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Clues that you might be stuck in a soul-sucking job

January 20th, 2011 · 53 comments

1. Your explanation for the following: “It’s funny, ’cause it’s true.”

"Employee Suggestion Box" (a.k.a. the office paper shredder)

2. At this point, it’s every zombie for himself.

Dear Sudoku Thief, NOT COOL! Of all the things in this office to steal, you chose a Sudoku book. You have deprived a terribly bored person of their only mind-saving activity at work. -Pissed Off Sudoku Puzzler

3. Even the visual metaphors have given up.

Morale Plant: As it Grows, So Will Company Morale. Looks like all the pilots whining and crying is killing the morale plant.

4. And those noises you’re hearing? That’s actually the sound of your life force slowly leaching out of your body.

Sighing is Contagious! Please keep your sighs to yourself! Share smiles not sighs!

(Thanks to Marcus in Indiana, David in California, Bunny in Florida, and anonymous in New York for their soul-sucking submissions.)

related: Motivational posters for a down economy

FILED UNDER: most popular notes of 2011 · now that's management · office

53 responses so far ↓

  • #1   farcical aquatic ceremony

    This is why you’ve gotta drop your soul off in a little dish on the front hallway table on your way out to work each morning–no-ope, an office’s NO place for a soul.

    Jan 20, 2011 at 7:58 pm   rating: 87  small thumbs up

    • #1.1   Nunavut Guy

      Could you ask for a better first post? I mean really could you?

      Jan 20, 2011 at 8:15 pm   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #1.2   Wayne


      Jan 20, 2011 at 8:39 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #1.3   farcical aquatic ceremony

      @ Nunavut Guy <3
      Can't help it, I'm a flattery whore. Go ahead, tell me my ankles look thin in these sandals, or that my brain mass is bulgingly beguiling–it'll get you EVERYwhere!!

      hmmm…how to mock "Wayne"..?


      (it was so easy I felt *sniff* cheap : )

      Jan 20, 2011 at 8:55 pm   rating: 19  small thumbs up

    • #1.4   lownote

      And here we have a perfect example of a first post. Funny, relevant and no mention of the fact that it is the first post. A+ would read again.

      Jan 21, 2011 at 5:33 am   rating: 42  small thumbs up

    • #1.5   Nunavut Guy

      Can’t figure out how to mock Wayne………maybe just a good beating?(Unless you’re a really big dude,then we could just let it slide)

      Jan 21, 2011 at 6:36 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #2   farcical aquatic ceremony

    Oh, also — could someone please put me on a plane helmed by a pilot who ISN’T whining and crying?


    Jan 20, 2011 at 8:01 pm   rating: 19  small thumbs up

    • #2.1   Wayne

      NB: thoroughly enjoyed this second post also.

      Jan 23, 2011 at 1:44 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #3   lagne

    I hate Sudoku person. Only because of those stupid swirly “Fs.”

    Jan 20, 2011 at 8:26 pm   rating: 15  small thumbs up

    • #3.1   Wayne

      It’s Sudoku. Pretentiousness comes as standard.

      Jan 20, 2011 at 8:41 pm   rating: 16  small thumbs up

    • #3.2   unsatisfied

      yeah. what the eff kind of ‘f’ is that?

      Jan 21, 2011 at 9:50 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #3.3   FeRD bang

      Perhaps the Second Continental Congress Gift Shop was having a sale.

      Jan 21, 2011 at 10:20 am   rating: 20  small thumbs up

  • #4   Jonathan

    All my morale plants were stolen by the DEA!

    Jan 20, 2011 at 8:42 pm   rating: 124  small thumbs up

    • #4.1   Sirius¤ bang

      Ok, first post was great, fac, but you have to admit, this is a close second!

      Jan 21, 2011 at 10:57 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #4.2   Nunavut Guy

      Agreed……..but his ankles can not hold a candle to fac’s.

      Jan 21, 2011 at 12:26 pm   rating: 6  small thumbs up

    • #4.3   farcical aquatic ceremony

      No argument from me–J’s morale plant comment deserves all its thumbs…and more!

      (*sigh* I always new my pathetic lack of familiarity with controlled substances & their plants of origin, would, ironically, halt my rise to the top…)

      Jan 22, 2011 at 10:05 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #5   se

    I can’t keep my size to myself. It is obvious to anyone who looks.

    Jan 20, 2011 at 10:14 pm   rating: 2  small thumbs up

  • #6   TippingCows

    Sighs are cleansing. Smiles are fake. If you smile at me I’ll punch your teeth out.

    Jan 20, 2011 at 11:24 pm   rating: 26  small thumbs up

    • #6.1   divaandwriter bang

      The person whose teeth I always want to punch out is the one who comes up to me when I’m irritated, worried or sad and says, “Smile!” It is socially unacceptable to punch someone out, so I don’t do it. But I’m not going to smile on demand, dammit, especially when someone has just made me mad by ordering me to smile!

      POW! ZOOM!

      Jan 21, 2011 at 9:13 am   rating: 35  small thumbs up

    • #6.2   Russian

      What about the people who tell you to cheer up when you’re already perfectly happy?! So sorry I’m not walking the streets grinning like a loser.

      Jan 21, 2011 at 9:50 am   rating: 16  small thumbs up

    • #6.3   Mark bang

      Uh-oh. Sounds like somebody’s got a case of the Mondays.

      Jan 21, 2011 at 11:05 am   rating: 32  small thumbs up

    • #6.4   sleeps

      No. No, man. Shit, no, man. I believe you’d get your ass kicked sayin’ something like that, man.

      Jan 21, 2011 at 12:25 pm   rating: 23  small thumbs up

    • #6.5   Flaboy2425

      Tipping Cows
      You must pose for Harley Davidson ads.

      Jan 21, 2011 at 10:34 pm   rating: 1  small thumbs up

    • #6.6   martha

      When ordered to smile, I actually prefer to oblige in the most painfully fake way possible, so I can avoid the potential for, “Aww, c’mon, give us a smile.” and I still make it plain I ain’t on board.

      Jan 23, 2011 at 4:33 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #6.7   The voice of... James Mason bang

      Yeah, that’s my no. 1 pet peeve- chances are, if I’m in a horrible enough mood that strangers feel compelled to order me to smile, their request makes me want to rip out their spleen. My solution in the past has been to simply glower at them with such passionate vitriol that they run away screaming “never mind, I was just kidding!” It works pretty well!

      Jan 23, 2011 at 5:18 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

  • #7   sam

    People that complain about their jobs really irritate me. I use to have that same crap attitude until I did some soul searching.

    #1) There is a thing called professionalism. A good boss will always listen to the concerns of the employees. If an employee is being unreasonably whiny, well, they can find the door. There are plenty of overqualified unemployed people needing that job.

    #2) Are you being paid to solve suduko puzzles? If not then both you and your superior need to be fired for stealing. The company is PAYING you to do something meaningful. Clean the bathroom if you have to. It might sound harsh but the cost of idle workers really adds up. If everyone did that you would all get paid more.

    #3) Same as #1. Nice to see that everyone in the company thinks it is all a big joke. Either do something meaningful about it or find another job (**sneer**).

    #4) I appreciate that they tried but I would have worded it slightly different. “If you don’t feel like working, then I don’t feel like paying you.”

    The best bosses I’ve had were total hardasses. Their expectations were so demanding that I felt like I was really accomplishing something at work. Also the fact I felt like I was improving internally as a person more than made up for a small paycheck.

    Jan 20, 2011 at 11:40 pm   rating: 8  small thumbs up

    • #7.1   lagne

      #1 (or #3?): Operative word: GOOD bosses. Not everyone has one. And not everyone’s boss cares whether they’re busy all the time. My previous job was a perfect example; oblivious bosses who either knew how little work their employees had, or didn’t know and didn’t care to find out. Tons of money wasted by not paring down the staff. I spent more than half my days surfing the web and hating that the job was rotting my brain. And I was not inclined to clean the bathroom.

      Jan 20, 2011 at 11:55 pm   rating: 23  small thumbs up

    • #7.2   Russian

      Ah sam. sam sam sam. People in real life who whine are irritating, people on the internet who whine are either hilarious or fund hilarity by asking to be laughed at! They suck to know as people yes, but didn’t you snort coffee over the computer screen at least once while reading the notes?

      Jan 21, 2011 at 2:40 am   rating: 16  small thumbs up

    • #7.3   The Elf

      A little venting, sighing, or Sudoku break is healthy. Too much, yeah you got a point. In this economy, employees are often implored to “do more with less”. I’ll do it, but don’t expect me to be escatic about it.

      Jan 21, 2011 at 8:46 am   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #7.4   Laura Brown

      A different perspective on #2:

      I used to work at an undemanding job that involved lots of downtime. Sometimes I had all my day’s work finished before noon. Rather than sit there and surf the web or whatever, I started looking around the office to see what else needed doing.

      The result? A lot of resentment and backstabbing from a couple of colleagues who accused me of “stealing all the work” before they even got a chance to see it.

      Our boss spent more than half his time in meetings with other managers and had no clue what things were actually like on the floor. All he knew was that these people were unhappy, and they were adamant that I was the problem.

      So to keep the peace, I was *ordered* not to do any work that hadn’t been specifically assigned to me. Yep, I was effectively told to sit there and waste time if I had nothing to do. (Which of course led to new complaints — “Why are you sitting there on instead of working?”).

      Having said that, I do agree that just moaning about your job is pointless. People should spend that time either complaining *constructively*, in a way that might lead to something actually being done about the problem, or plotting their escape.

      Jan 21, 2011 at 8:58 am   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #7.5   unholyghost2003 bang

      more perspective on #2: There are also a good number of jobs out there that have a lot of down time but don’t lend themselves well to cleaning bathrooms or other such work. If you work at a reception desk there are limits to what outside projects you can work on. 10-20 min lulls in walk-ins and phone calls are not totally unheard of, yet you can’t just get up and walk away to do something else, sure you can ask for other projects to do in your down time but those projects must be able to be brought to the reception desk and have an open ended completion date (since while 10-20 min lulls happen there are also plenty of days when the phones don’t stop ringing and people just keep walking in asking for help/information). Often there are just not enough projects like that to fill the lulls.

      Jan 23, 2011 at 7:37 am   rating: 12  small thumbs up

    • #7.6   Russian

      Realistically, your job unless it’s with google doesn’t want you to use the time well and creatively. It’s all about punching the time clock, man.

      Jan 24, 2011 at 9:27 am   rating: 3  small thumbs up

    • #7.7   Monkeys n Typewriters

      1 Schrutebuck for you, sir.

      Jan 25, 2011 at 4:53 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #8   pony girl

    I’m confused.

    What is that thing in #1?

    Jan 21, 2011 at 3:51 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #8.1   amazon

      It’s a shredder. Not to be confused with him:

      Jan 21, 2011 at 4:15 am   rating: 17  small thumbs up

    • #8.2   farcical aquatic ceremony

      Holy fucktards! (Note: the “fucktard” may well be me, in this case) Until you got this explained, PG, I thought that was a recording device that employees were to use to submit their ‘anonymous’ complaints to their evil boss.

      Jan 22, 2011 at 10:11 am   rating: 5  small thumbs up

    • #8.3   pony girl


      Well, at least you came up with an idea. I really had absolutely NO clue.

      Thanks! It was going to keep me up nights if I didn’t know what that thing was.

      Jan 22, 2011 at 8:28 pm   rating: 5  small thumbs up

  • #9   Canthz_B bang

    Sign #4 is just plain rude.

    I feel sorry for the deaf people there who are being told to “shut up” or talk to themselves in the bathroom mirror.
    It’s just not fair…they’d have to learn to sign backwards!

    The employer should post some signage about accepting diversity in the workplace.

    Jan 21, 2011 at 6:07 am   rating: 14  small thumbs up

    • #9.1   say what?

      it says ‘SIGHING’ – no discrimination against the deaf there.

      Jan 22, 2011 at 8:50 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #9.2   unholyghost2003 bang

      *headdesk* I promise that CB can read … the joke was that the H’s in the first two lines of text are written funny so they could easily be mistaken for N’s.

      Jan 23, 2011 at 7:19 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #9.3   Canthz_B bang

      UHG, I think there’s a literalist movement afoot dedicated to sucking the life out of PAN. ;-)

      Jan 24, 2011 at 7:09 am   rating: 11  small thumbs up

    • #9.4   red velvet

      The H’s look like H’s to me, though I want o know what Canthz_B is smoking to morph them into N’s.

      Jan 24, 2011 at 8:25 am   rating: 2  small thumbs up

    • #9.5   Canthz_B bang


      Jan 31, 2011 at 7:20 pm   rating: 9  small thumbs up

  • #10   Nunavut Guy

    I’m not smiling;when I show my teeth like that I am getting ready to bite you.

    Jan 21, 2011 at 6:31 am   rating: 22  small thumbs up

  • #11   bored@work

    Maybe they could suggest to the pilots that they whine and cry over the flower pot. That plant could use the water.

    Jan 21, 2011 at 12:21 pm   rating: 14  small thumbs up

  • #12   Divvitar

    How ironic is a dying morale plant? Maybe they should add some prozac to it’s water.

    Jan 21, 2011 at 12:33 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

    • #12.1   *snerk*

      I went to a wedding once at which the bride and groom gave everyone a seedling to take home and plant, to represent the growth of their love and marriage, or something lovey-dovey like that.

      Ours died almost instantly, and I wonder a) if any are still alive, and b) if the couple is still married. (We lost touch long ago.)

      Jan 21, 2011 at 1:03 pm   rating: 13  small thumbs up

  • #13   Miss Ash

    Poor dead plant.

    Jan 21, 2011 at 9:56 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #14   Thorbjørn

    The label on the shredder comes from – it’s included in their packages with the suggestion that you put it on the cardboard box your order arrived in.

    Jan 22, 2011 at 4:19 am   rating: 4  small thumbs up

  • #15   tequila_mockingbird



    HA. HA. HA. HA.

    Jan 22, 2011 at 10:41 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up

  • #16   homschlr4ever

    I always love things that make me laugh. Come one, those pictures represent almost every administration I’ve ever taught for. My husband, who’s in management, can definitely sympathize. I guess being in a workplace just makes us that more sarcastic I suppose.

    Jan 22, 2011 at 2:01 pm   rating: 4  small thumbs up

    • #16.1   aaa bang

      I hate things that make me laugh. Being jovial puts me in a horrid mood.

      Jan 23, 2011 at 12:02 am   rating: 17  small thumbs up

  • #17   Wil

    Sighing is just taking a deep breath, which is a way of calming yourself, relaxing and refocusing. People should be ENCOURAGED to “sigh”. What, nobody has ever told you to “take a deep breath” when you are doing something stressful and need to refocus and come back to earth? Unfortunately, I was told by a boss to take a deep breath when I was stressed, but when I did I was accused of sighing and yelled at. He was an asshole, not a hardass, just an asshole.

    Feb 9, 2011 at 5:56 am   rating: 7  small thumbs up


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