Work is prison. I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it until we all return to the grub-hunting, berry-picking ways of our blissfully happy ancestors. Have you ever hunted a grub? You should. It’s a lot more fun than compiling a spreadsheet.
The point is, I know you don’t like your job. You know you don’t like your job. So now it’s time to make sure the people you work with know that you don’t like your job. How can you spread your personal misery to as many people as possible? It’s as easy as putting kids in a room together and giving them all chicken pox. Here’s how!
Be constantly negative! There’s some research to suggest that negative comments are five to seven times as harmful as positive comments are helpful. And what that means for you is that you can use your negative approach to the world to basically negate the effect of up to seven happy people. And, since you probably work in a small group (even if you’re part of a large company), what that really really means is that you have the power to others’ desire for happiness into a brief, fleeting dream. So make sure you complain about as many things as you can think of, and try to focus on the worst-case scenarios for every initiative, revision, strategic pivot, and otherwise innocuous communication that crosses your path. If you do your job well enough, soon everyone else around you will be doing the same! Well, at least five to seven of them.
Watch YouTube videos all day long at your desk! Eventually your negativity will make people want to talk to you as little as possible. That might sound like a lonely and pathetic outcome, but it doesn’t have to be. Every day, approximately 98 years of video are uploaded onto YouTube. Which means that every day, you are falling 97 years and 364 days farther behind. So when people try and abandon you to your dour fate, you can take solace in the fact that there’s so much stuff you can be watching – good songs, bad songs, funny commercials, people hurting themselves, news anchors accidentally swearing on air, wacky animals, and I could go on forever.
Get a virus on your computer from a non-work related website! This was bound to happen. If you engage in enough unprotected Internet viewing, you’re bound to eventually pick up a virus. With any luck you’ve been forwarding so many of your favorite videos around the office that other people have the virus, too. If so, congratulations! You’ve slowed productivity, annoyed your immediate colleagues, and irritated the tech people who have to come in and clean up a mess that shouldn’t exist in the first place!
Get perturbed when someone asks you to do something that’s part of your job! It’s one of the best examples of Murphy’s Law. Just when you’ve finally figured out how to survive your horrible workday by drowning in YouTube videos, one of your coworkers will pick that exact moment to ask you to do something. The nerve of some people! And you know they’re just going to keep asking and asking and asking unless you let them know how inconsiderate their requests are. As long as your colleagues know that you’re wasting your entire day staring at YouTube videos – and believe me, they know – then your irritation will annoy them twice as much as it would otherwise. You’ve reached level 3! (Level 2 was the virus thing, just so you know.)
Take forever to complete tasks that are essential for a team project to move forward! So you couldn’t figure out how to get out of complying with a direct order. You’re forced to actually get something done. My condolences. But that doesn’t mean you have to get it done quickly. Last-minute solutions are good enough for our federal government, which means they should be good enough for you. And just like the American people, your team will love waiting until the absolutely last minute to find out if they’re going to meet their deadlines. Yay for chronic uncertainty!
Squash the dreams of every new employee! If your office has new employees, then they’re probably happy. They’re probably thrilled to “have a job” and “do something meaningful” and all that crap. Well, it’s up to you to disabuse them of their childish optimism. As long as you never say anything good about the job you’re in and continually shoot down their attempts to find joy in it, you will eventually depress them to the level that you’ve been living at for so long. Do your job well enough, and they’ll turn into a clone of you – which means that your combined powers will now be able to affect 10-14 people. Such power can be yours!
Hope that helps. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go wash my hands. For some reason, they feel kind of dirty after typing what I just wrote.
Actually, I kind of dig these suggestions. I’ll have to see if they work. Thanks for the ideas.
The word “negative” is one of the most imprecise words you can throw around to describe someone. Being “negative” in my company simply means being the only in a meeting to have the balls to say that an idea is immoral, impractical, impossible, illegal, illogical, etc. Saying “no,” probably the most important word that never gets said gets you ostracized. And don’t anybody give me this “You can’t say shoot down an idea without offering an alternative” bullshit. That’s another straw man like the word “negative.” Just because I don’t have a solution in the moment doesn’t mean I have to allow something that makes things worse to go forward. Good solutions takes time. Bad solutions can be pulled out of one’s ass. But saying no or the equivalent gets you branded as negative and gets the problem dropped in your lap. Not that I enjoy nonstop things being dropped in my lap, but if being “negative” discourages my coworkers from flippantly making mistakes that could end up killing people, bankrupting the business, or both, then I’ll go negative tenfold.
If watching some amusing Youtube videos helps scrub my mind of the shit I took in the last impromptu meeting with the whole company where only I and the boss said anything, usually arguing with each other, while everyone else got paid to sit silently while offering nothing, then, by God, I’m going to watch them until my disgust subsides.
I’m not a total idiot, so I would actually have to try hard to get a virus on my computer, despite having unfettered administrator access to go anywhere I want. The reason I have unfettered administrator is that my coworkers can’t abide by the “don’t open sketchy .zip files” email I’ve already sent a half a dozen times and once posted 42 times on the walls of the office. Who’s the real entitled one when you’re too lazy or arrogant to use the smallest bit of common sense, then come whining to me that you can’t do your job because you got a virus I told you how to easily avoid?
I don’t know what my job is. It’s basically “clean up everyone else’s problems.” There’s a reason that no matter how I describe things, inevitably people use the word “fireman” to describe me. When people ask me to do my job, that doesn’t mean they have any clue what they’re asking, and they certainly have zero idea how much time it takes to do something right. Here’s a hint, everyone: a LOT longer than you think. Just to be safe, add a zero to end of whatever number you throw out. People will look for any reason to dump something off on another person when their own incompetence shows, then use that same person as scapegoat when deadlines aren’t met.
Chronic uncertainty? Unavoidable when your boss gives impossible dates to customers. The whole business world loses its collective shit when a deadline is missed, no matter how ridiculous the deadline was to begin with. Instead of “Okay, where are you, and what’s the status, and how can work this out in the most efficient manner?”, your customer will turn into an entitled, furious prick AS SOON as the deadline is missed, basically upending the table and creating chaos in the project when things could’ve been handled in a rational manner. It’s Pavlovian, and if you don’t understand that giving a stupid date is going to bring sheer hell down the line, then you’re making my life miserable, as I will inevitably be the one people come to try to “FIX IT! FIX IT! FIX IT! Oh, you have zero time to fix it, by the way.”
My new employees don’t have dreams. Their dreams are either to use our small naive company as a stepping stone to a bigger one, to use us to get their H1-B visa and eventually their green card (these types will say anything that placates the boss that has the ability to fire them; they are the worst yes-men and yes-women), or they’re old farts too set in their ways to learn anything outside the skill they spent their whole career pigeonholed in. And the last group wants a ton of money for the sake of their being old. Yes, old. Not experienced. Old. I can’t believe how many “experienced” people we’ve hired that couldn’t step an inch outside their comfort zone, but were still cranky as hell about everything. If you can’t learn at ANY age, you shouldn’t be paid more than someone fresh out of college.
So, yeah, I’m miserable, because I actually once cared about my job. Especially since it’s a family business, so I don’t get the luxury of so easily walking away from it. My coworkers aren’t miserable, though, and I probably can’t make them miserable. They’d have to give a shit to be miserable.