I Don’t Like Mondays!

Really? I do.

Monday, Saturday, Wednesday, any day it makes no difference to me I like em all!

Actually, today is Saturday and I’m going to simply start writing on this day and see where it takes me.

I never really get why people get so excited when Friday rolls around. I get that it’s the weekend and no work for the the next two days for most people. Why get so excited about it? What do you do on weekends? Relax? Work more in a different way? Party hard because it’s Friday night and the next two days you get to recover? I guess everyone has their reasons for being so excited about Fridays.

Let me pose this to you. Why judge one day any different from the next? What if it were all simply a change of attitude and perspective? Why not change your thinking from TGIF to TGIM – Thank God It’s Monday! That way you are looking forward to the work day and don’t have to think about Friday or even Wednesday as being halfway to Friday known as hump day.

What if you changed hump day to Thursday, halfway to Monday? I think it just might change your attitude.

To be honest I never really dreaded Mondays. I know many do. Is it because you don’t like your job? And because you don’t like your job the only solace is looking forward to Friday knowing the next two days after are not working days. Then it’s the dreaded Monday again and the cycle continues.

I don’t recall where this ever came from, but part of my personal philosophy has been, “If I don’t like my job I will quit and find a new one.” What I mean by this statement is that life is short with a large percentage of that life taken up by work. If I ever found myself complaining more about my job than not, that is 50% more on a regular basis I quit. I bet you’re thinking, “He’s never done that!” Well you’d be wrong. I have and did, twice!

The first time was in my late 20s working in sales. At the time I was hired away by a competitor. I was happy at the original company, but they dangled a larger salary carrot in front of me, and being in my 20s, naive and “wet behind the ears,” I took it not giving any thought to the type of company atmosphere. Pure unadulterated greed drove me to accept the job. Miserable, I found myself complaining and getting caught up in petty arguments with other company members. I quit within a year.

The second time I was working at an ad agency in NYC. This time in my late 30s and well-seasoned. I had worked my way up from Production Manager to Director of Operations managing a department of around twenty-five designers, copywriters and programmers. It was during the internet bubble and the money and perks were great! Like all bubbles it burst.

We hung on doing our best to maintain morale for the teams. The atmosphere became more and more difficult. As the director it was my duty to layoff friends and colleagues one by one as budgets got tighter and tighter. I found myself becoming more and more despondent.

Then one Sunday afternoon I read a piece in the New York Times about the top 25 companies with the largest stock price drop due to the internet bubble bursting. Our ad agency was on that list. The article went on to display the CEOs salaries. Despite the massive drop in stock price our CEO was still paid an incredible salary. Yet I was laying off my colleagues. That was the last straw.

The following day I went up to my boss and asked her if I could be laid off. With an “I don’t think anyone has ever asked to be laid off look,” agreed. I received severance, health insurance and uncontested unemployment insurance for a year.

It was the best thing I had ever done. If it wasn’t for my personal philosophy I would have stuck it out at one or both of those companies and continued to be miserable for a very long time.

After getting laid off at the ad agency I moved back to my hometown of Minneapolis, lived off my unemployment insurance while completing an unfinished undergraduate degree with a focus on Japanese language. During that time I ended up meeting my now Japanese wife. And well, the rest is history as I write this blog from Tokyo, Japan.

Next time you’re looking forward to Friday or hump day and not Monday, ask yourself why.

You never know what you might find.

Or do for that matter.

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