Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Grateful For Your Job, But Still Not Happy

The following is a brief excerpt from "The Chronicles of a Hardworking Slacker". It's an email sent from the main character Madison Fox to her best friend and coworker, Kimberley Jacobs.

I believe we all have moments when we feel just like Madison. We don't want to feel ungrateful about having a job. At the same time, how much weight should we place on "being happy" at work?

From: Madison Fox
Sent: Tuesday, September 13, 2005 5:20 PM
To: Kimberley Jacobs
Subject: RE: RE: Question: KM Solutions Contract

Not funny. : ( And it’s not just a job. This is my life, and he’s ruining it. It’s hard enough getting out of bed every day to go to a good job. But when I’m trying to relax or go to sleep, I’m thinking about what happened at work that pissed me off. Then I get mad at myself because it’s my personal time and I’m thinking about work. I know that Richard isn’t losing sleep over all the things he does to me. When I wake up, I feel great until I realize that I have to come here. I just don’t even want to be here anymore. And don’t let it be a Sunday evening. My whole positive vibe that I felt over the weekend literally comes crashing down. I wish I could be grateful just to have a job. Especially now when it’s so hard for people to find a decent job that pays well. I’m not trying to be a complainer, but I just feel stuck, as though I don’t have any options. I’m really trying hard to be grateful. But being grateful doesn’t mean you have to suffer and just take what’s given to you … or does it? I’m thinking too much.

I believe that there has been a generational shift regarding our approach to work. With each passing generation, it appears that we increasingly integrate "what we do for a living" into our vision for overall personal fulfillment. In other words, more and more people view the key to their success as having a job or career that they truly enjoy.

It's interesting because when I was growing up, I don't ever recall my older family members discussing how happy they were to go to work. I think they were busy just trying to meet basic needs. Even if they hated it, they were happy to have a job that put food on the table every night. Happy to provide for their kids. Happy that everyone had a safe and clean house to live in. Happy that they could buy clothes and shoes for their kids. Happy that they could put their kids through college. The achievement of these basic needs was sufficient to ensure a certain level of happiness within them. The job was just a means to achieve these greater successes.

Of course we have more choices for jobs and careers now than our grandparents and parents. With significant advances in technology, and more opportunities for us to obtain higher education, society has evolved to embrace this more holistic approach to choosing a career.

The bottomline is that we spend at least 8 hours a day working either for someone else or trying to build our own business. So why spend that time feeling miserable and hating what you do? I agree. But I also say take care of your responsibilities. Be grateful for where you are right now, even if you aren't 100% happy there. When you have the opportunity to move on to something better, move forward. If you don't see the opportunities to progress, then plan ahead. Do you need more education, more experience, better contacts to network? Whatever it is, plan and continue to be thankful for this moment.

In the meantime, don't beat yourself up every second because you don't have your "dream job." We could all take a lesson from our elders and focus a little attention on the family members who benefit from us working, when we are in those difficult moments.

Tanya Michelle

Saturday, January 9, 2010

New Attitude for 2010

So it's the same story every year. Each January, I re-evalute my career. I consider if it's too late for a career change. A change to something more fulfilling. More in line with my dreams to be a writer. And somehow, I just manage to get sucked back in to the same rat race that has become my current career. What makes it most challenging, are the people that I work with. Not necessarily my coworkers. But people that I have to work with in other parts of the organization. Take for instance last week. I received a new assignment that requires that I work with a new project manager. The new project manager called me in a panic and I think he used the phrase, "lean heavily upon you" several times in our discussion. That is hardworking slacker terminology for, "I will not be doing much." He doesn't even know what he has to do yet. And without even reading the background information, just calls me up to complain that he has received this assignment and is "too busy to figure out what he has to do."

Now the old Tanya would just jump right in and offer to help and do the job of two people. But not this year. As far as I know, I didn't get a pay raise to do additional work. And even if I did, it should be work that's assigned to me. Not work that is assigned to somebody else. This is my struggle. Finding that balance between doing enough to be considered a hardworking employee, without killing myself or having others attempt to dump their work onto me.

I wonder if there are others out there that deal with the same challenge. I don't mind working hard. I just don't like being manipulated into doing someone else's work on top of my already heavy workload.

I'd like to hear your stories. If you are a hardworking employee that has learned a few survival tactics, please share! If you are a hardworking slacker, then why? Please explain?

Tanya Michelle, Author
The Chronicles Of A Hardworking Slacker

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

The annoying coworker guide

Wouldn't life be much easier if every person at your workplace was like you? What if every employee came in, did their jobs and treated everyone with respect? Hey, we can dream, can't we? Most people have had a bad boss and/or co-worker. Dealing with lazy coworkers in many cases can be a very tough task. We've all got great stories about the annoying people at our office. In fact, it's one of America's favorite pastimes. But what happens when things go to that next level? Tanya Michelle wrote a book called The Chronicles of a Hardworking Slacker, and it reads like a comedy. When that stuff isn't happening to you, it can certainly be really funny. But what happens when the lazy and annoying coworker is your coworker? Dealing with difficult people is an ugly, unavoidable reality for lots of folks in the working world. In Michelle's book, the stories are abounding. This is a book about those folks who can actually stifle your career instead of just making your day a little bit more difficult.The world's full of lazy people many of whom migh be be working in your office. Instead of actually doing something to make themselves better, these people try to bring you down to their level and then beat you with experience. Do you have a good idea? A bad boss might take that idea, run it by his superiors, and then take all of the credit for it. Hey, that's just the way the game works, right? Annoying people will make your workplace a living hell, and that's what this book is all about. If anything else, it is nice to know that there are people out in the working world who can share in your pain. Misery loves company, after all.Dealing with annoying coworkers is all about letting people run their course. Outsmarting the idiots isn't an easy proposition, especially when they outnumber the normal people by such a large margin. Unfortunately, it's a part of life and we all have to deal with it. The lazy coworker and bad boss will strengthen your resolve, if they don't steal all you drive and ideas first. Anyway, be sure to check out, this book is definately worth a read!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The Chronicles of a Hardworking Slacker

There are lots of funny books out there, but not all of them hit the spot closest to home as well as The Chronicles of a Hardworking Slacker ( We have all seen The Office and it paints the perfect picture of what it's like to be around annoying people all day long. Dealing with difficult people is one of those things that can drive even the best of us mad, and it seems as if this is the case in the book.So what things do they talk about in The Chronicles of a Hardworking Slacker? Without going so far as to ruin the book, it's easy to say that Michelle talks about some things that are pretty common in the American workplace. It is time that you just face the facts. People are stupid, crazy, and in many cases, a combination of these two things. When those things happen in your office, there are a few different ways to handle it. You can either get mad and let these folks drive you mad, or you can write a book about it. {That is a much better plan, especially when it's a funny book that talks of the maddening bad boss and the slackers abounding~That is a much better plan, especially when it's a funny book that talks of the maddening bad boss and a lazy coworker~That is a much better plan, especially when it's a funny book that talks of an annoying and lazy coworker~That is a much better plan, especially when it's an informative and entertaining book about a lazy coworker~That is a much better plan}.{Some of the stories in this book are much too real to really be funny~Some of the stories in this book are so real, that's why they're even funnier}. A bad workplace is enough to bring a lot of people down and make them less motivated. As the book says, don't let those wild oats get you down. They might try to steal your ideas and make it by with the smallest amount of effort possible, but that is just the way it is. {These folks are around in almost every industry, and it's a good bet that almost everyone has had to deal with a bad boss at one point in time~These people are in every industry, and it's a safe bet that almost everyone has had to deal with a lazy coworker at one point in time}. Consider it a rite of passage, and a mark of honor that you were able to survive a person who is so very good at squashing your dreams.This book should hit home with the average person, just as The Office tv show did. It brings to light and makes fun of the things that don't seem nearly as funny when they happen to you. But if you can read about others' misfortune, why not? That seems like a good idea to me.

Monday, November 2, 2009

Micheal Of The Office, A Hardworking Slacker
For anyone who has ever reckoned it a liability to be a slacker or has been made to feel self-conscious of their natural desire to disdain the tedium of trying to look busy, the television show, The Office, offers a redeeming image to the unfortunate enmity that lazy coworkers have had to endure over time. Essentially, the show is a virtual paean to the art of slacking. The boss, Michael, is the representative dunce of the office, preferring to occupy his time contriving jests rather than doing anything remotely close to constructive work; a satirical twist on the usual charge of slacking attributed to the employees by the boss. As one of his more critical employees, Stanley, says, he is either a genius or preeminently clueless. In either case, their branch enjoys great success in the otherwise waning fortune of the paper industry. By liberating the office employees from putting on a pretense of hard work, he encourages them, through example, to adopt the self same mockery to the job that he has adopted. Even in his attempts at sincerity, his impulsive candor and lack of cordial restraint more often than not only results in annoying people, but in such a way as to give license to his employees to conduct themselves in the same manner. Everyone in the show is refreshingly, even if at times annoyingly, real to themselves and to others. In dealing with difficult people, Michael has a whole litany of seemingly unconscious reactions to choose from, none of which any self-respecting adult man would be wont to use so unflinchingly as he demonstrates the habit of doing. In all of his interactions he shows a total disregard, whether out of ignorance or out of insensitivity, to the conventions of civil behavior. He also shows no distinction between stereotypes and facts, using the former to establish most of his arguments. But, to call him a bad boss would be unfair insofar as his slacking is what motivates his employees. The good luck of having a boss who could give-a-damn removes that too often used complaint of having someone looking over your shoulder. Respect, honor and recognition play minor roles in the true pursuit of job satisfaction. Everyone in their heart of hearts wish to attain to that pinnacle of success whereby they can slack with impunity and enjoy work by not working. The episodes of The Office are, for all intensive purposes, the chronicles of a hardworking slacker.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The solution to a Lazy Coworker

Constant texts and personal phone calls, avoidance of project work, excessive breaks…these are all signs of a lazy coworker. It is frustrating to know an employee is a slacker while your desk is getting buried with work. Most employees face lazy people in the office at some point. A non-productive employee is an annoying coworker who impacts the atmosphere and profitability of a company. Some chose to ignore the problem; others “pick up the slack” so that projects move forward. Both are short term solutions that allow the issue to fester. You must take steps to confront the lazy coworker problem.First, confirm that the coworker is really a slacker and not an undervalued employee. Often an employee will not reach potential without challenge. Analyze your irritation and the larger picture before filing the employee under the category of “lazy people.” Also, verify that the person is not simply an annoying coworker with whom you are finding fault; double check with the office team to validate your perceptions.Secondly, move forward with documentation; track dates and times of the problem behavior. Then have a private chat with the annoying coworker about the issues; keep documentation ready just in case. Quietly explain how you, the team and the company are being impacted; talk about helpful changes. Be positive to minimize a defensive reaction. Listen to his responses. Although he may make excuses, your coworker needs to feel that he has some input.If you are met with hostility, calmly stop the process and move to the supervisor with your concerns. However, if the person is willing to adjust or did not realize he was being perceived as a slacker, he may have some new approaches. The team can provide input here in terms of expectations and how they can help the lazy coworker better reach his potential. Encourage him to talk to his supervisor about more challenge in his work.After the intervention, give the coworker a chance to implement corrections. Let him know that, if no changes result, you will speak to his supervisor. Follow through with upper management if necessary. This may need to happen more than once; many bosses also avoid dealing with lazy people. Make sure you still have relevant documentation; present yourself in a very positive manner. You do not want to end this intervention labeled as a whiner who is not a team player.
For an even more lazy coworker scenarios and in-depth solutions, be sure to read The Chronicles of a Hardworking Slacker ( by Tanya Michelle. This book goes into vivid details on various situtation you might encounter while working with a "slacking" coworker and provides some very amusing and insightful solutions.

Monday, October 26, 2009

The Growth of Lazy Workers in America

Are lazy coworkers becoming commonplace in America? In offices across the country there are coworkers who are lazy. From annoying people to a bad boss, dealing with difficult people has become a popular topic of business education. One of the types of difficult people is the lazy coworker. It seems that this category is expanding rapidly.Unfortunately, there are few books about this very topic. One of the books that addresses the topic of lazy coworkers in a humorous way, is The Chronicles of a Hardworking Slacker.This book discusses lazy coworkers that are called hardworking slackers. These people do the least amount of work as they can and then take credit for doing the work themselves. They often move up in the company and continue this behaviour. They are annoying, because no matter what you do, you cannot stop them.It seems that everyone is talking about this topic online, too. A brief search reveals blog postings and articles about how everyone has lazy coworkers that they cannot stand. Nobody knows how to get rid of them, though.People try many different methods, some of which are described in the book mentioned above. Some people hide information, to keep people from stealing credit. That seems like it would work, but it doesn't. Instead, the lazy coworker will find a way to get the information out of you, using unbelieveable charm.As the book describes, usually the laziest coworkers are the most charming and personable people. Hardworking slackers are among the most well-liked people in the office. However, to make sure they keep their jobs, despite their lack of work, they will steal your hard work and put their own name on it.In a bad economy, you would think that lazy coworkers would be declining. However, since many of them are getting away with it and advancing in their companies, the lazy coworker is in a period of growth. Protect yourself. Take the advice of people who warn you about the lazy coworker. Make sure you take precautions with your valuable information. Protect yourself from the lazy coworker!