Magazine article Management Review

Stressed Out

Magazine article Management Review

Stressed Out

Article excerpt

Is it me, or is everyone at work on the verge of a breakdown? Where exactly is everyone, anyway? You can't locate anyone anymore. Maybe they're off to the nearest Starbucks for a cup of coffee that's so complicated, by the time you finish ordering it, you're exhausted, which is why you need to drink vast quantities. Or maybe this is one of the symptoms. Consider also...

Flight attendants are carrying handcuffs. According to the Wall Street Journal, Leisure International Airways, a British carrier, announced its flight attendants would carry handcuffs. American Airlines and British Airways have had "flexcuffs" for some time.

To me, the idea of handcuffing passengers is ridiculous. On the other hand, I'd be all for handcuffing the pilots -- this would add to the flying adventure.

I have no idea why an airline would make this announcement, although it certainly offers a fresh marketing approach: "Some airlines don't really care whether you're `securely fastened' in your seat. Not us. We'll handcuff you if we have to"

Suggestion to Delta ("We love to fly and it shows"), or United ("Fly the friendly skies"): keep your slogans but experiment with some new visuals. How about showing us an entire planeload of passengers who have been bound and gagged.

Meanwhile, back at the office, fist-fights, pushing and shoving all are increasing, according to a survey by the Society for Human Resource Management. Executives already spend about 20 percent of their time handling personality conflicts. "It used to be like one big family here," says a manager. "Now it's like one big dysfunctional family."

Strangely enough, the leading cause of death at work, according to USA Today, is motor vehicle accidents. You don't usually see many cars around the office. But we've all had that experience where you're in the car, running late, and there's just not enough time to park the car and still get to the meeting. Why not just drive straight to the conference room?

It's possible these accidents happen on the way to work. But I doubt it. There's no time for being "on the way to work." There's just work. As soon as you get in your car, you're at work. On the morning highway it looks like people are on the way to work, but this is probably an illusion. These so-called "commuters" are probably not even going to the office -- they're too busy. Might as well just take the office, put it on wheels, and send it down the highway. …

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