Whenever you’re feeling agitated, ready to jump out of your skin the next time someone so much as looks at you the wrong way, take a minute, make yourself a snack. I’ve always found that getting some food in my stomach helps get rid of ninety-nine percent of whatever’s floating around in my brain that’s causing me distress. And even then, I’ll just eat some more, and that one percent is slashed, cut down to almost zero.
Does your boss get on your nerves? Is he constantly telling you to do this, to work faster, to stop standing around? Make yourself a sandwich. Go ahead and add that extra slice or two of cheese, and don’t be shy with the mayo. Let Mr. Manager get his knickers in a twist, just block out that voice and take a big bite.
Yeah, it doesn’t work immediately, I mean, you’ll still have to put up with those crazy thoughts running through your head for about ten minutes or so while your stomach digests all of that delicious turkey and bacon into whatever it is that calms down the nerves, quiets those impulses to tell your boss what’s what. And yeah, during that time, you’ll still have to stand there and listen to more of that, “What, you don’t have anything to do? I’ll give you something to do. Go put this over there. OK? That’s it? Yeah, well go get that and bring it over here.”
Just try to ignore it, walk as slow as possible, give your body a chance to metabolize all of that delicious chipotle gourmaise dressing that you used instead of mayo. Did I forget to mention that? It’s not too late, even if you’ve already added mayo, add some of this gourmaise, it’s mostly mayo anyway, only it’s got tons of spices in it, man, I could eat this stuff as a dip for chips, so don’t get skimpy, it’s got a squeeze-top nozzle, and there’s plenty more where it came from.
But if your boss is like my boss, he won’t take no for an answer, even though you’re not saying no, you’re not saying anything, you’re just chewing, you’re eating that sandwich as fast as possible so maybe you won’t be so visibly angry, it won’t be as difficult to suppress that feeling of rage bubbling barely beneath the surface, in fact, you’re not really suppressing it at all, he’s yelling at you, you’re chewing, and you’re looking him dead in the eye, your eyebrows are locked in place, if you didn’t have a mouth full of cold cuts, who knows what sort of obscenities you might start hurling?
Get out of there man, just for a second, tell him you need to go to the bathroom, don’t ask for permission to go to the bathroom, just tell him, “I’m going to the bathroom,” and then sneak out to the deli next door. Buy a black and white cookie, trust me, it just looks big because you don’t realize how hungry you still are, that that’s why you’re in such a bad mood. Eat the first one right there, before you even pay for it at the register, and then grab a second one to present to the cashier, “You know what?” you’ll tell him, “Charge me for a Mountain Dew also,” and pick it up on your way back to work.
Don’t look at your phone, it’s probably just your boss sending you some toothless threatening text message, some unoriginal, “It’s not really professional of you to …” long text message, like you’re thinking to yourself, man, what exactly is your job? How much time are you spending writing out paragraph-long text messages to an employee that just needs a snack, just give me ten minutes to eat my sandwich and cookie and take a drink of soda, Jesus Christ.
But it’s OK, by now your system should be totally flooded with whatever it is your body’s released in response to the sandwiches, to the cookies. Enjoy that comfortable buzz in the periphery of your consciousness. The next time you look your boss in the eye, just think about that cookie, maybe softly caress the Snickers bar in your pocket. I did tell you to get a Snickers, right? Just think, five minutes, ten more minutes, tops, and he’ll leave you alone. Just go to the corner for a second, make it look like you’re doing some work, don’t do it too fast, because then you’ll be back to square one, task completed, no more work to do, “No work to do? I’ll give you something to do!” Just take your time, make that menial labor last, unwrap the Snickers and take little bites now and then. You’re just hungry, it happens to everybody, just chill out, just have a snack, just wait a half an hour and then go out for a smoothie or a milkshake.