Work can be the cause of many people's stress and anxiety; if not the cause, it's usually a factor in aforementioned stress and anxiety. Therefore, it may be more normal than you think to fight back tears after making one too many mistakes at your desk or to just let go and let tears fall during a quick bathroom or lunch break. In this article, we have compiled a few work-related anecdotes that you may be able to relate to.
The Boss' s Lunch
I'm a receptionist at a small massage therapy business and my boss has never liked me. He thinks I'm incompetent and useless and probably wonders why he even hired me. Once, he brought a new recruit in to interview for my job right in front of me. So, needless to say, I'm always on my toes thinking, 'Today is the day that I'm going to be fired.' I complete my tasks as efficiently as I can to make sure that doesn't happen, but I'm only human so I'm bound to make mistakes every once in a while. And a mistake happened during lunch one day.
We have a small mini-fridge in the storage area behind my desk to hold any food we might bring. I always make chicken salads for lunch; I'm on a diet. I guess the boss had seen all of my chicken salads and started craving one himself because, sure enough, on this particular day he had brought a chicken salad for lunch as well. The lunch break is short so I'm always in a hurry to scarf down my food. I did so on this day and it is then that I remembered...This was the one day I decided not to bring lunch because I was planning to have a big dinner later. That meant...I ate my boss' lunch.
I immediately start crying because I'm sure that this is it...This is the day I get fired. Never had I been so stressed over a chicken salad before. I was more stressed than when I use too much ranch dressing, knowing it's not good for my diet.
Long story short, I didn't get fired because I lucked out when my boss decided to go out for lunch that day. That gave me time to replace his chicken salad the next day and he was none the wiser. But I will never forget breaking down over an empty salad container. That was a low point in my life.
The Squeaky Chair
We have a squeaky chair at work. It's been there for as long as I can remember, ever since I started this job. The department I work in is high stress and the boss is terrible so everyone is annoyed all the time. This squeaky chair doesn't help the atmosphere. That's why it's become something like an unwritten rule to pass the squeaky chair on to anyone who's considered low hanging fruit. It's basically used as a bullying tactic. The person with the squeaky chair is an outcast.
I knew this was happening but I never paid much attention before; I just focused on my work. That is until I sat down one day and a loud squeak pierced through the office. My heart dropped.
Everyone in the office started treating me as if I wasn't there. I didn't get invited to lunches, parties, nothing. I didn't realize how much all of that mattered until one day when I was just sitting in the bathroom stall and I started bawling. Never have I felt so small.
I still have the squeaky chair.
The Hardworking Zombie
I feel like a zombie.
I go to work, take calls, produce spreadsheets, send faxes, book appointments...and I do this for 12-hour shifts four days out of the week.
I work behind the desk at a dentist's office and this is my life. I'm paid well and the three days off keep me sane enough to continue in this monotony. But sometimes I can't help but to think about all of the hours of my life that I'm selling, doing work I'm not passionate about, just so I can continue to rent a house that I barely have time to live in and go out to eat alone because it's harder and harder to meet up with friends who are just as busy as me.
An elderly woman came in for a tooth appointment the other day and she talked on and on about all the things she wanted to do but didn't because she was too busy working. I couldn't help but to hope that wouldn't be me in the future, filled with regrets about all of the things I should have done.
I cried when she was gone.