All In A Day's Work Humor for Dealing With Responsibility and Stress on the Job

© May 2012

Some days are wonderful and others are so stressful they’re downright horrible. We’ve all had those long days where we find ourselves gritting our teeth to keep from biting someone’s head off. You know the scenario. Your boss is out, along with several of your coworkers. Everything has to get done and it’s all fallen in your lap to make sure it happens. You’ve got four people’s work to do and only one body to do it with. There just aren’t enough hours in the day and you’re not planning to stay late to get it all done.

You get into the office early because you know it’s going to be the kind of day you need a head start at. You’re patting yourself on the back for being so dedicated. Before you get to your desk you’re stopped by two coworkers who also came in early to get a head start. They’ve been at it for just long enough to start your day out with the normal Friday kind of question. “The system’s down again. What do you want us to do?”

You wish you could say “Take the day off,” but it’s not up to you and that really isn’t an option anyway since once the system comes back up (hopefully within the next hour ), everybody’s got to cram to get all the work done by close of business.

So here you are at work early. The system didn’t finish updating over night, and a bunch of people are standing around talking while they wait for the “go ahead and resume work” message to come out. Some are working though. They had the foresight to print their lists out the night before, just in case this happened again. It’s been happening so often as of late, it’s become the norm, so they were prepared. Everyone should be because the boss sent a message out earlier in the week to everyone suggesting they print the reports out the day before so they’ll be prepared if the system goes down again. Not much has changed though. The ones who were printing their reports out before that message was sent out continue to do it, but several apparently don’t read the boss’s messages since they’re standing around empty handed with no reports in their hands to work.

You send out a message to everyone that you need them to send you their credit hours by 10:00am so you can do their weekly productivity reports. The boss usually does them for your team, but she’s out, so is the other team’s supervisor along with her lead, so your day is overloaded with all of your work, the other lead’s work, your supervisor’s work and the other supervisor’s. You don’t know everyone’s tour of duty hours, so you include on the instructions you send out to both teams that they need to include this information at the top of their reports when they send them to you.

The phone calls are now rolling in. Several people have called in sick and it’s your job to arrange coverage for their work. Aren’t you lucky?!!! An email rolls in from another coworker, she’s carbon copied you on her email to all her coworkers that she’ll be in training and could someone jump in and cover for her. Nope – Your teeth are clenched now. She is NOT in control. You are supposed to be and you haven’t had a chance to look at THAT report yet to see where the others (if they can help) are needed. You stop what you’re doing to run it and then begin the process of figuring out who’s covering for whom. You do, and you send out a message to let them know who’s doing what.

Finally the system is back up again. Everyone’s working. Their reports are now rolling in faster than you can print them off. Wow – You didn’t realize there were this many people on the two teams. The stack of printouts on your desk is enormous. You begin tallying up the numbers for each person. Too bad they aren’t all in the same format. Some are very detailed like they are writing a book and others are short and sweet, or should I say incomplete! While you are trying to work, every couple minutes someone is coming to interrupt you with a question. Okay – It’s time to send out the “I’m not available – Email me only message”.

Another supervisor comes by to let you know that someone who’s supposed to be covering for their cohort who’s out, is going home sick. No way! You have to run some more reports to see what he was able to get done and what’s still pending. No time to dig for access coverage lists. You are just too busy, so you send out another email message to everyone looking for some who are caught up enough themselves to help. More emails start rolling in. Okay that’s enough. You send out another one to stop any more from volunteering. Apparently, there are a lot of people who are caught up. Too bad you’re not one of them!

Although you had asked so clearly in your email, it’s soon evident to you that the people that didn’t read the boss’s message too well, didn’t read your message thoroughly either. You have to send out several “What is your tour of duty?” messages.

What’s this? You just sent out a message to the one who was going to the class earlier and received her out of office message even though the class is now over and you notice the message states to call YOU during her absence. What?!!! And after you had sent out that message earlier that morning to everyone letting them know to send emails only because you are overloaded. Steam is now blowing out of your ears!!!

Oh my! Where has the time gone?!!!

It’s already lunch time and you’ve only got four of the forty plus reports figured up. This is not a good sign. Call the Mexican restaurant across the street, order the half size grilled chicken salad with chips and salsa. It will be ready in ten minutes. Your legs have been crossed and you’ve been in pain for over an hour now, but you just realized it! Run to the lady’s room. Whew , you almost didn’t make it!

Ok now, its 11:30am and you’re back in your cubby with your salad in hand ready to eat lunch at your desk while you work. Normal time for you to get off is at 2:30pm. You’ve got three hours left to complete all the work of four.

It’s now evident that, like it or not, you’re going to have to delegate some of your tasks or you’ll be staying late. You know you have to remain focused on those productivity reports though because they are top priority, so you turn on your tunnel vision and keep your fingers pressed to those ten keys.

Yeah – At last the productivity reports are all done. You look at the clock it’s 2pm.

Run some more reports, and rush to find a couple of those people that emailed you they were caught up with their work already to volunteer to do them. You found them!

You’re back at your desk again to check the time. It’s 2:27pm. You did it! You never thought you would, but you did it! Or did you?!!!

More by this Author


Comments 21 comments

Ruby H Rose profile image

Ruby H Rose 4 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

I had to click funny, because of the memories of working in a busy office like that. Yikes. Great Hub, good delegating.


Cathleena Beams profile image

Cathleena Beams 4 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee Author

Thank you, Star439. You are right, I do have great typing skills being I have been doing this such a long time. I couldn't sleep last night and was up tapping keys in the wee hours collecting my thoughts to present to our new manager at work. My supervisor is going to be leaving in a couple weeks and I have been assigned extra duties for now. Hoping that this opportunity might lead to something permanent. Praying for God's will in this. He knows what is best for me.


stars439 profile image

stars439 4 years ago from Louisiana, The Magnolia and Pelican State.

I can only imagine what you're day might be like , but I bet you have great skills with computers. GBY dear heart.


Cathleena Beams profile image

Cathleena Beams 4 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee Author

Thank you for your comment Jackie Lynnley. My boss is transferring to another job in a couple weeks and even after all of this, I have decided to apply for her job when the announcement comes out, which should be soon.


Jackie Lynnley profile image

Jackie Lynnley 4 years ago from The Beautiful South

I have had some days like this but it has been awhile. Fun read especially since it is no threat to me any longer, lol.


Cathleena Beams profile image

Cathleena Beams 4 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee Author

Thank you Vinaya Ghimire for being one of my dedicated hub readers. I haven't been feeling the best lately so haven't been very active online here recently. Hopefully will finish the hub I started over a week ago soon. I had to take a break from it until I felt better.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

Dear Cathleena, seems like I have read all of your hubs.

I'm eagerly waiting for your hubs.


Cathleena Beams profile image

Cathleena Beams 4 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee Author

Thank you, Christy. I have learned so much from you in the short time since making your acquaintance here on HubPages. I am blessed to have you for an online friend.


ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

You capture what is a busy office day so well! I had flashbacks to a previous job! Especially the part about arriving to work early to get a head start, only to be stopped by coworkers right away! LOL. I vote up and share too.


Cathleena Beams profile image

Cathleena Beams 4 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee Author

Thank you Jlava73 for the compliment. It was a very difficult day and not one that I would ever want to repeat.


Jlava73 profile image

Jlava73 4 years ago from Cyberspace and My Own World

Brilliant job! :) I would have never gotten through that and managed to eat lunch.


Cathleena Beams profile image

Cathleena Beams 4 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee Author

Peggy - Yes you definitely made me feel relaxed and carefree just thinking about having my lunch outside in a park where I can look around and enjoy the beautiful scenery. This is something to strive for and I will find out where there is a park nearby and suggest this to my boss!

Rolly - I'm so glad that you were able to leave the stress behind you and retire. Now you are free to enjoy what life has to offer. That's awesome. Although it's quite a ways off for me, I am looking forward to that day!


Peggy W profile image

Peggy W 4 years ago from Houston, Texas

Hopefully this is an illustration of a rare day...not the norm! Wow...what a frenzied pace you described! Hope on other days you actually get to enjoy your lunch sitting outside on a park bench enjoying a bit of sunshine and surrounded with some beautiful blooming flowers. No phones ringing...no emails or faxes coming in...no stress! Now...don't you feel more relaxed? Haha! Voted up.


Rolly A Chabot profile image

Rolly A Chabot 4 years ago from Alberta Canada

Hi Cathleena.... Great Hub and I hear the stress and see what you are talking about and know what is is like waiting for Friday. The job I retired from in June of last year was much the same. Managing Director of Operations at a large Bible School. I had 13 departments and about 80 people. It was the best decision I could have made.

Hugs from Canada


Cathleena Beams profile image

Cathleena Beams 4 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee Author

Thank you Vinaya Ghimire. I'm glad you liked it. I wish I could quit and be a freelance writer, but I'm afraid I would starve. It takes someone pretty disciplined and focused to do what you do. It's awesome that you are able to make your living outside of an office environment.


Vinaya Ghimire profile image

Vinaya Ghimire 4 years ago from Nepal

I'm a freelancer, and I don't know what is like inside the office. Thanks for sharing what goes there, in a quite humorous style.

This was a delightful read.


Cathleena Beams profile image

Cathleena Beams 4 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee Author

Thank you Dream On, Shining Irish Eyes, Glenn Stok and Team Leader for your compliments. You all make Hubpages my favorite place to be on the web!


DREAM ON profile image

DREAM ON 4 years ago

I never worked in an office and now I know why.I hope this isn't a typical day?Why don't they hire more help.Then again I can relate it to my job and if they can get someone doing extra work day after day they can keep salaries down and if you don't like it theres the door.Loved the outcome.You battled over frustration and aggrivation in every situation and you won.Now the higher ups better watch out for their job because your good at what you do and get the job done!A wonderful read.


shiningirisheyes 4 years ago

Cathleen - I too, can feel the pain. I've experienced many of these days myself and you did a wonderful job describing it to those who work in other fields besides the office environment.

Voting up


Glenn Stok profile image

Glenn Stok 4 years ago from Long Island, NY

Cathleena, You did a great job at writing this story!  You described the office environment really well! I could visualize everything you were explaining as I read it. I could see your dealings with the other people in the office. And I could feel your anxiety. 

 You know? You could make this into a screenplay and sell the movie rights. I mean it! Voted up and awesome. 


Team Leader 4 years ago

Hello Cathleena, Wow! I have to admit I worked in many offices but have never experienced anything like this. Maybe you want to consider coming to England and work for my employer. We are professional and busy but our superiors still allow us to be human :-)) Your 'Team Leader'

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