If I Had a Job Column


No. This photo is not me. Everyone knows I’m allergic to cats

“What should I do when my job feels like it’s sucking the life force from my body?”

The down and dirty answer here, is that any life force suckage from an employer must be dealt with swiftly and with fervor. Know that you’re not alone. Only six or seven people really like their jobs, the rest simply go to work for the free coffee and social experience. Well, the paycheck and health insurance, but even that isn’t enough to hold some of us.

I had to answer this question so many times I wrote a book about it, which is a whole other kind of job. One with no guarantee of income, insurance, or any real social interaction, which also means a writer can end up a little loony hanging around in their pajamas and forgetting to shower until someone comes by and sniffs their hair. The coffee however, kicks ass.

When I tell someone I’ve written a book, I can count on one of two responses. The first:

“Wow, that’s cool, Robin, what’s it about?” Then I have to come up with some kind of a short description that’s both clever and intriguing, without making myself sound like a complete loser. When you tell a person you’ve had 55 jobs, and you wrote about the experience, they tend to look at you like you have a problem. One that might require professional help. Hey, the book is funny, this is no “how to” snoozer. The second response hits you like an auctioneer’s gavel. “Gee, I’ve had a lot of jobs too. I don’t know how many. A lot. Not as many as you, probably. I hate my job. It sucks, but I can’t quit. I need the money.”

This would never happen if I had a job column and passed myself off as an expert advise giver on all things related to work, which I kind of happen to be after that many jobs, but that’s not for me to decide.

The thing is, I could go in lots of directions with these questions.

  1. I could give the straight up answer, slightly dull but a reasonable and effective response.
  2. Hooey-hooey and all coach like, which is another job I’ve had. I’d probably start with: “I’d like to invite you to close your eyes….” This approach works, but it requires some effort on the part of the person asking, like an honest desire for change, and an attempt to suspend one’s disbelief vis-à-vis, the hooey-hooey.
  3. I could go totally off the page and be as irreverent as I like, because it would be my column, remember? I’d also be able to use salty language here, so buyer beware.

Also, I’d be able to give myself a cool name like other advise columnists do, something along the lines of, Miss Worksalotnot. I think it rolls right off the tongue, no?

That is, if wrote a job column. So, ask away if you want. I promise to respond, and you can chose from the above possibilities, unless you have one of your own. I’m here so holla, I’m listening.

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