5

votes

How do you deal with bad work environment?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created February 23, 2012 at 3:53 PM

I work in advertising, the quintessential stressful, ambitious, aggressive, too-many-hours-in-the-office career. What's worse, is I'm a creative which I can assure you is nothing like Mad Men, but rather constantly demonstrating that my colleagues and clients are morons :)

I try to keep a low carb diet, I also do IF throughout the week.

On nights and weekends when I'm home, it's smooth sailing. But holy cow, whenever I'm in the the office, my anxiety, stress, and anger peaks and I'm ready to throw myself or someone out the window.

We also have a ton of junk food here and at the height of my office misery I become a zombie and mindlessly indulge in it.

Anyone in similar situations and have advice for dealing with office life? Should I get more carb friendly while I'm here, or are there other hacks?

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 06, 2012
at 07:15 PM

+1 for making me laugh out loud. I do something similar!

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 06, 2012
at 06:12 PM

-1 Spam link. Spam, spam spam and more spam. Four spam links and counting for this user.

Aa968cafce96d1810cb1014c7545d4a5

(90)

on June 06, 2012
at 05:44 PM

I just finished the last "Berky" in my desk. Thanks for the reminder to order more!

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 24, 2012
at 10:31 AM

I know it is hard to get away when you have long hours, but eating lunch outside whenever possible has made even super crappy jobs a little more enjoyable for me. And, I don't know what to make of the cold thermogenesis protocol yet, but putting my face in a bowl or sink of ice water for 30 seconds or so this week has been like hitting the hard reset button on my brain each time I do it, all the little crap that annoys me just goes, "Poof!". I think the line, "Excuse me, I have to go put my head on ice now." might be an elegant way to leave an aggravating meeting early.

D826ee7c5f65d509348f7fe8aeeafdd4

(368)

on February 23, 2012
at 08:52 PM

Thats incredible, good for you. I've been meaning to order paleo kits again. Now seems like a good time...

D826ee7c5f65d509348f7fe8aeeafdd4

(368)

on February 23, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Coconut oil and US wellness jerky are both awesome recommendations. I'll be bringing this in from now on. Thanks

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on February 23, 2012
at 07:17 PM

HA! +1 for "douchebaggery"

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on February 23, 2012
at 04:51 PM

+1 for "Eff them" :-)

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on February 23, 2012
at 04:29 PM

Wait. What? You own part? Then you seriously should have options there :) How about handing your office manager a list and ask her if she would stock _____ and refresh with anything off that list when it gets low?

D826ee7c5f65d509348f7fe8aeeafdd4

(368)

on February 23, 2012
at 04:22 PM

This is a one of a kind job/opportunity (I own part of the company), otherwise I would have been long gone :) Still I have a commitment to myself to leave in a year if we don't sell it. I do yoga almost everyday, but I might try to bring some of the practice here during the day. Maybe even a 20 minute walk outside would calm me down...

D826ee7c5f65d509348f7fe8aeeafdd4

(368)

on February 23, 2012
at 04:18 PM

I've been trying to convince my office manager to just not buy the junk food. We have "healthy" snacks here like granola bars and yogurt and I'm not trying to paleoize my office. Doesn't seem fair to my co-workers, but all of us are interested in eating healthy so it's unacceptable for there to be snickers here!

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14 Answers

14
Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on February 23, 2012
at 04:08 PM

Eff them and their lame snacks. At night make little containers of everything that you like and drag them to work the next day - take to meetings. Keep to yer guns, don't wilt! If anyone says anything? Just grin and offer a bite of whatever you have.

Instead of that cookie - eat your bite of 85% dark chocolate! Screw you chips, I'm having some crispy veg! Cake? Berries! Soda? Hello seltzer!

I was already a very healthy eater before adopting Paleo, it was a fairly easy transition for me, so would take my nice snacks and treats to my meetings, at my desk, whatever. People noticed - less junk was brought in for meetings, more salads/veg/fruit trays.

You got this.

Note: I worked in high fashion in NY for 7 years and trust me, it was stressful. Nothing like a CHANEL bag being hurled at your head during a meeting with pissed off buyers. Those chains hurt.

6714718e2245e5190017d643a7614157

on February 23, 2012
at 04:51 PM

+1 for "Eff them" :-)

4
002b5422e2455578273e0549cb53d1b4

(90)

on February 23, 2012
at 04:55 PM

My time as a "creative" in ad agencies started my habit of fatty meat for breakfast. Starting my day off with a ribeye can suppress pretty much any snacking urge for 6-8 hours for me, and keeps my mood on a pretty even keel through most of the day. Yoga was the other thing that helped.

I eventually left the daily grind of agency life, because the level of douchebaggery was ridiculous. I still work with agencies, but only as a freelancer, which minimizes my exposure to morons. :-)

7c9f81d68c78de1a31eab9c91c17b4b8

on February 23, 2012
at 07:17 PM

HA! +1 for "douchebaggery"

3
F2cd77a6d2133ca3ae5b4353c4047577

on February 23, 2012
at 07:04 PM

Two words: Wall Street. I completely sympathize.

In terms of palatability, this isn't going to be a big hit but I keep a huge jar of Nutiva coconut oil at my desk and you can find my stuffing my face with a tablespoon here and there throughout the day. As for other snacks, I keep some brazil nuts on hand but it's better not to go crazy with nuts of any kind. Beef jerky from US Wellness, dried meat of any kind, really, is AWESOME. Trust me, there is nothing more Paleo or Darwin than a trading floor and my ideas are starting to catch on with other folks trying to keep up with me.

If I get hungry and I actually have 5 minutes to myself, I walk down the street to a Whole Foods and pick up some smoked (without sugar) salmon and some avocados (awesome together). For desert, it's dark chocolate (> 90% - lucky me, I know). Tons and tons of white tea, green tea, black coffee (the good stuff, not that crap in the break room). Location will determine your ability to do this so I know it's not necessarily optimal for everyone. Find the nearest healthy source of unprocessed whole foods and make your haven when everyone else is ordering in for pizza or Chinese or God-knows-where-that-beef-came-from Mexican.

If I can't make it home for dinner, I fast. If I didn't pack a lunch, I fast. When I finally do eat, I feast. Let your schedule dictate your attempts to keep your body off kilter from the norm. It's great and done wonders for my health.

D826ee7c5f65d509348f7fe8aeeafdd4

(368)

on February 23, 2012
at 08:49 PM

Coconut oil and US wellness jerky are both awesome recommendations. I'll be bringing this in from now on. Thanks

3
21b36b3de8ff31b0d41e7f0f4b5c1e03

(1688)

on February 23, 2012
at 04:10 PM

Hello there from someone who works in the industry as well. Yes that all sounds familiar, and I'm just a planner. I reached a point last year where I decided that all the money in the world wasn't worth the stress and the anxiety, so I quit, took a break, and then went freelance. That has its own anxieties but at the end of the day it's not as emotionally involving and therefore less draining. If a project sucks at least only sucks for a few days or weeks.

Not sure whether that's an option for you, but perhaps you could look for a place that's a bit more humane, fewer egos, nicer clients, more supportive management/team?

If that's not an option perhaps it's worth looking into some kind meditation training, a few basic techniques you can use to step outside those anxiety/anger situations?

Ce7e28769d92d5de5533e775b1de966e

on February 23, 2012
at 04:29 PM

Wait. What? You own part? Then you seriously should have options there :) How about handing your office manager a list and ask her if she would stock _____ and refresh with anything off that list when it gets low?

D826ee7c5f65d509348f7fe8aeeafdd4

(368)

on February 23, 2012
at 04:22 PM

This is a one of a kind job/opportunity (I own part of the company), otherwise I would have been long gone :) Still I have a commitment to myself to leave in a year if we don't sell it. I do yoga almost everyday, but I might try to bring some of the practice here during the day. Maybe even a 20 minute walk outside would calm me down...

2
6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 24, 2012
at 10:10 AM

Maybe this is kind of an antisocial tendency, but it makes me laugh and removes me far enough from the situation to stop feeling victimized by it when I'm stuck in a situation with a bunch of d-bags. I start this running commentary in my mind like I'm an anthropologist studying a newly discovered tribe.

For example, The males of this tribe try to display their availability for mating by combing their hair in a forward direction and using some sort of petroleum based paste to hold it in place. Speaking with the elders of this tribe I now know that is a new approach and do not yet know if it will prove to be a successful attempt at garnering the attention of the females

6120c989fd5b69f42a0834b69b87955b

(24553)

on February 24, 2012
at 10:31 AM

I know it is hard to get away when you have long hours, but eating lunch outside whenever possible has made even super crappy jobs a little more enjoyable for me. And, I don't know what to make of the cold thermogenesis protocol yet, but putting my face in a bowl or sink of ice water for 30 seconds or so this week has been like hitting the hard reset button on my brain each time I do it, all the little crap that annoys me just goes, "Poof!". I think the line, "Excuse me, I have to go put my head on ice now." might be an elegant way to leave an aggravating meeting early.

Fd70d71f4f8195c3a098eda4fc817d4f

(8014)

on June 06, 2012
at 07:15 PM

+1 for making me laugh out loud. I do something similar!

2
3fb16f0a20034a95ab674f14c47ddeeb

(40)

on February 23, 2012
at 07:57 PM

I work on wall street and am pretty much in the same boat working 80hrs + per week. My solution was to order ton's of Steve's Paleo kits and have them with me at work. For me they served a dual purpose: 1. to have a paleo friendly snack readily avaiable, 2. to act as a meal replacement when I don't have time to head out to lunch.

Honestly there was a span in january when 3 out 5 meals a day during the workweek were based off of paleo kits. I ended up losing 4% body fat and gaining 2 pounds of muscle so its a pretty damn good alternative to help keep you on paleo.

N

D826ee7c5f65d509348f7fe8aeeafdd4

(368)

on February 23, 2012
at 08:52 PM

Thats incredible, good for you. I've been meaning to order paleo kits again. Now seems like a good time...

Aa968cafce96d1810cb1014c7545d4a5

(90)

on June 06, 2012
at 05:44 PM

I just finished the last "Berky" in my desk. Thanks for the reminder to order more!

1
22424c9eef944ade83d4e4ffda907056

(1402)

on February 24, 2012
at 04:41 AM

I used to have the same problem with poor eating habits because I worked in a room with a bunch of gossiping negative girls. I really don't think any of the solutions people have mentioned will work because your poor eating is a form of self medication. The only way is to put yourself in a different environment. And I know that's probably either not possible or a huge inconvenience. I'm not suggesting it, but in my opinion that is the only solution. Stress down regulates your frontal cortex. Your frontal cortex is the part of your brain responsible for telling you to not eat junk food. Sometimes you have to recognize the limitations of "will-power".

1
94a4a87e3d2e1e9160b6ed77678b4bea

(1311)

on February 23, 2012
at 10:38 PM

I agree with everyone else - bring your own snacks in - LOTS of them - ALWAYS have something at hand! I am sure you will find that if you stick to Paleo permanently and never go off the rails and eat those evil work snacks you should find your mood more calm and easier to control. I know this was the case for me - my mood on permanent paleo is awesome and I'm much less prone to fluctuations due to outside pressures. The Paleo way also means I'm always satisfied and full and not really looking for snacks anyway.

1
Fc64db6a555559762432d503a1dbad19

(1478)

on February 23, 2012
at 04:43 PM

Yoga has really helped me deal with high stress situations. You can go on hulu.com and watch them for free, just shut the door to your office and take a 15 min break to clear your head. I highly recommend going to a studio if you can, that is where you will get the real benefit. Make your office more of a calming place. Bring in some plants and things that calm you. Have emergency snacks ready in your office too, something that excites you to eat, not just something dull to fill your stomach. Also, being more compassionate to others helps. Remember we are all morons at something. Set boundaries with your clients and help them to understand why their ideas may not work. Part of Advertising is people skills and learning to deal with people no matter how terrible they might be. In sales I have literally seen it all. In the end you just have to laugh. Laughter really is the best medicine. Finally, get a little perspective. Remember why you got into the business in the first place. Go back to that place of excitement, what ever it many be. Do something new with the business that excites you. In the end remember that it doesn't matter. Its only money and pride and those things are dispensable.

1
Bfddc0ab925c8ea0e0c2e87198514907

on February 23, 2012
at 04:38 PM

"I'm a creative"

Yeah, well you have to learn to live with yourself.

I deal with it by having a sense of humour, eating what is good for me, speaking my mind and flirting with attractive ladies.

Once the album is out, though, I am hoping I won't have to keep doing it!

1
Ebb10603524dd22621c1155dd7ddf106

(19150)

on February 23, 2012
at 04:07 PM

I encouraged and convinced the office manager to get some pistachios and other nuts to have next to the bowls of M&M's and shelves of chips and junk snack food. I'm not much of a snacker at all, but I've been happy they've been available on occasion.

Avoid the crap. Bring your own nuts and dark chocolate if you really need a snack.

D826ee7c5f65d509348f7fe8aeeafdd4

(368)

on February 23, 2012
at 04:18 PM

I've been trying to convince my office manager to just not buy the junk food. We have "healthy" snacks here like granola bars and yogurt and I'm not trying to paleoize my office. Doesn't seem fair to my co-workers, but all of us are interested in eating healthy so it's unacceptable for there to be snickers here!

0
863b27e2fd5b9aea39ca3feff264fb99

on March 28, 2012
at 11:32 PM

I'm not on the Paleo diet, but I really enjoy some of the recipes. I'm on the same boat w/ work, so here's another great idea for a snack: hard boiled eggs! I haven't started, but I'll be bringing these bad boys in along with nuts, smoked salmon, and jerky. Thanks for the ideas.

-1
A7925ab8ea44e6d4d5d7c6f202632c6c

(404)

on March 29, 2012
at 12:20 AM

don't listen to anyone recommending snacks - constant grazing is for ruminants

what can help you is thinking that you are the BETTER, the ELITE, the CHOSEN one - be a noble, an aristocrat, and let those peasants drown themselves in snacking misery - despise them, for they deserve it, or just pity them

when I'm in a situation you have described some vanity, conceit and pride - though not overtly voiced - is what helps me to stay on track, and keep my sanity

-2
77877f762c40637911396daa19b53094

(78467)

on June 06, 2012
at 05:37 PM

1 Take a few deep breaths, allowing your rib cage and belly to expand as you inhale. Exhale slowly.

2 Seek a change in venue. Getting away from your work station, even for a walk to the water cooler, can help you collect your thoughts and refocus on the task at hand.

3 Laugh! Read one of your favorite jokes or simply laugh aloud.

4 Play with a stress-relieving toy or game like a mini-basketball hoop, dart board, foam stress ball or punching bag.

5 Close your eyes and listen to soothing music.

6 Visualize yourself relaxing at your favorite vacation spot or completing the big presentation with ease.

http://goo.gl/i0hje

5ccb98f6ae42ce87e206cf3f6a86039f

(11581)

on June 06, 2012
at 06:12 PM

-1 Spam link. Spam, spam spam and more spam. Four spam links and counting for this user.

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