Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Bad Moods are All Relative

There are some days you don’t realize you’ve woken up in a bad mood until the day is halfway done. For me, I woke up a little groggy this morning and proceeded to pass the morning at work in true groggy fashion: By drinking a lot of coffee and keeping quiet in my office.

It was only at lunch time that I realized I wasn’t in the mood to speak with people when I had a candidate call to ask about a job posting I had on Monster.com and I wanted to ask her if she could read because all of her questions were clearly answered by reading my posting.

This is not a good sign. Normally, I try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt and assume there’s a reason they’re asking questions that should be obvious. I did not snap or bark at my candidate, however. I merely politely answered her questions through a veiled layer of irritation.
Then, I also realized that I was in a bad mood when I was driving home for lunch and I was feeling grumpy because I was hot. Given that it’s March in the Midwest, I should be thankful that it’s hot rather than freezing cold. It’s supposed to snow on Thursday. It’s currently 73 degrees outside. I believe I have mentioned the schizophrenic nature of the Midwestern spring. It makes it awfully hard to know how to dress, I have to admit.

Still, I managed to get through the day without being rude to anyway. The pups helped cheer me up. Sookie has taken to not only greeting me at the door at lunch time but also after she’s done her business outside, running back in to say hello again. It’s very sweet and makes me feel very loved. Rory, unfortunately, is still obsessed with the storm drain in the garden and this seems to obsess her as soon as she gets outside. Today, I spent five minutes throwing rocks down there so she could hear them “splash.” Unfortunately, for some reason, this sent her into a slightly mad bout of whining and running frantically around as if she just had to get into the drain for whatever reason. I’m still baffled as to why she likes the drain so much but I’m hoping she gets bored with it eventually.

Besides, her distraction is Sookie’s advantage. Sookie is fully aware that Rory is too busy to spend much time with me and thus, The Sook, as she is often referred to by me, takes full advantage of being able to get petted and cuddled by me.

It really is amazing how much a happy dog can cheer me up. Even though I still wasn’t in the best of moods this afternoon, I no longer felt like throwing something at anyone.

Also, I realized that I couldn’t have been in that bad of a mood anyway. I realized this when my coworker came in, picked up my stress ball from my old job which has a bamboo skewer embedded in it and asked me why I had a skewer stuck in the ball. My explanation was that if he looked, he’d see an eyeball drawn on the ball and the skewer was stuck in this eyeball. This, I explained, was how I dealt with the fact that I really couldn’t stab my ex-boss in the eyeball with a skewer and so when I felt the urge to, in fact, stab him in the eyeball, I stuck it in the stress ball instead.

This caused my coworker to put the ball down calmly, say “Oh,” and move out of my office. I realized after how violent that sounded but given how much I disliked my old job and the fact that my boss was very passive-aggressive and ineffectual, it made sense.

Still, violent tendency or not, it was nice to realize that even though I’d been in a bad mood this morning, I’d never once had the urge to stab anyone in my office in the eyeball with a skewer, pencil or other uncomfortable object.

This means that my bad mood was not that bad. Also, working in a place that doesn’t incite you to have violent, bloody or mean thoughts towards your coworkers definitely scales down the bad mood a bit in the first place.

I don’t think I’ve smiled maniacally once at my current boss in the six months I’ve been at this company. I’ve never pictured strangling him with a yoga strap and I’ve never wanted to throw something at my coworker’s head. I’ve said it again and I’ll say it before, I can’t tell you how grateful I am that I found a different job.

My stress ball has never been happier. I should probably take the skewer out of its handdrawn eyeball but it is a nice reminder of how far I’ve come.

Also, it reminds me that even on a day when I’m in a bad mood, things could always be much, much worse and that thought alone is enough to put me in a better mood.

Happy Wednesday!

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