A Simple Hack For Surviving Your Horrible Job
Write a new letter of resignation every day.
I saw the greatest thing the other day. I was eating lunch at a Chinese place. Nearby, an older lady was talking about her food to her husband. She said, “I wish it just came with vegetables.”
At that exact moment the waiter walked by. He was a young man and I think it was his day. He walked by and without stopping, as he passed the elderly couple’s table he said, “I think most of us wish our food came with more food.”
He started heckling her.
At the end of the meal, the lady read her fortune to her husband: “Its easier to make friends when you want friends.”
She says, “That’s not a fortune.”
The waiter had perfect timing. He walked by again and this time said, “For you, it is.”
I loved every second of that meal.
I wished that I could have fun at my job the way that waiter was having fun at his. So, I started thinking about it. And I began to formulate my hack. It is working and I will explain it now.
I’m a creative person who has an administrative job. Before this hack, my job used to be torture. The money is good and the job isn’t that bad, my brain just doesn’t work the way it should for a position like this. But, I’m 27 and no one has a big-picture job for a 27 year old. I’ll wait my turn. I get it.
And you should know I believe every single person is creative. Administrative people are magicians with creativity. Their brains work in a way that mine does not. They can turn organization into an art. I am jealous of that ability.
But I’m creative in the traditional sense. I like stories. I like creating them. I like graphic design and music. Stuff like that.
I’m also an open mic comedian a few nights a week. So I think about funny things for most of my time.
I have figured out how to take the things that bring me joy into work with me. Don’t worry, this hack will work for you too, even if you don’t want to be the next Mike Birbiglia.
The hack to help you survive your horrible job:
If you’re anything like me, it’s hard for you to be present at work because you’re bad at Email. It’s a drag.
So, in order to be present at work I write a brand new resignation letter every single weekday.
That’s the hack.
Write a new letter of resignation every single day.
I heard Christopher Titus, a comedy/storytelling wizard, explain how he writes a story once. He said that you have to spend about 30 minutes just writing down that facts of a story. Just write what happened. That’s it. After awhile, you’ll have some info and your brain will be moving. When that happens, you can then treat each fact you have as a set up to a joke. You just have to put things in the right order after that. That’s how you write a funny story.
So, I treat my daily resignation letter like how Christopher Titus treats funny stories.
Throughout the day, you can’t do this all at once, I write down the things that bother me about my job. By the time lunch rolls around, I’m fuming and I need a break. So, I go get some food.
After I’ve eaten, I’m ready to make some jokes.
I imagine myself standing up in the open work area and giving a speech. I go through my list and begin forming punchlines.
I imagine the people in shock. I imagine the people laughing. I imagine being bold. I imagine leaving to applause.
I think about that for the next few hours. My work becomes bearable because I can laugh at it. While my mind isn’t on the work I’m doing, I’m able to actually get my work done.
Then I leave for the day.
Today, my letter is going to go something like this:
Hey, everyone! Listen up for just a minute. I’m not going to take up too much of your time. Today is my last day and I just want to say a few words.
I left my house early this morning. I live about 45 minutes away. I was really excited to have a productive day. I got in early. I was excited to get my work done and then go home early.
But when I arrived here and started setting up for my day, I found that my work laptop was not in my work backpack. I left it at home. So, I had to drive all the way back home to get it.
If I’m being honest with you, I’m not that upset about leaving my computer at home. I manage content for a local travel site here, and I know that Facebook is going to kill my job with their new ‘Facebook Local’ thing anyway. And I’m not a fan of how this place is run. The manager laid off five people last week because she needs to cut $300,000. Instead of taking a pay cut, or just not dumping $200,000 in to a travel site that won’t be around in two years, she uprooted the lives of five entire families right before the holidays.
But! She’s a woman after all. Women in business should be praised. And this woman is going to make her budget work. She’s good at her job and she can screw people over just as well as any other man in business. #Capitalism #AmericanDream
Anyway, when I got home, I searched everywhere for my computer and could not find it. I opened up a pocket in my work backpack that I never, NEVER, use and there it was.
I had my computer the whole time.
That’s kind of funny. But, on top of that, one of you a-holes stole my headphone from on top of my desk. So, you all deserve to be here.
I wasted 3 hours today. And the last six months. I don’t feel good about it. So, I’m leaving.
It’s not the funniest story in the world, but it’s your classic setup, punchline, twist:
- Setup: Excited to be at work early.
- Punchline: Left my laptop at home.
- Twist: Had my laptop the whole time.
This story makes me giggle. And that’s the point. I know I’m not going to be at this job forever. But I have to pay rent in the mean time.
It’s definitely true, most of us wish our food came with more food. But, for me, I wish that my job came with more jokes. So I decided to make that happen.
This hack helps me leave work at work. I don’t take my disappointment home this way, I take jokes home.
Thanks for reading! I really appreciate it.
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