There are three song lyrics that I have always held close to my heart:
1) All you need is love.
2) You can’t always get what you want.
3) I don’t want no scrub.
And I’d like to formally add another:
4) You better work, bitch.
Apparently, I am too hard on my co-workers and expect too much from them. The thing is, I don’t expect anything from anyone that I would not put in myself. I’m a classic Capricorn in this sense because I value hard work and am completely present when in the workplace. What people consider “expecting too much”, I simply consider the basic elements of earning your damn money. After my years on this planet and after many jobs in vastly different fields, I humbly put forth this list of how not to be annoying in the workplace.
A) SHUT UP AND WORK. Do you have a co-worker that can’t seem to stop talking about how busy they are? “I have to do Project A, and Project B, and Project X, Y, Z. I have a business meeting, and a business lunch, and I have to get on the phone to do some business. I have a strategy to plan and a plan to strategize…” and the soliloquy just goes on from there. Look, I get it. I love my job and there have been times when there was too much on my plate. It can be stressful, and focusing on how stressed you are won’t make it go away. The journey of a thousand emails begins with one reply, so instead of talking about how much work you have to do, you should just do the work you have to do, and maybe the work that you have to do will actually get done. Just a thought.
B) FOCUS ON SOLUTIONS. Everyone fucks up. And the worse thing to do when someone fucks up is waste time talking about whose fault it is. Let’s stop pointing fingers, let’s stop shifting blame, and let’s keep it moving! By all means, hold each other accountable to job duties, but if your contribution to a problem is “nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah-nyah”, then you need to go Starbucks, grab a PSL, and come back to the office when the grown folk are finished. Remember: one day, you’re gonna mess up and you’re going to need people on your side to help you too.
C) STOP THE GOSSIP. Hey, you know that person that you LOVE to hang out with at work? You have lunch together, talk about who’s dating who, how someone got a promotion, share some sassy commentary, laugh at someone’s outfit, and pick apart their personal lives? Yeah, that person! Just a heads up: they’re talking shit about you too.
D) DON’T MAKE IT PERSONAL. This one is tough because some of us work really long hours and we see our co-workers more than our actual friends. I do support a camaraderie within a team, though there should always be a base-level professionalism in the workplace. I dunno, maybe I’m the crazy one.
E) YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE THERE. OK, here’s a story. At one point in time, I was in charge of a group of people in a new job that I was so excited about. I was ready to handle business, make some money, and create a culture of success. Upon meeting my team members, I ended up being faced with stuff like:
– “well this person hates this person and this other person hates this other person”.
– “well this person can’t do their job well because their personal life is in shambles”
– “well I can’t do my job because this person is on the team”
– “well this person used to be cool until they got demoted”
– “one time: this person wore army pants and flip flops. So then I wore army pants and flip flops”
And after un-bundling everyone’s little stories, I came to the conclusion that most of these people were not particularly happy to be there. So I called a meeting, laid out some snacks, and I set up a slide show with a slide that said:
“IF YOU’RE NOT HAPPY HERE, THEN YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE HERE!”
Apparently, that’s not a thing you can say out loud in a slide show presentation because I got into a lot of shit for that. In my defence, I meant it in a loving way. If I was noticibly unhappy, I would someone to point it out to me so that I could move on in a positive direction. But I guess people don’t actually want that. As a boss figure I’m supposed to tell people that they are special and they are snowflakes, and please suckle this milk from my healthy bosom until your bellies are full, because taking ownership of your personal growth and development as a grown-ass person? What even is that?
I stand by my original slide show. And it’s coming from a place of love. Because I, gentle reader, am not perfect (shock o’ shocks!), and have been all of the co-worker types that I’m grousin’ about above.
You spend a lot of time at work and if you’re unhappy there, that is way too much time to be miserable. It’s unhealthy for others, and more importantly for you. Look: #FirstWorldProblems aside, I’m fully aware that life can be tough and that changing yours is much easier said than done. I don’t have solutions for anyone, and I’m not here to belittle anyone’s journey. Rather, I’m just planting some seeds. If you’re truly and disgustingly unhappy, why don’t you change that? Why don’t you take a healthy risk? Why don’t you just forgive yourself? Why don’t you jump in and start something new? Why don’t you learn something and develop an exit strategy? Like the pop music philosophers say, “WHY DON’T YOU DO, SOMETHIN’?”
Ooh, that should be number 5!
Gotta go. I took home some work and wrote this blog as a way to procrastinate. Byeeeee!