Nice Advice

Received 01/13/2019 –

Dear Naughty or Nice,

All our lives it has been drilled into our heads that life is fleeting. “Don’t blink!” they say. Well, I’ve taken it too much to heart, I think. I get stressed out because there are so many things I want to do, but things are holding me back. For instance, I want to travel. I want to see the world. However, I live paycheck to paycheck as it is! How can I make that happen?

I also want to own my own business! Hell, I can’t even decide on WHAT business I would open if given the opportunity. I would be great at a Car Wash, Food Truck, or even a Bakery. See how diverse those are? That is literally the best way I can describe everything I want to do: DIVERSE. It’s like I’m scared to be passionate about one thing in fear that I’m missing out on another passion of mine. The FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out) is real. Ughhhh, I just don’t know how to prioritize and make everything happen.

Thanks, FOMO

Dear FOMO,

Wow. I’m stressed just reading all that! Is there such a thing as stressmosis, because I think we just invented it. But, before we begin, let’s be clear on one issue. You didn’t tell me if you wanted a Naughty or Nice response. 🙂 Due to your already high-blood pressure sounding letter, I’m going with Nice. You are welcome.

Now to your questions, take a deep breath. You are putting an enormous amount of pressure on yourself, which ironically, is doing nothing but waste time. Are you accomplishing anything while you stress? Nope. Nada. Nothing. As Taylor Swift once said, Shake it off. (Bad joke, I know, but this is the NICE page!)

Next, it’s time to do some self-discovery. With technology, social media, and everything else that’s a distraction nowadays, some people just don’t know how to think. I’m not referring to deciding on dinner, I’m referring to a deep state of meditation where the only topic is YOU. Only you can decide your priorities. Only you can decide which potential hobby or career is most important. Sit for an hour a day and think about the car wash, the bakery, and/or the food truck. Visualize yourself in those situations. Funny enough, those “Diverse” businesses have a common thread. You want to serve people in one way or another. After a week of self-discovery, try your hand at those items. Take a weekend and bake a bunch of stuff, cook a specialty, and wash about ten cars.

Here are my questions after that weekend:

  1. Did you enjoy any one over the other?
  2. Were your products in the kitchen any good? Be honest.
  3. Washing ten cars, was it fun?
  4. Could you see yourself doing one of these EVERY.SINGLE.DAY of your life?

Liking things and making a career out of them are two totally different things. We all have hobbies, but maybe they’re not meant to be careers. It’s ok. Not every hobby is meant to make you money. It’s up to you to decide.

As far as your passion, I don’t hear it in your letter. You LIKE to do different things, that’s great. To be truly passionate about something though is like water in the desert. You can’t live without it. Which of those hobbies can you not live without? That’s how you’ll start to prioritize.

About the fear of missing out? We all have that, I promise. It took me many years to face the fact that I’d never be a twelve-year old gymnast getting the All-Around gold medal in the Olympics. Life moves on. I’d love to be an artist, a painter, but believe you me, I suck at it. Facts are facts. Recognizing that is truly the first step. I move that one to “hobby only” column and it frees up a spot in my “potential career” column. Everything won’t happen, but if you don’t let go of the pressure of “FOMO” you’ll continue to miss out on even a single really happy day. It’s a vicious cycle. Let it go.

And one more thing. You can travel. As they say in the finance business, come payday…PAY YOURSELF FIRST! Put whatever little bit you can seriously part with into a savings account. $25 or $50 a paycheck over a year’s time will really add up! Always pay yourself first, never talk yourself out of it. So you’ll have to give up five trips to Starbucks, or one dining out evening? In a year, you could be in Italy or Greece or Vegas. Wherever you want to go. If you get paid weekly, $50 x 52 weeks is $2,600.00 – WOW! Think of all the trips you could have gone on already!

Good luck, FOMO. I think you have more decided than you believe. Keep me posted!

Dear Naughty or Nice,

My boss is ridiculous. She’s making my life a living hell and I don’t know what to do. I love every other aspect of my job, but can’t take her harassment anymore. She harps on everything I do, not anyone else, just me. If I make one mistake out of 5000 entries, she threatens to put me on suspension. This unhappiness is affecting other areas of my life. I’m miserable at home and my husband and children have commented. How can I change the way she treats me? I’d like a Nice response please.

Signed, Mad in Manhattan

Dear Mad,

I’m sorry you’re miserable at work. Most of us can relate with a demanding and downright unreasonable boss a time or two in our lives. Here’s the thing, you can’t change her. Repeat after me, I can’t change her! Now, with that being said, you gave a couple hints that got my attention. You said “harassment” specifically and then went on to describe a hostile work environment. If this is all true, you have some recourse. First and most importantly –document, document, document. I don’t care if it’s something you consider minor, like she accused you of breaking her pencil, I mean everything! Secondly, you should talk to someone. Does your company have an EEO (Equal Employment Opportunity) Office or Officer? Does your company have a Human Resources Department? If so, go talk to someone. They can give you all the rules. What your boss can and cannot do. This is important because if you file a claim (anything from harassment to creating a hostile work environment, etc.) you’ll have to prove it. It can’t just be your word against hers.

The other issue I see is your home life. You’ve got to learn how to compartmentalize. It’s not the easiest thing to do, but once you have it down pat it’ll allow you the time to work through the situation (while you talk to someone in EEO or HR and document bad behavior). That time will be better for your family. They shouldn’t have to suffer because of what your boss is doing to you! They did nothing wrong. Remember that and leave the animosity at the office. Your husband and your children will appreciate it, I promise.

And lastly, if none of the info listed so far in this response will help, then leave. No one is happy unless you are happy and you’re obviously not even close to being happy. There are other jobs out there. I realize you love most aspects of your job, but your boss is ruining it all. If they won’t let her go, walk out the door, woman! Wait, let me rephrase that…get a new job, then walk out the door, woman! (Leave on good terms though. Maybe you can return when the boss leaves?) But, what if the dream job is waiting on you while you waste your time with the crazy boss?

Good luck, Mad. Let me know how it turns out 🙂