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I don't know if I should quit my job

Community Member

Work place gossip is getting on top of me right now. I'm currently struggling with a lot of things in my personal life and I've still been doing my job but I haven't been as motivated and I have had to take days off. I know taking time off can cause coworkers to respect me less but i can't handle work when I'm having panic attacks or need to sort out appointments and my living situation. There are lots of office politics and I'm a supervisor at work and I've had another co-worker tell me things bosses have said about me that they're trying to "catch me out" and they dont want to critise me incase it effects my mental health. I also worry this co-worker is repeating things I say to the boss as well and she has bragged about being the bosses "spy" and I thought I was friends with this person. The bosses talking about me like that has lead to other issues with undermining and talking about other staff members and calling them useless. I tried to talk to my boss about it but I don't think they handled it very well and said my coworker is "getting too big for their boots" and immediately brought them into the office after, i wasnt trying to start drama i wanted to know how to handle the situation and stop any bullying of other team members. She tried to blame shift onto another manager though and she either is in the dark or pretends to be. Every aspect of my life is crumbling right now and my mental health is suffering. I don't want to quit my job if it's just paranoia. I try my best to focus on my work and avoid drama but it got the best of me and my confidence is gone. I want to talk to the boss about taking time off but I know that's going to cause more gossip. I have wanted a new job for a long time but if I leave I know they will be short staffed and pissed off. I know I'm not the type of co-worker people might want to be around because of my anxiety. They have done a lot for me but I don't feel like I can keep working like this and I don't want to be that person that is just complaining and worrying all the time. This is my first good job and I've been there 3 years with no issues like this until recently. I really struggle with social interactions and the boss said they trust me and I'm important to them but then they're possibly talking about me behind my back. Rather than talking to me they'll probably cut my shifts for a while. Has anyone else's stress and anxiety caused them to quit a job? Is this normal workplace gossip or potentionally toxic?

5 Replies 5

Community Champion
Community Champion



Thank you so much for sharing your experience, and welcome to the forums. I'm sorry to hear that you've been going through this toxic situation at your work. I can understand why you're feeling distressed about it all.


I've dealt with multiple toxic workplaces. I am also currently going through something with my own workplace that also has to do with staff culture and mismanagement. I'd also just like to mention that having your hours cut in retaliation to something like the reasons that you have mentioned is not okay for a workplace to enforce. 


Sometimes, a job environment will start out really well and simply become more toxic over time, or sometimes you will miss red flags at the beginning but begin to see the cracks once you've settled in. Either way, disrespect is disrespect, and regardless of how good they've been to you in the past or how much you enjoyed it when you first began, I'd encourage you to view the situation as it is happening currently and ask yourself several important questions, such as:


  • What morals do you value and expect in a workplace?
  • Is this affecting your ability to do your work and do it well?
  • Can you see yourself staying/thriving in this environment for years to come?
  • What advice would you give to a friend if they were in the same position at their workplace?


If you can answer those, then you may be able to work out whether it's worth staying at your workplace. If you do decide that leaving is the best option for you given the circumstances, there are several things I would also recommend doing first.


Firstly, have a look into Fair Work Australia and read through their policies on bullying and harassment, which you can click on the underlined words to access. A lot of the behaviours that you've described aren't normal for staff regardless of their level of authority, and there may be measures that you can take through Fair Work to have this behaviour looked into in a discreet and professional manner, if you feel that this is necessary. 


Secondly, have another job lined up. Head onto Linkedin, Seek, and any other job-seeking applications that you like, and see what's out there that suits your experience, availability, and preferences. You don't have to let anyone from your current work know about this either.


Thirdly, have a chat to your loved ones and people you trust outside of work, as they may also have greater insight into you and your work history. Talk through your decision thoroughly, consider the pros and cons, and accept their support where applicable for whatever your decision may be. 


I hope this is helpful advice for you, let us know if you want to chat some more about it. This certainly isn't the be-all-end-all of solutions, but this comes from my own experiences of toxic workplaces, and learning to distinguish between what behaviour is and isn't normal.


Take care, SB

Community Member

Hi Lilacbeetle,


Sorry to hear you are going though a difficult time at work and thanks for sharing.


If people are complaining about each other behind their back rather that discussing directly or through the manager in an appropriate manner, it does sound toxic. In my personal opinion if the work place is toxic no matter how hard you work it's hard to be happy at the end of the day. 


While you are going though mental treatments and taking leave off because of that, it's not right to discriminate because of that. As long as you make the manager or HR aware your circumstances, in a positive work environment they usually guide you or provide you space. 


One time in one of my previous work places, I wanted to quit the company and find another job because I wasn't enjoying the work. But the project we were doing was critically behind, hence my leaving could have been a risk to the company. Therefore I decided to stay longer. Few days later my manager quit which put the whole project in a much higher risk. Since then I realised that even though we dedicate so much and care about the company and the team, there's so many other factors that impact regardless so it's just better to think about ourselves and our own sanity. Immediately I quit the company and it had been the best decision ever. 


I hope this gives you some insight...

Thank you so much for taking the time to read my post and for replying. Thank you for giving me advice based off your experiences and I'll start writing down pros and cons and try and get through until I can find something new. I'm really nervous about the change but I might find somewhere I fit in a bit more. I'm going to hop onto fair trade now and do some reading. Thank you 

Thank you that definitely gives me some more insight. I do forget sometimes if I leave the whole company isn't going to fail they'll be fine and can get a transfer until they find a replacement. It's good to have some validation that what's going on isn't normal. Thank you for taking the time to reply 

Hi Lilacbeetle,


Changing jobs can indeed be very nervous and challenging at first. Just apply for multiple jobs without putting too much pressure on yourself or too much hope. With each job interview you can try to note down things went well and didn't go well. Then you can try to improve that in the next interview. Then naturally you'll improve and be able to get a job.