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I’ve probably watched ‘Office Space’ five or six times over the last few years and I always get chills down my spine during a particular scene. It’s when Peter says ” We don’t have a lot of time on this earth. We weren’t meant to spend it this way. Human beings were not meant to sit in little cubicles staring at computer screens all day“.

These few sentences always bring me back to where I am in my life. My #1 frustration in life is being trapped in my current job. There are a number of factors that play into exactly why I’m trapped, but for the time being, I am.

If you are in a similar situation and are stuck in a job you absolutely hate, I feel your pain. I really do. There are few things worse than having to drag your ass out of bed and go to a job you couldn’t care less about if you tried.

Sitting at a desk is boring, makes your eyes and back hurt, and destroys your posture. Sitting in a cubicle to boot makes it that much worse. Now you’re claustrophobic as well. If this isn’t bad enough, you also need to deal with the lack of privacy, annoying employees, and office politics.

What tops this whole thing off is your boss. If you have a decent one, good for you. If you have one like mine, sucks to be us.

Bosses can make or break our work lives. We are stuck with them for 40 or more hours every week, which can be a truly miserable experience for some of us. Working in a job you loathe is barely tolerable, but add an idiot boss and you have the recipe for disaster.

With all of these factors working against us, our lives become a giant ball of stress. Each day becomes more of a grind as we watch helplessly as our lives slowly slip away…

If you feel like you might be in this position, take a look at my checklist of work related stresses. Check to see how many you have:

  1. Hate your job
  2. Long commute
  3. Lousy co-workers
  4. Office politics
  5. Boss is a complete asshole
  6. Trapped in your job
  7. Underpaid
  8. No privacy
  9. Being micro-managed
  10. Being low man or woman on totem pole (i.e.you are a peon)

Take a good look at this list and see how many things you qualify for. If you’re anything like me, then you will have an almost perfect score (perfect is not good). You are also at risk for a serious meltdown, anxiety attacks, or heart failure. Hey, it could happen….

The Good News

The good news is that there is good news. Even if your are temporarily trapped in your job, there are a few suggestion I have which may make your days slightly more tolerable.

  1. Avoid your boss. Duh! Well, it makes sense to me, but every time I tell someone about my boss, they always say the same thing “Try to get on his good side” or “make friends with him”. All I hear is “kiss his ass so you don’t get shit canned”. That might work for some, but that’s not how I roll.
  2. Do not take your contempt home with you. Your family doesn’t need it nor do they understand it. To them, you are just being grumpy, complaining, or are just a jerk. I’ve been accused of all 3…
  3. Find an office buddy. If I had Michael Bolton and Samir working with me, I would be much happier. I still would hate my job with every square inch of my body, but it would be better. When you can talk shit about your job and/or boss with someone, the office is a happier place!
  4. Find a happy place. For me, that means working on something else other than work. If I had to do 8 hours of actual work, I honestly would have gone insane by now. Of course this is not productive and could very well get you fired, but some of us just need it. If you’re looking for something to waste time on and get a good laugh, check out David Thorne’s site, it’s hilarious!
  5. Think of the big picture and that picture does not have your boss, your cube, your desk, your phone, or your red swingline stapler in it. It probably has a white sandy beach, warm tropical weather, and a myriad of beautiful women your family in it.
  6. Make the best of your day. It’s not easy when you hate everything about your 9 to 5, but figure out what gets you through the day. There has to be some other reason that you show up to work every day other than just a paycheck. Well, maybe not, but try to think of something anyway.

I can only hope that someone reads this post and decides to break free from a job they hate. Actually, I hope that this post inspires 10 million people to quit their jobs, start their own businesses, and live the American dream. Yea…that would be good…

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