Friday, October 10, 2008

10 Signs to Know You've Gone Off the Stress Meter at Work


If you're not feeling it these days, I want some of whatever you're drinking. Because with the latest economic news making most of us feel like we're on some sadistic new ride at Disney World, stress is catching up with most of us in one form or another.

And nowhere is that more evident than at work. After all, we spend a major portion of our time there every day, and the demands to perform are multiplied right now. Most of us -- even the most sanguine among us -- are feeling a teeny bit tense right now.

If so, you may want to take some steps to deal with it. Of course, sometimes it's hard to recognize that you're going off the deep end, so here are 10 signs that you may be under a bit of stress on the job:

1. Bite marks. In your car's steering wheel.
2. The announcement of "cake in the break room" has you clotheslining three people who try to get in line ahead of you.
3. You pay the tool booth operator, the parking lot attendant and the Starbucks barista in pennies. Bloodsuckers.
4. Your yoga instructor asks you -- repeatedly -- to quit swearing aloud during Downward Facing Dog.
5. Your co-worker whistling "Oh! What a Beautiful Morning" has you pouring salt in his coffee when he's not looking.
6. You use your latest 401(k) statement to make a giant spitball that you fire at your CEO as he walks by on the street. You giggle uncontrollably as he curses pigeons overhead.
7. When asked by your employer to watch expenses during these tough times, you turn off your computer and phone. When the boss asks you about it a week later, you look innocent and reply: "Just trying to cut energy costs."
8. You chisel the gold star off your "employee of the month" plaque and try to sell it on e-Bay.
9. While traveling on business, you show up for the airport gate in your skivvies. With your i.d. Superglued to your forehead.
10. During your performance evaluation you juggle, do an impersonation of Cloris Leachman on Dancing With the Stars and recite the Gettysburg Address while drinking a glass of water. "Just want to point out my talents so I can get that .0333 percent raise!" you tell the boss.

So, do you think you're feeling the stress? What are some other hints you might be hanging by your fingernails?


Robert Hruzek said...

I can feel it now... especially when I'm asked to relocate to a different part of the organization because they can't afford to keep me on where I was. But at least I have a job, with the prospect of getting back there soon. I hope.

Have to admit to being guilty of #1 & #2 (on you list, that is!) Also wished I had the guts to try #9!

Anita said...

I think we're all finding ways to cope, whether it's laughing at silly stuff or just saying, "it could be worse." I do think #9 is coming...maybe it will be the guy in a big, black Stetson??
Thanks for inspiring this post.

Robert Hruzek said...

Well, I suppose I could always wear my birthday suit... if I can get all the wrinkles ironed out in time, that is.

Dan McCarthy said...

Anita –
A stressed email: when my assistant can hear me typing from outside my office and pokes her head in to ask if everything’s OK.

Anita said...

Hah! I'll bet there's a few keyboards around the workplace that are going to be replaced soon!
Thanks for adding to the list!

Anonymous said...

How about just waking up with your teeth grinding? There is nothing worse!

Anita said...

Red jello,
Oh, ugh...been there, done that! I'll bet the sales of TMJ devices are soaring as dentists claim that half of America is grinding down their back molars, just in the last couple of weeks!
Good addition to the list.

Anonymous said...

Stress is when the M & M jar gets dangerously low...

Anita said...

Oh, man, don't even go there. Gives me chills just thinking about it....