Thursday, April 24, 2008

Five Ways To Be Happy With Your Job

Most people have to work. Sad but true. So why not grab a little gusto? Make the most of a difficult situation, and continue to be a breadwinner for the family. They'll appreciate it as they sleep in.

Office Supplies

Have you checked out some of those new Post-It thingies? Awesome, baby. Just sticking a couple on my flat screen brightens up the morning immediately. And now Sharpies come in all these amazing new colors - even personalized! Now, imagine this: writing stuff on the Post-Its with those Sharpies!


Juan Valdez is an American hero! And he's Colombian! Office workers like caffeine!

Think about it. You get up and go get some coffee. Use a mug, not a styrofoam cup. Styrofoam clogs landfills, and besides that you don't get to stand at the sink and wait for the water to get hot, then rinse out your mug - do a good job! - then find something to dry your cup with. You get the picture.

And hey, be a good cubicle neighbor, and make another pot if at all possible. Plenty to feel really good about: protecting the environment, having a clean mug, serving the people around you...

Now go outside and take a smoke break before you work yourself to death!

Smoke Breaks

You don't have to smoke to enjoy a smoke break. Those are some nice people, and they get to waste - oh, nobody knows exactly how much time they waste - anyway, go out there and visit a little bit. Management by walking around!

Try to stand upwind.

Sharpening the Saw

I borrowed this sub-title from Steven Covey's The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. It's code for Reading in the Restroom. It's best if your restroom is for one person at a time. That way you can just lock the door, displaying the little "Occupied" sign, probably in red, and shut out the world. For, you know, concentration.

Next problem: getting quality, saw-sharpening reading material into the restroom. Some people are blessed. They just don't care what anybody thinks, and they take an entire armful of reading material to the restroom right in front of everyone.

We're not all so bold. If your desired reading material can be printed out, then by all means do so. As long as it's not too many pages, you can simply fold it up and put it in your pocket. If it's the size of a magazine, you can wrap it around your ankle, sticking it in your sock. All your paperbacks need to be mass market size, because these can be easily put in a back pocket or a purse.

If it's really too thick of a printout, divide it into two piles. Get some rubber bands. Now take your shoes off and wrap the piles around your feet, securing them with the rubber bands. Walk to the restroom like you mean it. If someone challenges you on the way, just tell them the Tony Robbins thing didn't go so well.

Me Time

After all that, you're probably exhausted. Rest well, brave warrior! If you have an office door, use it. Print up a banner that says "Power Hour!" and put it on your door from 1:00 to 5:00. This will fend off all but the most cynical.

When someone does breach your defenses, transparency is widely respected. Let your shoulders droop and even let the outside corners of your eyes sag a bit (this takes practice in front of a mirror). When you have the look just right, tell them, "I just need some alone time." Woggle your head slightly. Don't overdo it!

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