How to Succeed When You Hate Your Job

Ignore the title of this post.  It has very little to do with the actual content of the entry.  However, I’m suddenly getting really good at perfecting titles which actually attract random readers to my completely not helpful but hopefully entertaining blog, via Google search terms of desperation.

Sitting at Panera this morning, unsuccessfully attempting to connect to the alleged “Free Wifi,”  I overheard a woman behind me saying to another woman, “…well, you’re right.  And if you don’t like it you shouldn’t do it, because you’ll never be good at something you don’t like to do.”

At the risk of commenting completely out of context, but because I was afraid to do this in person, to this statement I would like to publicly declare: bullshit.

My first internal reaction was this, “That’s not true.  I happen to loathe vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom, yet, I keep my house cleaner than most people I know.  And, no one can get my bathrooms as clean as I can, except perhaps my own mother, who also hates cleaning her pristine house.”

But then I sat there thinking (while the Internet failed to connect and my tea was still too hot to drink) and realized this was quite possibly the worst piece of advice I’ve ever overheard.  And to prove it, I composed a mental list.

Things I Don’t Particularly Enjoy, But Am Good at Nonetheless:

  1. Clean my house.
  2. Teach classrooms full of unruly (and possibly borderline asshole) teenagers the importance of literacy, THEN, actually get them to read books and write complete sentences by themselves.
  3. My hair.  (Some people might argue that this is a stretch, that I have naturally good hair that just doesn’t take much work look good.  Admittedly, I would have agreed with this, right up until I had children, and instead of going gray, as they say, I’m going curly.  Slowly.  Also, I only shower a couple days a week, so trust me, good hair is work, and I manage it with despondency.)
  4. Be nice to people who I don’t like.
  5. Run (and anything else remotely “athletic”).
  6. Cook.

This list might be a work in progress, but for now, this is all I can remember from my half-hearted musings while attempting to keep my cool about the lack of Internet for my two and half hours of scheduled work time away from home this morning.  Ah yes, #6: have a morning of actual productivity even when the Internet doesn’t connect.

Posted in Confessions Tagged with: ,
5 comments on “How to Succeed When You Hate Your Job
  1. Any time you want to write a blog about how you manage to be good at the things you hate, that would be great. Could you start with keeping a clean house…because I suck at it. I can teach my 4yr old at a first grade level but you’d be hard pressed to make a random appearance in my kitchen and not ask yourself “What is that smell?”

  2. oh yeah…and how do you fold a fitted sheet? I’ve been actually trying to do it w/o just balling it up and shoving it into the linen closet…and I am getting better. But I NEED to know. Well, guess I don’t need to, just more mildly interested.

    miss you.

    • claire says:

      I have found that it depends very much on the material of the sheet. Cotton (or flannel or t-shirt) require the tucking the corners into themselves trick, which means you’ll have spare sheet on the sides. I make the necessary preliminary folds to get the thing as close to a rectangle as possible and always make folds in halves then thirds. With silk sheets (or a nice poly-cotton blend) you can pretty much just eye-ball where the corner points are, match them up, and with the right amount of fierce shakes, get the thing to lie flat and come out relatively the same size as it’s top-sheet counterpart. When all else fails, just keep using the same sheets over and avoid the linen closet all together. (Thanks for the reminder of something else I hate doing but won’t let John touch with a ten-foot pole. Oh anal retentive perfection piles of linen. This is another blog all by itself.)

  3. Joyce says:

    Just in case someone missed the point, life is full of stuff that has to be done so make up your mind to do it joyfully. You can make any job more enjoyable if you decide do it with a good attitude. As my 99 year old mother-in-law says, ‘I am just grateful I can do it’.
    I had a difficult day today but my co-worker and I decided to laugh at our mistakes and ineptness. We made a job neither of us wanted to do, palatable and enjoyable. We could have done the job angry since the person (expert) botched the job but it would not have resolved the issue and we would have missed out on a story we will now tell over and over.

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