I know M is burned out about work. These past few months have been terrible, I know. But when we talk on breaks, it always comes down to being shut down. Background: M works in what I call a Vital Industry... the work has to get done, no matter what, because some things *can't* be brushed aside if they don't get done. For months, 12 hour days were not at all uncommon... some days were 15 hours. That would burn anybody out. However, after the holidays things calmed down (as I actually predicted they would), and days have gotten better. Then came the snowstorm in the northeast, and they sent people home early the day it hit. Because of that, there's a backlog, and people have to work this weekend, mandatory. End background.
I get that M is frustrated with this, who wouldn't be? But whenever I try to ask M how things are going (just so I can have any information at all), I get "well, they're trying to work us to death, so..." or "well, we have to come in at (start time -2 hours) on Saturday because they're doing their best to make us miserable..." ARGH. I am *beyond* frustrated with this. I feel like there's absolutely nothing I can say, so generally our talks consist of me asking M a few questions, getting these completely hyperbolic answers, and me sitting in silence for the rest of the call because I *literally* don't know what to say. I tried explaining the situation ("Because of the nature of the industry, the work *has* to get done. The storm is to blame, not the company, unless they have a Weather Dominator and are using it to deliberately screw up their distribution!"), but still it persists.
Now M is acting like the work is going to be like this for the next few months, despite (as I said) it having been easier recently. Well, yes, it will be like this.... if the worst storm of the year hits each and every week!