Annoying, lazy, psychotic, sociopathic and soul sucking. These are just a few of the words that describe the lion’s share of the louts that I guarantee we can all relate to working with. And for me, those are the labels of the co-workers I like. The words I’d use to depict the demons that I despise would get me detained at LAX, fined by the FCC and put on Homeland Security’s high profile watch list. Seriously, I’ve talked to a ton of hard working individuals about the space that they’ve been forced to share with subordinates and they all universally agree that they rather get an epidural via the eye than spend another day taking orders from everyone’s favorite 21 year-old mother of three that managed to pork her way into a position of power. Same goes for the part-time stoner/full-time slacker that only has a job because he or she suckles at the teat of their boss like a remora attached to the belly of a whale shark. I don’t know about you, but I’m deeply saddened by the dawning realization that I will be forced to share the same slave labor space as these kinds of gray-matter-less associates for the rest of my life.
It’s also come to my attention that education has nothing to do with being qualified for a job or for being a tolerable and effective member of a team. It doesn’t matter if you majored in law and minored in medicine, the piece of paper that you paid $40,000 dollars for and spent six years of your life trying to acquire means nothing without the respect of those around you. Sure, a stamp saying that you graduated cum laude might net you a buttery benefits package, and that notation mentioning that you spent an afternoon or two at an old folks home playing Trivia Crack on your phone might add an additional digit or two to your salary, but overall it doesn’t make you any more bearable as a human being. And isn’t that what matters? What good does a career, degree or high status job do you if your co-workers secretly wish they could stick broken glass in your multi-grain muffin each morning? Isn’t this where we should all take a long hard look in the mirror and do our part to improve the welfare of our workplace? If we could all simply carry our own ever increasing weight maybe we could live in a sort of office space utopia. It could be a paradise where no one drops a dook in an already clogged employee-only bathroom; a wonderland where male management doesn’t participate in the molestation of the female half of the wait staff; a Shangri-la that involves the husbands and wives of colleagues staying at home and not drunkenly wandering into the workplace with their shirt off and screaming about how they can’t handle taking care of their kids anymore.
My only real wish in life is that I could work a single shift at my pizza delivery gig without feeling compelled to do a once over on my wrist with a rusty box cutter and then jamming it into a barrel of jalapenos just so I can feel again. I’m not being a pessimist here either. I absolutely believe that this fictitious fairytale of a funland can exist. And the foundation of that fantasy will begin with me explaining why my fellow pizza parlor co-workers are terrible. The idea is, you’ll be able to relate to the stories, identify some similarities, and then we can all take these lessons and forge ahead by attempting to avoid emulating the unadulterated evil that epitomizes most employees. Then, with a little luck, we can all start to understand our own foibles as well as the flaws of those around us, because the quicker we show a little self-awareness, the faster we can flip this unbalanced brick filled boat around and the sooner we can set sail on a cruise to paradise; a paradise where everyone plays nice and participates in something no one wants to do. Work.