Book: Making Peace with Your Office Life

This is the first time I’ve read a comprehensive guide for debugging your work environment. “Making Peace with Your Office Life” by Linda Glovinsky (ISBN 978-0-312-57602-8) has a great way to track and analyze your work envirnoment. It’s packed with concrete advice for each situation. Not only is a book to keep, it, it’s a book to give to friends who need the help.

The table of contents is too high-level, so I’ve written down the situations described in pages 175 to 304 to help you decide.

Peace with the Place

  • I feel like I’m in jail: Confinement
  • All I do is sit: Inactivity
  • I’m sick of beige, white, and gray: Sensory Deprivation
  • I’m working in Grand Central Station: Sensory Overload
  • My ____ hurts: Ergonomic Issues
  • The &^%@#! _______ is broken again!: Equipment Issues

Peace with the Chaos

  • I can’t find that report: Paper Management
  • I have 400 unread e-mails: E-mail Overload
  • Oops! I lost that file: Hard Drive File Problems
  • I don’t have the information I need to do my job: Information Access Issues

Peace with the Overwhelm

  • I never get caught up: Unrealistic Workload
  • I’m not allowed to make a mistake: Unrealistic Quality Standards
  • I’m getting it from all directions: Conflicting Demands
  • I’m constantly hitting roadblocks: Obstacles
  • People keep barging in on me: Interruptions

Peace with the Tasks

  • I hardly ever do the same thing twice: Excessive Task Variety
  • I’m afraid I’ll get fired if I don’t look busy: Task Insufficiency
  • I do the same things day after day: Repetitiveness
  • I’m working on an assembly line: Task Fragmentation
  • Why did I go to college?: Intellectual Deprivation
  • I just can’t do this: Daunting Tasks
  • I have no control over how I do my job: Autonomy Issues
  • I can’t tell if I’m doing a good job: Lack of Measurable Outcomes

Peace with the Disconnect

  • I miss the people I love: Separation Issues
  • I don’t really know the people I work with: Isolation
  • I’m nobody, who are you?: Status and Identity Issues
  • I just had a huge fight with so-and-so: Conflict
  • So-and-so and I got our wires crossed: Communication Problems
  • I hate serving on committees: Meeting Issues

Peace with the Boss

  • My boss expects me to be a mind reader: Unclear Instructions
  • My boss watches every move I make: Micromanagement
  • My boss is an idiot: Incompetence
  • My boss doesn’t know what I look like: Avoidance
  • My boss is a crook: Ethical Issues
  • My boss is a wuss: Lack of Authority
  • My boss is the boss from hell: Bullying

Peace with the Coworkers

  • If my coworker does that one more time…: Annoying Little Habits
  • I can’t get my coworker to do anything until the last minute!: Procrastination
  • My coworker always has to win: Competitiveness
  • My coworker always does things by the book: Rigidity
  • My coworker doesn’t toe the line: Laziness
  • My coworker is an idiot: Incompetence
  • My coworker is a slob: Messiness
  • My coworker is a whiner: Griping

Peace with the Culture

  • I have to wear a mask: Anonymity
  • Why do even the smart people talk like idiots?: Office-speak
  • I hate having to wear a tie: Clothing Issues
  • I don’t know what the rules are: Romance and Sex
  • It’s just because I’m…: Discrimination

Peace with the Game

  • They don’t pay me enough for what I do: Financial Issues
  • I only hear about it when I’ve screwed up: Lack of Encouragement
  • The performance appraisals aren’t fair: Unjust Evaluations
  • I’m just a secretary: Low Prestige and Rankism
  • I don’t believe in what this organization is doing: Meaninglessness

“Making Peace with Your Office Life”, Linda Glovinsky (St. Martin’s Press, New York, 2010; ISBN 978-0-312-57602-8)

  • http://trashbird1240.wordpress.com Joel J. Adamson

    I’m totally going to recommend this to my wife!