What's the most annoying thing about your job? We asked you, and you told us. In the last few days, we've received more than 100 responses to our request for your number-one workplace complaints. Here's the first batch, a double feature of teachers and librarians. Both professions responded in big numbers with similar gripes: So much responsibility, so little respect from students, patrons, and administrators.
Keep writing. Type your response in the comment section below, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or send your response to our Tumblr.
"... No wonder one of our break room topics is who is taking which antidepressant."
I'm a librarian in a public library that's part of a larger system. The most annoying thing about my job is the lack of support in the most public aspect of my work from managers and administration. Patron behavior expectations have been reduced, primarily because it is seen as a hassle to enforce rules of behavior. Even the rules of behavior we have, like wearing shirt and shoes in the building, are seen by the administration as too much trouble to enforce if no patron complains. Which means that if I see a situation, even if it's in direct opposition to posted policy, I can't be sure I won't be reprimanded, perhaps in public, by my own boss for enforcing the policy. Yet I've also been told I was letting some patrons (that I couldn't hear at the central desk) get too loud, so it's a sort of being stuck on a morton's fork.
Librarians are professionals, and enforcing the rules is part of what one takes on when working with public. Without support for enforcing even the most basic rules, there are really no guidelines at all. I suppose any job where you are told to take initiative to ensure a public building is pleasant for everyone (repeatedly, enthusiastically, urgently), yet reprimanded for enforcing the very rules that are supposed to make a public building pleasant for everyone would make anyone feel insane. No wonder one of our break room topics is who is taking which antidepressant.
I truly hope this annoying thing about my job is too specific to be useful, because that would mean there's hope somewhere else. I really miss loving my job.
High School Art Teacher
"I pour my soul into reaching these kids, and they hardly ever say thank you."
I am a high school art teacher. Everyone always says, "Oh that must be so much fun!" like it doesn't entail every fiber of my body to reach the most apathetic teenager. Some of my students roll their eyes and half-heartedly follow my directions while I struggle night and day to make the projects relevant, funny, interesting. I lose sleep over a new lesson plan, agonize over a particular student and their home life, pour my soul into reaching these kids, and they hardly ever say thank you. And that is the most annoying and frustrating part of my job, dedicating my entire being to the well-being of others and reaching the end of the long day without one thank you or acknowledgment.