I'm Sabotaging My Career - Anger, Anxiety, and Depression

Hello, devpressed. I wrote a post a while back about how I feel stuck and that I’m basically working in a toxic workplace. I’m going to format this post so that, hopefully, its easier to read. I started typing and just couldn’t stop…

Well, I fear that my time at my current job might be coming to an abrupt end.


The department I’ve been roped into, which from a strictly project perspective would be awesome (but from a people perspective, sucks big time), is led by a father-son team. They both are very arrogant and treat people like they are newbies and with disrespect.

The son is two years younger than me and runs his own marketing company. He writes blog posts, I think. I don’t know. All I know is, just his presence makes me angry. I don’t usually get angry, but this guy, for whatever reason, has that affect on me.

It’s not a big secret that I don’t like him: when he hijacks conversations I’m having with my co-workers, I step out. When he talks over people, I cringe. When he talks to me, I am very short with him and nearly growl at him when I speak.

The father-son team brought me into their office (yuck) once to discuss a project we were working with a third party on. The third party contact, they said, was very bright. His son said that it was nice to finally have someone smarter than him on the project. He wasn’t referring to me. He was referring to that third party dude.

He’s superficial as can be. He’s all smoke and mirrors and tries to tell me how to do my work.

I’m a professional and have been doing this crap, professionally, for 9 years now. He likes to say he has 20 years experience, which he does not. He’s 2 years younger than me. That would mean he started programming (professionally?) since he was, what, like 11?

If that’s the case, I have 21 years experience. I started programming when I was 12 in QBASIC.

Anyway, hopefully that gives y’all a mental image of these two (mainly the son - he’s the one I have the toughest time dealing with).

Alright, so fast forward to why I’m even bothering to post here, hoping to get some sort of advice that can get me back on the right track: this week things came to a head. I basically told that retard just what I thought of him.

The Reason for This Post

It all started when he emailed me about a bug I had in my code, which I told him I knew was there and was going to fix when I got in to work. He provided some suggestions, which I didn’t ask for and were completely wrong for what I was doing.

So, when I fixed the bug, I took a bunch of screenshots to prove it was fixed (no one asked me to do that. i just wanted to so that there would be no questions) and I added something like, “don’t give me advice. If I want your advice, I’ll ask for it.”

Well, that started a huge back and forth between me and him in emails. He started by trying to tell me exactly will happen there and that everyone will provide unsolicited suggestions because they want to encourage an open environment, etc., etc. (all real good on the surface. i’m all for an environment where we feel free to share ideas)

He added that it seems like I have personal and professional issues with him. So, this is where I was thinking, “You sorry, no good, S.O.B. Hell yeah I have a fking problem with you. I hope you fking die in a f**king fire.”

However, since this was an email and I’m trying to continue working there, and since there is nowhere else to work (in my field at least), I didn’t reply with that exact wording.

I reply back that I promote and encourage a collaborative environment as well and that, yes, I have both a personal and a professional conflict with him. I then went on to say that we both need to figure out how to work together professionally and get past it.

I tried real hard to be the grown-up even though I was thinking all of those horrible thoughts.

Well, that night, I couldn’t sleep due to me being incredibly anxious about either being cornered by the father-son team, or other people in the company. I am afraid of confrontation and I’m highly sensitive.

That was last night, come to think of it. Anyway, so today I pretty much cried all day (I have a big history of crying at work - one big thing I wish I could overcome. It sucks big time. I feel like I can’t function in society sometimes.) and I kept a website up on my second monitor (the one that everyone can see as they pass my cube) on suicide.

I’m not suicidal or anything, but I was feeling really down.

I was supposed to be the dev lead on a project, but they sneakily pulled that out from under me. I didn’t even find out from them, I found out from the Jr. dev that’s on it.

I had to email the father to see what in the world is going on. I asked him what the plan was for me. His response was something like, “I honestly don’t know right now. When I find out, I’ll let you know.”

That sent my thoughts and emotions out of whack - what does that mean, “I honestly don’t know.”

A little backstory before I continue: I was pulled in from the overarching department to help out originally. The original idea was that I was going to help out a bit and then go back to my other tasks.

Okay, back to the present. I wonder, does that mean that he doesn’t know if I’m going back to the other group, the one I was with originally, or that he has no idea what to put me on in his group, or that he’s contemplating giving me the boot.

This is Definitely not the Best Place to Work

This company is known for vastly underpaying their employees across the board, keeping morale down, not giving us job titles so that they can keep the salaries everywhere on the map. They don’t do goal-setting or annual reviews. It’s good ole boy, big-time. Actually, redneck good-ole boy.

They are also known for their nepotism (it’s a huge, family-owned business) - their high ups are family members without any experience other than working there (at their current level within the company).

The VP is useless as well. He always ignores my emails and I have to corner him in his office to find out what I’m supposed to be doing project-wise (before I got pulled into the current group). I told him that I was going to therapy for anxiety and he told everyone else in our department.

He and his cronies also made fun of me on 3 different occasions that I am aware of. They did it when they didn’t think I was there.

There’s just so much going on at this place that is making me really hate my career-choice. I hope all jobs aren’t like this. The older guys there tell me that all jobs suck.

Whew, okay, that was a lot of typing. Some of that was kind of free-flowing. I’m sick and tired of that place, for sure.

I know acting out is bad, which I didn’t do. I felt like I was defending myself a bit. I felt like I was pushing back on the son to let him know that I can handle these things on my own. If I need someone’s assistance, I definitely ask. It’s not like I work in a silo or anything. They know that.

Do any of you happen to have any advice to share? I would love to just leave, but that requires us to relocate. It might be 100% necessary, though.

Just because you feel crazy doesn’t mean you are. It sounds like you’re sensitive to your environment, and this environment is toxic for you. Get the hell out.

You can work remotely in some jobs, you can freelance, you move - you have a lot of options. But while you’re working at this place, you’re going to be paralyzed professionally and personally.

If you are crying at work and resorting to passive-aggressive messages (the website), is time to do the right thing to take care of yourself, and get out.

This may not all apply to you, but I hope it is helpful:

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