Products that help you survive office life

When you are hired by a large company or corporation, you are shown a video on office harassment. The video looks like a 1970s porn film without the sex. Bad acting and rhythmic guitar rifts, but the common thread throughout the video is that even when you are in the right, if someone complains about you, then you are guilty and wrong. With a small cast of characters in this video, it’s always the same person being offended by the actions of coworkers. One might wonder why the old rules of society aren’t followed and the constant complainer isn’t just buried up to his or her neck and hit in turn by every other employee with a polo mallet until dead. The modern office has a strange political hierarchy and it will not bend or break to your will or common sense. Learn to deal with it safely and with a sense of good-natured flair!


At one of my first jobs, my lunch constantly disappeared from the community refrigerator. There were no clues and, being New York, “nobody saw nuttin!”

I tried marking my lunch. I tried notes pleading with people to not take my lunch. I tried hiding my lunch behind cans, etc. Nothing worked. One day, after my lunch disappeared, I shut the refrigerator door and laughed maniacally. Someone asked me what was so funny.

“Today is the day I find out who has been stealing my lunch,” I replied. “I put rat poison on my sandwich! We’ll find the thief in about an hour when he or she starts dying.”

Sure enough, a coworker screamed and ran around like she was on fire. As she was about to be taken to the hospital to have her stomach pumped, I laughed and admitted it wasn’t really poisoned. Naturally, I was fired. It didn’t matter that this woman had stolen my lunch for her mid-morning snack every day. It seems my “joke” was considered “dangerous” and I was chastised for possibly “giving (her) a heart attack.”

In one office, coworkers had small refrigerators in their cubicles to keep their lunch and drinks cold and safe. The energy bills must have been too much for the company so a memo went around informing people that these appliances were against the fire code. The kitchen refrigerator then became a repository of science experiments as people forgot half sandwiches and slabs of meatloaf for weeks and months. Sometimes you couldn’t even tell what was in the Tupperware it was so furry and moldy.

Being a smoker, I often found that people would pop into my cubicle to borrow my lighter, which sat out with my pack of cigarettes. Switching to gag lighter that gave those who pushed the button to light it a severe shock, I was once again chastised for a dangerous item that could “give someone a heart attack!”

Again, it would be a telltale sign of who was stealing my lighters. Sometimes there’s just no justice in the world and certainly not an office.

When you are hired by a large company or corporation, you are shown a video on office harassment. The video looks like a 1970s porn film without the sex. Bad acting and rhythmic guitar rifts, but the common thread throughout the video is that even when you are in the right, if someone complains about you, then you are guilty and wrong. With a small cast of characters in this video, it’s always the same person being offended by the actions of coworkers. One might wonder why the old rules of society aren’t followed and the constant complainer isn’t just buried up to his or her neck and hit in turn by every other employee with a polo mallet until dead. The modern office has a strange political hierarchy and it will not bend or break to your will or common sense. Learn to deal with it safely and with a sense of good-natured flair!

Save your lunch

And do it without the expense of poison and explosive booby traps that blow off human fingers! Try these sickening lunch bags with horrid mold or cockroaches printed on them.

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Overtime linked with heart risk: study

After accounting for risk factors such as smoking, excessive weight and high cholesterol, doctors found that working between three and four hours of overtime each day was associated with a 60 per cent greater risk compared to those who did no overtime.

Those who worked overtime tended to be slightly younger than the non-overtime group, were more likely to be male than female, and were in a higher occupational grade.


Heart attack
Image via Wikipedia

Study findings … Longer hours can raise the risk of heart problems.

People who work three hours or more of overtime per day run a 60 per cent higher risk of heart problems compared to those who work regular hours, a study published in the European Heart Journal said.

The findings came from a long-term research project into 6014 British civil servants aged 39-61, two-thirds of whom were men, and who had healthy hearts at the start of the probe in the early 1990s. Leer más “Overtime linked with heart risk: study”

Battling boredom at work

Leon Gettler is a contributor to The Age, specialising on management issues. His interests include business ethics, corporate governance and the intricacies of the US Sarbanes-Oxley ruling. He is the author of two books, including Organisations Behaving Badly: A Greek tragedy of corporate pathology, which focuses on the forces that lead smart executives to make dumb decisions.


Management Line

You know the scene: you arrive at work and you see the same people, you’ve heard the conversations so many times before. It’s like the same song playing over and over again, caught in a loop. You sit down at your desk and check your emails from the same people writing in. Same old, same old. You start working and then you have to attend a meeting which seems to go forever. And so your day drags on. How often do you get bored at work? And what are the most boring jobs?

It’s an important question for two reasons. First, because boredom might be a health hazard. According to Psychology Today, scientists reckon you can die of boredom, quite literally. The report cites a study in the 1980s when 7500 British civil servants were interviewed. During that conversation, they were asked whether they got bored at work over the past month. The researchers then tracked them down last year and found that those who reported being bored were 2.5 times more likely to have died of a heart attack. So boredom at work is a problem. How bored are you?

Mind you, one has to take these sorts of studies with a grain of salt. It might be a chicken and egg situation with those British civil servants. Bored people are probably less likely to look after themselves by exercising, eating well and staying stress free. Still if nothing else, these sorts of studies highlight how much of a problem workplace boredom might be. Leer más “Battling boredom at work”