What a Crappy Job Looks Like

Peter Gibbons: “Let me ask you something. When you come in on Monday and you’re not feeling real well, does anyone ever say to you, “Sounds like someone has a case of the Mondays?”
Lawrence: “No. No, man. Sh*t, no, man. I believe you’d get your ass kicked sayin’ something like that, man.”

-Office Space

Well, look at the time. Monday morning.

Time to get up, your mind drones through the haze. Your body is being fussy, and refuses to move. It knows what’s in store for the day. You sleep in later than you should.

One of the best parts of your crappy job is the commute. Why? Because your mind has this delightful trick where you pull into work hardly remembering the drive! The zone-out/autopilot mode turns on, and you find yourself parking in the parking structure. You’re not happy, though.

Clock in. Sit down at your desk, watch your computer lazily turn on. You might nod at a few people, at they know what you’re feeling. Another nice part of the crappy job is having coworkers who are as miserable as you to bond with.

You see your boss laughing chummily with your boss’ boss, and you shudder despite yourself. Your desk is next to his desk, and you can never really relax, being that close.

And then, your day starts. It might include some of these:

  • You start “smiling and dialing” through 250 sales leads who’ve already said “no.”
  • You start opening up the several different Excel sheets you need to create new Excel sheets for tomorrow morning’s Excel sheets.
  • You open the queue of 100+ articles to proofread and spell check.
  • You open your email to see how much of your day will be spent putting out fires you had no control over.
  • You open your calendar, to see how many meetings you’ll have to keep-yourself-awake-through today as your coworker boxes you out for recognition.

“They call it “9 to 5.” It’s never 9 to 5, there’s no free lunch break at those places, in fact, at many of them in order to keep your job you don’t take lunch. Then there’s OVERTIME and the books never seem to get the overtime right and if you complain about that, there’s another sucker to take your place.”

-Charles Bukowski

Man, that was depressing to write.

I think I need to watch a Disney movie now or something, that’ll make me feel better. *sob

The thing is, I’ve been through all those scenarios. I’ve had to sit next to my phony, misleading boss for months so he could keep a close eye on me (to make sure I didn’t overthrow his kingdom and whatnot).

I’ve had to open my calendar every days for months, knowing I would be overruled and overshadowed by my power-hungry “Lead” coworker (he wasn’t even my boss!) at all the meetings I needed to attend that day.

I’ve had to sit down at my desk not remembering the 40 minute commute in traffic because I was just another blur. I’ve had to open the never ending queue of boring articles to spellcheck.

These are but a few examples of the crappy jobs I’ve had. Maybe you could add some to the list yourself.

I write this article not to depress you about your current unfulfilling employment; I write to make fun of it, to shake you out of your usual zoning-out to make you laugh, and suggest there are better jobs out there.

I remember speaking to a career counselor while I was working in my first job out of college (and keep in mind, I had many crappy jobs after this conversation). I looked her in the eye and asked a simple question:

“Will I ever find a job I don’t hate?” I asked, exasperated.

She said yes, but I didn’t feel any better. It would be years of Craigslist-mindless-job-applications, traumatizing unemployment, and silently suffering as a square peg in a round hole to finally quitting the 9–5 crappy-job-spiral I had been in for 8 years.

In short: it’s great. I’ve founded my own company, StuffGradsLike. I work my own hours, I wake up when I want (want to hear something crazy? I wake up earlier now than I did when I was working my 9–5 jobs, because I’m excited to work! Um…never said that before. I’m having a moment.).

The work I do is meaningful and life-giving. I don’t have any more dysfunctional bosses to appease or more meetings to glue my eyes open for. I get to travel! My wife and I are moving to South Korea for a year to teach English to little kids while I build my business. We’re going to New Zealand to visit my dad. We don’t have to fight for time off anymore.

You’re working at a crappy job, and that’s alright. I’ve been there, and I know (at least a little) about your “typical day.”

The good news? There’s a lot of great, meaningful work waiting for you.

Call to Action:

If you enjoyed this article, read more about how to leave work you hate and Find Meaningful Work at StuffGradsLike.com.


Writer for CNBC, Business Insider, Fast Company, Thought Catalog, Yahoo! Finance, and you. Come say hey. anthonymoore.co