Fired 3+ Times, Not Sure How To Change

Hi, I am a mechanical engineer and have been fired repeatedly or left jobs over the last 9 years. I know some of it is the hardship of living with no family close in a big city and not being able to make friends easily as well as no girlfriends. Usually I get a job with my personality and degree but then I get either nervous and insecure and that leads to problems with other employees and/or supervisors. One place was just having to deal with an abusive negative co-worker day in and day out for months and finally I just snapped when he criticized my work again. I swore at him and he lunged at me trying to fight. Thankfully I got away and other employees stepped in but I was a basket case after that. I got angry at the employer for not getting rid of him and ended up having anxiety attacks at work and finally quitting, although technically they fired me since they did it before my stated two weeks was given. I was still not over this when I started my next job and that one I got angry at the off-site supervisor, strike one, then they said I was not performing my job well so strike 2-3, fired. About 6 months later I got a really good contract to perm job with a major aerospace company and it went well for 3 months until I was physically moved to another desk and for some reason I became very angry when someone pointed out errors on my drawings and I told my supervisor that my job should just end. Next day I was fired, official reason was tardiness.
After that I was unemployed for almost 2 years and got unemployment and moved into a single room so bills were not an issue. I tried to be a fine artist, printing pamphlets and mailing them out with no replies. Finally I did go back to engineering and it was another good job but the supervisor would force us into a 2 hour daily meeting which he verbally assaulted a few "favorites" and left the rest of us to just watch. It was horribly wearing to go through daily. This boss was very insecure and was very double dealing trying to play employees off each other. I just got fed up 6 months into it and emailed him a long angry list of complaints. After about a week he had this terrible meeting where 3 other employees proceeded to point out my perceived deficiencies. At least one completely lied to keep his job, he was a toady. We sort of started over after that but I seemed to get worse and become more and more sensitive and angry. I finally told my supervisor that I would leave in a month out of paranoia problems. I was fired the next week. I took some college classes and went to bartending school after that and briefly worked as a bartender. After about 7 months from my last engineering job I got another one that was really great but I had the same initial nervousness and insecurity during the first few weeks there. I got over that and did well in my estimate until a woman that worked there and myself were moved into a room essentially by ourselves. Well we became attracted to each other but I was hesitant about it and she didn't like it. I sort of knew this woman just wanted an affair but I've never been that type of man, took much overhead there. So I wasn't interested at first then a while later I became interested but she was no longer interested and I wrote her a note and left it on her desk which she then gave to HR. I got very angry about that, this was not meant for anyone else and felt betrayed. Anyways after it was understood I was not to talk to her again she still approached me at work and was standing near my car outside work for a wierd scene with one of her other male friends driving his car directly at me and picking her up. All I was doing was going home for lunch. I was confused by this behavior and thought it meant she was still interested so I made the mistake of getting drunk one night and accessing the company email and emailing her to ask if she could let me know if she was interested once and for all. Well next day she was not there and I was fired for contacting her again. I'm not sure why I always seem to have some problem at work. I started counseling a couple years ago and it has helped me but I don't know if I should change careers or if I have a choice anyways. I've been looking for 8 months now, no luck.
gumby123 gumby123
4 Responses Dec 12, 2012

I am not sure if past experiences make you more easily anxious, or if the problems starts else where. Either way I think you can go a long way if you clear up in that and try to keep a positive mental attitude as much as possible. It won't make people a better type to be around, but it will make you more able to cope with challenges you meet in the best possible way. Also, any dislikeable person you might meet will find it harder to mistreat you if you yourself display a positive, warm and welcoming personality. I am not saying you don't have that, I am just saying it is the best tool against people who start conflicts. I myself have also had similar experiences, and I must say that it is demanding to always be in the right positive mental state. It is when I loose that state, and start acting on negative emotions and relations that problems arise. I am not saying it is fair, because it isn't - we are not always the source and not always to blame, but the only aspect one has 100% control over is one self. So naturally controlling that aspect gives the most reward. Other then that, who you meet in the workplace and who you work with is just as important. Sometimes things just don't work out.

Also, one advice about women from my experience; either it works out naturally without too much back and forth, or the whole thing is a waste you shouldn't spend more time and energy on. The best thing is to socialize with many people, and more then one women. Not saying you should become a player, just don't need people. If for some reason she starts seeming uninterested or ambiguous, just look elsewhere and forget her. The minute you show that you have no other options then her, she will back away from you most likely for good.

I feel for you. I am in a pretty similar situation. I have worked in radiology for about 12 years now. I keep leaving jobs in hopes the next will be better (and they never are), then when I landed a job in Norfolk VA at a large trauma one hospital I was not very excited about it but the only reason I took the job was because my last job was third shift and I wanted to get off the graveyard shift and I completed my masters in Human Resources so I thought if I took that job (that had been posted forever so that should have given me a big red flag) that I could work while looking for a HR job. What ended up happening was I could not find a HR job and I was stuck at a job that I HATED. I dreaded going to work every night as it was the same sh*t over and over, scanners running 1 hour behind, patients were real a** holes, no lunch, no breaks, got out late every single night., took pager call and got called in for the most stupid sh*t such as diabetic toes and back pain, basically I was being woken up at 2 am ALL of the time for non stat exams, I worked weekends for 17 hours straight pushing and pulling 400 pound patients on vents and drips all of the time, having doctors scream at me all of the time. Talk about having a mental break down. I was seeing a counselor for work related stress, and cry after work in my car because I hated it. Well, I got fired because I made a mistake due to being exhausted and stressed out. I was fired 2 weeks ago and Im a little worried about what my next move will be . I really HATE working in radiology and wish every day I would have picked a different career. A career that I could have a lunch and go home on time and not worry about working 17 hour days then getting called back in 2 hours later. I want a life. Im in my mid 30s and know I am in the wrong career. Who wants to be in their 50 and 60's pushing and pulling 400 pound patients all day, not having a lunch or time to go to the bathroom during their 17 hour shift and then after falling a sleep, getting woke back up by the annoying pager to scan a patient that should and could have waited 3 hours later to be scanned when the day tech gets there. Im not sure what I am going to do. I think I probably will go back to school for a second bachelors degree in computers. Everyone I know who is a computer software engineer or IT tech etc LOVES their job. They get a lot more time off then working patients care, they get a lunch and can go to the bathroom when they need, to, have weekends off and holidays off and holiday parties etc...Oh yeah, every hospital I have worked for never had holiday party. Instead, they cook a holiday meal for all of the employees and then you have 5 min to make a mad dash down there to get it and eat while you scan or tend to patients and your food gets cold so you throw it out.....
can you tell IM still bitter? I think maybe you are in the wrong career. You should probably make a list of what you like about the job and what you don't like. If its your co workers who get on your nerve, Im sorry to say but every job there is always at least one person who you would like to shove your boot up their a**. I have never worked a job with all pleasant people. Im not a people person and believe me, working in patient care, its all about kissing a** and just taking it and taking it. I need to work at a ship yard where I can curse and not worry about some stupid whiny patient who gets mad because they were seen 30 min late past their scheduled appointment...oh booo hooo hoo..poor baby, was seen late.....yup, Im in the wrong profession

Just cool your head a day or two before you decide something. Look over your decision after two days to see if it is the best/reasonable way. Hope it helps.

I think there must be a problem with how you handle things. You have a temper problem and it doesn't help that the people around you are not easy to be with. I sense you might also be a bit paranoid about things. It helps to talk with people you are close to. You might see things in a different perspective. Try to think about how things might have resulted to if you acted differently. Don't rely too quickly on impulse. Clear your head before you speak. Above all, be patient.