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  • RENATA POLEON

Surviving Stress at Work: A Comedy of Errors




Do you ever feel like you're living in a sitcom, but instead of laughing, you're just trying to survive your 9-to-5? My life has at many times felt like an episode of "The Office" meets "Survivor." Here's a glimpse into my hilarious (and sometimes tragic) adventures of trying to navigate stressful work environments:


Episode 1: Sounds of Hunger


Picture this: It's 7:30 a.m, and I clock in to work just in time to grab documents that I prepared for an early new hire onboarding. I'm starving, but I'm on a tight schedule, so I keep driving for an hour to meet with the new hire—sometimes annoyed I am driving one hour to onboard one person in 2023. On cue, my stomach starts growling while I'm sitting in the room, and I'm just praying that the new hire does not hear any of it. Of course she did, so I say something funny to break the ice. Unfortunately, that was only the beginning, because I'm stuck in there for another 30 minutes. We both just pretend nothing is happening at every growl. Yikes.


Episode 2: The Email Avalanche


Ah, the joys of modern communication. One minute, you're catching up on emails; the next, your inbox resembles a digital avalanche burying you alive. You're now regretting your life choices and seriously considering homesteading as a way of life, because surely, this cannot be what I dreamt of. I also can't help but wonder: who thought it was a good idea to hit "reply all" to share their grievance about not being invited to a team gathering—drama! And why does the universe conspire to send urgent requests the moment I step away from my desk?


Episode 3: The Meeting from Hell


We've all been there – trapped in a never-ending and sometimes useless work meeting where you try to appear engaged, while secretly plotting your escape. Whether it's the boss's latest obsession with team-building exercises or a PowerPoint presentation that rivals the length of "War and Peace," every minute feels like an eternity. But then, your supervisor gets to the end and says, "Are there any questions?" I'm holding my breathe in pure terror hoping no one says yes, but then marvel at the audacity of someone to ask a question that makes us suffer even more. For the love of ....


Episode 4: The Office Drama


No workplace would be complete without its fair share of drama. From passive-aggressive emails or Post-It notes to whispered gossip, navigating office politics is like trying to solve a Rubik's Cube blindfolded. Even worse is when you can't help but wonder: is this really what I signed up for? When you're on the receiving end of that behavior, you just have to remind yourself that you're too broke to retire, don't want to be a sugar baby and you have bills to pay, so you report to work as a shy introvert and ignore every one. If it has nothing to do with work, you have nothing to say.


Episode 5: The Great Escape


I cannot tell you the number of times I have imagined grabbing my purse and jumping from the window with the perfect landing of a super hero, running to my car and driving off. In the end, sometimes the only solution is to make a break for it. Whether it's sneaking out early on a Friday or taking an extended bathroom break to collect my thoughts (and sanity), finding moments of respite becomes a survival strategy. When I clock out for the day, I can't help but laugh at the absurdity of it all – because sometimes, laughter truly is the best medicine.


So there you have it: my comedic journey through the wild and wacky world of stressful work environments. I have now taken to working remotely, which still provides endless material for a sitcom-worthy blog post? Cheers to surviving another day in the office, one laugh at a time!


Hope you enjoyed the humorous take on navigating stressful work environments! Let me know if you'd like to add anything or if there's a specific aspect you'd like to explore further.


(Photos: Feature photo by Jess Shoots/Unsplash , Graphic Photo by Aaron Blanco Tejedor/Unsplash)

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