I feel like recently I’m noticing how horribly unhappy people are while at work. It seems that wherever I go, people find that it’s normal to unload their workplace woes about their job while working. I’m not just talking about my own workplace, but cashiers and servers in restaurants too. When did it become acceptable to complain to any and every person that you encountered? I’ll be the first to admit that I have my off days where I get down in the dumps, but I have trouble endorsing constant complaining about something that people are in complete control of changing. I know full well how difficult it is to not only make the decision that it’s time to walk away from a job or career, but actually to go through with it and start over. Having just survived it myself, I get it. It’s scary and exciting and terrifying and makes you want to throw up most of the time. You doubt yourself more than once and question whether it’ll all be worth it, and maybe it won’t, but there becomes a point where enough is enough in wallowing. Throughout my 2.5 months of training at my new job, I noticed that I became more and more disgruntled at work, for reasons I can only assume relate to the stress level, expectations and my anxiety in general towards tests (I was required to pass a licensing exam for the state & only had four attempts to do so before being shown the door). I started to become one of the serial lunch break complainers, and it was the worst.
It has taken conscious effort to snap myself out of the funk I had slipped in to. I have found that the best way to combat a negative workplace environment is to make your own bit of happiness during the day, whatever you can find. For me, it’s little things like doing happy dances in my chair when things go well, emailing Taylor Swift lyrics to unsuspecting coworkers, and sometimes spinning around in circles on my fancy office chair when my manager isn’t looking. However, the biggest thing that I’m doing to “make my own happy” at work is to remove myself from situations where I become a person I don’t want to be. This person that I’m talking about is the one who refuses to take ownership of a situation and complains endlessly about the same things day in and day out. I find that more often than not, this revolves around the lunch hour. Fortunately, I live close enough to my office that I can duck home for lunch when people around me become too much, but I think it’s more about the little gestures, like leaving a table when the topic becomes excessive, that conveys the message that you aren’t interested in participating. It may eventually cost me a few workplace friendships, but in my book, friendships shouldn’t be detrimental to your character or the person you are trying to become.
Am I the only one running in to this type of struggle? What do you do to make your happy at work? How do you avoid the bleak depression of negativity in the workplace? Tips, suggestions and fun ideas are highly welcomed and appreciated. It would be nice to know I’m not alone in this.