Some 3 years ago I was stuck in the very definition of a dead-end project, where I was required to make sure that the web application I was working on would work on Internet Explorer 5 (which was released in 1998)…yeah, I was working on a project so old it would have been a freshman or sophomore in high-school should it have been a real person.
And during that project, I learned to hate corporations for the first time in my life, mostly because when the time came to stick up for their employees, the lovable managers of the company I was working for decided to stick it up our “place where the sun don’t shine” hole. This was very annoying because there was a period of two months when some people from the client side were stationed at the HQ of said company and made each and everyone’s lives a living hell, with constant overtime during the week and also during the weekends.
During those two months I also learned to hate the people who tell you you are a little b***h for complaining about your corporate job, because you should be grateful to spend your off-work time at work, am I right? And another thing I learned is the devastating effect that working in a stressful environment has on your physical and mental health. Because during that time I’ve seen many of my colleagues break down, a whole host of them left not too long after the project had ended (or during the project) and I myself experienced a panic attack, when I had to go out and get some fresh air because of all the stress. And aside from the mental picture I have of someone being shocked that I had to take some food supplement pills (in order to get my vitamin levels up so as to avoid this scenario again), there was nothing funny about those times.
Living in a constant state of anxiety, stress or fear of what’s to come is probably one of the leading factors to becoming numb or even worse, depressed, because of one’s work. And it’s more annoying when managers don’t do anything to help the situation, because of this stupid rule that “the customer is always right”.
I’ve said this before, but basing your actions around this quote is a sure fire way to alienate each and every last of your employees. Why do I say this? Because more often than not the customer doesn’t really know what he wants and actually welcomes input from the teams working on the project. And if he does know what he wants, then the problems should, in theory, not be there. I get that some customers are more difficult than others, but taking a giant dump on your employees instead of telling the customer to back the f**k up is a really s****y thing to do to the very people that actually BRING YOU THE BLOODY MONEY!
I originally set out to do a sort of X ways to handle anxiety at work, based on how I got through those times, but I feel that this issue is a bit more difficult and I think that I need to mull it over a bit more before I come up with ways to beat anxiety. Suffice it to say that you should NOT feel guilty if you feel overwhelmed at work, regardless of how many people tell you about the infinite number of other workers who would absolutely love to be in your place. If corporate, anxiety and stress-inducing jobs were so lovely, you’d have a line of people forming around the block to join said corporations, not to leave them, which seems to be the case as of late.