Working for the weekday

OPINION

  • "Office Space"
"Office Space"
August 29, 2013|By Ernest Wilkins, @ernestwilkins | For RedEye

Have you ever heard a slang term that you didn't understand, but you faked like you were familiar with it? The other day, the words "Yeah, I DO think an opp needs to get popped, juheard?" came out of my mouth, and I still have no clue what they mean.

I mention this phenomenon because recently, my girlfriend casually dropped the phrase "Sunday scaries" into a conversation. Not wanting to feel dumb, I backed my way into asking her what it meant.

Apparently, the phrase is a reference to that doomed feeling some people get on Sunday nights. The dread of another work week, another commute, another passive-aggressive co-worker attaching that stupid red exclamation point to an email like the damn world is going to end if you don't get a response in the next five freaking minutes, you annoying Type A sonuva ... see what I mean? It can be stressful.

I can't even lie. I was in that spot awhile back. Everything about work frustrated me, and I wanted to avoid it as often as possible. Living for the weekend, a cold whiskey ginger and my couch was the end goal. It sucked. But I got through it.

Here's how I adjusted and got back to making work work for me.

Attitude is everything

Do you take responsibility for yourself? Do you shirk challenges instead of facing them? Are you the type who creates conflict and drama at work because you're bored? Enough already. Your job isn't always going to be thrilling. The key is to find a challenge and go get it. Even the most boring jobs can provide a thrill if you look hard enough.

Re-evaluate your job

When I was younger, I believed that if you grow up to be a lawyer, you would be richer than Warren Buffett and Birdman put together. You go to law school and take on tremendous eff-you debt in order to score a lucrative gig to pay it off. Nowadays, you don't have to do a poll to see that the process isn't exactly working out for a lot of folks. Don't be afraid to take a less-than-glamorous gig if you love doing it. That way, instead of trying to live up to someone else's legacy, you'll have started your own.

Consider working harder

Yes, nights and weekends. Yes, when you don't want to. Yes, even if you don't see the benefits. What kind of magical Care Bear facility do you think we're running here? It's like A$AP Ferg says, "PUT IN WORK. PUT 'EM IN THE DIRT." ("Them" refers to your excuses, for the purpose of this column.)

It's a daunting topic, isn't it? Being successful is the American Dream, yet most of us go through life half-awake trying to find it. It's time to wake up and put the Sunday scaries to bed, once and for all.

Ernest Wilkins is Chicago's wingman.

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