There was a bomb on the plane
It was a camel-back-breaking kind of week. Two stories surfaced so far illustrating that the stress factor in the work place is super high right now. The first story I have to credit Daniel Pink for uncovering. (Even if it turns out that the story is a hoax, it's a great parable).
The essence of the story is about a woman who overheard her boss refer to her as a *&%##. She decided at that point that this was no longer the place where she wanted to be employed. So she tells her boss, and everyone else on company email, that she is quitting. And she uses a series of pics of messages on a dry-eraser white board in slide show fashion to totally bust her boss for not only the name calling, but also all the wasteful ways the boss spends his time. Because she had the password to his computer as his assistant, she was able to track exactly how much time he was spending "playing" on Facebook. It is hysterical. I have a new level of understanding about passive-aggressive now.
And then there is Steven Slater, the Jet Blue flight attendant. It's stuff like this that serves as an incubator for new verbalizations. My guess is the term "Going Slater" will soon be up there with "Going Postal." Rude passengers everywhere are now on their best behavior because they don't want to get "Slaterized."
The real tragedy in all this is how many people are vicariously living through these two individuals because of the amount of pent up anxiety and stress at work. The Labor Department just released a report indicating that productivity in non-farm related work fell by .9% in the second quarter. Yet, unemployment remains above 9% indicating that workers have finally reached that point of diminishing return. In other words, they were willing to do the work of two for a period of time, but it is not sustainable for the long haul.
This is where being more motivated is really not going to help. Paying people more money might make it more tolerable but again, meeting the demand is really not sustainable. So I'd like to offer some suggestions on dealing with the high stress factor at work and as always, welcome yours.