Happy Times

By Robert Goldman

April 18, 2019 6 min read

Oopsy! I almost made a big mistake.

I signed on to glassdoor.com. Glassdoor is a company that rates other companies. The idea is that anonymous reviews from anonymous reviewers will warn off good job seekers from accepting bad jobs.

I am suspicious of online reviews. It's how I got myself trapped into watching six seasons of "Here Comes Honey Boo Boo." Still, I was curious to learn how the employees of my company, Work Daze Extremely Limited, felt about their management.

I was relieved to read that everyone was perfectly content and gloriously appreciative of the opportunity to work with me. Then I remembered that I'm not only management: I'm the only employee.

(I was rather shocked at the ginormous salary I'm paying myself. I'll have to speak to myself about that.)

Still, my time on Glassdoor was not wasted. I came across an interesting post by Jillian Kramer titled "6 Secrets of Staying Happy at Work."

Though my secret — arriving late, leaving early and taking a long lunch — wasn't included, here are some good ideas for everyone who, unlike my employees, is not 100% happy at work.

"Switch Things Up"

According to career coach Hallie Crawford, you should "try to work on different tasks or use different strengths in your job instead of always doing the same thing in the same order."

I like this advice, and I'm guessing you do, too. Your breakthrough innovation of making dessert the first course of any meal is brilliant. Your favored dessert is less likely to run out, and at the end of your meal, if you feel like it — and you will — you can have a second dessert!

Transitioning this idea to the workplace is easy-peasy. Before you start your next assignment, ask your boss to yell at you and call you an idiot. This will reverse the entire workflow process and prepare you for what usually happens when you turn in your work.

"Become a Mentor"

Yet another career coach, Jill Jacinto, suggests that "helping someone with her career will energize you and give you a chance to learn from a younger generation too."

Another winner! What a great opportunity for you to learn about this young generation — like what are these weird gizmos with the little screens and a bunch of buttons that they carry around in the back pocket of their pants? Your theory that it's a weight-control device aimed at slimming the derriere could be right. If so, maybe they will share.

"Learn Something New"

This is a terrible idea. Think how long it took you to learn the few things you already know, and most of those are wrong, anyway. Any new learning will only confuse you and everyone who works with you and doesn't appreciate your newfound mastery of Esperanto.

"Network with Others"

The big problem with networking is that it requires you to communicate with other people. "Sharing your career story and hearing (another) perspective can help spur creativity and partnerships," Jacinto says.

Wrong! Nothing good comes from meeting new people. You already have a wonderful network made up of the creative partners holding down barstools at the Kit Kat Klub.

Share your career story with them. Just remember to keep your eyes open. Before you reach your career breakthrough at age 12, bottles may be flying.

"Talk With Your Boss"

Another awful idea. The only reason you're still employed is that your boss doesn't remember you exist. Looking for "feedback about your overall performance" is a recipe for disaster. You might not be particularly happy flying under the radar, but you stay employed.

"Practice Self Care"

Excellent idea. You're advised to "make sure work isn't getting in the way or preoccupying your thoughts — take that beach vacation, attend weekly Pilates classes, get a massage or go on a hike."

Of course, the most important time to make sure work isn't preoccupying your thoughts is when you actually are at work. Anyone can be happy on a beach vacation; to sit through the Monday morning staff meeting with a silly grin on your face takes personal fortitude. (Pro tip: earplugs help.)

The bottom line is that you can make yourself as happy as you like, but keep it to yourself. When your managers get wise to your inner and outer joy, they will be happy to put you first on the list to deacquisition.

The way managers see it, if you're happy, they're not doing their job — and neither are you.

Bob Goldman was an advertising executive at a Fortune 500 company, but he finally wised up and opened Bob Goldman Financial Planning in Sausalito, California. He now works out of Bellingham, Washington. He offers a virtual shoulder to cry on at [email protected] To find out more about Bob Goldman, and read features by other Creators Syndicate writers and cartoonists, visit the Creators Syndicate website at creators.com.

Photo credit: at Pixabay

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