I Don’t Care; Or: How I Learned To Stop Worrying and Hate my Job

I mean if I believed in the concept of the soul, but whatever…

Last night I went from mildly disliking my job to hating it.

I have all of these extra responsibilities that I have to do in lieu of customer service. Because I work the third shift and it’s sometimes not busy, they have us clean up most of the store for the morning crew. You have to mop the floors, process food orders, take out the donuts, clean the hot dog rollers, clean out the hot food tray, turn off the oven and there’s probably a ton of other shit I’m just forgetting because it’s horrible and I hate it.

Now all of those things might be trivial on their own but of course you have to do that in addition to customers. With the biggest fucking deal being the coffee. God forbid people actually using their will power in the morning instead of being dependent on caffeine…okay, I know that’s judgmental but I’m bitter, okay? Like a bitter coffee.

None of this makes it any better when your co-worker is constantly like, “HEY NICK YOU SHOULD HAVE ALREADY DONE THIS BEFORE AT [INSET TIME HERE] COME ON MAN, YOU GOTTA PICK UP THE PACE.”

Every. Five. Seconds.

Okay, it wasn’t that bad but I’m still bitter okay?

Because I knew I’d hate this damn job but I was hoping I would last in the “honeymoon” phase a little longer until I could find a better one. But nope, the second time doing a third shift with someone helping me and already I hate it and am gonna look elsewhere if possible. And it isn’t even the (non) screaming or the coffee or even the dreaded customers.

It’s the fact that I am putting so much time and energy into something I hate.

That is what has always destroyed me about the jobs I’ve had in my life. It’s why I slack as a sort of mental health maneuver or even survival technique honestly. And that’s not a poetic exaggeration or anything when your livelihood depends on the fact that you have to have a job, even if it’s one you hate.

And  I know I’m not the only one here and I probably (unfortunately) be the last one either to have a shitty job and use their own blog site to complain about it. But dammit, it’s a tradition I respect and pay homage to every time I write a blog about work. Hell, arguably the whole point of this blog is to inspire other folks to take up arms through their words and call out this terrible work culture we have (or job culture, whatever you want to term it).

One way to fight back against the work culture is to stop caring. And I certainly started doing that last night in the last few hours. Eventually my social filter (my ability to withhold possibly offensive information) deteriorates and I simply tell people whatever is on my mind. I mean, I have my limits even then. It isn’t as if I start promoting this website or something (though it would be rad if I could figure out some way to do that) but I definitely grumble more.

Thankfully as I said this happens in the last few hours of my third shift (so around 5 AM and especially 6 AM when the morning rush really gets going). So most of the people throughout the night don’t get the brunt of my cynicism and bitterness at work. Still, it’s definitely something I should probably be cautious about to one extent or another

That said, fuck work and fucking caring about it.

There were times last night where I did small things that I knew customers may dislike. There was some water already in the coffee or whatever and I couldn’t dump out all of it effectively in the allotted time. So I simply filled it with some coffee anyways and figured no one would be able to tell the difference. It was like a puddle of water and quite honestly no one should really give a shit about those kinds of small details. But some people make the biggest fucking deals about these things (especially bosses) who don’t understand (because they lack the local knowledge) or don’t care to.

But yeah, there were a lot of moments where I just said, “Fuck it, I don’t care” and they became more prevalent as the responsibilities started piling up. It didn’t help that my co-worker kept pressuring me and saying the same damn thing about the schedule I have to keep in 100 different ways. I don’t know why people think that sort of external pressuring is helpful but it really isn’t and I wish folks would knock that off.

So yeah, I hate my job and you got the picture so now let’s get to the article of the (other) day:

I’ve long had a suspicion that the happiest people in the workplace are the ones who just don’t care as much.

In every office, you’ll encounter a few. They do averagely good work, rarely apologise for anything and pack up cheerily at 5.30pm on the dot every day. They use their lunch breaks to watch YouTube or sell things on eBay. And they always leave after a year and a half, for a better position and more money elsewhere. The Johnny That’ll-Dos. The Susan Shrugs-a-lots. I envy them.

That’s Lauren Bravo writing in The Guardian from an article entitled Is it time to stop giving so much of a damn at work?

And of course, the answer is yes.

There’s some (un)interesting data that Bravo gives as well:

Numerous studies have found workplace stress levels to be higher for women – up to 67% higher for women between 34 and 44, as last year’s study by the Health and Safety Executive found. But that stress is not just because we’re more likely to pick up the kids. We’re also picking up the emotional slack.

I say uninteresting (in parentheses) because it isn’t surprising to me that women get the shorter end of the stick of another form of labor.

But let’s go back to the internal and external policing discussion about work:

Clinical psychologist Dr Jessamy Hibberd, co-author of This Book Will Make You Calm explains that workplace anxiety results from a mixture of external demands (work you’re given by others) and internal demands. “These are the pressures you place on yourself,” she says. “For example, checking and rechecking work, spending too long on each task, taking work home and setting excessively high standards.”

So what can we do about all of this?

Care less.

How? Bravo shares some tips:

“I think one important part of caring less is not catering to the male ego,” says Hazel, 28, an advertising account manager who is used to working in male-dominated teams.

“One way I found to keep myself going in my last job was realising that the male managers who were making my life difficult were in a testosterone-filled environment that encouraged them to shout the loudest, whether it was helpful or not. I thought ‘is that how I want to be?’ and ultimately, the answer was no.”

Part of a patriarchal system is the fact that the “go-getters” (men) are privileged over everyone else. And not doing the same thing is grounds for co-workers (men) turning against you and reporting to their boss (most likely a man) so that they can yell at you and make you feel even worse for being born with the “wrong” set of chromosomes.

Here’s another part to it:

Dr Jessamy advises: “Rather than caring about everything, choose what’s most important and let go of the pressure on the things that don’t matter to you so much.”

So for example, with the coffee: If I make a few regulars, a Brazilian, a Colombian and a decaf then that should really be good for a lot of the first shift, if not some of the second too. But they want crumb cake flavor (really?), blueberry, french vanilla, hazelnut and whatever other terrible flavorings.

Given this, in the future I may just see if I can get away with not making the very odd things. Like the crumb cake blueberry and maybe the other two if I could. Why? Because I don’t care bout this lousy job and I don’t want to put so much of my attention and effort go into it. It’s sucking away time and resources I could be using on writing (although ironically it’s almost entirely fueling this piece if you haven’t somehow noticed) which is my greatest joy.

So anyways, there’s some good for thought on hating your job and how to care less.

Happy (apathetic) slacking, y’all!

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