Culture / Humour / Life

Paper Cuts, Office Birthdays and other Perils of the 9-5

In my perpetual quest to waste time on the internet, I recently stumbled across this article listing the 10 Most Dangerous Jobs in America. Not surprisingly (if you’ve ever seen Deadliest Catch) Commercial fishing topped the list, followed by loggers, airline pilots, miners, roofers, garbage collectors, truck drivers, stunt men and police officers.

Now- don’t get me wrong, I’ve got mad love for the homies who catch my salmon and keep these mean streets of Toronto (somewhat) clean everyday, but I can’t help but feel a little slighted that no office jobs made the cut.

If the authors of this study had consulted me first, I’d have told them just how dangerous office life can be. Just yesterday, for example, I suffered a traumatic injury to my right index finger while attempting to remove the lid of my take-out salad container.

It might even require a second band-aid.

Last week was even worse. Between the lower back pain, the two broken nails and the innumerable paper cuts, I quite frankly consider myself lucky to be alive and blogging to you today.

For those who consider it “easy” to “sit and stare at a computer screen all day”, let me just set the record straight: carpal tunnel and repetitive eye strain are no laughing matter.
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Neither are spanx. Try sitting in that chinese finger trap of a garment for 16 hours straight. Only then will you be able to say you’ve truly looked danger in the eye.

I have a sister who works at a manufacturing plant lifting tires onto a conveyer belt all day. She tells me that I wouldn’t last one minute at her job. I tell her to try walking a mile in my shoes. Literally. Try walking a mile in 4-inch stilettos. Then talk to me about pain.

Look at me, almost 400 words in and  I haven’t even talked about any of the psychological perils to working in an office yet. Those fluorescent lights and recycled air must really be getting to my head.

First, there’s the fact that I’m forced share my office with a large and unwieldy beast known as the “Stress Monster”. Not only is he on my case constantly, he’s also a jedi-level mind manipulator and lately, has mastered the art of shape-shifting. Most recently he’s been appearing to me in the form of a giant, vanilla cupcake.

Speaking of baked goods- only in an office job are you forced to endure the psychological terrorism of having to resist delicious baked goods and leftover birthday cake on your way past the office kitchen every afternoon. I don’t know about you guys, but I call that cruel and unusual.

Actually, I mostly just call it my “Cake belly”.

Plus, there’s dealing with what you’ve given up in order to be a slave to the man. You think I wouldn’t rather be compiling a list of the “Top 10 sheep who are judging you” for Buzzfeed right now? or sitting between Mariah and Randy as the balanced, reasoned voice of American Idol? Course I would.  If it weren’t for this office job, I could be off gallivanting  the world-  competing in the skinny jeans tug of war at the Hipster Olympics, or better yet, working on securing my title as Most Tanned Person in the Universe for the third summer in a row.

Never underestimate the power of broken dreams, people. Those things can cut a b*tch.


I could go on, but I don’t want to scare anyone. Plus, I think I’ve made my point. While we may never get the recognition we deserve as  fearless, danger-defying individuals,  rest assured my little cogs in the machine- I understand your plight. And when all else fails, just remember:
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Question of the Day: What are some other perils of working in an office?

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13 thoughts on “Paper Cuts, Office Birthdays and other Perils of the 9-5

  1. haha the spanx one is a real problem. one of the girls in my office lost a load of weight and found the ussue was that after sitting like that for a while, they rolled down and formed a rather unattractive rubber ring around her waist. haha!

    • haha I get the roll down too! I find I’m always checking when I get up from my desk to make sure I don’t have a fabric roll visible through my clothes

  2. Spanx. Ugh. They even sound dominatrix. And I ain’ on that ish! I don’t understand why they roll down either. Doesn’t that kinda defeat the purpose? Just a little? No? Ok. If I wore them, I’d use LOTS of doubletape. Think that’d help?

    Office perils. *sighs* They include having to watch idiots stumble around and walk shakily on heels that she clearly can’t work with, OR WORSE: heels that can’t possibly support her incredible heft. Incessant phone calls coming in from THAT person’s children. Horrible music. Hearing far too much of someone else’s conversation. FB and twitter being blocked. Advances of the dude who empties your trash.

    • haha re: the ppl with incredible heft- you’ve gotta wonder how high those heels WERE before they started wearing them.
      I’m going to hell.
      Agreed on the conversations big time… but I love eavesdropping on phone calls cause I’m creepy like that. It’s always interesting to hear how people talk to their friends/family outside of work….

      • LOL. It’s true though!
        I employ the 16-year-old-talking-on-the-phone methods where no none else can possibly hear what I’m saying. I HATE talking on the phone in the presence of other people. It’s WEIRD.

  3. I would say 1/5 of the people in my department even eat any of the baked goods that come in anymore. The rest are diabetic or know what shame feels like. I don’t know why they bother. We all stand around awkward until the person comes, we say happy birthday, then scatter. Same as it ever was.

    The Mr. Burns teddy bear episode had a part where someone who looks to be a crab fisherman walks into the Kwik-E-Mart with a bag of us and explains they lost some men on the trip. Apu says “If you can think of a better way to get ice I’d like to hear it.” It was one of those gags I never got until I was older. I think it was also poorly explained here.

  4. I once got a papercut on my tongue from licking an envelope. Quite possibly the grossest feeling ever! Felt like an electric shock went right through me.

  5. Office danger not often discussed… blood clots from sitting on your ass all day and not getting enough exercise.
    Or on a lighter note- environmentally induced ADD from having the printer you sit next to go off every 90 seconds, just when you’ve started to refocus from the last time it fired up.

  6. Hot coffee collisions around blind corners from the kitchen. Glare from too shiny windows. Nervous breakdowns when you accidentally hit ‘print’ on the whole 600 pgs instead of the 5 you needed AND the computer freezes glacially when you try to cancel print (can anyone guess what happened to Dani today?). Stubbed toes from kicking the printer. Sprained ankles sprinting to run errands across three postcodes in one lunch break.

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