update: I’m scared to tell my boss how behind on work I am

Remember the letter-writer earlier this year who had fallen way behind on her work (due to a lot of factors outside her control, like bad management decisions and a husband with cancer) and was afraid to tell her boss? Her first update was here, but here’s a new one.

Right after I sent off my first update to you, a colleague (Fanny) with some influence on the department came to chat and I flat out told her that was the most demoralizing meeting I’ve attended at this company. She was seated next to the colleague who teared up at the meeting, so I don’t think I had to explain much. She also confided that my boss is getting hit really hard to get results, and poop rolls downhill. My boss is not a terrible person, just a terrible people manager. Mr. Shark nailed it in the comments — she’s not in control either. She’s not all bad, but she’s doing terribly in this aspect of her job.

At the next meeting, our boss reinforced to focus on the current work and catch up as able, about which I felt positive. Management is wanting to find efficiencies and my boss is trying to assess hard numbers on how long it takes to do the job, broken down by task and client. The overtime rule was modified from “absolutely none” to “request it with a reason why.” I know overtime is expensive in more ways than one and I think the previous rule of “use overtime at your discretion” has been abused. The superstar overachiever told me recently she was tired of working 60 hours every week for weeks on end. O_O (It also begs the question, why was she allowed overtime? Why can’t they compute that 60 hours a week by the overachiever probably equals 70 hours by the average accountant?)

The next morning, I discovered a trick that upped efficiency on the data entry side six-fold. It was a simple software click that was definitely not there before, so must have been added with a recent update. I enthusiastically shared it with everyone immediately. The joy was palpable. That same day, we received good news about another efficiency we’d been wanting for a while, and it will still be some time for implementation, but it felt like we were turning a corner finally. Then, it was announced that we were expecting a working interview to come visit soon and if selected, she would be a temp-to-hire to replace the departed colleague. Even though it seems like such a mundane event, it also feels like we’re being heard. (She has stayed with us too!)

It turns out that Fanny is our new manager, and our boss (who is the controller) is either her boss or her equal. Fanny is a direct communicator, and is more professional than the controller. She is far more upbeat and positive, and I hope she will manage the team in the future, so the controller can focus on the corporate accounting. Fanny will call out the elephant in the room (the poor morale) and listen to us and validate our feelings, even though she also says that we’re not able to hire more personnel. There are avenues of efficiencies being developed, and some hoops we were required to jump and tracking worksheets we were required to complete were removed, to a collective sigh of relief. Also, the hard deadlines that were set were reset softly because even Fanny and The Controller couldn’t meet them with their clients (which is half the number of everyone else). (And in my head only, I say, “Told you so!”) Clients are also being reorganized so that the load is better distributed.

Then it was performance review time, due by the first of July. My review went well, but I received negative feedback I didn’t think was warranted, and with Fanny present and vouching for me, it was removed. I included a note from a colleague complimenting me for doing good work and my boss turned it into a slight admonishment for being an overachiever and making the others look bad. The superstar overachiever immediately came to mind as setting the bar really high, although I doubt she received the same admonishment. I was too surprised to react to that kind of scolding and assured them I was only doing my job. Surprisingly, all the stuff that has actually been a problem with my performance did not receive even a sniff (!!), and I received a 4% raise.

I am almost caught up. So, there are some months in which I have not done the work and it may never be completed, but I feel like the reset button has been pushed, even if the workload will not let up. Catching up is the best feeling in the world and I will do my best to stay current.

A lot of commentators encouraged me to jump ship and some pointed out that with an ill spouse, it’s hard to lose the insurance benefit. This is true. Switching plans in the middle of treatment brings a lot of change that may not be foreseen until the leap is taken. Also, in spite of the gloomy meeting, the mood is not all doom and gloom all day. Even my boss, who was so unrealistic at the meeting, is friendly and upbeat and helpful most of the time. I believe when she’s pressured, she reacts poorly and we suffer for that. Overall, we have a good culture here. Even when we’re under pressure to meet the month-end deadlines, most of us are not rude or snippy or take out frustrations on others (except my boss). We help each other out, as we can.

Other comments described this as a toxic environment, but I don’t believe the environment is toxic, I think it is my boss that is flawed. I think if she had delivered the bad news of “sorry, no overtime, you need to get your work done, focus on the most recent work first and catch up as your able” in a positive, pep talk manner, we wouldn’t have had had a crying team member and demoralized workforce. Maybe it would have just been me that wouldn’t have been demoralized, but her delivery really set the tone.

Thank you to everyone who sympathizes with me. To just type it out feels therapeutic, but to have my situation recognized and validated really helps keep my chin up. A heartfelt thank you especially to the commentator Hello! who commented with the poem “Invictus.”

My husband is always remaining positive, even when he received bad news about the immobility he is experiencing is permanently limiting, because of the various muscles removed in surgery to get a clear margin around the tumor. We’ve been each other’s rocks throughout everything. He still has not found a job, although he has attended a few interviews and is tapping his network. Our savings are just about depleted, but we have very healthy retirement accounts that are ahead of the game that we will likely tap to avoid bankruptcy. At least one commentator mentioned a Go Fund Me, which we do have, but my husband is super private and would not want his story broadcast to the public. Thank you to anyone who wants to give, and if the urge remains, donate to a cancer fund to help those who need it more than we do.

I also have seven days of PTO to use or lose by the end of September, so we’re looking at a staycation in the very near future. It will be such a welcomed reprieve.

{ 78 comments… read them below }

  1. Sharkie*

    Wow that is awesome! I am sorry about your husband but I am so excited your work situation is better.

  2. fisharenotfriends*

    Alison, would you be able to facilitate a second go fund me with the help of the OP to allow her and her husband to remain anonymous but also allow us to help? I know the community loves to pull together for things like this, and with you acting as a go-between I think everyone could benefit.

    1. Ask a Manager* Post author

      It’s a really kind suggestion! In general I don’t do that because there are so many letters here where that could be helpful and I think it’s most helpful for the site to stick to advice. I also don’t want to be in the position of having to pick and choose where we do or don’t do it, or potentially opening the site up to people who might hope to use it for that but fraudulently.

      1. Flash Bristow*

        Agreed. It doesn’t matter how much sympathy I have for the OP’s situation (and please believe me that I do!) this just isn’t the right vibe for this blog. Alison’s choice entirely of course – but it would change things in my opinion. I love this blog, and I love what it is able to achieve by “staying in its lane”, so to speak.

    2. MommyMD*

      Good intentions but please don’t turn this into a go fund me site. Not the venue. And many people would not want or like it.

    3. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      On a “looking out for Alison” note, even if she said yes, I’d rally to vote this down. She’s already stretched thin. She stopped doing her podcast to avoid burnout and to then loop her in with that kind of stuff is just unsustainable.

      Also, this site gives a lot of good advice and some additional emotional support in these cases, something that the Go Fund Me isn’t going to be able to provide. So since they have one for personal use and are taking a privacy route, we’re doing the best service by just being here to support our anonymous letter writer in a different way. Yes in the end she needs to pay her bills which costs money that she needs to find/collect but as a human, don’t underestimate human compassion being of value as well.

      1. WellRed*

        I am so exhausted seeing GoFund Me pitches everywhere (and I have contributed), that I like having a free space from it.

        1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          I don’t blame you! But I think that in cases like this more teeth the “no” helps. Since we’re not a bunch of heartless nincompoops pulling the “No crowdsourcing zone” space but a solid “it’s not possible due to actual reasons.”

          Kind of like when you bring up something at work to change, having real substance behind the denial helps grease the wheels of acceptance.

  3. WonderingHowIGotIntoThis*

    I’m glad I’m at home to read this rollercoaster of an update!
    Oh OP, I’m super happy your work situation has improved and you’ll be able to take a relaxing staycation and enjoy time with your husband. I hope his work situation improves quickly too!

    1. LL*

      I was just thinking this, about the update being a rollercoaster. I laughed – I cried – I shook my head in commiseration! OP, hope your work situation continues to be stable and improving, and best wishes for your husband’s health.

  4. Kimmy Schmidt*

    Enjoy that staycation OP, you’ve earned it!

    Sending good thoughts your way that things continue to improve and the weight continues to lift.

  5. Paris Geller*

    Wow, this was such a more positive update than I would have ever expected, and I’m so glad it does seem like some things are looking up. It really does sound like your boss, while not great at her job, was not being demoralizing because she’s just awful, as you said, but because she was also getting unrealistic expectations put on her. I don’t think that excuses some of the stuff from the last update, but it does make me feel more sympathetic for everyone involved.

  6. Kes*

    Wow, what a rollercoaster. It sounds like as positive a resolution on the work front as could reasonably and realistically be expected though. I’m sorry to hear about your husband OP, I hope his work situation can improve as much as yours has.

  7. rayray*

    Definitely take that staycation and have a good time! Take time to just hang out and do nothing but watch movies or read all day. Take time to be a tourist in your own city and go see some sites, it can be a lot of fun. You could use time to catch up on life errands. It will be a great way to recharge and just take a break, and it sounds like you could really use one. Staycations can be wonderful. After a change in PTO policy where we could no longer bank our time off but had to use it or lose it, I took a whole week off with no real plan and it was great!

  8. Beth*

    You are amazing and badass and I am SO GLAD you’re pulling ahead of the maelstrom. Best of luck to you!

    Here’s another poem excerpt (Rudyard Kipling, “Hymn to Breaking Strain”):

    We only in creation
    (How much luckier the bridge and rail!)
    Must bide the twin damnation:
    To fail, and know we’ve failed.
    Yet we, by which sure token
    We know we once were gods,
    Take shame in being broken
    However great the odds,
    The burden or the odds.

    O veiled and secret powers
    To which we strive in vain,
    Be with us in our hour
    Of overthrow and pain —
    That we, by which sure token
    We know thy works are true,
    In spite of being broken
    Or because of being broken
    Stand up and build anew,
    Rise up and build anew!

  9. 2 Cents*

    I know you said it’s not a toxic workplace and your boss (not Fanny) is just bad at people managing but my god, this just floors me: “…my boss turned it into a slight admonishment for being an overachiever and making the others look bad.” That’s truly WTF. Ignore this with as much power as possible and know you’re doing well (and the boss may be feeling threatened).

    Hugs to you and your family!

    1. SuperAnon*

      Yeah, that struck me as terribly demoralizing and just plain sour grapes. First she’s the one who’s most behind, now she’s an OA? And the boss STILL isn’t giving her props? A pox on her head!

      1. Ama*

        See I actually thought that the boss was projecting her own insecurities (she has to know that she hasn’t been doing great since Fanny is now the manager).

  10. SamSoo*

    “I discovered a trick that upped efficiency on the data entry side six-fold. It was a simple software click that was definitely not there before, so must have been added with a recent update. I enthusiastically shared it with everyone immediately. The joy was palpable.”

    This speaks to me! I love when I find a new trick and can share it and make everyone’s work lives better!!!

    1. Jadelyn*

      YESSSS one of the greatest joys in my workday is figuring out how to streamline something and then sharing that with everyone to make all our jobs easier. I’ve been having fun – like, literally, this is fun to me, I am weird like that – setting up a bunch of our reports to be automated so people don’t have to come ask for them/members of my team don’t have to remember to get them and send them. Sometimes it’s the little things, lol.

    2. Dust Bunny*

      This so much. We’re breaking in a new (both new to us and new in general) piece of software at work and DEAR GOD IT’S MAKING LIFE SO MUCH EASIER. One of my supervisors is on the development committee for it, too, so she knows in backwards and forwards.

    3. Beatrice*

      I love that stuff, but if someone took the time to develop and implement a timesaving feature, WHY FOR PETE’S SAKE would you leave it for a user to simply stumble upon and start using? You have a team of people who are behind on their work and struggling to keep up and suffering from morale problem, and you have some incredibly good news that you’ve made something possible that would improve their lives…why wasn’t her tech support or management shouting that exciting new development from the rooftops?

      1. WannaAlp*

        Because the tech support knows about the tech (or maybe not, if it’s an automatic update from an external software company), but not about OP’s work. Making the connection between the two isn’t necessarily obvious. In fact, unless the software is written in-house and the update was specifically requested, I would say that it would be expected for a software update having the potential to improve the work efficiency to not be remarked upon.

  11. DKMA*

    This was a much more positive update than I envisioned possible after the original letter and update. Good luck to you OP!

  12. Quill*

    I wish you the best of luck, OP: may the worst day of your life to come be better than the best day of your life before.

  13. The Man, Becky Lynch*

    I’m glad that everything has turned the corner and you’re getting caught up, along with the structure change.

    I’m also glad your staying so positive while going through such a stressful personal time.

  14. Sara J*

    You are an inspiration with your positive attitude! Hang in there, things have got to get better!

  15. Myrin*

    Thanks so much for providing a second update, OP! I often find myself thinking when reading an update that I’d love a second one (because a situation is clearly heading somewhere, for example, or because there was change already on the horizon or something similar) and it’s so awesome and very generous of you to actually give us one!
    (Also, you rock, and I wish you and your husband all the best!)

  16. RJ the Newbie*

    Wow, OP. This an excellent update. I’m very proud of your attitude, all you’ve been able to accomplish at work and your moxie. Congratulations and take that well earned staycation.

  17. Martha*

    ” Our savings are just about depleted, but we have very healthy retirement accounts that are ahead of the game that we will likely tap to avoid bankruptcy.”

    Check with a financial adviser, but I wouldn’t sacrifice retirement savings to avoid bankruptcy. Situations like yours are what bankruptcy is for, and I don’t think bankruptcy can touch your retirement savings. What if you spend down your retirement savings and then have to declare bankruptcy anyway? If you knew for certain that your money troubles would be very short term, maybe it wouldn’t be as risky, but it doesn’t sound like you are in that place.

    Depending on where you have your retirement savings, that company might have a trustworthy financial adviser you can talk to for no charge or little charge.

    1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

      Yeah there are protections in bankruptcy but the thing with it is that it costs you thousands of dollars to file [crazy, right…since you’re doing it because you’re you know…bankrupt.] But you’re dealing with lawyers and lawyer fees, so they can stack up.

      But I do agree that there needs to be an advisor if tapping into retirement is good. Since you’re going to be charged that dang 10% early withdraw penalty on your taxes which can be thousands of dollars as well depending on how much you tap into it [sigh].

      1. PotatoEngineer*

        One alternative to bankruptcy is to simply STOP PAYING.

        It’s wild, and it involves giant piles of harassment by creditors and you really need to know your rights against debt collectors (and when debts become time-barred), but the end result can be roughly the same as bankruptcy, without the thousands in legal fees. Sooner or later, your creditors give up the hope that you’ll pay, and either accept the lowball settlement you offer, or completely give up and forgive the loan. You’ll end up paying a chunk to the IRS if they forgive your loans (forgiven loans count as income – but you’ll pay at your tax rate, not 100% of the loan, and the IRS has payment plans). Morally, it’s still the same as bankruptcy: your creditors get paid less than they’re owed – it just doesn’t have the legal trappings of a bankruptcy.

        It’s a lot less formal than bankruptcy, and involves more pain, and there are more pitfalls if you don’t know all of your rights and options, but it can be cheaper. You’ll have to decide whether it’s worth it.

        1. The Man, Becky Lynch*

          This works in some cases, it would depend greatly on what the debts are and who are holding onto them. But it also takes a long time before they get to garnishment stage a lot of times. But it’s something to always keep in mind, the larger institutions don’t write it off, they go after you through the courts and get garnishments taken out. Bankruptcy would stop that from happening in many cases.

          If it’s a credit card company, they are known to drag it out a bit but they will send it to court and get a garnishment against the wages.

          It will depend for medical bills, some will just get written of but I have had friends and colleagues garnished for those outstanding bills to. That you can’t stop paying, you have then been put at the mercy of your paychecks being ripped away from you legally.

          A garnishment [aside from Child Support] can take up to 25% of your disposable wages. Disposable wages is deemed the amount left over after taxes. Child Support can take up to 50% in most places.

          But garnishments, aside from child support can take a long time to come around but they are something you should always be aware of. Many times it takes years and suddenly when you’re least expecting it, your employer gets that paperwork and there’s not a darn thing we can do but deduct it from your check.

          1. ChangedUsernameForThisOne*

            Sometimes it doesn’t even take years – I had a judgement from a collections agency (that was not the original creditor) – had it for less than a *year* AND was making monthly payments and the creditor still decided to garnish my wages. The amount was for less than a $1000 too. So yeah, telling people to just stop paying is, in my opinion, horrible advice. I mean, I was originally in a place where I just couldn’t make any payments, but had to once the judgement was in place and was paying what I could – but the creditor decided to move very, very quickly both with getting the judgement but also with everything else. And then my employer misread everything and paid the whole amount instead of the 25% after taxes….

            1. MayLou*

              In the UK, simply ignoring demands for payment could lead to bankruptcy anyway, because creditors can petition to have you made bankrupt. You then don’t have to pay the bankrupty fee but all the other significant disadvantages of bankruptcy are there.

              1. MsSolo*

                On the other hand, credit companies in the UK absolutely can’t garnish your wages – only a specific set of creditors can do that, mostly govt and so on. It’s worth knowing the difference between your priority and non-priority debts, and which ones to prioritise when you can’t afford to pay them all at once. Credit Card companies shout the loudest about not being paid because they have the least power to force you to do it (as opposed to your mortgage, who tend to be a bit quieter because if the worst comes to it, they can just repossess your house).

                Ultimately, get debt advice from someone qualified to give it in your country, who knows the risks and benefits to each path, and whether there are any charitable funds or alternatives available to you based on who you owe and what your background is.

    2. M&Ms Fix Lots of Problems*

      I’m going to second find a way to check with a licensed advisor before tapping anything you have put away for retirement. Bankruptcy is designed to help people get back on their feet (but, yes I know there are those that abuse it) when you get caught in circumstances beyond your control.

    3. The OP*

      Martha – Thank you for your advice. We have consulted with our financial adviser, who suggested tapping the retirement accounts. We have two accounts in which we can borrow money interest free without any withdrawal penalties.

      He has finished his chemotherapy treatment, his first scan has come back clean (YAY!) and he is job hunting like mad. He has the most positive attitude about the whole situation, but he won’t celebrate until he passes the five year mark and is told “We don’t need to see you anymore.”

  18. Daniela*

    I love that this was such a positive update!!! Hang in there. Best wishes to you and your husband!

  19. Tessa Ryan*

    I’m glad this was such a positive update, OP! After reading so many negative things online today, this is the first thing that put a smile on my face. :)

  20. MCsAngel2*

    OP, I hope you see this. Please don’t deplete your retirement accounts to avoid bankruptcy. Almost all people who do this in your situation wind up having to file eventually, and are left with nothing. Please know that your retirement accounts are safe from creditors, don’t deplete them. Bankruptcy is nothing to be ashamed of (especially for medical bills!) Your credit can be repaired in 7-10 years, but once your retirement funds are gone, you can’t get them back.

  21. Liar Liar Pants Dracarys*

    HOORAY!!!! I’m really happy for you, OP! And thank you for sharing your happy with us–I needed some happy this afternoon. :-)

  22. AnnaBananna*

    As someone who became ill, had to reduce my hours to half time, and partially drained a retirement account dry to finally realize that I was going to have to claim bankruptcy anyway to get me out of the medical and living expense dept I accrued? Meeting with the attorney to file the paperwork felt like such a relieving win. It was a weird reaction, to be sure. But I realized that it sort of allowed me to look back on the last 5 years of pain and trouble as offically ‘the past’, and to reset my life. I left there finally able to breathe.

    Don’t run yourself ragged, or morally torture yourself that you’re a financial failure, to get out from under those medical bills. It’s a total racket anyway, and you’re really only ruining your credit for a few years, which is small potatoes compared to what you both have just been through and will continue to go through as he continues to recover. Lighten your load, find the avenue that provides less stress to you both.


  23. Duvie*

    Please talk to a financial counsellor before you touch your retirement savings. If you withdraw them early, the tax burden is quite startling, and might actually leave you in worse shape than you were in the first place. Also, and this is pretty much of a downer, but you don’t know what else you may need for cancer treatment and recovery down the road. Using up those savings now might leave you without the means to make his life easier and more comfortable in the future. (My husband has leukemia; I speak from experience.) You may find that there are debt restructuring services that would work to get the creditors off your back and out of your wallet. If you’re in the U.S., the United Way should be able to point you toward a reputable service. Good luck to you both!

  24. Mellow*

    “I included a note from a colleague complimenting me for doing good work and my boss turned it into a slight admonishment for being an overachiever and making the others look bad. ”

    OMG, come on, boss, seriously?

    Freakin’ idiot.

  25. JustFundering*

    Can I ask – is there a way that the link to the GoFundMe that is already set up for your husband can be emailed to Alison? That way if anyone truly does want to donate to you and your husband specifically rather than to cancer research charities in general, they can email Alison requesting the link, but the link won’t be publicly accessible or posted on the internet, and nobody has to see any GoFundMe links in the comments. From what I can gather this would be relatively simple and painless to execute, not really much work at all for Alison beyond copying and pasting (it might be useful to put REQUESTING GOFUNDME LINK in the subject line for clarity and to avoid inbox fatigue), and also avoids AAM turning into a GoFundMe bog. There may be some problems with this idea that I haven’t yet considered though, so let me know what everyone else thinks!

    1. Baru Cormorant*

      It does mean that Alison would have to respond to each individual email with a link, which is a lot of work (more emails you have to reply to). And honestly, I feel for OP, but what makes this OP more worthy of a blog-assisted Go Fund Me more than some of the other OPs we’ve seen? Or will see in the future? On top of offering advice, should Alison evaluate which OPs who write in with a Go Fund Me link are worthy of having it shared? That’s a ton of work too.

      That’s before you get to the issues with Go Fund Me itself (its overuse, its susceptibility to scams, its ambiguous stance between Kickstarter and panhandling) that some people would object to as well. OP says they don’t need it shared so let’s channel that charitable spirit to other charities!

      1. JustFundering*

        OP said that her husband is private and doesn’t want the link shared publicly; she’s also said that due to medical costs they may have to file for bankruptcy. I appreciate all the issues you mention but the key factor here is that the links wouldn’t be shared in the comments, the GoFundMes (or whichever platform) aren’t being created or endorsed by Alison or commenters, and the links would only be requested by people who felt a need to donate to that specific cause – so other than a simple, “This person has an already existing page for donations; if you would genuinely like to donate you can email for the link”, the whole thing would be otherwise invisible to everyone else.

        1. JustFundering*

          I should also add – perhaps I’m cynical, but I don’t see there being a massive in-flux of emails requesting the link, especially as that extra step of having to email to request it would probably de-incentivise people from the initial impulse of donating. I’m not sure of the percentage of readers who would actually donate to a donation drive from any given link from any given blog – I would be curious to know the statistics – but my guess is that a situation that would see hundreds of AAM readers flocking to request the link would be fairly rare.

      1. JustFundering*

        Thanks Alison! I just want to be clear that I definitely wasn’t suggesting you set up a GoFundMe or endorse/publicise it in any way. I agree that it would actually be a terrible idea for all the same reasons you addressed. I was trying to think of a different way those who genuinely wanted to donate might have an avenue to in this case while addressing the husband’s privacy.

        1. Ask a Manager* Post author

          Unfortunately, same thing — if I do it in this case, I’d be asked to do it in others and that puts me in the same position I talked about above.

        2. JustFundering*

          Thinking further on this, I suppose a less complicated solution in future could be the person in question just offering their own/a dummy email address for anyone who wanted to be sent the link. I don’t think that would be an adequate solution in this case because I think the husband might have privacy misgivings, but as an Australian who has access to great, free health care, my heart hurts a bit thinking that someone is going through bankruptcy and there are people willing to help who are unable to because of roadblocks/logistics. That’s not to suggest Alison takes on any extra work, just starting a conversation about what solutions could look like.

          1. Ask a Manager* Post author

            It’s really not the way I want the site used, and it opens it up to potential fraud. But there are tons of great charities that would love that support!

  26. ..Kat..*

    OP: I am glad that work is going better. You did not ask about this, but please don’t tap your retirement accounts to avoid bankruptcy. Fiscally, this is usually a huge mistake. I recommend consulting a bankruptcy lawyer to look at your options.

  27. Phoenix*

    I’m incredibly impressed by how well the OO has handled such a stressful and sh*tty situation. In her shoes, I would have had no idea what to do. OP, you’re my hero. So glad things are getting better for you—and I’m so sorry you’ve had to deal with all of this.

  28. The OP*

    More happy news to share!

    My husband has completed his treatment plan and his first scan came back clear! WOOT WOOT! He is tapping his network and job hunting like mad. Now that his energy is better and he’s got the clear that they don’t need to see him for six months, he is charging full steam ahead on getting work.

    1. Former Employee*

      Wonderful news OP. If the MD says they don’t need to see someone for 6 months, that’s a really good sign. Plus, the fact that your husband feels well enough at this point that he’s got the steam to charge ahead is even more encouraging.

      And I’m so glad that your work situation is improving in terms of the handling of the work itself and the supervisory/management end of things.

      Now that things are getting better all the way around, I hope you enjoy your staycation. There’s nothing like doing nothing after you’ve been under a lot of stress and dealing with major anxiety and all of that has been lifted.

    2. Remote Worker and Dog Lover*

      This is wonderful news!! Thank you OP for sharing your story with all of us. Good luck to your husband on his job search!

  29. LawBee*

    I remember when the first letter was posted. I wanted so badly to be able to crawl through my monitor and help. I’m glad things are looking up!

  30. Julia J*

    Very very happy for you that things are looking up. I hope you and your husband enjoy your staycation immensely and good luck with all the rest!

  31. DrJulesSunny*

    I just read the whole saga from first letter to now … I need a drink. I’m incredulous and horrified and brimming with empathy for you, OP. I’ve absolutely been That Person who’s so much farther behind than anyone else – the horror of realizing that I’m the only one and fearing that it’s ALL ME was nauseating – and I can identify with so much of your coping skills and reactions…and I didn’t have even one iota of the stuff you have going on. I can’t imagine. I’ve worked for some terrible, TERRIBLE managers but yours is bat-s*** crazily unhelpful.
    Keep us updated on your husband’s health and your work if you don’t mind. I’m rooting for you!!!

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