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Dealing With Year-End Office Stress

October 28, 2011 at 11:03 AMDoug O'Roak

The days are getting colder, the nights are getting longer, the holidays are fast approaching, and it’s almost time to start performing all of your end-of-year business duties (and I’m careful not to add to the pile by mentioning the T-A-X word.)

I was searching my network the other day, and came across a letter from 5 years ago that was written for our weekly staff meeting by one of our staff members.

To paraphrase, it basically was a reminder that stress levels increase starting around November, and to remember not to take this out on your co-workers.  It warned us to take a deep breath and smile, not to talk down to or yell at each other, and to bear in mind that we were all going through the same stressful time together.  It suggested the continued use of “Please” and “Thank You”, and to consider the tone of your voice.

I thought this was a great letter, and I even had a talk with the author about the idea of the letter, since this is my first year in the office, and I haven’t experienced a November yet.

So as you grumble about the cold mornings and the cold nights, and you curse at the heating bill after you have your tank filled, as you drive to work in the morning in the dark, and return home, in the dark, and as you try to figure out how to pay for your holiday purchases, and as you hunker down to prepare your taxes, try to remember how to do year-end after not having done it for a year, and your weekends are spent inside, just remember:

·         Don’t take it out on your co-workers.

·         Take a deep breath and smile.

·         Don’t talk down or yell.

·         We are all going through the same things.

·         “Please” and “Thank You” go a long way.

·         Consider the tone of your voice.

The biggest thing to remember:  The holidays will be over, tax season and year end will be over.  The weather will get warmer.  Your co-workers will still be your co-workers, so how you treat them now will be remembered when the stressful time is over.

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