Why Are You Happy?
Is there anything worse than walking into work after a horribly early morning and being greeted by a cheerful co-worker?
No. There isn’t.
The happy co-worker is a special breed. One may never know if they genuinely enjoy working in a horrible job, or if they have a hormone imbalance that makes them think they enjoy it. Either way, the happy co-worker is a particular mix of creepy, frustrating, and border-line serial killer.
The worst time to bump into the happy co-worker is a Tuesday afternoon. Bear with me, there is a special formula that has allowed me to develop this theory.
You see, Mondays are dedicated to the release of the weekend. They suck, sure, but you’re still fizzy and happy with the events of the previous two days, so the full impact of the first day of the week is mitigated by your left-over happiness and freedom. Therefore, Tuesday is arguably the worst day of the week. You are the furthest from the following weekend, and you have released all of the residual endorphins into Monday. By the time 2PM on Tuesday hits, you’re ready to kill someone.
This is when Mr. Happy shows up.
When We’re Meant To Be Out Having Fun, All We Do Is Bitch About Our Work.
The bar is a sacred place. It is an environment that fosters freedom. You go there to drink and be merry with those whom you enjoy, and afterwards you leave and relinquish your inhibitions to the night. That is, if you don’t go drinking with your co-workers.
“I hate our bosses, Peter and Alex.”
“I hate them more.”
“I hate them more than you.”
“I hate them so much that I hope that a sink hole eats them tonight.”
It’s like we’ve replaced getting drunk with developing a fucking Penguin book about how much we hate Peter and Alex. Drinking with co-workers when you’re Underemployed is like a who’s who of misery. You tell funny anecdotes, have a huge bitch session, but eventually it always turns into therapy. Commiserations are universal, and they’re shared freely amongst one another. Don’t let me fool you, this isn’t a good. It’s an inherently bad thing. You shouldn’t feel like this in the first place and being surrounded by like-minded people will only make it worse.
High School Never Ends
The workplace is exactly the same as the school yard. Everyone has their group. These groups are evenly divided up by social norms, social capital, and other specific factors. Once a member of a group, it is basically impossible to get out. You’ll start your morning together with a coffee. Come lunch time you’re all going to the same place. When you arrive, you’ll order the same things you always do. You all wait for each other to leave at the end of the day, each of you vying for the other to say, “I’m off,” first.
This may be argued as the upside to the social hierarchy of the workplace, but it’s still totally miserable when you’re underemployed. Misery loves company, remember? So if one of you is feeling Underemployed, then eventually all of your social group will. The only way to avoid this is to go it alone.
Being a part of the misfit group in the office might be social suicide, but it’s also the only way to avoid being sucked into your circle of dismay. The misfit group have the unique stance of talking about general things, like what’s going on in the news or science. As you all have such drastically different tastes, you might be able to sit around and learn something from one another as you awkwardly eat lunch in the break room. Again, it’s not ideal, but it’s better than nothing.
Someone Will Always Be More Proactive Than You
This might feel like a “well duh” statement, but being Underemployed in work is the ultimate way to let anger fester, growing worse by the minute. The one thing that can set you off is that smug, all-knowing, teacher’s pet bitch that always has something to say, and is always super excited to share it.
As an individual, this suck-up is the worst of the co-workers. For some reason they feel that they absolutely have to climb the workplace hierarchy. They offer up a sweet but salty persona, built on passive aggression and the know-it-all mindset. Unlike the unnecessarily happy person, this cocky shithead isn’t actually happy. They secretly hate themselves and their life.
It’s cringy really, how far this individual is willing to go to become the best at the worst job. They go so far as to literally fool themselves into thinking that their desperate grabs at the top are what will complete them. In reality, this person is inherently miserable. They probably go home at night and wonder why they’re just not good enough. The worst part is that you can’t feel sorry for them because they’ve made themselves so easy to dislike.
Office politics is made up of an ugly combination of gossip, hierarchy, poorly executed leadership, bad ideas, and a lack of motivation. We know that we should make a new cup of coffee when we finish the last of it, but sometimes we don’t. It’s not a big deal. Seriously, it’s just coffee.
We don’t interrupt the boss when he’s getting everything wrong and coming up with an awful idea, but sometimes an eye roll or blatant lack of attention just presents itself through us. Oh, and honestly, we shouldn’t have gone out drinking on Friday night with the rest of the team, but we did. We’re upset now at the things we said, but in all honesty, the boss is an asshole, and so is his/her wife/husband. There are certain things that are just not done in the workplace, and unfortunately this always comes down to office politics.
This only becomes a particularly awful thing when you’re underemployed. Suddenly it’s way easier to just say, “fuck it,” and become a renegade. You live outside of office law. Their rules ain’t your rules. What might be socially unacceptable to others is now totally open to you. Why? Because you couldn’t give less of a shit if you tried.
Fuck office politics. Fuck this job. Fuck everyone! You’re going to attack with the North, and if that doesn’t work then you’re going to eat all of the doughnuts in the breakroom, and fuck anyone who tries to tell you not to.
Kay Smythe, The British Bitch in America.
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