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Even those of us that love our jobs can have days where office life just seems like a terrible punishment from the beyond. If your job is crushing your soul piece by piece, here are some ways you can deal with the pain and suffering of office life.1. The Mild Annoyance of Eating at Work
The need to eat at the office doesn’t really feel like hell—at least not the eternal-pain-and-agony kind. It’s more like the constant splinter in your skin that just keeps annoying you all day. You have to deal with the always-unappealing brown bag lunch, eat at your desk, and deal with nasty coworkers stealing your food. Of course, there are ways to deal with this problem—specifically, make your brown bag lunch more appealing, make it something that’s keyboard friendly, and if you really can’t deal with the office thieves…just stick some laxatives in the food and call it a day.
2. The Challenge of Staying Awake
The next level of hell, slightly more annoying than food, is the sheer boredom of your job. Between meetings, mundane tasks, and listening to your coworker’s all-to-detailed story about her cat Mittens, it’s like your job is trying to put you to sleep. There are a few things you can do to help keep yourself awake, both at your desk and during excruciatingly boring meetings, but you can also give into the temptation and sneak yourself a nap at work. Power naps are the best way to go, and with a few strategies, you should be able to get through a quick nap without anyone the wiser.
3. The Constant Paranoia of Being Monitored
Whether your office has a simple web filter on your computer or they’re monitoring your every move, it can make life very difficult. Here’s how to tell if you’re being monitored at work, and what to do about it if you are. And if its web filters that are the problem, you can always bypass them with your own proxy server, or by grabbing some portable apps and turning a thumb drive into a tiny privacy toolkit to browse without a trace.
4. The Temptation of Constant Distractions
There’s always something nagging at you to ignore your work and do something to take your mind off the slave driving, whether it bebrowsing the web, talking with a coworker, or push notifications from all directions. If you really want to focus while you work,we’ve got some tips to help you out. If you can’t figure out exactly what’s distracting you all day, I really recommend using a time tracking program like Rescue Time to find out—it’ll make it a lot easier to crush those distractions once and for all.
5. The Exhaustion of Long Hours
If you haven’t actually counted how many hours you work in a week, it’s time to start—and if that number’s over 40, you may have a problem. Not only is it exhausting, but it caneven lead to health problems like depression, so you need to take charge. At the end of the day, go the f**k home. If you need more motivation than that, there are a few things you can do to make leaving your work behind easier, too.
6. The Sacrifice of a Not Getting Paid
You’d think a hellacious office job would at least pay well, but sadly, that’s just not the case. If you’re unhappy with the money you’re making—and remember, the new salary happiness tipping point is about $50,000—it’s time to see if you can get a raise. Don’t be tough, be honest, and do your homework beforehand. You’re a lot more likely to get paid what you’re worth with a well thought out negotiation than going in angry.
7. The Nagging Pain of RSI
You sit at a desk all day, and not only is it making you fat, but it’s destroying your eyes, wrists, back, and the rest of your body, slowly and meticulously. The best thing you can do? Take some time to ergonomically optimise your workspace and change your habits for pain-free office work. And if you’re having a problem with eye strain, there are a few things you can do in that area too—including trying out these Lifehacker-tested computer glasses.
8. The Stress of Problematic Coworkers
Distracting coworkers is a mild annoyance, but the truly difficult people are a whole new level of hell. You can’t change other people, so the best thing you can do is focus on your own triggers to deal with difficult people. And, if things get really out of hand, you cancomplain about them to management without getting them in trouble. Of course, you could always just tell them you don’t like them, too (without being an arsehole).
9. The Agony of a Horrible Boss
If your office is hell, your boss is the devil, slowly driving you into madness faster than everything else. Maybe he steals your ideas, or maybe you just dream about killing thembecause they’re so bad at managing. We’ve talked a lot about how to deal with every kind of crazy boss, and how to effectively complain about them on the off chance you can actually get them to change.
10. The Frustration of Quitting with Your Sanity Intact
Deep in the bowels of office hell, the thing that nags you the most as you endure hours and hours of torture, is whether your job is actually so bad that you should quit. After all, jobs aren’t growing on trees these days. If you’ve gotten so miserable that you just can’t survive your job anymore, it may be time to quit. Take some time to prepare yourself for the jump, and make sure you do it with all your contacts and class intact—you may hate everyone at your current office, but they can still be helpful to you in the future (and they’re a lot less horrible when you aren’t with them all day long). Lastly, if you’re looking to get out of the office gig entirely and start freelancing, you may want to wait a bit—you can start freelancing without quitting to see if it’s really right for you—because sometimes, it’s really, really not, and being jobless is an entirely new type of hell.
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