Wednesday, March 12, 2008

How to Rationalize Staying At Your Crap Job

It’s understandable that when in a situation that sucks, poor people like to convince themselves that there are tons of good reasons for it. This is sometimes called optimism, but more often; denial. Regardless of the specifics, it’s important to rationalize staying at a job where the pay is equal to that of a 16 year old McDonalds employee, the daily tasks are as mind-numbing as a commute with no iPod and nothing to read, and the room for growth is as tightly squeezed as your monthly budget.

Here are some things to consider when thinking about getting a “better” job:

Personal Internet Use: What’s the downtime factor at your current job? Have you compared the amount of money you make to the amount of time you actually spend doing work-related activities on the computer? Sometimes, it isn’t worth the trouble of a job change. Sure, you could make more money somewhere else, but at Mindless Media, you can realistically get away with not doing a minute of work on any given day. Myspace, Facebook, and commenting on the new Stuff That White People Like post can occupy hours of your day without anyone even noticing. Also, consider the position of your cubicle, and the angle in which your monitor is facing. Is this out of the view of your supervisor, or would he/she have to stand up or walk across the office to really get a look at your screen?

Office Hours: Does anyone really give a shit if you’re on time? Consider this very carefully before applying for new jobs. After a few months of being 5-20 minutes late on a daily basis, your boss has either decided to continually let it go, or fire you. Chances are, they will not fire you. They have someone at their company who is willing to work for what they pay them. They will likely not want to give this up. Also consider your lunch break; do you often leave 10 minutes early and come back 10 minutes late? If you get a new job, that will not fly until you have at least broken in the job for 6 months. That’s a long time, considering that the minimal pay increase will seem just as insufficient as your current salary in no time.

The Commute: What’s the commute like to your job? Often times, people go as far as to move in order to decrease travel time door to door. If your commute is under an hour, you should keep this job. If you’ve already moved to be closer to your office, getting a new job would be rather silly. Chances are, the new job will either be farther away, or require that you move in order to get there (unless you don’t value sleep, free time, or yourself in general). Also, even if you think it may be easier to get to said “better job,” you’ll find in less than a week that the commute is not only about the same, but in most cases, 10-15 minutes worse. The chances of finding something worth the trouble that is actually closer to where you live now is unrealistic and foolish. Best to stay put.

Dress code: Do you get away with jeans and sneakers on days not designated with the prefix “Casual”? Do you often enjoy “Casual Wednesday,” “Casual Tuesday,” and yes, even “Casual Monday”? Then do yourself a favor and stay where you are! Getting a new job will not only entail the torture of a job interview, second interview, and the proverbial “first day” (in some cases, “first week”), but it will most likely require better dress, which means relatively matching outfits, weekly trips to the Laundromat, and shopping sprees that you wont be able to afford (even with the new salary). If it’s a “better” job, it usually means you have to dress better. Is this what you really want?

Being Comfortable: Lastly (and most importantly), are you comfortable at your current job? Isn’t it nice to already know everyone that you work with, who to avoid, and how to finagle your boss into thinking that you’re a good employee? Is your cubicle decorated with desk calendars, posters, and gifts from co-workers? That monitor you put all of the cute stickers on… you won’t be able to bring it to your new office! Think about this before you do anything rash. Imagine settling in to a new work environment, having to meet all new people, and redecorating your cubicle with the semblance of what little of a personality you have left… Again! Do you really want to learn how to do a whole new batch of tedious tasks, just when you got the ones you have now under control?

And, of course, there’s the free pizza

Elizabeth Stolfi
Corporate Cog
Mindless Media
A Genericorp Company

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