Workload and expectations don’t align with paycheck

Published 8:46 am Monday, June 24, 2024

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DEAR ABBY: I am experiencing significant anxiety over losing another co-worker. I am happy for her, but I’m also sad because all her responsibilities will again be dumped on me. 

Our department consists of three employees. I’m the lowest-paid administrative assistant in the office and division. Our department is required by federal law to be trained on several software applications to support our students. However, our director refuses to complete her training, which means she has lost all access to the applications. 

Her main concern is doing things she was not hired to do, such as homecoming, promoting Greek life to get students to pledge, etc. I am tempted to quit because I can’t handle doing my job as well as someone else’s. Unfortunately, I can’t do that because of bills and student loan debt. On top of this, I am trying to deal with the death of my favorite uncle.

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I am not myself right now, nor am I in the mood to train someone new who will be earning more than me again. What advice can you give? – ANXIOUS IN THE EAST


DEAR ANXIOUS: The time to talk to your employer about a raise is NOW. That you have been forced to assume the workload of two employees and be paid less than the one who has left is unfair. It shouldn’t happen again. Your employer needs you and likely can’t afford to lose you. However, if your request is refused, be smart. Start searching out other job opportunities that may pay better. (This may have been what led to your former co-worker leaving.)


DEAR ABBY: I am a mom of a 2-year-old and a 3-month-old, and I’m struggling. No one can prepare you for how hard it is to raise a child, let alone TWO. More than two children is beyond the boundary of my mental capacity. 

I reached out to a friend who is a recent first-time mom and to a mom who has children of ages similar to my own to ask for general advice and to check in. Both of their responses were, shockingly, “Oh, things are fine here! Hope you’re doing well.” 

Abby, I can’t be the only individual at my wits’ end. How do I elicit a more honest update from them? I’d love to have a more candid conversation beyond, “Oh, she screams, so I have her in a sling most of the time.” How do I probe their true feelings without overstepping? – MISERY LOVES COMPANY 


DEAR MISERY: It is entirely possible that the women you contacted WERE giving you an honest update. Have you always felt this way about motherhood? It may be time to talk to your OB/GYN about the extent to which you are feeling overwhelmed, because some of it may be hormonal. 

I do NOT recommend further “probing” the feelings of the women you contacted. You might have better luck if you talk with experienced female relatives who may be able to provide you the answers you are seeking. 


Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.


What teens need to know about sex, drugs, AIDS and getting along with peers and parents is in “What Every Teen Should Know.” Send your name and mailing address, plus check or money order for $8 (U.S. funds) to: Dear Abby, Teen Booklet, P.O. Box 447, Mount Morris, IL 61054-0447. (Shipping and handling are included in the price.)