Are you slowly killing yourself or your joy through over-working? Toxic productivity may be a buzz phrase currently, but it’s also becoming the norm — and it can ruin your life! In this episode, Marina Martinez-Bateman and I talk about Work with a capital W — whether it’s laboring for labor unions, the carrots of accolades, work culture, and the bedtime story moment that changed everything for Marina.
Follow the Ethical Rainmaker on Instagram, Twitter, listen wherever podcasts are found, and consider supporting the Ethical Rainmaker through Patreon!
Marina Martinez-Batemanis a communications strategy consultant with over 20 years motivating people to take action. They are a serial entrepreneur, having started their work life and first business at the age of 13, and having created, consulted on, planned, and launched multiple business and projects
Marina’s businesses and hustle is about making money — without sacrificing their principles or values — which is really hard to do! They are a popular speaker, trainer, and peer mentor in the industry around topics like #abundance, #mentalhealth, #latinxleaders, #accountability, and #valuesbasedleadership.
Connect with Marina:
A lot of our content in this episode was story form — thank you so much to Marina for sharing their deeply personal stories!
The Ethical Rainmaker is a podcast, hosted by Michelle Shireen Muri, that explores the world of inequity in nonprofits and philanthropy, including where we should step into our power or step out of the way! It is my desire and effort to bring zero-cost information, case studies, and inspiration to everyone in the third sector — especially those who want to do better on this journey.
**Please forgive me. Editing a transcript from auto-transcription can take hours and I just don't have capacity right now. Instead, here is the way the transcript went down in Descript - the program we've most recently begun using for first round edits. Cheers.
[00:00:00] " I have been working so hard for this validation, this stamp of approval of me being good. And here I am just losing my life to something that doesn't actually give me what I want.
[00:00:18] Welcome to The Ethical Rainmaker. A podcast explores the world of inequity and nonprofits and philanthropy, including where we should step into our power or step out of the way. Many years ago, I fell in love with the nonprofit sector. I had a job that I absolutely fell in love with, with colleagues who I admired them deeply.
[00:00:38] Back to them. They were so inspiring and all of it really felt like family. The work was good. My growth was wild. It was so incredible. I had great success in fundraising and I loved what I was doing. I was on fire and excited. And for years in a row, I was able to grow and lead an awesome team of people.
[00:00:59] I so respected and everything was going really well until one day I realized that I still loved it, but I couldn't do it anymore. It felt terrible. It felt so bad. I was so sad before that moment. I thought that burnout was bullshit. I thought burnout was something we go through when maybe we've lost our actual passion or maybe we're tired of working or maybe life just has us down.
[00:01:26] Maybe we want an easier job, less effort. And I was never going to be that person. But instead I learned that. Burnouts real, even for those of us who hold extreme passion and dedication and commitment to whatever work we're doing. I felt such grief when I realized that I would ultimately have to leave the rest of my story is deep and it's long and it's beautiful, but today's guest marina Martinez, Bateman is going to get right into that toxic productivity that causes burnout ways to identify it, how it shows up in workspaces and what to do through the sharing of their personal.
[00:02:03] Marina is a communication strategy consultant. With over 20 years, motivating people to take action. They're a serial entrepreneur having started their work-life and first business at the age of 13 and having created consulted on and planned and launched multiple businesses. And. Marina's business successes and hustle make money without sacrificing their principles or values, which honestly, in a capitalistic society is really hard to do.
[00:02:29] They're a popular speaker, they're a trainer and a peer mentor. They talk about topics, usually like abundance, mental health, Latin X leadership, accountability, values based leadership. And today, while being deeply engaged in business work culture and hustling marina is going to talk to us about toxic product.
[00:02:49] Moreno welcome to The Ethical
[00:02:50] Rainmaker. Thanks, Michelle. And really, really happy to be here.
[00:03:03] I first learned about your work. When you posted in the community centric, fundraising, slack channel, and you were offering a workshop around toxic productivity. I took it. I became a huge fan of yours and I've listened to many podcasts that you've been on and I've been reviewing some of your bodies of work.
[00:03:20] And I am just so happy to be here today. Talking with you. Let's talk about work. I identify as a serial entrepreneur. And I'd love for you to talk to us a little bit about your work history or your history
[00:03:32] with work. Yeah, so I started working at an incredibly young age. I was 13 when I started my first company because I was too young to legally work in the state of California, but I just started knocking on doors and asking people what they needed done around their house.
[00:03:48] And I started a cleaning company from. It was a situation where my household growing up was like really insecure and unstable. And I was telling a friend, you know, there's no food in our house. I don't know what to do about it. And she was older than me. And she said, well, you need to get a job. And I was like, okay.
[00:04:11] So I went out and I tried to get a job and I learned I was too young. And so then I just started this service and then. That was my business throughout high school. I added gardening to it later on, and then sort of mostly changed over to gardening. Cause I enjoyed that much more. So like working outdoors and that paid for rent.
[00:04:27] Wow. It paid for my truck. It paid for, you know, books and stuff and, you know, college applications and all that. And then I got a really nice scholarship based on my academic performance to a university in orange, California called Chapman. And I went there and it was a very business proposal. Like they sent me a prospectus with like projected income estimations and stuff like that.
[00:04:52] And it just, um, I have been in this mindset of work, like work is where I learned how to show up work is where I learned, you know, how to do budgeting and how to manage money and how to do marketing and everything. People management the whole night. Like. Work is where I learned processes. You know, how you garden a house, how you clean a house.
[00:05:14] Like I had processes for those things and school really set me up for that really nicely too, because I was always a high performer in school. And it was just great, you know, growing up in an environment where I was extremely invalidated at home and you go to school and you get a big a, or you get a star sticker or the teacher's telling you that you're the best reader or whatever.
[00:05:37] And it's just, it feels so good. When you're sort of like coming from this like starvation place from no positive adult attention to this, like, all I have to do is, is perform these tricks. All I have to do is read this book I'll have to do is retain this information. All I have to do is regurgitate it back to you in a way that you want to hear it right.
[00:05:57] Yeah. And it's, you know, it's great on the one hand, because if I had just been stuck at home with my family the entire time, and I didn't have that outside framework for validation, I wouldn't have had very much validation at all. But the thing is that I ended up going through life with this idea that it was this external structure that gave me value.
[00:06:16] It was how well I cleaned a house. It was how, you know, reliable. I was as a worker. It was, you know, how good I was at budgeting. It was like what my test scores were and you know, how I showed up. Like, I was still this like already kid, like I was a theater kid, but it was like, how good of a theater kid am I like, it was all about performing.
[00:06:34] And I went to college and I did really, really well there because self-directed workers do great in that kind of environment. And that's what I was. And I really thought I had this vision when I was graduating from college because my parents hadn't even graduated from high school. So I thought when I walk across that stage and that Dean gives me that paper.
[00:06:56] That's like, that's going to be when the bell rings. That's when I'm going to be, when I've turned into a real person, a real human. Oh. And I didn't nothing happened. I shook the deans, like clammy hand and had been recently touching like 200 other students. And I walked off the stage and I was the same person and it was like, Now I'm going into a world where no one's going to give me an, a ever again.
[00:07:27] I had like a work study in college and when I graduated, I was actually making less money after I graduated than I was when I was in college, because I lost my work study job. Right. And then I had all this college debt and they were calling me and I was just like completely adrift. And then I'd done a bunch of activism work.
[00:07:49] I'd been a volunteer for community aid type of stuff. So I was very much into punk rock and social activism of that direction. So I was in like, um, mutual aid stuff and I was in anti-war stuff and anti-fascist kind of stuff. And I knew a guy involved in, you know, sort of one of those various things that I'd been involved with, who worked for the union.
[00:08:15] One of the unions in California. And I saw a job opening at a union and I called him and he knew the hiring director and he recommended me cause I would've never gotten this interview without that. And I showed up at the union and I was just at the right place or them telling me that I was going to work 12 hours a day, seven days a week for other people's right to work an eight hour day to not make it did not seem weird at all.
[00:08:43] It was like, I was like, yes, All of that moral, like righteousness that I got from being good at school just fell down upon me and I could be good at union organizing. I can be good at union communications, which is what we did. And we were really, really good. We won awards. We won campaigns. We won fights against employers.
[00:09:05] We support other unions. It was just like 12 hours a day, seven
[00:09:08] days a week. Basically for
[00:09:10] labor rights, we would text each other at like five o'clock in the morning. Like I'm away. And then we would text each other at like two o'clock in the morning. Like, I can't sleep, I can't be awake anymore. Like I'm falling asleep.
[00:09:22] Like that was the level of commitment that we had and it showed like we got all these really great results. And here I am also, you know, coming from youth activism and mutual aid, like I used to work like that for free. So it didn't feel weird that now I was getting, you know, it felt, in fact, like I had made it because I was getting paid for this work that I would've done anyway.
[00:09:43] And I was getting health benefits, you know, and accolades. I was in PR week, I was in variety. Like it was really like shiny. Right, right. And I remember when I sort of realized like, oh, this isn't actually what I want in life. I was at work. It was like eight 30, maybe. And there was this woman who I like idolized at that job.
[00:10:07] And she was like one of the younger directors of an entire department at a big national union. And she seemed like she had it all. She had this great husband, she had these two adorable kids and had this really nice house insulting. And I walked by her office and she was reading a bedtime story into the speakerphone, um, in her office.
[00:10:29] And then she finished and she said, okay, kiss your sister for me now. Kiss your brother. Yeah. All right. And you know, tell dad to talk you on and I love you when he's going to be home. We'll see Chelsea or in the morning. And I remember thinking like, oh no, I have done something very wrong. Right. Cause that was not what I wanted in my life.
[00:10:56] I was like, if I have to, like, there's maybe going to be times, but if I have to, as a practice, tell my children to kiss each other goodnight because I can't be there for them. Like we have failed. That's not, my parents were absent from my life because of drugs. You know, they were addicted to drugs, but that doesn't feel that much different.
[00:11:15] If your parents is absent from your life because of work like to a kid, you don't know the difference. And I just realized like, oh, I've done it. I've done it. I replicated the life that my parents had, where I'm constantly absent, where I'm not present. I'm not present for my friends. I'm not present for my family.
[00:11:33] I am constantly working. If they do get me alone, I'm on my phone. The only thing I have to talk about is work, right? What to fuck right here. I have been working so hard for this validation, this stamp of approval of me being good. And of course we have the whole, like abelist classist, capitalist, racist, problematic framework, right.
[00:12:01] That because my parents were addicted to drugs, they were bad. They also made several other horrible traces that added to their, their sort of like level of, of not greatness, but a lot of those choices were made because they lived in a society where they were not seen as productive individuals. And so they were put in jail and they were abused and they were, you know, taking advantage of, and that perpetuated this really toxic family environment.
[00:12:27] And here I am just another branch on that, like same tree. Of losing my life to something that feels good and looks good in the moment. And doesn't actually give me what I want. And so me and my now husband just pivoted. We did it as fast as we could. We figured out how to work remotely. We moved away from Los Angeles.
[00:12:51] We moved up to Portland where there was a lot more opportunity to have like, uh, a better, healthier work-life balance. And then the thing that I learned when I got to Portland was that I had taken the worst actor with me, which was me. I had taken the person who is making this toxic environment. With me, I was the one that woke up at five o'clock in the morning and decided to start working and didn't stop working until two o'clock in the morning.
[00:13:20] It wasn't my team and it wasn't my boss and it wasn't the culture I was in. Right. It was this compulsive behavior that I had found a perfect fit for in Los Angeles.
[00:13:35] You're listening to The Ethical Rainmaker. And I'm your host, Michelle Shereen. Mary it's. Part of my desire. To bring zero cost information like case studies and of course, inspiration to everybody in the third sector. And especially of course, those of us who realize that we've been complicit and problematic practices.
[00:13:53] If you like what you're listening to and you want to support this work, find us on Patriot today. We're speaking with marina Martinez, Bateman about the intersection of toxic productivity and their personal work
[00:14:09] We were talking about how you identify as a serial entrepreneur and what your work history has been like and kind of how you came to this moment of recognition around your childhood, the way that you grew up, what the carrots were for you to keep up that behavior of hard work and getting A's. And if I perform like this, like here, I'll become a total human being.
[00:14:30] Eventually you graduate and you're like, nothing changed. And you found work as a labor organizer, a
[00:14:37] labor communicator, oh,
[00:14:39] labor communicator, seven days a week, 12 hours a day, where you're texting with your colleagues when you're waking up and when you're going to sleep. And when you're not available for work anymore, as like the moment your head hits the pillow and you pass out and all of it's about fair labor, fair working hours,
[00:14:58] we're fighting for turnarounds.
[00:15:00] I was working for the American Federation of television or radio. So like our big turnarounds where like on the set, you cannot work a 10 hour day without an eight hour turnaround. That's like illegal. And we were like, they're fighting for that turnaround, literally 20 hours a day
[00:15:19] without the eight hour.
[00:15:22] Right. And then you have a moment where. You have the epiphany that the culture that you're creating in your family and friends, your personal community is actually very much replicating some of the behaviors of your parents who were absent for other reasons, but still were absent. And you were replicating that same thing.
[00:15:41] So you leave LA go to Portland, you leave your
[00:15:44] job. Yep. I started a company. I left my job. I moved in my husband and then I realized that I was the only person here and yet I was still working those ridiculous hours. It was still very difficult to turn myself away from work. I used to actually lock the door to my office and then I would kind of phase out and I would come to trying to unlock the door.
[00:16:09] I would be trying to eat lunch. And then I would be at the door of my office trying to unlock it, trying to open it. I don't even know how I got over here. It was automated, it was automated. I just went into my office. That was, that was my little nest. It was my safe space. And I could go out and get clients to say yes for me.
[00:16:28] And then I could run their campaigns and they would be good and the money would come in. And that was validation. And it was my entire identity. And when the, when the business went well, when I was making money and things were coming in, I was on top of the world. I was so happy. Everything was perfect. I felt whole and beautiful.
[00:16:47] And then if we lost a client or a job, didn't go the way it was supposed to go. It was the worst. It was in the toilet. Everything was the worst. Everything I touched, turned to garbage. I'm just a piece of shit. The whole night, because that internal thing didn't exist. I was still looking outside of myself except instead of to a boss and a team.
[00:17:08] It was to a client and the business ended up collapsing. When I did get jobs, I was so exhausted from working so hard to try and get jobs that it was hard to work them. I couldn't concentrate to get things done. Right. Like I literally thought that some people can hack it and some people can't, and I'm obviously one of those people that can hack it because I've been hacking it so well for this entire time, I just, I didn't even know what burnout was.
[00:17:37] And so that sort of like spiral of like working too much and then feeling tired and then not getting that much done and then feeling bad about not getting that much. And overworking to compensate for that. And then feeling tired and dah, dah, dah, that thing was just happening and happening and happening.
[00:17:52] And the company collapsed. And I got a gig actually as a business district organizer in east Portland. And I went into the actual real world. I had something around the, the number of like 3000 businesses that were my territory at one point. And I just went into all these family owned businesses, businesses owned by people of color and businesses owned by women.
[00:18:16] Businesses owned by queer people. You know, businesses owned by people without business degrees. And they told me what they were doing, what they were doing wrong. And they told me what they were doing. Right. And they shared their struggles with me and they shared their factories with me. And I was getting, I think my pay rate was like $11 an hour.
[00:18:34] It was wow. Really, really low. And I had made a deal with my boss when I started that I was only going to work eight hours a day because I knew that overwork was part of this thing. I was working too many hours and that was the one thing I could point to and say, like, that's the culprit? And she agreed to that when I first came on board.
[00:18:54] And then it was, you know, your typical nonprofit situation where the better I did, the more I got added to my plate. And then there were times when it was like, okay, well I have an 8:00 AM meeting and a 7:00 PM meeting. And if the boss doesn't see me at the office between those two things, I'm in trouble.
[00:19:10] And I started realizing that like, I am not producing anything. I'm just sitting here for you to look. Right. And we actually figured it out like so used to track all my hours after hour six, my productivity drops by half for every hour. I continue to work. And if I work longer than an eight hour day, that lack of productivity carries over to the next.
[00:19:37] It's amazing that you track that
[00:19:39] I I've been tracking my hours for 13 years. Amazing. Well, I mean, a lot of my self esteem was tied up into how many hours they work. So it was very important for me to do that. And the very thing I was obsessing over showed me what I was doing wrong. But yeah, I worked for this nonprofit for like three years.
[00:19:57] I think I learned a lot about how real businesses are. So not the people who are teaching me this business management and this, these techniques that actually worked where people who were busy running their businesses, they didn't have books that they were writing and no one was even coming to them for book deals.
[00:20:16] Right, right. Cause they're just the fastest growing sector of business owners in the U S is women of color. But where are our books about business? I mean, I say our, I mean, I'm non-binary but like, where are the books about business from non men of color? And so it was almost like I went to like graduate school.
[00:20:39] Like I earned the MBA. I wanted to earn, because I was talking to people from generational businesses. Yeah. And people were so generous with their knowledge and their time with me and their honesty telling me when things were bad and telling me why they were bad. Right. And then telling me when things were good, like sharing their fears with me and sharing their realities.
[00:21:02] And I realized when I was doing that, that a lot of small business owners, they make 90% of their profit from like 10% of their effort. And a lot of the big sort of like refining is around, well, how do we like maximize that 10% instead of spending a lot of time doing performative stuff. That doesn't actually make us any money.
[00:21:26] Right. And then I went into another nonprofit and I sort of applied these things that I learned at these small businesses to my department at that small nonprofit that I was working for. Uh, not only did I see that I was onto something because I was making money again, and it wasn't tearing me apart.
[00:21:48] The expectation that I had put on myself to overweight. Matched. So perfectly the expectation that the environment also put on me to overwork. So here I am in this nonprofit doing well, getting results, earning money. I was in a fundraising position using actually community centered fundraising principles and we were making money and we were getting Goodwill and we were stabilizing.
[00:22:18] Things were possible that weren't possible before we started doing this journey and it was amazing. And then also I started getting a lot of toxic messaging from the leadership that was like, so what do you do all day? Just talk to people and this idea, like I remember at one point I was still very much, um, adhering to the, I don't work more than eight hours a day.
[00:22:43] And my boss said, I know you have this little thing, your little eight hour thing, but couldn't you just like show some grace. And here I am working for like 40% of my market value. And I'm like, this is the limit of my grace. And it became clear to me that the problem was my attitude and it was also my system.
[00:23:09] And back when I was really having a great time working in nonprofits was the last time my attitude and my system matched up. I was toxic, they were toxic. It was great. And now that I had this commitment to true productivity, as opposed to a toxic productivity or a performative productivity, it was really hard to exist in that system anymore.
[00:23:33] People were upset that. I gave myself permission to keep my plate a certain size and say, I can't take on any more work.
[00:23:43] So in this mode of workaholism, you see the opportunities to set boundaries. You set some boundaries, you worked at least at one or more. Non-profit places that had a lot of trouble respecting those boundaries.
[00:23:58] How do I identify toxic productivity in my life?
[00:24:02] I tell people that the easiest way is to check in. On their body, like just to try randomly throughout the day, maybe set an alarm or something. If it's hard checking on your body and ask yourself, you know, have I had to pee for the last 30 minutes? And instead I felt such an urgency to check emails over my own body.
[00:24:23] Like there's times when you get in the zone and you're just really into something and yeah, you kind of have to pee, but like, this is cool. And then there's the day when you are, you had to be for 40 minutes. But for some reason you must continue to aimlessly click on emails in your inbox as if that will provide a solution to you.
[00:24:45] Right? So the discernment between, between putting off a basic function, like taking a bio break, And, and making the disarm in between. I did that out of joy and engagement and excitement. I'm really into what I'm doing right now. And yes, like I totally held it longer than I should have and I need to go, but I'm feeling so compelled to sit here.
[00:25:07] I may not be engaged or enjoying what I'm doing. I may need to do it, but I am making myself sit
[00:25:13] here. What else? The same with the lunch, the saintly, you know, when's the last time you ate a lunch that you could eat at your leisure. When's the last time you felt like emotionally safe and also like financially safe, going off and eating lunch by yourself.
[00:25:32] Instead of having a working lunch. When's the last time you felt like you could take a call from a family member when you were. It's supposed to be working and I'm not talking about like in a meeting, engaging with a donor or something like that. But like, when did you feel like you could pick up that phone during work hours?
[00:25:48] Like how many people feel guilty for getting sick?
[00:25:51] Right. Oh, that's a tough one. Isn't it?
[00:25:54] Right. There's this idea. And I think it's gotten more and more serious over pandemic of just, I should be working and it's like, either people are depending on me, I should be working. Or I need to get enough money to like sustain myself.
[00:26:11] I should be working there's this. I should be working in your head. That is just like functionally. What ends up happening is that you are never replenished. You're never working with your entire brain because you're always exhausted on some level. And it's a self fulfilling prophecy because you feel. I should be working every minute of the day.
[00:26:33] And if I'm not working every minute of the day, then I will not get this client or I will not get the stoner or I will not, you know, do this project well, and then bad things will happen to me. And so you do this intense work, all the time thing, and eventually the strongest, most well-resourced most amazing, most resilient human.
[00:26:55] Eventually their energy runs out. And then the thing that they're doing starts to get worse, the quality is worse. The client doesn't come in or the project isn't done well, whatever it is. Yeah, exactly. And then you see, oh God, I messed that up. I know I'll just work harder. And we're all just in this mindset of the solution to this problem is to, for me personally, to work harder.
[00:27:27] Right. Also, what should folks do once we recognize these things about ourselves? What are your recommendations? I mean, that's why I took your workshop, but what are some suggestions? I know everyone's different
[00:27:39] as well. I think that it depends on who you are. So there are some people and at different times in our lives, we're different, right?
[00:27:46] We need to have different needs, but some people need to do the action and then their body and mind follow, and some people need to get their body in mind. In that place. And then the action follows basically the, the physical action of confronting toxic productivity is super, super simple. It is eat when you're hungry, go to the bathroom.
[00:28:08] When you have to go to the bathroom sleep, when you're tired again, unless you have chronic insomnia, then get that rest that you need, even if you're not. And then see your friends and family, when you want to see them, when you feel called to see them go out and have hobbies and have lives. And then when you're like at work, when you're doing the work you're called to do, or you're doing the work you're paid to do, do that in the fastest way, that's going to have the best results with the most sticky change and then leave.
[00:28:39] Because at the end of my life, I don't want someone to be like, dude, she worked 16 hour days. That sounds horrible. I want them to talk about my hobbies. I want them to talk about my interests, my skills, the impact that I had on my friends and family, the impact that I had on the community that was real and lasting because a lot of toxic productivity is also something I call performative productivity.
[00:29:06] You're sitting there in a meeting that you shouldn't be in. You're sitting there clicking emails that aren't relevant to you. Your, you know, reordering a spreadsheet for the 15th time or rewriting a paragraph for the fifth time. These are things that don't have to happen.
[00:29:25] You're listening to The Ethical Rainmaker and I'm your host, Michelle Shireen mirror. Did you know, The Ethical Rainmaker is now accepting sponsors and you can join our community of individual supporters on Patrion. And if you want to find out how to get your name and your work out to our ever expanding community, drop us a line at hello at The Ethical Rainmaker dot com.
[00:29:44] Now back to our conversation with marina Martinez, Bateman talking about toxic productivity.
[00:29:56] Recently, I
[00:29:56] had a conversation with Leah Ponti on Instagram live, and we were talking about some of these elements of toxic practice productivity, and we were talking about burnout. And one of the things that she had named was that it's difficult to. Address some of this in the workplace, because it's often leadership of an organization that's demonstrating this overwork behavior, this workaholic behavior right there.
[00:30:21] They're the ones. And by the way, I have done plenty of this, myself who are sending emails late at night or early in the morning or whatever. Clearly struggling to have boundaries with their work. Right. So, you know, for folks who are struggling with leadership or like their boss, for example, who has expected this way of working, when you decide to make boundaries, it's gotta be disruptive.
[00:30:47] You know, it's gotta be disruptive given your history together. Like
[00:30:50] how do you deal with. I think it's just like any other toxic relationship, because that's really what it is. It's a toxic relationship that we have with these bosses that expect us to commit wage theft for their appearance. Right. They want to see that email back at one o'clock in the morning.
[00:31:09] And I've been that boss too well, sort of I've been that boss. And then I realized I was wrong. And then actually for a period of time, I used to do this thing where I was working at one o'clock in the morning, but I would schedule all my emails to hit at like 9 0 1, 9 0 6, 9 found familiar and well, and I got this feedback, um, from one of my employees at the time, she was like, I don't think I can work the way that you write.
[00:31:38] And I was like, what do you mean? And she said, I don't know what you're doing, but in the first 30 minutes of the day, you get more di. Than I do in the hole. And I was like, oh shit, I messed it up. So, you know, that's me trying to alleviate your stress, not pile more stress onto you. That's the secret working in the middle of the night.
[00:32:02] And I'm ashamed of it now, because I know it's wrong. Scheduling emails to get to you during your work day. So you're not put out. And she was like, please never do that to me again. I thought there was something wrong with me because when you're the boss, it's like a reverse Panoptix con. Everyone can see you and you won't get away with shit.
[00:32:28] You have to be the person that behaves the way you want your people to be here. And if that is hard for you. Well, congratulations. That's why being the boss is hard. Like you gotta put the work in to set the culture that you want. And if you have this, I work 24 hours. I'm not worth shit. The company owns my everything.
[00:32:51] That's what the, that's the environment you're going to create and perpetuate until you can heal your own heart around that. And that's the thing is like this boss relationship is toxic and you can with toxic relationships, especially if you've just awoken to the fact that it's toxic yourself. You can be honest with that other person and say, I think our association is toxic.
[00:33:17] I think this isn't good for either of us. I think that the way that we expect each other to show up at work is unhealthy. I'm going to engage on a healing journey around it, and you can invite that person to come along with you, but just like any other toxic relationship, you cannot expect them to come with you.
[00:33:34] People heal at their own rate. And they're just going to have to heal at the rate that's natural and logical for them. And there's a chance that they may never recover from workaholism, but it's like any other addictive behavior, right. When you're ready to stop, you have to look out for yourself and take care of yourself and take yourself away from that.
[00:33:57] And in general, it means that someone has to leave usually. Right. And they get to their job usually. Usually. Yeah, usually they do, but sometimes they don't, you know, when you decide to stop engaging in toxic behavior, the other person is going to get wild. They're going to get wild to try and keep you on a track that matches with theirs.
[00:34:20] And sometimes the behaviors that they engage in are so bad that they're actually the one that has to leave. So if you keep your receipts and you commit to being healthy and working in this way, that is like not toxic, that person is going to get really mad at you. And if you can, I recommend leaving. I honestly do.
[00:34:45] I think that's the safest best route. But sometimes you aren't able to leave right away or you can't leave for financial reasons or there's other things that are keeping you in that environment. And so I would say limit contact as much as possible once the person starts like acting out, trying to sort of like borate you into working at that level again, because that's usually what happens, document everything.
[00:35:08] If you have HR, ask them for advice on this situation. HR of course is there to protect the organization, not you. So that's definitely something to keep in mind, but HR is also supposed to protect the organization from labor law violations and lawsuits, which if depending on behavior, they might be on your side instead of the bosses side with regard to that.
[00:35:34] Got it. So thank you. You're welcome.
[00:35:38] I have to tell you that as the. Who has worked as a supervisor or a director or leader of some kind in many different spaces. The, one of the things that actually drives me nuts. And by the way, you know, I have a history of war calls. I'm at myself. So this is not, this is not necessarily coming from an unbiased place, but I know that it's a question that many, many folks have, which is what do we do about folks who.
[00:36:05] Our drawing so many boundaries that they actually don't get shit done, because I have to say that, you know, I've definitely had, I've had exposure to some folks who really like are protecting their boundaries so hard, which is great, right? Protecting boundaries is great, but they often like actually are not getting shit
[00:36:26] So there's a lot of us who respond to the trauma of capitalism by just dropping all of our bands. Come here and steal my labor, take everything from me. I am about a product to be used. And that's obviously that's my take is just like, yeah, use me up. And then there are some people that armor up, you know, you know, I'm not gonna let you do this and I'm not gonna let you do that.
[00:36:45] And I'm not even going to give you my cell phone number and you can't do that. And blah, blah, blah. And usually that armoring up is as a response to previous work trauma, because we all come to. Where we are now through all of the traumas that we've been through in the past. And so if someone is not getting something done, like human beings are inherently productive, it is a completely unnatural state for us to produce nothing.
[00:37:12] That's like not even a thing, even when we're being destructive or we're being, you know, quote unquote, lazy, we're producing something. We just are, we're always doing something. So if this person is being truly like unproductive, they're not doing anything, I would start to look at, what's stopping them from doing things.
[00:37:33] Have I put up boundaries as a boss that are intersecting with their boundaries as an employee that are basically making it impossible for us to see each other are my expectations realistic. If I go into an organization and I say, I want this person to make 25 touches a week with our donor base. That may sound completely reasonable, super doable, but what's the database look like if it has 30 people in it, that's way unrealistic.
[00:38:05] What have they been supported in their work up to this point? What do they have? That's going to make them able to, you know, whatever, cross that bridge, what are they telling me that they need? Cause sometimes people will say, I need this. And especially a nonprofit, we will just be like, okay, well, but you can do without it.
[00:38:23] Right. And they will say, okay, I won't produce the thing you want me to. And usually we will be like, whatever. And so then they don't have the tools that they need to do their job. So are they telling me that they need tools that I'm not giving them is the tool they're asking for impossible. If it is, is there another thing I can make for them or find for them that will do the thing that they need.
[00:38:47] And then at the end of the day, for me, it is about metrics. We exist in a place where. Unfortunately, we do live under capitalism. And for the period of time that we live under capitalism, we have to use them the mechanism of capitalism to do what we need in the world. So to serve our mission, to serve our clients, to grow the wealth, that we will need to leverage internal to capitalism, to disrupt it enough that we hopefully will end it someday.
[00:39:20] Like we need to make enough money and be powerful enough in this system that we can end it. Cause if we just want to end it and we don't do anything about that and we don't amass any capital, then we're just disgruntled, but we're still stuck here. So if I'm in a position where I am trying to feed the homeless and I have a person who is not doing the thing that I need to help with feeding the homeless, I can say, okay, I need a hundred dollars.
[00:39:49] I need a grant done. I need 75 meals. And if they don't produce that, then they're not meeting their metrics. And for the sake of my personal mission, To do what I need to do on this earth and the mission of the organization I'm in. We have to let that person go and it's not toxic productivity to do your job.
[00:40:15] It's toxic productivity for me to expect that person to sacrifice themselves for the job. And the truth is in a world where them meeting their metrics or doing their job would be massively detrimental to them. They shouldn't work here anymore. And that's a really hard evaluation to make in a world where we know that the loss of a job can mean the loss of a lot of other things that should not be lost.
[00:40:41] If a job is lost, but it's easier to tell one person, I'm sorry, this isn't the job for you. I'm going to have to fire you than it is to tell everybody, I'm sorry, we didn't make our metrics. I'm going to have to fire you all. So it's like, it sounds kind of cold after my like squishy, like toxic productivity blog kind of thing, but like toxic productivity is actually not that productive.
[00:41:10] It burns people out. It makes less and less money over time. It makes less and less stuff over time. Healthy productivity makes money, makes people happy, grows programs, grows results, make sticky changes, makes you know, community growth. All of these things. That's healthy productivity, and they're not the same.
[00:41:29] They're very different from each other.
[00:41:32] Word marina Martinez, Bateman. Thank you so much for being on The Ethical Rainmaker, talking about toxic productivity, sharing so much about yourself. It's such a pleasure to have you on what work are you doing and where can we engage with you?
[00:41:45] So the one place that you can find toxic productivity is toxic productivity.com.
[00:41:50] That is where you can find tickets to my workshops and sort of signs you're in PR toxic productivity. And then also my blog, my personal site is marina for hire.com. That's all one word, M a R I N a F O R H I R e.com. And then the company I run is called new co. And you can find email@example.com. And what do you do?
[00:42:13] There? We are an equity and communications consulting firm. So we talk specifically to comms departments and development departments and fundraising departments about how to have a framework of equity inside of their systems and program.
[00:42:32] Oh, excellent. A service that so many need right now. Thank you for taking time out of your extremely busy schedule to talk to us.
[00:42:39] It's such a pleasure to have you. Thank you.
[00:42:49] And that's it for The Ethical Rainmaker. If you're inspired by what you hear, don't let your homies miss out, share this pod and thank you to our homeys because we now have a community of 59 individual supporters from Patrion, which include our newest families D'Andre and Meredith banks y'all so you can find us like they did on.
[00:43:09] Or you can connect with us through all the ways, any social platforms you can DMS, or you can drop us a line at The Ethical Rainmaker dot com. I'd love to hear what your ideas and thoughts are for future episodes. Do you have curiosity or a question that you're dying to ask other folks or case studies you want to hear?
[00:43:28] We may expand your question or your idea into an episode. So just let us know. The Ethical Rainmaker is produced in Seattle and LA by Juliana Mayo and Jefferson. With socialist by Jordan Heath coat and Eddie, Kim of Stacey, wind creative with production assistance by Coco Decker. Thank you again for your time for listening and thanks to marina and always find show notes and transcripts at The Ethical Rainmaker dot com. .