Home > General, Leadership, Planning > I Can’t Stand It!

I Can’t Stand It!

When I was middle school age (I use the term loosely because I actually attended a K-8 school) my small group of friends was introduced to the following mantra:

 We, the unwilling, led by the unknowing, are doing the impossible for the ungrateful.

We have done so much for so long with so little,

We are now qualified to do anything with nothing

I don’t remember where it came from (Actually an advanced placement science teacher gave it to us, but I don’t know where he got it.) and research on today’s Internet reveals sketchy sources, including Mother Theresa.

So it has been around for about 35+ years. The thing I find most interesting is that it is still valid. I don’t care if you are the 16 year-old flipping patties at the local burger joint or the CIO that is retiring next month. We have all had bad days (or years) where we didn’t want to be at work. We have all been in a position where someone couldn’t care less whether we were there. We’ve all been over worked, under-paid, and non-appreciated. I can see the tears of recognition welling up in your eyes. We should start a support group or something.

I’m not asking for a show of hands; we’ve all been there. Maybe you ARE there. If so, I’m sorry. *hugs*. Here are a couple of coping mechanisms that might help take the edge off.

1) Focus on the task at hand.

I have found that when I look at the big (miserable) picture I falter. I procrastinate. I gossip. Nothing good comes from it. When the going gets tough, it helps me to just focus on the details, on one task at a time. I know when it comes to goal-setting and progression that we have to look at the big picture. Think of your current job as a picture with-in your big-goal-picture. You have a plan. You’ll work your way out. For today, though, focus on being productive at the tasks at hand. You’ll be happier and feel a higher sense of accomplishment. It will make a difference.

2) Consider what can change.

I’ve been in environments where the boss had quite a mouth. Every third word was an expletive. It was very offensive to me. After finally getting to the end of my rope, I pulled my boss aside and calmly and quietly mentioned that his language was offensive, how it made me think more about him and not my job, and how I was less productive because of the distraction. The expletives did not cease, but they did decrease dramatically in frequency, at least around me. What can you change about your environment that might make the situation more bearable? Sometimes rearranging your office furniture or workspace, or cleaning your office, or even just hanging a cute picture drawn by your three-year-old can have a huge impact on your attitude, though it technically does not change the root cause.

3) Is it time for a dramatic change?

I know what the economy is like. I watch the news and see my neighbors. I’m grateful to have a stable, secure job (at the moment). I also know that there millions out there that do not. The job market is tough. Hundreds of people are waiting in lines for the same few jobs. I understand over-qualified and under-qualified. I get it. So when you read this, don’t run home to your spouse and announce that you’ve quit your job because some blogger said so. I’m saying, look around. A few years ago, when I was feeling less comfortable with my position, I did some job shopping. I spent a lot of time searching for another job. I even applied at several different companies. The exercise helped open my eyes to what I have. What I was going through wasn’t really as bad as it was elsewhere. I ended up staying with my current employer and I’m happier. In all of your searching for a change, you might actually find a new job and make the switch. If nothing else, hopefully you’ll get a peek over the fence and notice that just maybe the grass is not all that greener.

Hey all you “unwillings” out there: My heart really does ache for you, especially  if you’re in a difficult situation. Keep your head up. Hang in there. There is a light at the end of the tunnel, even if the tunnel is really, really long.

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Categories: General, Leadership, Planning
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