Toxic People - Remove them from your life

Photo courtesy:

I have accepted the fact that I don't have the best teeth in the world, not even in our small Barangay! As a kid, I was never a fan of dentists. I hated them!

The first time I visited a dentist I was trembling in fear. If it wasn't an employment requirement, I would not have dared to go to the clinic by myself. 

"We need to remove 4 of your teeth!" the dentist said joyfully, as if he was telling me to remove my socks.

"Is there any other option? Maybe you can repair them or something," I begged. Four teeth? They would never grow back!

"Yes, we can fill them, but they are so bad that if we do that, we might cause more harm to your other good teeth. The damage could be worse!"

What the dentist said made me realize that sometimes, you have to sacrifice the bad teeth to save the good ones. Removing them from your life might be excruciating, but in the long run, the pain would be worth it.

The same is true of your job. The bad teeth are those infectious colleagues who make you feel bad about yourself; those who give you a negative vibe; and those who always highlight your insecurities. If you stay with them for a long time, you will be in grave danger.

But I'm not saying you should always avoid everyone who gives you a pain in the neck! What if he's your boss? Avoiding him may not be healthy, unless you wish to resign to avoid him forever.

I once had a perfectionist boss who couldn’t tolerate even little mistakes. Every time he called me into his office I would clench my fists under the table. Later on, I realized that my reaction wasn’t toward his perfectionism. It was toward my own insatiable desire to do things perfectly. It was one of my bad teeth that I needed to remove.

The bad teeth in your job may not be as easy to remove as the bad teeth in your mouth. Aside from the people who become part of your life, the bad teeth could also be your vices, your attitude towards your job and your unhealthy habits.

If you feel you have bad teeth in your job that are not worth the effort you have to remove them from your life.

More bite-size stories from How to Survive Mondays:

The Boxing Experts

Photo Courtesy:

When Floyd Mayweather defeated Manny Pacquiao everyone became a boxing expert. Everyone had something to say about who should win and why. In the morning, before going to their respective jobs, employees gathered in a circle to discuss conspiracy theories. 

In the afternoon, the same circle of "boxing experts" would be discussing another what-if during the fight. And it went on and on for weeks.

One time, just for fun, I took a stopwatch to check their time. In one session, they wasted at least an hour. That's a lot of time spent on non-work related matters!

Whenever there is a hot issue, people transform from boxing experts to political analysts, to showbiz critiques. It happens even during working time. Is that even allowed? Technically, it's not! Most employees do it anyway.

If you use the company time on non-work related matters, then you have already broken an important yet harmless company rule. However, if all you do for the whole eight hours is non-work related, that's a different story. Obviously, it's no longer harmless.

For the 8AM - 5PM shifters, usually a 20-minute break in the morning and another in the afternoon are allowed. CR breaks in between are not counted. Let's say, aside from an hour lunch break, employees are allowed to have at least two hours of personal breaks.

What about the time spent chatting with colleagues, taking personal calls, and browsing non-work related posts on the Internet? Perhaps, that's another two hours you shed from your supposed eight paid work hours.

I know there are those who would say that they're too busy and they have too many things to do with too little time. I doubt if that's true. But it's not my place to tell you if you're busy or not. It is yours to decide. You can lie to everyone but not to yourself.

I asked a few friends to take an honest inventory of non-work related activities that they do at work. Here's the result:
  • Credit Card Transactions - 20 minutes
  • Shop online - 1 hour
  • Book personal flights online - 30 minutes
  • Post personal messages using email/text/Facebook messages and make calls during work hours - 30 minutes
  • Take short breaks in between, even if it is beyond the designated break time - 30 minutes
  • Chat with friends for a few minutes asking about their personal lives - 30 minutes
  • Buy food during work hours - 30 minutes
  • Plan for personal leave - 30 minutes
  • Update CVs and resumes - 1 hour

Don't get mad at me if the above list is not applicable to you, okay? It may not be the same exact list you have, but my point is that it is important to be aware of how you spend your time at work. 

That way you will know if you have been productive or not. You have to do an honest inventory of your use of time. After that, if you notice that you have a tendency to spend a lot of time on not-so useful discussions and not-so useful activities, then you have a decision to make. You can ignore it and continue doing it.

Your boss will not remind you about it anyway. But it's not about being noticed by your boss or not. It is about you making a decision to make little changes in your use of time. It is the small changes that you make on a daily basis that will have the biggest impact on your working life.

What you spend most of your time on is what you will become in the future. If you need to break the harmless rules, spend more time on beneficial activities than on not-so useful discussions, you will have a fulfilling day every day.

And oh! You can check out my book in Amazon.