How to Survive the Work Monster

Picture this: You wake up, the sun is beaming through your bedroom window, and your gorgeous Greek chef who doubles as a God impersonator is in the kitchen whipping up a batch of homemade blueberry pancakes. You get ready for work feeling chipper and positive. After a delightful breakfast, Starbucks delivers a Grande Americano with one pump sugar free vanilla and the sleeve already in tact, right to your front door. You leave the house, the radio stations are on point playing all of your favorite music, the road-ragers have all over-slept, and it’s smooth sailing to work. Needless to say, you are having THE BEST MORNING EVER!

You stride into work bellowing out, “Gooooood morning beautiful people!” Half-way to your desk, you see the shadow of the Work Monster on your tail. You gain momentum, but Work Monster speeds up, and before you can even make it to your desk and set down your purse, she’s got you! She starts in on you, asking a million and one questions, belittling and humiliating you, and raising her voice to levels not even suitable for the playground. She points out your mistakes, and you notice that they are actually her mistakes, but you bite your tongue in fear. You begin to blink back tears because you don’t want to be known as, “That girl who cries at work,” And there goes your best morning ever.

This situation will take its toll on a poor, unsuspecting victim, but I have found that although the Work Monster (WM) may bring you down, it’s up to you to get up, brush ya shoulders off, and rise above! Talk to your immediate supervisor. Provide in writing a detailed explanation of the issues you are having with the WM. Legally, an employer is obligated to take some sort of action. A true WM won’t let a couple warnings get in the way of their destruction though, so you’re going to have to take matters into your own freshly manicured hands.

This, my friends, is How to Survive the Work Monster.

• Be the “IT” employee. You’re smart, helpful, generous, and everyone at work loves you. Continue to treat your coworkers with respect and they will do the same. Don’t allow one bad apple to ruin the bunch!

• It is important that your co-workers know that you are not the problem, but the victim. Ask a semi-trustworthy co-worker to lunch and confide in her about how WM makes you feel, but NEVER bad mouth WM; this is all about earning empathy. Saying things like, “That one time she screamed at you about the staple not being angled properly, O M G, I felt so bad for you,” will bring back feelings of torment and shame that someone actually noticed. I say semi-trustworthy because although the news will get out, her loyalty lies with you and the story will be told in your favor. The next time WM is on the prowl, smile and exchange “What can ya do” glances with your co-workers.

• Kill em’ with kindness. Find out WM’s favorite treat, and pack it in your lunch. Make sure she gets an eyeful, and right before you devour it, set it down, look at her and say, “Wait, was it you who told me that you love these?” Proceed to give her half.

• Stay alive and determined. Do the best you can at your job and don’t allow WM to slow you down. After all, WM is a mere sentence or two in your future biography.

• Wear your game face underneath your foundation. WM can strike at any moment, so you are prepared when you see her lurking in the gloomy shadows of the supply room, plotting her attack. She advances towards you, fangs in clear sight, and she loses all self control and dignity. First, you muffle your laughter, and then you stand up looking as apologetic and sorrowful as ever and say, “Are you mad at me? Why are you talking to me this way? You must be really upset; is everything okay at home?” This will throw WM for a loop and hopefully she’ll do some self-examination as she walks away with her tail between her legs.

This advice doesn’t guarantee the extinction of WM, but it’ll make dealing with her a whole lot easier and fun too! Leave the terminating to your boss. You will no longer allow WM to infringe upon your human rights and deny you of your dignity. You will, in the cutest and most innocent ways ever, demand respect. You are entitled to happiness at work; don’t be afraid to create it! Think back to the Greek chef and blueberry pancakes day and how you allowed WM to cheat you of your blissful happiness; now never revisit that day again. It’s over.