A Case for the Mondays

Seriously, grandma, I get it.
Seriously, grandma, I get it.

“Ah…Monday.” We’ve all heard it a million times, right? And don’t act like you don’t know what context I mean that in: this is WJ, I’m not talking about the time in kindergarten when we learned what all the days of the week are – I’m talking about the bane of your coworkers’ collective existence. Monday. Fuckin’ Monday. MONDAY. A day so universally hated everyone comments on it, including/especially the media. From Office Space to Garfield and everywhere in between, I don’t think I’m overstating anything when I say Monday is literally the worst thing to ever happen in human history even if you combined all of the bad things into one super bad thing.

(By the way, why does Garfield hate Mondays so much? What is he so happy about during the weekend that Monday takes away from him? He doesn’t have a job, his day-to-day responsibilities are basically limited to eating lasagna and mocking Jon…his Mondays sound pretty fuckin’ cool if you ask me.)

(Oh, and one more quick detour while I’m at it [I know, sorry, I’m all over the place today]: If you haven’t ever seen Lasagna Cat or Garfield Minus Garfield, do yourself a favor and check out both. They’re both excellent, excellent reimaginations of Garfield. Totally worth your time.)

Monday though, you guys, seriously though: it’s the worst right? Oh wait a second: Nope. Turns out you’re just lazy and lame and looking for any reason you can find to complain. Most people thrive on complaining (but, uh, not ST and I, that would be ridiculous) – Monday is easily the second-best day of the week, and if anything it’s doing you a FAVOR by filling the “I need to complain about something” void in your life.

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Hit the Deck!

I'm here to drink whiskey and take people to task for their horrible PPT skills, and I'm allllll out of whis -- wait, I'm out of whiskey? Shit.
I’m here to drink whiskey and take people to task for their horrible PPT skills, and I’m allllll out of whis — wait, I’m out of whiskey? Shit.

 

When I was in college, I went through a brief stint writing articles about the Carolina Panthers for a Seahawks fan site (I know, there’s a lot to unpack in that sentence). It was a pretty fun side gig: it let me talk football, added a bit of routine/structure to my week, helped me hone my writing skills a bit, etc.

The funniest part of it all, though (well, besides the ridiculousness of the core concept), was our “editorial” staff. If the quotes I used didn’t convey the irony clearly enough, let me tell you: that was a pretty ironic title for their jobs. More often than not, I’d submit a piece for review only to find it they’d edited it…but edited it from correct to incorrect. It usually wasn’t anything major, but I always found it funny that someone was actively ADDING small grammatical/syntax errors to these articles. It’s one thing to not contribute; it’s another thing to actively work against your writers.

 

Although they were responsible for adding this picture to one of them, so that was a win.

 

I didn’t think much of it at the time, though, since it’s not like any of us are perfect linguists (readers of this blog probably already knew that). Besides, we were all amateurs, more or less. Surely if we were PROFESSIONALS, though, there’d be more strict standards. Surely no one, if it was important to their job, would be so cavalier about the details of, oh, I don’t know, a PowerPoint presentation, right?

…oh god damn it.

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Worklejerkin’ Hard or Hardly Worklejerkin’?? (Hint: It’s the First One)

 

My brother and I have had career paths as diametrically opposed as…huh, I can’t even think of a metaphor for this one. But it’s true: He’s spent very little time in a traditional office environment, I’ve been in one almost exclusively; I’m confined to pretty strict office hours, he’s just responsible for getting things done before a given deadline, no matter when that may be. Such is life when one of you is primarily an artist and the other is in finance. As a result, it’s possible people like him won’t fully appreciate the point of this post, but I’m going for it anyway (especially since I know ST is gonna feel me):

The traditional office structure, from the length of the workday to the types of interactions that take place to the pervasively toxic social atmosphere, is complete bullshit — and if your office is anything like mine, it’s actively harming your best employees.

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1 Ridiculously Useful Tip for Acing All of Your Interviews

 

Is anyone else EXTREMELY curious what these two were sharing the computer for during this interview?

 

I’ll be honest: among all of the workplace dynamics and customs that exist, interviews are almost certainly my favorite (well, I guess second favorite behind the sadly-forgotten three Martini lunch). For whatever reason I just “get” them: with one ridiculous exception, I’m glad to humblebrag say that I’ve never been rejected from any job I’ve interviewed for and actually wanted.

(That one exception: I applied for a job at American Apparel in college just to prove to my parents I was actively looking for work. Since AA only looks for a certain type of person — you know things are great when the job application requests a recent headshot — I decided to treat the whole thing as a joke, feeding the poor hiring manager lines that would have probably made me look like a mentally unstable lunatic in any other context. I told her my interests outside of work were gardening and freestyle rapping, and that my last job was as someone who wrote essays for money. They called like the next day and gave me an outright rejection. It was awesome, and I highly recommend applying for a nothing job at least once in your life, if only just to have fun with it. But I digress.)

To me, interviews feel pretty natural: you, the prospective employee, are ostensibly interested in a job at a place you likely know very little about; the company, interest ostensibly piqued by your resume and/or cover letter, thinks you’re at least a potential fit for the role. Neither of you REALLY know anything about each other, though, and the interview is a great chance to learn about what kind of a fit it’d really be. Not too difficult of a concept to grasp, right?

That’s how it sounded when I typed it all out, at least. But all too often people treat interviews like they’re an audition where they need to be TOTALLY PERFECT in order to impress the employer. People get nervous and clammy, trying to script every little minute thing that might be said in a desperate attempt to come across as valuable and desirable. They treat every job opening like it’s PERFECT for them, building it up into something massive that’s not even grounded in reality, but is instead just the by-product of their imagination. It’s a lot like how I treated talking to girls throughout grade middle high school.

It’s those people I’m reaching out to today with this amazing new strategy for conducting interviews. That’s right, good ol’ JSG has you covered, people. Are you ready to hear my amazing tip? The one weird trick that has HR departments everywhere hating me? Good, because here we go:

Stop treating job interviews like they matter at all and act like you’re better than any and every position you apply for.

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Happy Wednesday!

This is the first thing that comes up when you Google “thank god its Wednesday.” Crazy, right?

Can you believe it’s already Wednesday? I know, right? It feels like it should be Friday already for SURE. I’m SO over this week. So yeah, any big plans this weekend?

…..sound familiar? If so, I have to think it’s not because I just wrote all of that and more because you’ve heard at least 27 million variations on those same sentences over the years (rough approximation). The term my friend Stu and I like to use for this situation is: “worklejerk.”

I know, I know: pretty amazing, right? Give your brain some time to digest the amazing portmanteau action you’ve just witnessed, and then don’t give it any time before you decide to follow this blog. Worklejerk is dedicated to analyzing, lamenting and critiquing workplace traditions, from the banal to the outright insane (and trust me, there will be a sad amount of them that sound insane but are actually very, very real). Think of this blog like “Office Space” except more timely, more diverse and wayyyyyyy less funny.

This blog, like many babies, was born after years of debating whether or not this was such a good idea and worrying about what others will think about it — but unlike people with babies, you don’t have to lie to us and tell us it’s good OR buy us presents. In fact, we’re gonna give the presents to you, in the form of solid(ish) writing about a topic that is near and dear to both of us: workplace bullshit. ST and I have a combined several years in the workplace, and it’s allowed us the opportunity to critique its unique flaws and bitch to each other about its REALLY unique flaws. We’ve tried blogging before, with moderate (OK, zero) results, but the groundwork was laid: We’re just two people trying to pass the time during the day, trying to protect our jobs by writing about what we don’t like about them in an effort to make each other laugh. You feel us?

I’m Joe St. Germain and my buddy is Stu Tiggle — both very corporate-y pseudonyms we’ve chosen to keep our own coworkers, both past and present, from realizing we’re talking about them whenever we post. Feel free to follow, comment, subscribe and all that — even if just to take a few minutes away from your boring work day in order to focus it on something way more productive, like following this blog. We promise we’ll try our best to relate to you. Not that we’ll have to try — TGIW, am I right??

–JSG