Do you feel overwhelmed at work? Do you feel like telling the corporate world to go reconcile itself? Do you feel like every time you are about to achieve a goal the Lucy-like corporation pulls the football away at the last second sending you reeling through the air with a cry of “arrrgghhh” issuing from your oversized cartoon head?
If so, you are not alone. Millions of people suffer from these feelings of doom when it comes to their job but, thankfully, I’m not one of them. Not anymore anyway.
As a younger man living in Phoenix I found myself wandering through the darkness looking for a ray of light to guide me onto the path of a better life (or a sandwich) when suddenly I slipped on one of the cat’s toys, knocked over the kitchen garbage and found myself lying prostrate on the kitchen floor covered in, well…garbage. That’s when a light filled the room and I had a vision of my wife standing over me saying (in a sweet, yet menacing, tone), “Please clean up the kitchen before you come back to bed.”
It was at that moment, as I looked around at the mess I had made, that I realized my job wasn’t so bad; in fact it was pretty great compared to a lot of other things (like being married to someone who refuses to turn on the kitchen light when he wants a snack or a glass of water in the middle of the night and makes a mess of the newly cleaned kitchen).
After spending several minutes thinking about this I came up with the following list of jobs that were worse than mine:
- Being a slug/politician
- Co-Starring with Olivia Newton-John in the film “Xanadu”
- Being Donald Trump’s hair stylist and/or make-up artist
While realizing that my job wasn’t so bad when I compared it to being a slimy, mostly inanimate creature that shrivels up at the touch of salt (a.k.a. a politician) helped for a short time; it wasn’t until two hours later, as I found myself sprawled on the kitchen floor again, that the vision of my wife said some things that really changed my life*…
(1) When you are feeling overwhelmed by a big project or just have too much on your plate it’s always a good idea to take a moment to organize, prioritize and scream “arrrgghhh” from your oversized cartoon head. By mapping out the necessary steps to complete the tasks at hand you will, most likely, find that you are in fact doomed (but at least it will be an organized kind-of doom).
(2) It’s easy to get frustrated at work, but before you tell someone or something to “go reconcile themselves” try and remove yourself from the situation by walking out on your job. If that isn’t feasible, try gaining an understanding of where the other person is coming from and how important a project handed to you (typically at an inopportune time) is. By doing so you will discover that: a) the person handing you the work makes three-times as much as you do while doing half the amount of work and, b) the project handed to you is due in one hour but requires a minimum of one month’s research and ten meetings with people who are currently not in the office because they too make more than you do.
(3) If you feel like the corporate world keeps pulling the football away from you at the last second and, thereby, preventing you from reaching your goals, don’t fret; your foot can find leather by discussing these frustrations with your supervisor or your local bartender (this is the recommended method). That or try aiming at the holder rather than the football next time.
By following these three easy steps you too can come to the realization that you should turn the lights on in the kitchen when looking for a midnight snack. If this realization doesn’t relieve the doom you feel about your job I suggest consulting your local bartender.
*My wife didn’t actually say any of these things. I couldn’t publish what she said and, in fact, would prefer not to think about it.