TThis study aimed to analyze the experiences of pleasure-suffering of eight assistants in administration of a university that requested removal motivated by some dissatisfaction. The study, carried out between September of 2013 and August of 2015, was referenced in the Psychodynamics of Work. We chose semi-structured interviews and content analysis. Different aspects related to work emerged from three central categories: pleasure; suffering; defensive strategies and fight for recognition. Concerning suffering, the interviewees pointed out the stigma and invisibility of the middle activities, constant concern with conflicting aspects of work, somatization and work intensification. The experiences of pleasure were related to salary conditions, work qualification, symbolic retribution and possibilities of recognition. Faced with suffering, defensive strategies were highlighted in the fight for recognition: prioritizing qualification; verbalization of problems; and search for instruments of conflict protection, among others. In the expectation of minimizing dissatisfaction the interviewees used the removal that proved to be successful in part of the cases, helping them in the re-signification of work and preservation of health. This instrument, however, does not act in the origin of the experiences of pleasure-suffering. Suffering, besides being intrinsic to work, is situated in an organizational context that creates obstacles to the individual possibility of re-signifying it through removal.
work; pleasure; suffering; removal; psychodynamic