DEAR SOMEONE ELSE’S MOM: For the past six years I have worked for a small home healthcare agency. The company is owned by a woman who claims she believes in a hands-off management style, but we have gone through four on-site managers in the past three years. Every time a new manager comes in, things get shaken up. Schedules get changed, new people are brought in, and others either have their hours or their jobs cut. It is very stressful to never know if I will have a job within weeks of a new manager taking over.
Overall, I enjoy the job, and when I get the hours I was told I would have, I’m able to work out childcare with my husband or mother-in-law so we save money on that. But I don’t always get my hours, and some of the managers have been real micromanagers, and morale is down. I haven’t worked too many different jobs, but I’m beginning to wonder if this is normal. Is it? --- STUCK IN STRESS
DEAR STUCK IN STRESS: It’s not unusual for small, family- or individual-owned companies to be micromanaged. It happens in larger businesses too. It really becomes a question of whether or not the job is meeting most of what you’re looking for it to provide (good hours, acceptable wages, a safe and comfortable working environment, for instance). If not, it may be time to start looking around. If so, then the instability may be a compromise you decide to live with.