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The Joy of Burnout

So I gave up.

There was only so much disrespect, fear mongering and micromanagement I could take. Once all autonomy and professionalism had been stripped, I was left on a pharmacy assembly line that harbored resentment among coworkers and increased risk of error. Our pharmacy assistant hours had been eliminated, leaving me to work alone for 12 hours a day. I would receive, enter, fill, verify, dispense and counsel prescriptions without an extra set of eyes to check my work. I would forego bathroom and lunch breaks and was hypoglycemic by 3 pm, with half of the day left to go. Not having an assistant also meant I would lift heavy totes, stock shelves and empty garbage pails, leaving me with excruciating back pain. My days were broken down into a series of quotas to maximize profits, with management constantly demanding more flu shots, med checks and professional services be billed. The amount of work that had to be crammed into 12 hours often required an extra hour of volunteering each night, giving my employer the unique classification of being a for-profit company that also moonlighted as a charity. My workplace had been so bastardized that I could hardly recognize it.

So I relayed all of this information to my shrink and he instructed me to take a few weeks off. And just like that, I felt like a great weight had been lifted from my shoulders.  Before I could celebrate, my anxiety caught up to me. Without work to constantly complain about, what would I do? My toxic work environment had long been the focus of my life, but I could no longer use it as excuse to put off living.  I have the next 3 weeks to test drive the FI-lifestyle. I have ample time and no work obligations to tie me down. I’m guessing the next 3 weeks will guide the trajectory of my life when I escape the rat race for good.

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