In today’s economy, we count ourselves lucky to have a job. But that’s often small comfort in a difficult workplace. Balancing a productive work life with a thriving personal one is hard enough, and things get all the more complicated when demanding bosses, pervy coworkers, and claustrophobic cubicles are factored in. Been there, done that!
Ours is a beautiful age of ever-expanding globalization enhanced by technology, but the ensuing culture-clash can be daunting. These days, we not only have to navigate American dialects, but also languages from all over the world. Our bosses could be German or our business partners could be Japanese. Auf wiedersehen and domo arigato! On a very basic communication level, our workplace can be vexing, albeit vibrant and enriching, too.
But language barriers are nothing compared to office equipment that just won’t cooperate! Who hasn’t suffered back pain after sitting lopsided all day in one of those ancient desk chairs bent forever at unnatural angles by years of maladjustment? And what about those copy machines with identity crises, believing themselves to be chew-or-crumple or launch-into-another-dimension machines? Or even those staplers so stubborn and malevolent you swear they came to life out of “Office Space.”
Many of us have also dealt with those gropey, grody colleagues who, upon arriving at work, are able to afflict every woman in their office with goosebumps simultaneously. We’ve come a long way in terms of occupational safety, but some “overly friendly” pests (read: horndogs) just can’t seem to be totally eradicated.
But all is not necessarily lost. After all, we aren’t going to take this lying down! Maybe we can ask our employers to pay for a language course online. Maybe we can take a break from that crooked chair to walk around the office and stretch every once in a while. Maybe we call in a medium to reconnect with our copier. Or, heck, maybe we can just invest in some colorful paperclips to brighten the desk.
We can’t always control our bosses, coworkers, or business equipment, but if we’re anything like IRS Special Agent Tara Holloway in Death, Taxes, and a Sequined Clutch, we can at least come up with a few creative interpersonal solutions.
Do you have harrowing tales of workplace torment? Tips for surviving the occupational looney bin? We'd love to hear them!
(Death, Taxes, and a Sequined Clutch, an electronic bonus novella to Diane's Death and Taxes series, is only $1.99! Read an excerpt at: Sequined Clutch Excerpt )