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Signs You May Be Working Too Hard

Burnout is real. So is workaholism. (So is global warming, while we’re at it.) Only the toughest will survive the workocalypse, in which we’re all so caught up in the gears of a capitalistic society that commodifies us and teaches us that our only value is in our productivity, that we end up merging with our cell phones and evolving into a new species of cyborgs.

Or, you know, we just burn the candle at both ends until we melt into a little puddle.

If any of these experiences sound familiar, seek professional help and consider taking a vacation (yes, millennials, you’re allowed. For now.).

Ever had that nightmare where you sent an angry email to your boss and told them to f*ck off? Then you wake up and realize that you actually did that in your ultra sleep-deprived haze? Oops. If you’re working too hard, you’ll not only be exhausted all the time, you’ll experience an Inception-level merger of your slumber with your working life.

The alarm kept buzzing as she merely dreamt that she was waking, washing her face, getting dressed, making coffee, driving to work, reading her email, getting called into a meeting with the boss, getting promoted, having the whole office applaud for her, being given the keys to the city…until she finally woke up to being three hours late to work. And fired.

Calm down there, we’re not yet at that level of “Black Mirror” in which you can control your entire existence through electronics. If you’re working too hard, you’ll be so accustomed to pushing buttons and waiting for notifications that you’ll expect them to go off when a shark is about to ruin your beach vacation.

“Why was there no warning message?” she wondered as the shark took a nice clean slice out of her thigh. “Ugh, I’m going to be late to my meeting.”

If only someone paid you to do your own housework, right? I mean, you’re worth $25 an hour, but money isn’t appearing in your account after you spend all Saturday cleaning up the piles that seem unusually large when you’re not even at home that often. Rude.

Another Chili’s date with an appetizer of Axe body spray. If she got paid only $15 an hour to work, she definitely wasn’t going to accept a second date for anything less than $100.

We know, Slack is adorable and makes you feel so whimsically office-y that your life might just become a hit TV show. But it’s just an app. It doesn’t need to have such an emotional grip — OH MY GOD, WHY DID THEY CHANGE THE LOGO AGAIN?!

She spent more time color-coding each of her 27 Slack workspaces than she did actually reading messages in all of them. When they found her body, it was slumped over her keyboard as her laptop continued to beg her for her Slack status: caterpillar or robot face?

If any of these things sound like you, seek help now. Go ahead and take that vacation time that’s now piled up to a sufficient amount that you could live in Hawaii for a year. Turn off the laptop and phone. Smash them to bits if that’s what you need to do. Draw “Read Me” in the dust caked on those novels you’ve been meaning to read. And do NOT use Happy Hour as an excuse to check your work emails. It’s still working even if alcohol is involved!

I believe in you. Together, we can survive the workocalypse.

Written by

Writer by day, circus artist by night. I write about art, media, culture, health, science, and where they all meet. Join my list:

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