Sir, what are you doing?
I… I'm just getting a pen.
This supply cabinet is for employees of this group only. Are you part of this group?
I… I'm sorry. I thought this cabinet was for everyone within the company?
Well, it's not. The nerve of some people. Put that down please.
I walked away feeling like a criminal and embarrassed. Two hours later I was laughing to myself and thinking, "Wow. What a miserable person that lady was."
WHAT DOES BEING MISERABLE FEEL LIKE?
There is being unhappy and unsatisfied at work and then there is complete misery.
Here’s how you know if you’re miserable:You take a deep breath each morning before checking your email for the first time.When people ask how you're doing, you say, "I'M DOING GREAT," when in reality you are one comment away from a mental breakdown.When your boss is talking to you, you’re making eye contact but inside you’re screaming so loudly that you’re almost positive she can hear you.When you go home, you replay different work interactions a million times in your head, saying all of all the things you wish you could have said.
DON'T SET YOURSELF ON FIRE TO MAKE SOMEONE ELSE WARM.
I did whatever it took to finish a deliverable. I worked days, nights, weekends, holidays, family events, summer days, snow days, football games, Leap days, St. Patrick’s Days, BBQ's and birthdays. I was a machine.
My priorities were all messed up.
Here's the kicker. No one ever demanded that I worked this much. I did it on my own. I set myself on fire to exceed the expectations of my manager and colleagues.
Here’s what I learned: It's not your boss' job to tell you that you're working too much.
Let me make this a little bit more real for you. Your boss won't tell you that you're working too much.
You know what, I’m going to go deeper on this one, because I don’t think you understand.
Your boss will let you continue to overwork yourself without any regard to how it affects your personal life. It’s not their job to manage your personal life. That’s your job.
If you're able to find a job that imitates your personal life, then God bless your soul. If your name isn't Anthony Bourdain, AKA the man who gets paid to travel and eat food all over the world, then I don't believe that you’re getting paid to do what you love.
BECOME A GREAT OBSERVER.
The problem with miserable people is that they operate with severe tunnel vision. They aren't able to look at their job holistically. So instead of understanding issues and how to create solutions, they continue on in the only way they know without learning new methods of solving problems.
Here’s how you become a great observer.
At your next meeting I want you to go out of your way to not talk. Pretend you're just a fly on the wall. Even if you know the answer to the question, just shut up. Even if you want to add something to what someone else said, don't. Just sit there and listen. Look around to see who's on their phone. Look to see who’s multitasking and answering their email. Look to see which of your colleagues are texting each other across the room, exchanging super secret information.
Just sit there and observe.
Observe how long people talk during meetings. Could that person who just spent 5 minutes explaining a problem have explained it in thirty seconds? What about that other person who just HAS to add their commentary. Were there comments relevant and necessary?
Observe the times you receive emails from your colleagues. Who consistently sends email after 5pm or on weekends? Who works from home the most? Who comes in to work the most?
Observe others’ behaviors. Let it all sink in.
How does this help you become happier?
It helps you understand your current work situation better. Your goal is to understand what your real role is at work and to understand how others work.
There is a good chance that if you’re still reading this article with interest, you have tunnel vision. You have an inability to understand where you fit in at work. Do you really understand what your role is?
IT'S NOT THAT SERIOUS.
You develop an instant global consciousness, a people orientation, an intense dissatisfaction with the state of the world, and a compulsion to do something about it. From out there on the moon, international politics look so petty. You want to grab a politician by the scruff of the neck and drag him a quarter of a million miles out and say, "Look at that, you son of a bitch." - Edgar Mitchell, Apollo 14 astronaut, People magazine, 8 April 1974.