Ask the readers: How do I get more patience (at work)?

#1 asks:

How do I become more patient?  I can think of good reasons to be more patient (e.g., “this is just their policy for their business, it’s not personal against you, you know.” and “this isn’t that big of a deal, you can let it go” and “fuming doesn’t help anything and being calm might get better results” and even “bless their hearts, they can’t help being stupid, poor things”) but NONE OF THEM WORK.

I am all out of patience for [BS] and I’d like to buy some more, please.  How?

#2:  I don’t think you should do illicit drugs.  And you’ve tried CBT, so probably not that.  And having kids is probably also a non-starter.  Have you considered distracting yourself with novels?

#1:  It’s kind of hard to do when my boss is in the same office with me

#2:  I guess you have to distract yourself with other work then.


22 Responses to “Ask the readers: How do I get more patience (at work)?”

  1. yetanotherpfblog Says:

    I use some combination of angry runs, fidget toys, and doodling. Also significantly lowering my expectations and being pleasantly surprised if something does end up working eventually.

  2. CG Says:

    I can’t remember whether or not #1 is the one who doesn’t like running, but for me a regular running schedule helps dissipate some of those frustrations. Also making sure I have lots of interesting things going on besides my job so it can’t completely dominate my life. Taking a vacation could also be restorative! Good luck to you…

  3. Amanda Says:

    I’d say do a bit of marijuana, it isn’t “drugs”; some people don’t prefer to get high before working but it’s a great way to mellow out and get focused on the tasks at hand.

  4. monsterzero Says:

    Have you tried nihilism?

  5. Debbie M Says:

    I’m not sure this helps with patience, but it can help with frustration: a co-worker of mine liked to say, “My life is a living hell!” while pumping his arms up in the air. The chuckle-worthy ridiculous of this exaggeration helped break the tention. (You may have to just imagine doing it instead of actually doing it, but it still helps.)

    Also, I’m with yetanotherpfblog on the lowered expectations. I first learned this strategy anticipating campouts with the Girl Scouts (the first few always got rained out so we did something else instead). I then used it on visits home. Another way to say what I do is to hope for the best and plan for the worst. I don’t think I do that thing where lowered expectations actually makes things worse.

    And here’s a relevant quote by Henry Fielding in _Tom Jones_: “…her patience was, perhaps, tired out, for this is a virtue which is very apt to be fatigued by exercise.”

  6. chacha1 Says:

    I went with lowered expectations, to the point of cancelling out my natural tendency to GAF. At a certain point in each job I have had to concede that I cannot improve the situation. I hate the phrase “it is what it is” but, in fact … it is. It’s their business, not mine, and if they don’t care about improving it why should I? I’m going to do the work that I’m given, as efficiently as I can and to the best of my ability, and beyond that … don’t care.

    This becomes exponentially easier of course when I’m not overrun with work. Because then I can use the downtime to write. :-) Google Docs = getting it done!

  7. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    Today I made these calls:

    Tomorrow I’m going to call about the internment camps that ICE is getting ready to set up in Texas. Today my sister got hung up on for making a senator staffer feel uncomfortable when she asked how he feels about working for a boss that doesn’t value human rights. She called back because he hadn’t taken her zipcode and he told her he’d hung up because he felt uncomfortable. So she asked how he thought these families felt.

    I also found out today that the Nazis made some of my great aunts disappear and that it was the Canadians who liberated the occupied city my father was living in, not the Americans.

  8. Revanche @ A Gai Shan Life Says:

    Some days I just can’t deal so I yell at my computer, and then I get a mournful scoldy look from Seamus for cursing, and then I have to mind my mouth.

    Those days when I worked in the cube farm, I muttered imprecations under my breath and spent a few minutes thinking of inventive and appropriate curses. Today I vent at Twitter that no freakin’ person can read the three lines in my email and FOLLOW DIRECTIONS. And they call themselves highly educated. Harumph. I also skip around tasks a lot because I only have so much patience for the nonsense in one area or another. Last, I give myself really short attention breaks when I can read something else for three minutes.

  9. Rosee Says:

    Substances are tempting but not good plan for survival.
    Remembering to think ahead of the relative importance of the moment 5 years from now sometimes gives me perspective if not patience.
    “I am SOOO SORRY, I am sure you are being clear but I am not following/understanding, can you restate this?”
    A sign you see reminding you $/minute you are being paid to put up with this behavior, if issue is job related. You are being paid to deal with it after all and if your job wants to pay you $$$ to shred paper…. ok, their $.
    Stand up and pace.
    Decide which level of hell Dante would devise for them. Write down ways to murder them.
    PRAISE YOURSELF LAVISHLY FOR GETTING THROUGH WHATEVER HAS TO DEALT WITH. MORE LAVISHLY. Like you would praise a toddler for putting their bodily products in the potty the very first time!!!! Balloons, treats, celebrations, chocolate, whatever…..
    Re-consider the additive unhealthy consequences of indulging in … substances. Repeat lavish self-praise!

  10. First Gen American Says:

    Remind yourself that this is your dream job. I try to think of the positive things about the work and convince myself they outweigh the negatives and how lucky I am compared to so many other people.

    Sometimes though you need to have a vent buddy…someone I can safely bitch to without repercussions who will see it for what it is. Getting frustrations off your chest so you can let them go without gettimg accused of being a whiner or lazy.

    The person i used to get help getting talked off the cliff is now my current boss so I vented to him about how I can’t use him to vent anymore. He is the best boss ever though so there is good that came out of it. Now I ask for help and get it.

    Last but not least, when little things really start to get to me, I realize it’s probably time to take some vacation to clear my head. If you’re irritable and believe you should be able to let stuff go but can’t, you may just be burnt out, tired, and/or physically ill and need a break from work.

  11. Leah Says:

    How are you sleeping? I find it much easier to be patient when I’m well rested. And what about exercise? Have you been riding much? Taking time to fill my cup outside of work also helps me.

    Good luck!

  12. nicoleandmaggie Says:

    • nicoleandmaggie Says:

      Even if you’ve called before, call again today. Each day children are being separated from their families with no knowledge of if they will ever be reunited. Babies nursing, toddlers, kids with special needs. Older children are being sent to internment camps with pro-Trump murals on the walls. Brothers and sisters are being separated. We haven’t seen where they keep the girls. If they keep the girls. This is Fascism and it is hurting children.

      • bogart Says:

        Thanks. I just sent that, close to verbatim, via resistbot.

      • Debbie M Says:

        I just called about that. One of them is carefully considering the bills–they are too new to have an opinion. He doesn’t like to admit opinions anyway.

        I also asked what they planned to do about the president’s lying. I explained that it’s defamation and libel and that people want to respect and trust the president and so they believe a bunch of these lies which makes our country worse. One staffer said they couldn’t respond to such a general concern. I said, okay, one problematic like is that the press is America’s biggest enemy. I said I don’t know how we can teach our children that lying is bad when it’s obviously a key to success.

        I also left another message with my Rep asking what he intends to do about the huge number of impeachable offenses our president is doing. I said that he can support the president (which I have been told he does) without supporting every single impeachable offense, horrifying appointment, and other terrible things.

        I also told all of them that if they continue to support Trump’s terrible acts, then I am going to be forced to vote Democratic in the future, and asked if that’s what they really want. I said there need to be decent conservatives for me to vote for. (They don’t need to know what an extremist bleeding-heart liberal I am.)

        I love how Trudeau feels like me–that he hates the president but likes the American people.

        But that’s not enough. They are not even letting the parents say goodbye to their kids. The other day, I heard a kid crying for his daddy, so I went outside. I don’t know why, so I could protest and go to jail? Fortunately, there was no ICE, there were no pools of blood. By the time I got out there, the dad was just walking out the door and the kid was fine–it was just the kind of toddler emergency I used to always assume that kind of sound was about.

      • nicoleandmaggie Says:

        Thank you.

        If I remember correctly, I believe one of your senators is pretending empathy but trotting our another inhumane bill from 2014 instead. Ironically called the “humane act”, it fastracks deportation of unaccompanied minors and would do nothing about the children being torn away from parents situation.

        It’s all so horrible. Thank you for taking action.

      • Debbie M Says:

        “Humane Act.” I’m getting quite sick of living in opposite land.

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