Here's the only part of the article that I really agree with: "Don't waste your time hating your job and doing it badly." That right there is the real reason why hating your shitty job only makes it worse: because you're wasting your time hating it, instead of looking for a way to either change it or quit.
As for the idea that "at the very least you'll make your days more pleasant with a positive attitude", I wish I could construct and program an army of little robots whose only task would be to kick the people who spout this crap in their shins.
If you subscribe to this "positive thinking will solve all your problems" mantra, I encourage you to watch this RSA Animation of a talk by Barbara Ehrenreich: http://y2u.be/u5um8QWWRvo
Finally, I'd like to answer the last question in the article. Did I enjoy this article? No, I didn't, because it had too much emphasis and I found that very annoying.
I appreciate the link to the Ehrenreich talk. Her point on the anesthetizing potential of too much positivity is a good one. Realism and dissent are important for productive change in the workplace. But dissent can often be accompanied by a whole lot of pessimism and negativity (as she mentions), which isn't necessarily good for anyone. Striking a balance is important. As is often the case, it's a matter of moderation... which brings us back to that bold text.
I don't think it's a question of "is negativity good or bad", I see it as more of why can't we just let people be themselves? As long as we have a healthy mix, we should have all types of views and personalities represented, en though that are slightly more negative.
Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might; for there is no work,
nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou goest.
"And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."
However, any reader of Old and New Testament should know that both "books" are in fact the collections of the hand-made copies of the texts written by different authors in different times. The idea of everlasting life is more recent, so it isn't present in the older texts, unless some copyist decided to "correct" that. Book of Daniel is believed to be quite "recent" compared to the most of Old Testament texts:
Still it predates the times of Jesus for up to 200 years.
Of course, there's more than one "theology," even among different "Christians."
Unfortunately, there are also a lot of jobs that really suck where you have absolutely no interaction with any customers or anyone whom you are indirectly helping. In this case, how much better you feel after doing your job properly depends largely on how shitty the job is. If your manager takes all the credit for everything you do, because, well, it's a shitty job, then doing your job well really won't make anything better at all.
Of course, in all cases, you should be trying to find a job that isn't shitty so you can stop hating 40 hours of your week. Maybe not your dream job, but at least one you don't absolutely hate.
There was a conversation on reddit about this, with people expressing hopelessness about bad jobs - even saying that to find any worth in them was pathetic. This onion story was brought up, with people agreeing with it: http://www.theonion.com/articles/man-ashamed-of-own-joy-upon... I really think the attitude in that story, of hopelessness, is a terrible approach, and that the problem with it is it sees that world as fixed, with no unknowns, no progress or change possible, that everything you see is everything there is - that what you see of the world is the world.
I think it's simply mistaken; in reality, we see only a tiny part of the world, and all else - good, bad, neutral - is unknown to us. Looking out for and noticing what is good in ones opinion is a resource one can build on; a stepping stone to other things that are good. Often, things that did not exist in our world-view previously.
Give the OP a break. The story about the boyfriend was fascinating. Get over the bold sentences, they're fine. I can't believe we live in a world where someone says something nice and the first three comments on the article are regarding bold text.
And yes, some people can't quit due to circumstances outside their control. Fact of life. There's a reason 99% of famous startup founders are white American males - often they're people who come from circumstances where 'quitting fast' on their 'crappy job' is an option without severe consequences. Try finding me a group of famous founders who quit their job when they had dependents in order to go chase a startup dream and I'll be happy to back down on that one.
Some people do it tough. It's nice to read something like this that encourages us to cheer up and look at the good side of bad situations. That might not be enough to make life good, but it certainly won't make life worse.
The "Traitorous Eight" who founded Fairchild Semiconductors.
"Most of the founders were married, busy starting their families and raising small children in addition to all the time and effort they were spending building Fairchild "
I disagree with just about everything in that article and my rejoinder would be "when life gives you lemons, realize that you don't have to accept them. then go and plant a tree for something you prefer and years from now you will be having mangoes, or whatever it is you really wanted."
In answer to the question "What’s the greatest lesson that you learned from a job that you hate?" it's that working in a job for someone else is the least productive utilization of my time, skill and energy.
* Depression - maybe a parent died, maybe you had someone hurt you (mentally), maybe you just feel like you can't escape your profession but have no idea what else you could do, maybe you can't even find a way to function properly
* Being overweight- even if you aren't obese, some people have more adverse effects than others and doctors will gloss it over saying you are "within normal range"
* Sleep problems- sleep apnea - do the breathe right strips, sleep study, CPAP (greatest chance of working, but didn't work for me), dental appliance, and several made-for-T.V. products that don't work. Axe all caffeine, then you feel like you can't concentrate, etc.
* Attention issues- whether you've got ADD, ADHD, other executive processing or other processing issues, it really sucks. If you feel like you're doing all you can, you can try to just write down the items you need to do that are immediate vs. not, you can add sites you need to ignore to /etc/hosts to point at localhost, etc. but if you have some of these issues, you just aren't going to do what others do. Just switching jobs may put you into an even worse position.
* Past history- some people have really awful family situations. Unfortunately when you grow up in a toxic environment, you may have to work 1000x times harder and may just have to accept that you'll always have that pain and just have to manage it.
So, WTF are you supposed to do? Don't give up. Do try to work on the issues, and looking for another job is good. Try to fix the health stuff. Do what you can to enforce healthy behavior, but don't do diets- you will lose weight maybe even for months, and then you'll be even more overweight. Find some way to exercise that you like and doesn't make you uncomfortable. Hang out with friends and do things that you enjoy, and if you can, try to get better at them. No matter what it is, there is a chance you could make a business out of it, or at least a fun hobby. Just don't hurt yourself or anyone else doing it.
Anyway- I still dislike what I do. But I know eventually things will get better, and I know how to get better. It's just a matter of doing it.
I fixed my sucky job by identifying the main factors, then finding a job that doesn't have those.
I identified issues with my energy levels and concentration and addressed those with sleep/diet/de-stress methods.
Ultimately my problem is - work is unsatisfying. Nobody has a paid job for things that interest and fulfil me. So I need to find a replacement for "something that pays the bills" and that's what I'm working on. Then I get to work on whatever I want, however I want.
I imagine I'm not unique in having that goal.
Because I'm yet to see a job/work place/company that doesn't suck and everybody around in every possible place says so.
Maybe the employee should just find a job he likes better and not give a second thought to the auto parts job if he truly does hate it. In some cases, life is just too short to eat the shit.
When we were busy I couldn't be lazy--there was just too much work to do. But on slow days I hated every single customer who walked up to the counter because it felt like they were interrupting me.
I've noticed this from the other side as well. Ever try to order something from McDonald's at 1:00 am?
Sometimes, people can't quit their job. Its a tough scene, but some people have obligations they can not shake.
Sometimes, enduring and surmounting an annoying job is a test of character. Failing this test of character repeatedly (going from one job you hate to another) probably indicates you need to change your attitude.
Promote - excellent attitude, excellent skills/knowledge
Train - excellent attitude, poor skills/knowledge
Manage - poor attitude, excellent skills/knowledge
Fire - poor attitude, poor skills/knowledge
That is the best thing I have ever read.
Being told by your manager, more than once, you are one just sucks when he's dead-on right and enjoying the metaphor.
Imagine that rose having its petals plucked every time it started blooming, used for compost applied years later to cultivate something which looks better than a stripped rose but much worse than a nurtured one.
Lowly wage slaves have their ways to deal with annoying, self-important customers. I have friends who are waiters. Believe me, the people serving you your food have all kinds of ways to get back at obnoxious customers. If I ever have the misfortune to sit at a table with someone who acts obnoxiously toward my waiter, or sends food back to the kitchen, you can be assured that I am finished touching any food that will come out of that kitchen again, destined for my plate. You can search the web for blog posts about these things if you're interested.