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A case of the Mondays

Published April 10. 2010 09:00AM

Over the years I've come to appreciate the movie "Office Space" more and more. The first 15 minutes or so are the best, in my opinion, where it shows the sometimes mind-numbing drudgery of coming in to work every day. Peter, the main character, tries not to lose his cool during the painfully slow commute to work, fields many reminder phone calls that he forgot to submit his TPS reports (we never find out what they are, exactly), and seems almost offended when his perky co-worker accuses him of "having a case of the Mondays". And after all of this is over, it's still only 9:05 a.m. It's going to be a long day for old Peter.

I know a lot of people who like this movie because almost everyone can relate to something in it. The "case of the Mondays" part has always been one of my favorites. It's true. I think a lot of Peter's frustration came from his drive in to work, yes, but it was more of the fact that he was getting fed up with his job overall. A few minutes after he checks the time, he and two of his co-workers head out for a cup of coffee (I'm not sure what kind of company lets their employees leave in the middle of the day just for a cuppa' joe, but since this is a movie, I'll let it slide), but it's no better when he gets back to his desk. He's burned out with his job and declares, "I don't like it, and I'm not going to do it anymore." So he stops going.

Obviously, we can't follow Peter's lead without some pretty serious consequences. So how do we keep ourselves motivated and excited about heading to the workplace every day?

Some of us do have the type of job where every day is different. Though there are basic job duties that we're expected to do regularly, the larger part of the job can vary greatly. Take me, for example. I started last month with a nearly empty calendar, and as the weeks went on it filled up in no time. The nature of my job stays the same, but my schedule can change at a moment's notice. Think about your own job. Do you think you're ready for some added responsibility? You may want to talk to your supervisor about the tasks you're responsible for and whether or not you can take more on. All jobs have slow times, and there comes a point in every job where you go as far as you can, and it's either time to move up the hierarchy or think about just how much growth there might really be in your job.

Most importantly, you have to find something about your job that motivates you to keep going every day (besides just the paycheck). In Peter's case, through several trials and mishaps he discovers that working at a company updating bank software is just not the career for him. By the end of the movie he finds a new job that suits him much better.

Finding what motivates you is the key to liking what you do and not dreading Monday morning.

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