But it’s also natural that we can still recall the things we’re not so grateful for, especially those annoying, driving-us-crazy things that happen at work.
While you help yourself to that second piece of pecan pie (don’t forget the extra whipped cream), let’s list the things we could live without:
- The micro-managing boss. These bosses weigh in on everything from the background color of a presentation slide to reading everything you write out loud – while standing over your shoulder. They suck up all the energy and enthusiasm from the room until the office resembles a scene from “The Walking Dead.” Maybe zombie hordes are really a result of micromanaging bosses?
- The “sticky-fingered” colleague. Forget about that half of a turkey sandwich saved in the office refrigerator from yesterday. Gone. It’s been lifted by the sticky-fingered colleague who also makes off with every office supply not glued down (it can’t be glued down, because she ripped that off) and any extra toilet paper from the bathroom. As the holidays approach, she’ll start carrying an extra-large tote so she can quickly pilfer any goodies that come to the office.
- The outdated technology. The copy machine only works on alternate Thursdays, and the printer only functions for the printer repairman. The echo on the phones is so bad you feel like you’re working in the Grand Canyon. And the Internet? At this point, the U.S. Mail is faster.
- No privacy. Cubicles were invented for a reason. To keep people out. But obviously the co-worker who hangs over your wall doesn’t get it. And your cone of silence is obviously not functioning properly since you can hear the guy across the room bragging about his “hot” date and the woman next to you with her long fingernails “clack, clack, clacking” on her keyboard. A Tel Aviv University study found that negative relationships among co-workers can reduce your life expectancy.
- Paperwork. This can be especially onerous if you work for the government or a large corporation. Work can only get done if you fill out three forms to order more forms. Your performance review ranks the paperwork you manage to push and there is great competition for the person in charge of paperwork. That job is guaranteed for life.
- Meetings. A GiveMore.com study finds that the No. 1 reason we all hate meetings is because they don’t start on time. But we also hate that nothing much gets done, there’s no clear reason to have a meeting and the information is often repetitive. Did I mention the information if often repetitive? A Gallup survey funds that 70% of American employees are either “not engaged” or “actively disengaged at work. Sounds like we need to have a meeting to discuss it.
- Email. There’s a very good reason that people continue to develop software and apps that are designed to better help you handle email. Because we hate email. We really do. We only like the emails that we can send and thus declare ourselves productive. Email is aggravating and shows no sign of disappearing from the planet. It will be around until the end of time, just like Cher and cockroaches.
- Team-building exercises. Asking someone to fall backwards while blindfolded into the arms of people they work with is like asking a lamb to take a stroll among a pride of lions – and trust that everything will work out. These are the people who steal your food from the refrigerator, gossip about your bad haircut in the break room and send you videos of cute cat tricks. Team-building exercises often do nothing more than make you even more sick of the people you work with.
Work can often be satisfying and fun and we’re always grateful for a paycheck. But let’s be realistic here: It’s not always a barrel of laughs. As Drew Carey says, “Oh, you hate your job? There’s a support group for that. It’s called EVERYBODY, and they meet at the bar.”
See you there.