Monday, September 6, 2010

Labor Party!

I thought today would be a good day to talk about work for those of us who work day jobs but especially for those of us who work horrible day jobs that make us miserable...I mentioned briefly in my last post that there were some interesting revelations that came to light in regards to my workplace this week. Here is the one that tops the list:

after two years of no pay raises and a pay-cut for all employees this year, the CEO bought a new car

I knew this "bad" economy was not affecting EVERYONE!! ;)

FYI, I am still looking for better opportunities, especially those closer to home and I know that not all non-profit organizations are cutting staff pay since other fellow employees have been doing the research and passing the info along to me - I've got some great informants! =-)

I have written before about the work situation I deal with and I linked to a few resources that helped me to "change my attitude" (until I realized I'd have to change my job) and I'm going to write about them in detail today as well as some books I've been reading recently, because there are some amazing people who are taking creative action to improve conditions in the workplace, some of them a bit radical!

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Chief Happiness Officer/Happy Hour is 9 to 5

In the beginning, there was Chief Happiness Officer, Alexander Kjerulf, who is committed to making the workplace fun and enjoyable for all. He shares lots of great info on how to make a terrible workplace a better one and he eventually wrote a book filled with those tips titled: "Happy Hour is 9 to 5"

 This book has great tips for making the workplace more enjoyable and you can read it for free at his website

One of the great ideas included in this book was "The Order of the Elephant" which is a way to focus on the great stuff employees do and contribute to the workplace and is shared between employees. I brought up this concept with my previous boss and she loved the idea so I set to work to create an elephant for our depatment. Here is the "Order of the Elephant" I made for the use of the staff in the program I work with - I named him "Bubbles" for the fabric he was made of:

"Bubbles" posing with the inspiration from a great book that also helped me to make my life better while dealing with burnout at the office - I'll review the book another day...

Needless to say, everyone on staff loves him! Another concept that was implemented from this book was the "Praise Poncho", which you can read more about in the book or the website...there is even a list of questions to ask potential employers to see if it will be a nice/fun place to work and the questions are insightful ones! If only I'd had his list when I interviewed for my current job!! ;)

Mr. Kjerulf has great stories and resources he shares on his website and he's recently started a newsletter as well. I love that he is being so creative in helping others to make the workplace fun and enjoyable for everyone. Luckily he's not alone in wanting to change the workplace...

Why Work Sucks and How To Fix It

I recently read this book when I borrowed it from my local library. Authors Cali Ressler and Jodi Thompson are pioneers of creativity with an amazing way of working they call Results Only Work Environment (ROWE). The most important concept of this new work program is based on the principle that "you can do whatever you want, whenever you want as long as the work gets done". The primary problem with the workplace is that we are not treated as adults nor are we trusted to get the work done. This idea alone really resonated with me and the culture of work I deal with. 

There are some radical concepts in this book but I know you're ready for them! ;)

They also write about the concepts of time in the corporate environment and time in a ROWE environment. The ROWE environment begins to look a lot like the days of many artists and bloggers I know! I realized after reading this book that I will have to insure that I do not carry the ideas of time from the corporate environment with me when I finally reach the goal of self-sustaining,  self-employment. And I believe I now have a great tool to help with that ultimate goal...

New Book Not Yet on the Bookshelves...

I've written about meeting Chris Guillebeau whose site The Art of Non-Conformity is a regular read for me. I've read both of his free e-books and I highly recommend them.  I love that he is encouraging others to create their own lives instead of following the usual paths of conformity and I also love that he understands we all want to do something meaningful for others with our talents...

the book is due in stores soon!

So you can imagine how thrilled I was to have won a free advance copy of his new book that is due in bookstores soon: "The Art of Non-Conformity: Set Your Own Rules, Live the Life You Want and Change the World". As he mentions on his site, this book is filled with additional material you won't find on his website and what I've read so far is great! I feel like I've been given some really great tools to get better focused on what I want in my life and how to accomplish it all. I will wrote more about this book when I have finished reading it in full but I love what I have read so far...

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If you have read this entire post, which I know is a long one, Thank YOU! I do hope you will look into the resources I recommend here if you are stuck in a miserable work environment or if you know someone who is. You may be interested in reading my own creative approach to my work situation by looking at my Office Art Book posts. 

If you have "escaped from cubicle nation" and are living a life full of creativity - congratulations! You deserve it!

I hope you are enjoying a day of relaxation wherever you are and thank you for joining me in my little Labor Party today!


tiffany said...

Monica, these are really great resources! It's really unfortunate how unhappy people are in their jobs isn't it? I've currently been out of my "day job" for about a year and a half now, and while money is super tight, I think I'm the happiest I've ever been!

Hang in there!

I Saw You Dancing said...

Thanks for the fantastic resources, Monica.
Do be sure to add Summer Pierre's "The Artist in the Office" to your arsenal. It's one of the best books I have read this year... which is why I keep banging on about it, sorry! ;-)
PS I love your attitude and still have the feeling that something wonderful is a-coming your way...

Gwynnie B said...

You are such a wealth of information and so honest with your feelings, that I know you are helping others along this path.

Keep on keeping, Monica! You contribute so much to the art world and the corporate world, and we all need your wisdom :)

And thank you for your wonderful comments on my blog, sistah!

humel said...

Congratulations on your win! :-) And thanks for the links, they sound so interesting. All the best in figuring out your work situation, hun xx

Kerri said...

these sound like good reads! i'm especially interested in "the art of non-conformity"- thanks! :)