Today’s post was inspired by a friend who is having a tough time at work with a very difficult boss. She called me on the way home yesterday (after having to walk out early to keep herself from taking a swing at the woman), and I talked her off the ledge.
My friend works in the division of her company responsible for processing all of the money coming in. Billions of dollars over multiple accounts that have to be reconciled every quarter. The one absolute rule is that you can’t work on someone else’s accounts, which is what she was being asked/told/ordered to do. You see, she’s good at her job, and other’s aren’t, and she was expected to fix their mistakes.
Let’s start with the two great things she did – (1) she left when the situation became unwinnable and (2) before leaving, she sent an email to the boss explaining that she would not violate company policy in this way, copied it to HR, and said she wasn’t feeling well and had to go home. Bravo!
But she did something even better after that. My friend is an author, who has done a very good job of getting her work out there, but is not able to earn a living with it (yet!). So I told her that the best way to lose the stench of her bad day was to go home and do something to promote her books – to take steps to success independent of her day job. If nothing else, the act of focusing on her writing would at least make her feel happy, regardless of the outcome.
She sent an email this morning, and overnight she had 20 more sales of one book, and another jumped 200,000 spots in its Amazon ranking. This is incredible! Unfortunately, she also said that the boss was still at it, and she might lose it today. This is what I suggested:
“Keep a little notebook by your desk, and every time she pisses you off, make a mark in it. Then, at night, for every mark you’ve made, do one thing to promote the books. Five marks = five promo tweets, or two tweets and three emails, or five comments on blogs that relate to your topics with links to the books. Turn her bad energy into your succees.”
I know this doesn’t work for everyone stuck in a bad job, or surrounded by people with bad energy, but it really can help. Focus on what you can do to make your life better, either within or outside of the place where you are stuck, and you can weather any amount of strife. And, you just might get yourself into a better situation as a result.