How To Be Miserable At Work

As a Life Coach I speak to lots of people about self-development. It’s one of the cool things about my job, I actually get paid real money to help people make their lives more fulfilling.

Every now and then though somebody will say something along the lines of “Yeh I know what you mean Mr. Life Coach, but that sounds like really hard work to me and I’m not a big fan of hard work”

And you know what? They’re absolutely right. Life coaching, self-development, personal growth or whatever else you want to call it is indeed hard work. It’s  also a life long process, a bit like cleaning your teeth, eating food and breathing, and we all know what a pain in the arse they’re all to do.

Having said that, do you think miserable, unhappy and unsuccessful people get where they are by accident and taking things easy?

Of course not!

They work their ass of at being miserable bastards filtering out good news, pouring scorn on happy people and looking for anything that will confirm their belief that life sucks,

Nobody becomes an overnight failure you know, these people commit themselves to a lifetime of zero (or even negative) growth and bitterness. And I’m not just talking about in their spare time either.

Being at work is no excuse for not working on your misery. In fact just the opposite, it provides a fertile environment for spreading and receiving anguish.

I understand this may have not crossed your mind before and you now realize what a fool you’ve been, going to work with a spring in your step and a smile on your face, but worry not because in classic Life Coach style, I’m here to help.

If you follow the advice below as well as checking out the ‘How To Be Miserable’ video as homework, I GUARANTEE you’ll be despised and unhappy quicker than you can say “Let’s open a Sun Trust Bank account”


Always make sure that the first thing you say when entering in the morning and the leaving the office in the evening brings everybody crashing down. Examples could be “I see the economy has taken another turn for the worse” “The CEO is planning another round of head cuts according to Bob in HR” and “I knew I shouldn’t have come to work with this bug the kids gave me, 3 people have died from it already in our neighborhood”

Work twice as hard at this when it’s Friday, somebody’s birthday or there is a general good mood in the office. If it’s not working very well, just fart and look accusingly at the person next to you.


If you need a big day off work don’t risk booking it in advance. If you ask for July 4th off, management may say no because other people have already booked it or it’s a busy time in the office.

Phone in sick at the last minute from the beach. Don’t worry; somebody will cover for you even if it means they have to leave their family to come in to the office. You’re not a charity you know, and anyway, it’s not your fault they only get to see their sick Grandpa once every 4 years. Anyway, he’s probably had a good innings and is only clogging up a bed at the hospital.


If you have any ideas that will help all your colleagues perform more efficiently or be more successful, pretend you’re a squirrel and keep them to yourself. They’re your ideas; you earned, plagiarized or stole them. We’re not living in Russia, China, Canada or some other Commie country you know, nobody gives you free cash and even if they do, that’s not the point. Let your motto be” “To have and to hold”


If one of you colleagues has a great idea in a meeting never forget to ridicule it. Point out every way it can and will fail whilst laughing heartily and condescendingly. Tell everybody how a similar suggestion failed in your last company and everybody lost their jobs, homes and ended up living under cardboard boxes.

If it’s a really good idea, don’t be discouraged, just treat it as a challenge and undermine even harder. If all else fails, tell them about how when you worked at Enron they had that very same idea. The gold standard is not just to get the idea thrown out, but the have the person that suggested it humiliated and hopefully fired.

‘Successful’ people use this technique to undermine negative and disempowering beliefs. Don’t you be one of them!


Tell Ian and Bob that Jay thinks they’re gay lovers. Then tell Amanda that Lucy fancies her boyfriend and has been making eyes at him. Then tell Jay that Ian nailed the boss’s wife in the stationery cupboard at the Christmas party but told her his name was Jay. Send a letter to Bob swearing undying love and sign it Ian and so on and so forth.

This stuff doesn’t have to be technically true. As long as you have a vague hunch because of the way they looked at you one time I suspect it’s all perfectly legal and above board.

Some corporate-loving feel good types types use this approach to spread great ideas and good news. Do NOT Be one of them.

Kiss Ass

Always leave the office 30 seconds after you manager and get there 30 seconds before he arrives. Everybody in the office will cotton on to what you’re doing, but the manager will be in blissful ignorance and think you’re committed to the company cause.   Roll your eyes at the boss whilst shaking your head and tapping your wristwatch every time somebody leaves early or arrives late.

Groveling can be really tiring, but don’t worry. You only have to do this when the boss is there. The rest of the time you can stab him or her in the back with gusto.


Spend hours on Twitter, Facebook, MySpace and dating sites looking for dirt on colleagues. When you find something, ‘accidentally’ send an e-mail with the link to the entire company. If that’s too risky, borrow somebody else’s computer when they are in the bathroom or print pictures off at home and surreptitiously stick them all over the office when it’s empty. Blame Colin from dispatch.

Some successful people use ‘down time’ to surf for inspirational stories and ways to help the company. I have no idea what the hell is wrong with them.


When surfing for porn always make sure you’re logged in under somebody else’s username and password and preferably on their computer too.

Don’t worry everybody does this, or so I’m led to believe.


If you have a communal fresh coffee machine and you notice it’s getting low, make sure you top yours up quickly, otherwise you may be the one to have to fill it up. If you already have a fresh cup, simply pour that away and then finish off the fresh stuff.

The same goes for the water cooler, it’s not your job to change it if it runs dry, after all you could put your back out. Just make sure you fill 4 or 5 cups to take back to your desk when it gets very l


Popular people seem to get off on helping others and may even take coffee to colleagues desks and stop for a pleasant chat. They should be locked up in my opinion.

Cell Phones

Never ever turn you cell phone off in the office or at a meeting, even when requested to do so. If it rings simply hold up your hand condescendingly indicating everybody needs to be quiet and nod sagely as your mum tells you that Aunt Enid has lost her reading glasses down the toilet again.

If anybody else’s phone should ring, roll your eyes; sigh heavily and then say in a low but perfectly audible whisper, “disgraceful, some people have no respect for others”.

On the other hand, if you are out of the office seeing clients or delivering stock leave your phone on your desk. Then prepare for a 3 hour nap by the side of the road knowing your ringing phone is pissing off the entire office. That’s what we call a win/win in the trade.


Admission is a sign of weakness. If you screw up blame somebody else, anybody else, everybody else. Good people to blame are anybody that no longer works in your office, the timid office mouse that never fights her corner, or anybody that has been within 100 feet of your desk within the last 6 months.

If you see somebody admitting they screwed up to the boss and taking full responsibility, after you have stopped laughing, knife them squarely in the back by pointing out “It’s not the first time, is it, eh?”

So now you can see that being unsuccessful can be really hard work. These tips will help you get there, but they need to be fine-tuned and worked on for years and years, but don’t worry there are always people to help you. Every office has misery seekers and if you can forge alliances you’ll be having pity parties and doubling your misery in no time at all.