V: Videos about Work Stress

V: Videos about Work Stress

Here’s some good thoughts from Integration Training in the UK. Lots of good tips. The video’s short, only a little over four minutes. And the delightful British accent is fun to listen to.

 

And for a funny take on Eliminating Workplace Stress, here’s this even shorter one minute clip.

 

But no matter how awful your job can be, on the worst of days, it’s probably not this bad!

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Count to 10

Breathe and Count to 10COUNT TO TEN

Our mother’s advice to our younger selves still comes in handy, as much as we hate to admit that we can hear her words echoing in our adult ears.

“Take a deep breath and count to ten.”

“Count to ten before you respond in anger.”

“Count to ten before you act rashly.”

Her words still apply today, even though we’re not fussing with our siblings, or having arguments on the playground.

Count to ten before we hit ‘send’.

Count to ten before we answer our manager’s rude request.

Count to ten before we respond in anger to the irate customer that’s been battling with us for the past five minutes.

Although, it’s probably a good idea to count quietly inside our head and not out loud – in the interest of not riling the customer, or manager, any further.

When you’re having one of ‘those days’ and you’re tempted to blast the next person that crosses you, pull up a little mom advice from years ago and try it out. Count to ten. It’s not an answer for every situation that plaques our work environment, but there are times that these three little words are worth their weight in gold.

Boundaries & Professionalism #rudebosses #boundaries #professionalism #work

Today’s post is a selection from Every Day’s a Good Day: Remaining Positive in a Retail or Service Based Profession, scheduled for release February 2016.

Boundaries & Professionalism

yelling bossRude and berating bosses and managers – they’re out there. I think everyone has at least one horror story in their past of what it was like to work for a tyrant. Do we speak up? Do we voice our opinion about how that isn’t the way to treat an employee? Some do. But I venture to guess that most of us don’t have the nerve to call them on their behavior. Instead, we grumble about it, rant and rave to our friends, bite our tongue, toss down antacids and try not to pull our hair out as our stress levels ratchet up through the roof.

Or, we simply walk away. Or run.

That’s me. I reach my outer limits of what I can tolerate and simply quit.

There is another method. One way to try to work with a superior like this is to calmly set boundaries – with a professional demeanor – and let them know that you won’t tolerate being treated like this.

Now I know that some people have no problem with this. They stand up for themselves in all aspects of their life and this is just one more arena. Those people are probably reading this and scratching their heads in amazement, because they can’t understand how it is that the rest of us don’t use this.

Of course, there’s also a third group of people. Those that have no problem at all letting the boss know what they think of their obnoxious behavior and emphatically stating what they will and won’t tolerate. The employees in this third group though, while not condoning rude treatment, also don’t always respond in a courteous and professional manner themselves.

I can think of several co-workers in my past who fall in this category. I don’t really want to be like them either. I’d like to think that I can remain above the yelling and the name-calling that sometimes ensues.

EDGD02_rude bossesA respected writer I follow posted a blog entry about a time in her early career where she had to deal with a nasty editor. She reports that she turned the situation around, and eventually had a good relationship with that editor by keeping it professional and drawing boundaries.

She tells how he made it clear – in a very loud voice – that he was not happy with the quality of the piece she turned it. After he threw his little tantrum, she calmly told him that it wasn’t alright for him to yell at her and she wasn’t going to tolerate it. She says that she told him she would treat him with respect and expected the same behavior from him.

At first there was silence she says, and then he said ‘ok’.

She then proceeded to question why he thought the work was substandard, asked what she needed to do to fix this piece and turn in higher quality pieces in the future.

It turns out that there was an item she’d missed. But now she knew what she needed to do…and found out by replying civilly to the beast.

She recommends that if you’re dealing with a volatile boss to not give up hope, stay calm, don’t run and draw boundaries, while keeping it professional.

Is your boss or manager someone explosive like that? Have they forgotten how to treat employees with respect? Do you go home at night with a curdled stomach from having this abuse heaped on you?

Try this out. Ask for a meeting with them. Try to talk this out in a businesslike manner and set some boundaries, letting them know that you won’t tolerate their continued abusive treatment. But don’t stoop to their level. Maintain a courteous demeanor.

You may just walk out of work tonight with your head held higher. Pat yourself on the back. You deserve it!

Humor at Work

humor at work'Sometimes humor is the only technique that gets us through difficult periods at work, especially if you’re working in a retail or other service based job.

The story below shows great use of humor in a work situation. Although it’s most probably a joke or an urban legend and not a true recounting of an actual incident, it still illustrates a humorous reply in a difficult situation. (Snopes.com has a similar story, United Airlines but coming out of Denver, that they collected via email in 1998.)

An award should go to the United Airlines gate agent in New York for being smart and funny, while making her point, when confronted with a passenger who probably deserved to fly as cargo.

For all of you out there who have had to deal with an irate customer, this one is for you.

A crowded United Airlines flight was cancelled.

A single agent was rebooking a long line of inconvenienced travelers.

Suddenly, an angry passenger pushed his way to the desk. He slapped his ticket on the counter and said, “I HAVE to be on this flight and it has to be FIRST CLASS.”

The agent replied, “I’m sorry, sir. I’ll be happy to try to help you, but I’ve got to help these folks first; and then I’m sure we’ll be able to work something out.”

The passenger was unimpressed.

He asked loudly, so that the passengers behind him could hear, “DO YOU HAVE ANY IDEA WHO I AM?”

Without hesitating, the agent smiled and grabbed her public address microphone.

 “May I have your attention, please?” she began, her voice heard clearly throughout the terminal.

“We have a passenger here at Gate 14 WHO DOES NOT KNOW WHO HE IS. If anyone can help him with his identity, please come to Gate 14.”

With the folks behind him in line laughing hysterically, the man glared at the United Airlines agent, gritted his teeth, and said, “F*** you!”

Without flinching, she smiled and said, “I’m sorry sir, you’ll have to get in line for that, too.”

Hang in there! When the demands at your job have you ready to strangle someone, see if it’s possible to use humor to defuse the situation. Or, at the very least, can you find any humor in it after the fact so that you can laugh about it instead of seethe?

Affirmations to Survive Retail

i speak and think positively“That’s IT. I’m leaving retail. This is my last Christmas season working a retail job!”

Those were the words I uttered – almost a year ago. And then, there I was, looking at aisles filled up with Christmas merchandise that we’d been receiving for the last four months. Our extended holiday hours started the next week. I was still working retail, despite the courageous statement I’d made at the end of the last Christmas season.

I couldn’t quit yet.

I was locked into another holiday sales cycle, with the long hours (some 12 to 14 hour days), the frenzied work schedule (too much to do and not enough time), a new manager that pushed-pushed-pushed, and a store filled with harried, stressed and irritable shoppers.

Our co-manager had a pet phrase he often used. It was his attempt to inspire us, and remind us that we were in charge of our attitudes. “Every day’s a good day!” he’d bellow out as he unlocked the doors to let us in. “Welcome to where happy people come to work. Where every day’s a good day.”

Most of us, in our pre-caffeinated, still bleary-eyed state, mumbled a greeting in return. It was usually along the lines of: ‘yeah, yeah’ – or ‘right!’ (Said with prerequisite sarcastic tone). Sometimes he was met with stony silence. Often, many of us wanted to take that ‘every day’s a good day’ and whomp him upside of the head with it.

Until the day I left for home and screamed at the top of my lungs for the first two miles. I felt calmer. I was also hoarse for the next two days.

Something had to change.

I started listening to words I told myself.

I’m too old for this.

I’m too tired for this.

I’ll never make it through Christmas.

I can’t keep going like this.

I don’t have the energy or the resources to deal with this.

I realized how negative the words I spoke silently to myself were. My body was only doing what I kept telling it to do.

The first change I made was in response my manger’s morning greeting, “Every day’s a good day!” Instead of scoffing, laughing or coming back with a smart aleck response, I’d answer, “Yes it is.” Whether I agreed with the statement or not, I starting replying with positive, spoken words.

Next, I made a list of affirmations – positive statements to read aloud before I went to work each day.

  • I fly through this Christmas season with ease.
  • My energy levels are higher than ever.
  • I enjoy my job and am thankful for the benefits I receive from it.
  • I complete my tasks easily and quickly.
  • I am drawn to foods that keep me healthy and give me energy.
  • This is the easiest holiday season I’ve ever worked through.

keep calm and use an affirmationI didn’t want to merely survive these frantic months. I wanted to retain a peaceful demeanor and have the energy to enjoy a happy home life after the work hours ended.

Did consistently using these affirmations make every day perfect? No. There were still moments of aggravation that would creep into the day. There were still days where survival was the only goal. But … the days were better. Some days were great. And, here we are moving towards the end of January. I survived the holiday season. I am still sane. I didn’t commit homicide. While very glad that the frenzied days are behind us, I ended the season less frazzled than ever before.

Now I need to change up the affirmations to get me through this next week – inventory week!

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