Hey there everyone, thank you all for coming. I’d like to specifically thank the organizers of this event for providing seating that is comfortable enough to keep you from walking out and uncomfortable enough to make you think you’re paying attention to the lecture. And a special thank you to Chandler Birch for providing the title for tonight’s talk. Rolls right off the tongue, doesn’t it, ladies and gentlemen? And yes, don’t worry Chandler, we’ll be getting your consultation check to you any day now. Aaaaany day now.
<opens water bottle on the podium>
Now, I bet a lot of you, in your working day, feel a lot like this water bottle. You start the day feeling full of life and energy, but then for some reason or another, throughout the day… <takes several gulps of water> …you find your energy being drained away from you, as if from some invisible force or entity. <takes several more gulps> And you may find yourself asking, why is this happening to me? <gulp> Who is responsible for this draining feeling inside of me? <gulp, gulp> And who recharges me if I run out of energy completely? <gulp, gulp, empty>
The answer may surprise you… You see, that invisible force you feel sucking your soul dry and choking the life out of you like a bootheel on your throat?
More specifically, it’s your negative attitude. But never fear, friends! With these five easy tips, I’m here to show how you can get that energy back and remain the productive members of society that we know–heck, that we expect–you to be. Ah, thank you, Sharon. <assistant mouths ‘It’s Charlene’ while replacing the water bottle, taking the empty one to the trash>
Tip 1: Remember You Could Always Be Working Harder
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Friends, sometimes it’s hard to write these productivity presentations. Sometimes I’ll realize I’ve been working for thirty–or even forty–minutes straight, and I just want to kill myself. But then I’ll remind myself, hey, it could always be worse. I could have the kind of job all of you have! Once I remember that, it makes me thankful for what I do have, and it makes it easier to power through the last quarter hour of my workday.
And you can use this same trick too! When you’re on the seventieth hour of your forty-hour fixed-salary office job, remember that you could be working for a crappy fast food restaurant job. And if you’re working a crappy fast-food restaurant job–I’m honestly surprised your bosses could afford to send you to this seminar–but remember that you could be working in a third-world sweatshop making fifty-dollar leggings. And if you’re stuck working in a third-world sweatshop, remember that you could be in America and working for Gamestop. The point is, life can always get worse, unless you work for Gamestop, so be satisfied with the misery you have, instead of the misery you could have.
Tip 2: Consider Having Children
In a recent survey of new parents, the most given reason for having a child was “As a desperate attempt to stitch together a rapidly failing marriage founded on unrealistic expectations and extreme conflict-avoidance”. And that wasn’t even one of the options provided. That was the most common write-in, pretty much verbatim. Beat out “apparently condom expiration dates are real” even. Crazy.
Anyway, just in case it needs to be said, having kids to save your marriage is a terrible idea. It never works. The real reason to have kids is to save your JOB.
A new child brings a lot of new expenses: childcare, musical instruments they’ll play for a week, elective plastic surgery–and each of those expenses is a powerful motivator to stick with your job, no matter how much you hate it. If you ever think about quitting your job, just imagine how much your children will suffer. More importantly, think about how much you will suffer when you’re in prison for child neglect.
Tip 3: Remember to Cut Those Corners!
People ask me all the time, “How am I supposed to complete all the tasks I have assigned to me in any given week?”
Oh, you’re not. Dear god, you’re really not. Your employer doesn’t care if you do all the things they tell you to do. There’s a reason you get paid by the hour…it’s the time that they’re buying. The busywork is just to distract you from the time being siphoned away. Eight hours a day of the best years of your life…that stuff sells like crazy on the black market. And besides, it’s incredibly empowering to make people stay in one place until you say they’re allowed to leave.
So of course there’s well more than forty hours of work for you to do. Like octagons, these jobs come with lots of extra corners they don’t need. That way, you can find the unnecessary chaff and ignore it, which lets you feel like you’re putting one over on your boss. Everybody wins! Trust me, nobody will notice if you skip some steps.
Tip 5: Remember That We’re All In This Together
When you work in a fast-paced office environment, it’s easy to forget that you’re part of a team. When we feel alone, it’s easy to focus on the areas where we are most vulnerable, and we might think that our coworkers are out to get us.
In these moments, it’s important to remember that you aren’t alone in this. Many of your coworkers will have the exact same weak spots and vulnerabilities that you worry about. And since you know what they all are, make sure to use them against your coworkers before they can do it to you. The best defense is having the other team disqualified and forcibly removed from play.
All right, folks, that’s about all the time we have for today. Shannon is going to set out the mic for some quick Q&A, but first, I have one final thought to leave you with. On Friday, after a long hard week, the employees filing out of your cubicles may feel weak and drained of their will to live. But I promise you, if you follow my advice, the employees that come into the office the following Monday will be like this water bottle: full of energy– <pops the cap seal> –and good as new.
<gulp gulp gulp>