Poll

How much do you vent on average about work on each work day?

Less than 10 minutes
40 (54.8%)
10-30 minutes
21 (28.8%)
30-60 minutes
5 (6.8%)
1 hour or more
7 (9.6%)

Total Members Voted: 73

Author Topic: How much do you and/or your partner vent about work?  (Read 2861 times)

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Allyson

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Re: How much do you and/or your partner vent about work?
« Reply #15 on: July 18, 2013, 03:40:07 AM »
Not much, but occasionally. If it's 'same crap, different day' I will usually just say "argh, work!" and let it be known it was a frustrating day, which means SO will typically be extra awesome to me. If it's a story about something over the top amusing/horrifying, I'll tell it all in all its details, but that isn't too common anymore that something 'new' enough to share happens.

lkdrymom

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Re: How much do you and/or your partner vent about work?
« Reply #16 on: July 18, 2013, 06:34:11 AM »
DH and I work for local government. Venting usually lasts from the moment we get home until someone falls asleep.

cabbageweevil

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Re: How much do you and/or your partner vent about work?
« Reply #17 on: July 18, 2013, 07:01:00 AM »
My long-time SO was a very big venter about work troubles and miseries. She did encounter real difficulties and problems on the working-for-a-living scene; but tended IMO, to get out-of-proportion outraged about every tiny bit of trouble or unfairness which came her way in the situation of "earning a crust" -- after all, it's an imperfect world, and every job involves a certain amount of "bad stuff". She could, and often did, go on for hours about the highly minute minutiae of how she was, in her perception, ill-used in her jobs (of which she had a long succession -- that, admittedly, not mostly "down to her").  I found it particularly maddening that when we were having dinner together -- one of us having cooked for the other -- she had a way of launching into a long lamentation about how ill-used she was in her job, at the exact moment when the main course was served; the next fifteen minutes or more, were monopolised by her raging and ranting about how badly treated she was at work, while the food went cold.

If I did any venting about work troubles of mine, they tended to be angrily dismissed -- "that's nothing !  I have to put up with... [A, B. and C, and right through to Z...]"

We're still in touch, and friends in a platonic way; helped by our now living some 100 miles apart from each other, and both being retired from gainful employment.

Cami

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Re: How much do you and/or your partner vent about work?
« Reply #18 on: July 18, 2013, 07:45:17 AM »
I think if you need to vent for more than 10 minutes on a regular basis, that time would be better invested if used for finding a new job.

My husband has a high-stress job and I have a job that definitely can be demanding at times but we don't vent every day and I don't think anyone ever vented for more than five minutes in our house.
I used to vent a *TON*.

Then I got laid off and found my new job. Now I don't vent at all.

To reiterate something I said in another thread, when you're in a toxic situation, every little thing will push your button. At that point, you (general) really just need to move on. I *had* to, because I was laid off, but I ought to have done so 5-10 years previously.
That's excellent advice... in a good job market. The last time I was in a toxic work environment, I was looking for a new job for THREE YEARS and never found one. If my partner had told me that my money was welcome, but my venting about what I went through earning that money was not, well, that would not have been acceptable to me.
« Last Edit: July 18, 2013, 07:48:33 AM by Cami »

weeblewobble

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Re: How much do you and/or your partner vent about work?
« Reply #19 on: July 18, 2013, 08:10:05 AM »
I used to, a LOT.  It seemed like each job I had came complete with an emotionally unstable boss dead-set on driving me to an early stroke. Until I realized how much stress I was causing my husband.  He was thinking about my rantings in terms of "how can I fix this?" instead of "weeblewobble is just venting and needs a shoulder to cry on."   So, because he couldn't come up with a solution to my work issues, he took on this huge emotional burden and drove himself crazy trying to figure out a financial re-arrangement that would allow me to stay home.

So, if you're going to vent about work topics, be sure to tell your partner, "I do not expect you to find a solution to this problem.  I am feeling overwhelmed right now and need someone to talk to about the situation.  If listening to me talk about work is too stressful for you, please let me know."

Hijinks

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Re: How much do you and/or your partner vent about work?
« Reply #20 on: July 18, 2013, 09:51:52 AM »
My DH vents more than I do, because a.) he's in a more stressful job than I am, and b.) I take anti-anxiety meds so my mood tends to stay very level and it takes a lot to get me worked up.  Does the OP's DH want her to offer solutions, or does he just want to vent with her going "mmhmm" and "that sounds frustrating" every now and then.  If it's the latter, what's the harm, just let him go and offer soothing noises and chalk it up as a character flaw, IMO.

Zizi-K

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Re: How much do you and/or your partner vent about work?
« Reply #21 on: July 18, 2013, 10:31:47 AM »
I'm very lucky to be in a relatively low-stress gig, and my husband who has a high-stress job just really prefers to leave it at work. So I might hear him vent once in awhile, but it's not often.

I have a good friend, though, whose husband is a rant machine. He can go on forever, for over an hour, and she finds it repetitive, boring, and frustrating (because there's nothing anyone can do about it). They have come to an understanding about it, and he now gets a set amount of venting time. He admits that he just really likes to vent, and she limits it by agreeing to listen to only so much. I think it works for them.

I get the sense, though, that some (not all, and not even most) people just really like complaining. It's like a shtick for them. Luckily my partner is not one of them!

TamJamB

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Re: How much do you and/or your partner vent about work?
« Reply #22 on: July 18, 2013, 11:03:08 AM »
Here’s the thing – one of the benefits to being in a committed relationship is that you have someone to vent to.  And, unless you and your spouse happen to work in the same industry, it’s a given that listening to their workplace vents is going to be kind of boring.  Fortunately, committed relationships last for many years and, eventually, you’ll get the chance to bend his ear about some workplace drama of your own.  As I said – this is one of the many beauties of a committed relationship.

Admittedly, your guy does seem a bit long-winded.  But, hey – judging from your posts you aren’t exactly succinct yourself.  So keep nodding and smiling and uh-huhing… Soon enough his drama will be over and it’ll be your turn to bore him/i] for a while.

LadyL

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Re: How much do you and/or your partner vent about work?
« Reply #23 on: July 18, 2013, 11:37:32 AM »

My DH also tends to perseverate about work issues, and bring them up repeatedly.  When that sort of situation develops, I tend to either cut him off and suggest outrageous solutions ("So Bill rolls up his sleeves at work?  That's really terrible.  Maybe you should tell him, if it's that necessary, to take scissors and cut his sleeves off instead!").  When I'm cutting him off, I tell him that if it's really that bad, he needs to go to HR/his boss/the problem person.  If I don't listen, and understand, and validate his feelings, then the emotional pressure builds up, and he needs to find some way to take care of it.  A way, I might add, that doesn't involve long tedious discussions with me.  I'm sure that kind of sounds terrible.  :-[  I prefer to make up ridiculous solutions ("tell your boss it's either you or Bill!  Hide when you see Bill coming!  Slap him when he defies you!") and tell DH that since I don't know the workplace, it's on him to come up with the reasonable solutions after he laughs at the silly ones.

This post has made me giggle several times over "slap him when he defies you." I'm imagining a glove slap and then a challenge to a pistol duel  ;D.

 I am glad I'm not the only one who finds these kinds of conversations frustrating. To clarify, I do believe in supporting my partner by providing a sympathetic ear. My concern is more when the discussion seems to be riling him up rather than serving as an outlet or forum to find solutions. A good amount of the time, I'll suggest an idea that he thinks will help (like a phrase to use - ironically although I use "so what are you going to do about it?" on him all the time, he found this idea novel when I suggested he use it with Bill  >:D ) and the discussion ends at "well I guess I'll try that then." Another proportion of the time it's more like "well, you either need to talk to HR/your boss/etc. or it's not going to change." But there are definitely those days when its more of a one sided Airing of Grievances than a conversation.

The idea of going for walks is good, we do that sometimes but should do it more.


Admittedly, your guy does seem a bit long-winded.  But, hey – judging from your posts you aren’t exactly succinct yourself.  So keep nodding and smiling and uh-huhing… Soon enough his drama will be over and it’ll be your turn to bore him/i] for a while.

The funny thing is that when it comes to work, I am more the type that doesn't want to think/talk about the minutia once I'm home. I can usually sum up my day in a sentence or two - "I made good headway with my data analysis." Or "My data was not being nice to me but I think I found a way around it." The other maddening thing is that LordL is super intellectually curious and so he looovees to hear all the technical details of what I do down to how the algorithm works, so it's hard for me to bore him and once I tell him a little he wants to know how the whole thing works. And then it feels like teaching which is another part of my job I don't want to do when I get home. We have very different communication styles and it's probably one of the biggest mundane challenges we face.

So in today's odd working of the universe, LordL just scheduled a phone interview with a company that he's pretty excited about. He hasn't been actively looking but they found him via LinkedIn, so he's going to see whether it's an opportunity worth pursuing.

cabbageweevil

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Re: How much do you and/or your partner vent about work?
« Reply #24 on: July 18, 2013, 11:39:03 AM »
Here’s the thing – one of the benefits to being in a committed relationship is that you have someone to vent to.  And, unless you and your spouse happen to work in the same industry, it’s a given that listening to their workplace vents is going to be kind of boring.  Fortunately, committed relationships last for many years and, eventually, you’ll get the chance to bend his ear about some workplace drama of your own.  As I said – this is one of the many beauties of a committed relationship.

Admittedly, your guy does seem a bit long-winded.  But, hey – judging from your posts you aren’t exactly succinct yourself.  So keep nodding and smiling and uh-huhing… Soon enough his drama will be over and it’ll be your turn to bore him/i] for a while.

Sometimes, though, the other person's drama is never over, and the other person will not allow you to bore them for a while; because in their perception their situation is Auschwitz, and yours is a year's conscription into a non-combatant part of a humane democratic country's armed forces...

bloo

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Re: How much do you and/or your partner vent about work?
« Reply #25 on: July 18, 2013, 12:09:05 PM »
Here’s the thing – one of the benefits to being in a committed relationship is that you have someone to vent to.  And, unless you and your spouse happen to work in the same industry, it’s a given that listening to their workplace vents is going to be kind of boring.  Fortunately, committed relationships last for many years and, eventually, you’ll get the chance to bend his ear about some workplace drama of your own.  As I said – this is one of the many beauties of a committed relationship.

Admittedly, your guy does seem a bit long-winded.  But, hey – judging from your posts you aren’t exactly succinct yourself.  So keep nodding and smiling and uh-huhing… Soon enough his drama will be over and it’ll be your turn to bore him/i] for a while.


Sometimes, though, the other person's drama is never over, and the other person will not allow you to bore them for a while; because in their perception their situation is Auschwitz, and yours is a year's conscription into a non-combatant part of a humane democratic country's armed forces...

This is a good point, Cabbageweevil.

Early in our marriage, I had to deal with the double frustration of listening to DH's venting and then when I vented, which was rare, I would get so mad because he'd try to 'fix' everything I was complaining about.

DH is much more verbal than I am, so he's generally more 'venty'.

My DH has high anxiety and one of the ways it comes out is through talking or venting. He used to keep me up 'til 2 or 3 in the morning (and, sadly, did not care if I had work the next morning) sharing his stresses with me. When I would beg him to stop and let me sleep, he'd accuse me of being unsupportive.

About ten years ago, he left for two weeks to establish a home/job for us to follow. He'd use his same tactics but by phone and I stopped allowing it. I could shut down the venting by saying 'good-bye- and hitting 'off' on the phone.  I also gave him an ultimatum - get on medication* (because this wasn't normal) or me and the kids would not be joining him in (state). His relatives are in the natural health field and found really good nutritional supplement-type things for him to take as well as really hitting the exercise hard.

It worked really well. He really started cutting back on the all-night (and sometimes all-day) venting. When he would slip back, I would quietly take my pillow and go to sleep in another room. I would say 'bye, honey' and hang up the phone. Even now, I start getting twitchy when I see his number on my caller ID and think 'what now?' even though he rarely vents to me now.

I never was the venting type because I'm not as verbal and on the rare occasions I vent, I never felt better. My DH honestly likes to 'think out loud' so he's just more verbal. So it's a fine line for me now to try to give DH a reasonable amount of time each day to listen to him but also kindly let him know 'enough'.

*I know that sounds horrible to make an ultimatum like that but my nerves were shot by then and I honestly felt I had no other alternatives. DH, myself and my kids do not take any kind of prescription medications and the decision to do so for any of us would not be taken lightly.

Peregrine

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Re: How much do you and/or your partner vent about work?
« Reply #26 on: July 18, 2013, 12:18:05 PM »
My hubby works in an extremely high stress position for the Federal Government.  While he is a civilian his work hours and responsibilities very closely mirror the military.  So there is lots of gnashing of teeth and irritation.  His coworkers spend so much time together, and are very often TDY'd together for many months at a time, so we are all close and socialize together.....leading to lots of shop talk, both on and off the clock.  It helps that they can vent to each other a lot.

Most of the wives are stay at home moms and wives due to the above mentioned month's long TDY's, so we are pretty well versed on the in's and out's of the job and resort to our own version's of shop talk.  It is really a unique job position, there are probably less than 400 people in the US that are qualified to do this job. 


So I probably hear a lot more venting than a lot of people, but then again my hubby listens to me vent about the frustrations of the terrible two's and potty training...so I figure we are about even.  As far as getting a new job, my hubby really likes his job, and is incredibly good at it.  The frustrations don't outweigh the good parts of it, and it tends to be irritation with bureaucracy, not with coworkers.

cass2591

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Re: How much do you and/or your partner vent about work?
« Reply #27 on: July 18, 2013, 01:20:47 PM »
Cabbageweevil, any time someone brings up anything Nazi/Hitler related, the argument is lost. It's called Godwin's law and I'm surprised you haven't heard of it.

Comparing an SO's venting to Auschwitz vs serving in non combat military is beyond the pale in its hyperbole and offense.
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workerbee

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Re: How much do you and/or your partner vent about work?
« Reply #28 on: July 18, 2013, 02:27:15 PM »
OP I sympathize with you, but also with your husband. His work situation sounds very similar to my current situation -- down to the small irritating personal habits of the other person that drive you absolutely INSANE. It's funny how those little things that seem like nothing to everyone else become so magnified in an otherwise stressful situation.

I was like your DH for a while, coming home and unloading on my husband, until I finally realized it was the only thing we were ever talking about. And (like you have noticed) talking about it did nothing to resolve the situation, but rather just made me more and more upset about it.

I firmly believe in the value of a good rant, but if his situation is similar to mine, I finally came to the conclusion that venting was not helping, and I needed to try a new tactic. The reality is, he (and I) cannot control the situation, but we can control our response to it. For me, I have found it helpful to:

(1) Acknowledge and accept that work is a source of stress (mine is also a stressful field generally, and this situation just adds to that), so I have to take steps outside of work to alleviate that stress. For me, that took the form of ensuring I maintain a regular exercise routine, doing yoga/meditation, and carving out time durin the week to read and/or watch a mindless TV show. The key is just being able to turn my mind off (or focus on something else), so that I don't dwell on the stressful work situation.

(2) Forgive. I'm still working on this one. I have to accept that this person is never going to live up to my expectations, that the company is never going to do what I want them to do (i.e. fire him), and I have to live with it.

Anyway, that's my experience FWIW. Maybe the new job will work out for him and things will get a lot better!

audrey1962

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Re: How much do you and/or your partner vent about work?
« Reply #29 on: July 18, 2013, 02:40:20 PM »
LadyL - have you discussed this with LordL? What has his response been? For me, this would be the first step. Some people are just find with venting, some aren't. It doesn't matter so much how other people handle the situation within their relationship, but how the two of you handle it in your relationship. Good luck to you!  :)