I have an unpleasant situation at my workplace and I am seeking advice because it’s my first salaried position and I am young, so I have little perspective.
I graduated last fall with a bachelor’s in Computer Science from a highly-respected university in the field, a 3.3 GPA, and two internships—one with a tiny company in the private sector, and another in the public sector. I also helped TA one of the most challenging upper-level CS courses for undergraduates. Not terrible.
I took a job with a very small software consulting company that works in the legal sector. I really enjoy learning more about the law and being involved in court cases, so I thought it would be a perfect fit. And in many ways, it has been. I genuinely enjoy the work and get a chance to improve not only my programming skills, but also my written and verbal communication skills.
However, the first project I was put on has been really trying. It started with two 48-hour weeks in a city on the opposite end of the country. It was supposed to be one week, but got extended. Even though this was super isolating and frankly hard on me mentally, I was happy to stick it out because I want to be an excellent employee and we were bringing in a bunch of money for the company, which has been having a dry spell.
After that, the project got extended some more. It was me, a supervisor, and another coworker at close to my level working on it at the time. The other coworker, A, put her foot down and said she would not be continuing with the project in any capacity.
Fortunately for my supervisor T and I, the project got moved to a city near where we actually live. We started working on it there. For me that is a 1.5 hour commute each way—much longer than the 0.5 hour commute I signed up for when I took the job in the first place.
A big part of the reason I was excited about this job was that it offers flex-time hours. I prioritize my health and family in my life, and this job seemed supportive of that. Now, however, it’s been 3 additional weeks of 9+ hour days PLUS commute time (3 hours total) to this city. My productivity is tanking and my life is in chaos outside of work.
The team had replaced A (after really pressuring her to stay and putting her through the ringer) with L for this project. L has had enough after just 3 weeks and is telling the company he will not be willing to take on additional work that this client is preparing for us.
I have been facing a LOT of consequences and stress because of the demands of this project and I am also planning to send an email saying the exact same thing. A has been working at the company for about two years. L has been here since last summer. I’ve only been here since January. I’m worried that since I’m so new, they may not treat me as kindly as A and L and straight-up fire me or financially punish me for rocking the boat.
The issue is that I have already sacrificed so much and gone what I believe is way above the call of duty, since the job advertised itself as flexible and accommodating and apparently projects like this are unheard of at this company. I’m also moving house this year from living with my parents to an apartment. Cost of living here is ABSURDLY high and I can barely afford it with my current salary (and probably I’m not being too financially savvy). If they cut my pay or don’t give me the baseline raise that they give everyone each year because I’m dropping off the project, I will be SCREWED. However, my family is moving far away and I am missing a LOT of time with them, as well as neglecting my health in a serious manner.
What should I do?
Edit: I suppose I might have been a bit hyperbolic about "neglecting my health". I am no longer taking the time to meal prep or exercise because I now have to choose between doing that and getting enough sleep and spending time with loved ones, and those two things will always win. I have also missed, postponed, or put off 5+ doctor's appointments...some of these I should have been on top of much longer ago, but my circumstances did not allow it then, either. I had just reached a place where I was going to be able to start scheduling and attending these appointments, and now this project has removed my ability to do so.