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How do you help family in tough situations?
Old 12-05-2011, 08:48 AM   #1
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How do you help family in tough situations?

My brother is 32years old, and is extremely unhappy in his middle management job. From what I can tell his is the guy who prepares the cash registers for a large grocery store chain. Apparently he handles the money. He is also one of 2 people who know what they are doing in that department.

I noticed recently that he has been stressed/depressed about something. Apparently he wanted to cut back on to part-time and attempt to finish his bachelor's degree (just started it). The only option he was given by his management was either full-time or quit. He feels trapped.

One option he thought about was joining the Navy. I looked up the nuclear rates and assumed it would be a good fit. I think that will back-fire because the age limit is somewhere around 25 but can be waivered on a case-by-case basis. Hopefully Nords can help me out on this.

My real concern is that my brother is in some sort of mid-life funk. He has been at this grocery store chain since 1997, and has worked his way up the ladder. Every now and then he makes comments that his life sucks, and someday he will be trapped working there for 20-30 years picking up garbage and stocking boxes. I tell him I do that everyday at home and in the Air Force. I have also talked to him about volunteering time to things like Habitat for Humanity, running clubs, leisure learning classes, etc. to meet people. Those have always helped me get out of the house.

So have any of ya'll been in this situation? What did you do to help, or get out of this funk? Thanks.
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:01 AM   #2
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You're a good sibling.

Can he take night classes toward his bachelor's and keep working full time? Is his major one that would lend itself to co-op programs in school where one semester he takes classes, one semester he works (and he could quit his job)?
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Old 12-05-2011, 09:07 AM   #3
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Does he have a family and any savings? He is still young - he can take night classes, or if he has a bit of money, leave and go back to college. There is nothing more motivating than the burning desire to improve one's situation in life.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:40 AM   #4
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Can he take night classes toward his bachelor's and keep working full time?
That's the route I took.

With FT (and in my case, OT at the time), along with a family it was a "bitc*" to do.

I guess it all comes down to how much you really want it...

Just my simple POV.
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Old 12-05-2011, 10:44 AM   #5
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Whatever he decides to do, you can help him most by supporting him in his decision IMO. A supportive family can make all the difference in the world.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:20 PM   #6
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That's the route I took.

With FT (and in my case, OT at the time), along with a family it was a "bitc*" to do.

I guess it all comes down to how much you really want it...

Just my simple POV.
+1

I spent 18 months as both a full-time employee and a full-time student when I did my MBA at about his age (and my youngest was a toddler). It can be done but it is a lot of work and it is important to have a supportive spouse. Night/online or weekend classes might work towards completing his degree. He just needs to adopt a mindset that it will be x months of hell but that it will be worth it in the long run.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:27 PM   #7
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Do you know if he gets regular physicals at his docs? You could suggest he be screened for depression if you notice the signs.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:42 PM   #8
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You're a good sibling.

Can he take night classes toward his bachelor's and keep working full time? Is his major one that would lend itself to co-op programs in school where one semester he takes classes, one semester he works (and he could quit his job)?

His current load is FT work and 6 hours of college per semester. I think he is burning himself out.

What I don't understand is that he wants to look into engineering or some other type of employment. His current employer (H-E-B groceries) will apparently pay for the education if it is business related, but he doesn't want to do that. It is hard for me to understand why he doesn't just do that.

He tells me that the job isn't very hard, but the long hours is what drains him. That makes me think that the Navy wouldn't be a good fit either. I sometimes think he just needs to get out and volunteer for stuff he likes to do. Maybe that would help him with meeting people. A cousin of mine suggested e-harmony but she is a bit on the weird side.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:44 PM   #9
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Do you know if he gets regular physicals at his docs? You could suggest he be screened for depression if you notice the signs.

I don't think he gets regular physicals. Is depression even real? Serious question since I don't understand it either.
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Old 12-05-2011, 01:47 PM   #10
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Does he have a family and any savings? He is still young - he can take night classes, or if he has a bit of money, leave and go back to college. There is nothing more motivating than the burning desire to improve one's situation in life.

He doesn't have his own family, nor does he have many friends. He considers himself anti-social/ socially awkward. I honestly think he is shy.

Savings I don't know. I always try to talk to him about money stuff, but he ignores the question most of the time. He does like to collect DVDs and just bought himself a new 2011 Camaro. He doesn't drive it much so it makes me think he bought it in hopes of attracting new friends of some sort.
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:05 PM   #11
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He doesn't have his own family, nor does he have many friends. He considers himself anti-social/ socially awkward. I honestly think he is shy.
He sure does have family, and it's you. I know what you meant, but the fact that he's not married may mean you are more important to him than you realize.
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His current load is FT work and 6 hours of college per semester. I think he is burning himself out.

What I don't understand is that he wants to look into engineering or some other type of employment. His current employer (H-E-B groceries) will apparently pay for the education if it is business related, but he doesn't want to do that. It is hard for me to understand why he doesn't just do that.

He tells me that the job isn't very hard, but the long hours is what drains him. That makes me think that the Navy wouldn't be a good fit either. I sometimes think he just needs to get out and volunteer for stuff he likes to do. Maybe that would help him with meeting people. A cousin of mine suggested e-harmony but she is a bit on the weird side.
Nothing wrong with engineering - it's a field with lots of employment opportunity. That would be a difficult field to study at night - it might explain why he is drained.

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Whatever he decides to do, you can help him most by supporting him in his decision IMO. A supportive family can make all the difference in the world.
He's lucky to have a brother that wants the best for him. It sounds like he is trying to change his situation and you aren't sure he is doing the right thing. Maybe if you try to see it his way and give a little more support to his choice it might work better for both.
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:15 PM   #12
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I don't think he gets regular physicals. Is depression even real? Serious question since I don't understand it either.
Depression is as real as cancer and can kill you just as dead.
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:39 PM   #13
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My brother is 32years old, and is extremely unhappy in his middle management job. From what I can tell his is the guy who prepares the cash registers for a large grocery store chain. Apparently he handles the money. He is also one of 2 people who know what they are doing in that department.

I noticed recently that he has been stressed/depressed about something. Apparently he wanted to cut back on to part-time and attempt to finish his bachelor's degree (just started it). The only option he was given by his management was either full-time or quit. He feels trapped.

One option he thought about was joining the Navy. I looked up the nuclear rates and assumed it would be a good fit. I think that will back-fire because the age limit is somewhere around 25 but can be waivered on a case-by-case basis. Hopefully Nords can help me out on this.

My real concern is that my brother is in some sort of mid-life funk. He has been at this grocery store chain since 1997, and has worked his way up the ladder. Every now and then he makes comments that his life sucks, and someday he will be trapped working there for 20-30 years picking up garbage and stocking boxes. I tell him I do that everyday at home and in the Air Force. I have also talked to him about volunteering time to things like Habitat for Humanity, running clubs, leisure learning classes, etc. to meet people. Those have always helped me get out of the house.

So have any of ya'll been in this situation? What did you do to help, or get out of this funk? Thanks.
Hey, KN, longtime no hear! Welcome back.

The Navy recruiting process is probably about the same as the one you went through, only with the additional crowds from a recession and the reduction in billets from an impending drawdown. Get an ASVAB study guide, practice up, talk to the recruiter, take the tests, see what they offer. If it's not exactly what he wants then I wouldn't "settle" but instead would think about joining the Reserves or the National Guard. I agree that age waivers are a problem but a 40-year-old friend joined the Guard last year.

If he's going to join the military then now is the time, before high schools start graduating their students. This is a relatively slow time of year but after February the rush starts picking up.

If he feels trapped, he's holding the key to his own prison cell. People are getting college degrees nights, weekends, and online. He should be able to work around his employer's schedule, as thousands of military servicemembers do every day.

He might also be getting signals from his employer that it's time to search for a better job. If they're not preparing him to move up then he's going to have to take charge of his own career. It's certainly not easy, but he appears to be heading into a dead end.
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Old 12-05-2011, 03:46 PM   #14
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Sounds like his work is his life. Fine if you love what you do but he obviously doesn't and it seems to be wearing him out.

Sounds like he needs to do something fun occasionally (perhaps with his brother?) Are there hobbies or sports that he has enjoyed in the past that perhaps he should think about revisiting? What does he do for vacations?

Is there anything that you both enjoy doing that you might do together occasionally? (Not sure if you live near each other or not). Like going bowling or attending a college or professional sporting event or volunteering at a local soup kitchen for a few hours?
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:42 PM   #15
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Yes, I went through that myself two years ago...had a nervous breakdown of sorts! I went to my PCP, therapy, and hired a life coach....best money I have ever spent
My story is a bit extreme, but I do what I love and am semi retired
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:46 PM   #16
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Yes, I went through that myself two years ago...had a nervous breakdown of sorts! I went to my PCP, therapy, and hired a life coach....best money I have ever spent
My story is a bit extreme, but I do what I love and am semi retired
You know, citrine, every time I read one of your posts like this it makes me smile! We all remember the tough times you went through two years ago, and it is wonderful to hear how things finally worked out so well for you.
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:15 PM   #17
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Nords: That is fantastic information on WHEN to apply for military service. Most people (including myself) would have never thought about that.


pb4uski: I am not much help since he lives in Houston, and I'm all over the place (currently in Florida). When I do visit (2-3 times a year) I ask him to volunteer with me, and I get the "I have to work" reply.


citrine: I will have to do a search for your story. I hope it'll help me come up with some sort of plan.
Recently I did ask him to help my parents with several things and he seemed to enjoy it. At times I think my parents don't ask enough of him and he feels left out for some reason. That seems silly though...
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Old 12-07-2011, 12:51 PM   #18
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Sounds like someone who he could go to for counseling (life coaching?) is a good idea. May be money well spent.

He may need someone unrelated to talk about matters that are too personal to discuss with siblings. Just guessing. The problem is finding someone who connects and is really qualified to help. Can't just do this through the Yellow Pages.
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:03 PM   #19
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Depression could be an issue, and it is very real. It can vary in severity, sometimes it will be bad enough that people stop going to work, but in his case, it might be mild enough that he just doesn't feel up to doing anything outside of his normal work routine. If he's shy, that can make it even worse, because it starts to become really difficult to get out and volunteer, or to look for a new job.
It can be really hard to get out of a funk like that. I can see why he feels like he might still be stuck at the same job in 20 years. It's hard enough to make change in your life, but to do it when you're depressed and just have no energy to get stuff done, it can be impossible.
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Old 12-07-2011, 01:46 PM   #20
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You know, citrine, every time I read one of your posts like this it makes me smile! We all remember the tough times you went through two years ago, and it is wonderful to hear how things finally worked out so well for you.
Thanks W@R This forum helped me quite a bit during that time...I love you guys
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