewhat unique position as a military retiree, I don't really need the job but I do love the work. I really only fear two things working in IT, first that my work may not be good enough to satisfy my personal standards, and that due to a failure of self control, I may be forced to knock my boss on his butt for being so hard headed. The reality of this discussion is that there is more than one kind of stress.

Bizzo
Bizzo

OK. Question. Rate on a scale of 1 - 10 which you think would be more stressful: * a complaining boss? * a stupid customer? * a pimp aiming a sawn-off shotgun at your groin? * having to cater for multiple aircraft taking off and landing with 25,000 passengers on your shift? Yes I would say the first two are more stressful, because in reality I don't have to deal with the last two. I do think stress is very personal, everyone will have their own thresholds. The jobs you mention, police, nurse, paramedic. I agree, those jobs are more stressful in terms of personal injury and life and death situations, and it does take a special type of person to do those kinds of job. But would they be in that situation every hour of the day? I'm sure they have some sort of stress councilling program in place. Personally, I couldn't do that kind of job, because I couldn't deal with that kind of stress. I think the point of the article was to try to determine what is stressful and how it can be remedied. Did you notice who proposed the original survey? SkillSoft. E-learning for IT professionals. So of course office based jobs are going to be in the list rather than hospital, military, public service jobs etc. I think ultimately what one person finds stressful, the next one might not. For example, I don't consider Sales and Marketing a very stressful job (4th on the list), but then again, I don't actually do that job, so I don't know what's involved. There are probably things in my job that I find very stressful, but for you might be just "a walk in the park".

toni.bowers_b
toni.bowers_b

But don't you think the people who choose law enforcement have a higher threshold for stress or they wouldn't go into that line of work? They know going in it will be stressful. I think a major cause of stress lies in being a person who doesn't know beforehand that the line of work they're entering into will be stressful. And then they get there and there are all these pressures.

toni.bowers_b
toni.bowers_b

I have heard from several people who talk about bullying to the point where I'm beginning to think it's not that uncommon. Can those of you who've experienced this describe some instances? I'm just curious as to what degree it happens and how "bulying" is defined.

Rob M.
Rob M.

As many have already stated, a lot depends on whether or not you have the personality necessary to deal with the stressors that accompany your job. I would like to point out a few other 'job hazards' that are certainly associated with IT positions, though not necessarily limited to this job type: 1) Just about everyone you deal with considers their problem an EMERGENCY. 2) Even while on vacation, you are often on-call, and nobody thinks twice about contacting you for their EMERGENCY. 3) Even with twenty or thirty years in the industry, you likely know less than 1% of everything IT. Yet regardless your title, most people expect you to be an omnicient IT expert. 4) While solving the latest EMERGENCY, at least one person is waiting on you to fix their problem so they can get on with their workday. Likely, many people are waiting on you for the same thing. Until the issue of the moment is resolved, you are often held accountable for the lack of everyone elses productivity. 5) Everyone who hunts you down for help are always angry over the software/hardware/network failure, and few are well grounded enough to understand that you did not cause the problem. 6) .38 pistols constantly being pointed in your face... well ok, maybe not, but some days that seems like it would be a blessed distraction.

lady_ringwraith
lady_ringwraith

there might be some difficulty in determining which jobs are the most stressful, as people will invariably give replies and conditions that might be specific to their own field. different kinds of people will even handle stress differently, and probably this is how counselors determine which job is the best fit for you. but i'm curious as to whether office-related bullying and management belligerence is somewhat cultural. i'm asian, and we do have the occasional outburst from frenzied managers, but overall they seem to keep a tight lid on their emotions. and definitely, a tongue-lashing in public is quite uncommon. or maybe my situation is unique. honestly, all this talk of IT stress makes me wonder if i chose the correct profession! i'm young so maybe i still can switch. :)

fred.wagner
fred.wagner

In my experience, unless you're being shot at, you control the amount of stress you allow yourself to feel. In one of my Air Force jobs, as a Titan II Missile Crew Commander, we had to do hands-on maintenance on an ICBM loaded with evil fuels (even a whiff of either one is fatal) that were also hypergolic (ignite on contact with each other)... oh yes, this 300,000 pound rocket had to be kept within 2 degrees of 60F. heavy emphasis on cooling systems. And there was alo a VERY larger nuclear warhead on top. You do your best, lead by example, follow safety precautions, use good sense rather than blindly following a procedure, and get some sleep when it's your turn, because you trust the other crewmembers you manage and lead. I've been in IT now for 28 years (starting after my tour in Titans), and if something goes wrong, I've usually got a plan on what to do next, and if I haven't anticipated what happened, I can usually come up with a good course of action rather quickly. Getting stressed clogs your thinking. Nobody shooting at me ? We'll work on your problem and get you going shortly!

drowningnotwaving
drowningnotwaving

I do understand the personal issue / relevence of stress. I actually haven't ever met a person who has NOT, at some point in their job or career, worried about going to work. And that is irrespective of the industry. From retail workers to farmers to shipwrights to accountants. It happens to all of us. I sincerely question whether it defines my job as 'stressful'? Or, do people perhaps need to understand that, in relatively higher paying jobs, there is a level of expectation and delivery and circumstance that is just simply expected. Sure, if this happens 98 days out of 100, then something is not fitting and must change. If it happens 1 or 2 days a week, get over it. Learn techniques to manage it. Don't expect the pressure or demands to go away, because that is what you are being paid for. The 'you' being generic of course ! I often get the feeling that these things are in the category of "grass is greener over there". It's not. It's all just work. We all lead lives of quiet desperation, so someone said. And yes, your point re the source of the information is extremely well put. As it turns out I am in sales and have been for just ovder 20 years now. Is it stressful? Well it depends - yes, when you consider that you only eat if you are successful. Or (at the other end) when your mortgage and monthly payment on the car are three weeks late and the client rings up saying their cheque is delayed because the CFO just twisted his ankle on the golf course. Yes. When you work for small companies, things like that have some pain attached. But it's a risk / reward thing. It loses its stress when you're sitting on a beach in Cabo with your wife for a week, all expenses paid.

drowningnotwaving
drowningnotwaving

And this is along the main thrust of my point: If someone says a complaining client makes you stressful, or a boss putting pressure on you makes you stressful, then guess what? The person is likely to say "Oh yes then I am stressed out". Show me a job where, at some point, a boss doesn't put pressure on you to perform, to meet a deadline, to do superhuman things? Show me a job where the "client" (in whatever form that entity takes) isn't sometimes unreasonable, isn't sometimes ignorant, isn't sometimes ambivalent to other people's place in the queue ahead of themselves or doesn't give positive credit/feedback when due? Can you? The point isn't that the job / industry is stressful or not. The point is that THAT IS THE JOB !! I am totally FOR giving people the skills necessary to handle all aspects of their job, including the soft skills of handling the "client" and managing their tasks appropriately. Although, as you Toni have seen, many people on this forum consider the soft skills somewhat beneath contempt and certainly below themselves. Is it a wonder that someone on support gets stressed when they haven't been taught a simple 6-step process of handling a complaint??? Saying we are in the "most stressful industry" is somewhat of a cop-out (in that it provides an excuse for the lack of basic communications skills) and also demonstrates an ignorance of other industries.

Tell It Like I See It
Tell It Like I See It

I agree with Toni about someone not knowing it'd be stressfull beforehand and that causing even more stress. But beyond what she stated, different people can handle different types of stress differently. An example -- a cop may be able to handle the guy with the .38 pointed at his head. A quick evasion maneuver, duck to cover, pull his own .44 magnum and hand the guy with the puny .38 his own ASCII (so to speak). Put that same person on the line with "stupid customers" all day long, every day and they may not be able to handle it for long. A salesman may be able to handle the phone calls, but crack the moment the pistol comes out of the holster. This can illustrate a number of differences in the way people work and in how different professions handle their people. A salesman is probably extroverted (most are) and ENJOYS being on the phone. Many IT people are introverted and can't stand talking on the phone. Put a truly introverted person in any kind of social situation and it is stressful -- period. There is also the difference between pulsed stress and constant stress. Often people can handle a pulse of high stress followed by a relatively stress-free time better than a constant stress. The cop probably won't face another gun-in-the-face incident for a long time -- it is a pulse of stress. Being on the phone with "stupid users" is a constant stress. As for how different professions treat people, that is clearly evident in this example as well. Police departments either keep psychologists on-staff or have standing agreements with them. In fact, many police departments would require MANDATORY psychologist visits after a gun incident. Whereas IT companies would never allow a psychologist visit because it would be deemed "unproductive". Don't confuse level of stress and direness of consequences. These are not the same thing. If they were, nobody would be able to function the moment a life-threatening situation developed. Yet some people can handle such a situation well enough.

Fregeus
Fregeus

I can't count the number of times i was threaten with job termination if i refused to do something. I was reprimanded, in written form on my permanent record, by one manager (who was not even mine) because i dared tell him to tell my manager that he was canceling my scheduled change one weekend.

Tell It Like I See It
Tell It Like I See It

As for how often it happens, I'm sad to say that I've seen a lot of it, so I think it happens much more than many people might care to think. As for a definition, I'd say a dictionary-like definition might be: any words or actions used in an attempt to coerce someone into doing something. Coerce is the key word. I've seen a LOT of managers resort to this over my years. They'll demand that the person do something that is impossible. The person says outright that it is impossible -- with logic backing them up -- and the manager resorts to some kind of threat (veiled or otherwise). As for some examples of bullying, see below. How about constantly being told (by the same manager) that you are expected to do two different jobs successfully. When you point out that these two jobs will not work well together, you are yelled at that if you won't do both jobs "then I want you out of this department". How about being told, "We want you to do this and we won't accept no for an answer." And this comes from a co-worker who has developed a reputation for raising political hell for those he doesn't like. Also, based on the context of knowing the situation, the "we" part generally means the co-worker, but it is also there to indicate that the co-worker has the backing of the supervisor. As for what "they" wanted -- basically the person on the receiving end of this veiled threat would be expected to do the job of the one who issued the veiled threat. How about when you tell someone that something is impossible -- along with evidence to back it up -- and finding the so-called manager yelling at you "well maybe I should get someone else who's better!" Keep in mind that this is outright yelled -- as in making a drill sergeant at his loudest seem positively quiet. Also note that most of the floor is prairie-dogging over the cubes to see who is involved -- this time.

kkopp
kkopp

How about being called at 10pm at night to be yelled at because something wasn't set up right because the CEO decided that he didn't like the design and changed it and didn't let anyone else know before the call. Does that qualify?

danpat1_2000
danpat1_2000

I was recently told I may go to the bathroom only every other day, and I will not get my raise because it takes me 6 minutes to go to and from the bathroom and finish the process. Now that's squirrely.

Tell It Like I See It
Tell It Like I See It

In all honesty, I'd have to say that the issue is more related to the individual manager. If it is culture-related, I'd say it is primarily through the impact a given culture has on the manager. I've worked for a number of managers now. Some good, some bad, some whom I'd classify their management skill code ID as 10T. When I worked for a good manager, I had very little stress. When I worked for a bad manager the stress level climbed every day. I've also seen this with others who have worked for bad managers. If you have a manager you consider a good manager, and you aren't feeling stressed out, then you shouldn't feel any pressure to get out of IT. Feel it out for a while and see. Just keep this thread in mind should you happen to get a bad manager. Hopefully, you won't.

IT-b
IT-b

I've worked in IT for almost 20 years, and I agree that this is not necessarily the most stressful job. We have complaints and stress from time to time, and good & bad managers, and good & bad colleagues, but most can be managed. There are also lots of roles, some of which are more stressful than others. IT Consultant for example - often has to come in and save the day, or meet tight deadlines, without feeling part of the team. Gets paid more for this. Corporate developer - full-time employee - has deadlines to meet, but rarely gets turned down for vacation time, has the team environment, and gets paid fairly well for dealing with the stresses that come w/ the job. Network/Server/DBA roles? Much more likely to be on-call, solving outages, etc - much more stress, but it's part of the job. They get paid pretty well too. So, I think that it's difficult to say "IT" is the most stressful...it's too big a category. Now, if the job is stressful because of poor management, or unproductive colleagues, then there are plenty of other jobs out there...try someplace else, or learn how to manage the people you choose to work with. Any job will be stressful if you don't like the people you work with.

Fregeus
Fregeus

We certainly are not the most stressful industry out there. But i have no quarrel saying that we are the most stressful "business" or "office" industry out there. We certainly cannot compare ourselves to Emergency personnel, Alaskan Crab fishermen, dynamite expert and the likes. But often enough, those guys are adrenaline junkies and they "live" off the stress their job gives them. I am not an adrenaline junkie, in any way shape or form. I can handle stressful situation too. What i find with my line of work is that the stress is elevated and continuous. Those two factors are very detrimental to our collective health. One factor about my industry that i find very very disturbing is the "expendable" factor that we seem to have since the beginning of the decade. We are no longer assets to be cherished but that you're a "cost center" to be trimmed to the bone. I don't know about you, but nothing is more gratifying then to be told that there are a dime a dozen like you who would gladly do your job, that i better shut up and put up and that you can loose your job at any moments. Yessir ree bob, gimme more of that!!! :-D

ScottinCalgary
ScottinCalgary

Try working IT in the medical field, where if a server crashes all exams grind to a halt and invariably, some results will be lost in the rebuild. That is stress.

admin
admin

My Dad was a cop for 27 years. I am a computer consultant. Growing up and for years afterwards I was blessed to get to know a lot of cops. Now I know a lot of small business people (I am a small busienss that caters to small business) and I know quite a few IT folks. All that to share a few observations. 1. I do not remember many cops acting extremely stressed out. And no they did not see shrinks on a regular basis. 2. I am currently in the LEAST stressful job I have ever had and I have never really felt a lot of stress at work. I used to manage retail stores so I have experienced all four items on the previously posted list - yes even the gun (shoplifter in downtown Atlanta). But I learned a lot about handling stress from my Dad and his friends. 3. I have spoken to a lot of folks in IT that are stressed slap out. 4. I have asked them what was stressing them out and have discovered that the simplest things have stressed them out. 5. I agree, Different people handle stress differently. My conclusion: Perhaps the article should have been titled, "IT has the wimpiest workers in the workforce." I know that sounds rough, but come on folks - to compare getting a server to boot up to getting shot at and down playing the latter with "Well he knew he would be shot at - I had no idea work was going to be this hard." is absolutely amazing!!! Anything worth doing is stressful. If your job does not have difficulties and stress, then you are not doing anything worth doing. I dont want that. But you have to put those difficulties in perspective. My job is not exactly life threatening. If I make a mistake, the worst thing that can happen is that I crash a computer with all the financial records of my client. If a doctor makes a mistake - a person can DIE. If a cop makes a mistake he or she could die or innocent people could die. Unless you deal with that don't come whining around here about your job being the MOST stressful job there is. Hogwash! This job is not that bad.