May 25, 2020

Do you like having the problem?

I had an old boyfriend many years ago who shall remain nameless. He had a very well paying job. Great perks. Amazing Do you like having the problem?money. But he wasn’t happy. I came to dread asking “How was your day, honey?” because there was never a good day. His boss upset him by critiquing a report with suggestions for improvement. Or his boss upset him by not critiquing a report and therefore ignoring him. His secretary was too chatty and kept disturbing him. Or the office was too quiet and not buzzy enough to keep him motivated. He didn’t have enough challenging work to do. He was bored. Or he was under too much pressure to deal with the challenges of a particular project. God. It was exhausting to listen to.

This chap who we will call, er, Sebastian, was “so frustrated” with the inability of his boss and his job to make him happy. I tied myself in knots suggesting various approaches and things he could put in place to improve his situation. You could try meeting with your boss about workflow. You could detail in your emails how you would like feedback and by when. You could put earphones in when you want to work quietly (they magically repel people disturbing you – try it). If it’s not what you want to do, let’s look at different career options for you. On and on and on I went trying to help, you can only imagine! Hours and hours we would discuss different strategies for improving this terrible perk-filled high-paid good-hours job.

Much time went by, and I realised that nothing, apart from the incessant discussing, had changed.