Burnout is a real risk when demands exceed available resources for an extended period of time. I have compiled a list of signs that you are in clear and present danger of burning out.

1. You have forehead abrasions that resemble the upholstery of your cubicle walls.

2. You head bang more than a fan at a metal concert.

3. You are the reason Casual Friday was re-branded “Jeans Day,” as a subtle reminder to wear pants.

4. You have taken a survey about taking a survey and died a little inside.

5. You have wrapped yourself in red tape as a Halloween costume. 3 years in a row.

6. You have wondered if the odor generated by the decomposition of your motivation and sense of purpose violates the scent free policy.

7. You relate strongly to Madagascar’s Penguins and their life goal of escaping from the zoo.

8. You’ve repurposed the warning label from a Pillsbury crescent roll tube as an explanatory note to your behaviour in meetings. (Warning: contents under pressure).

9. You have sent emails that could be considered incendiary devices.

10. You have made obscene hand gestures at a telephone while on a conference call. Then realized it was a video conference.

11. You have been reprimanded for inappropriately placing “Sign Here” stickies.

12. You share your child’s desire to run away and join the circus. He’s pretty strategic for a 6 year old.

13. You are no longer allowed to send out meeting requests after the one for the last staff meeting was entitled “Negotiations with Terrorists.”

14. You have measured yourself for a Wal-mart greeter vest “just in case” and note you look super awesome in blue.

15. You have a file on your desk labelled ‘Things nobody mentioned on career day” and you could seriously injure someone with it based on its current dimensions.

Any similarities to my actual life are “purely coincidental.” This piece was compiled by an overactive imagination and does not necessarily represent the seemingly inevitable consequences of over ten years in a cubicle with no door.


Alison Tedford is a hot mess mom, daily writer of funny and serious shit, cookie arsonist and hogger of the bed. She's Canadian, but not sorry at all.


  1. Fantastic post, Alison. Since my employers are offspring mine are similar but slightly different, I notice I flip of my kids when they’re not looking. Do the nah, nah, nah, nah, nah song after I win an argument with them or my husband, stick my tongue out at any of the above behind their backs, or go to bed at 7 pm, just because I can’t stand another freaking sound out of anyone’s pie hole. Very funny!

    • Awww thanks! I feel that way on the weekend I can’t imagine it all the time. Your job is much harder than mine!

  2. You’re so awesome, I love this list so much!!!! I was giggling and thinking my SAHM situation isn’t that much different than the cubicle working world. Just tinier tyrants and more demanding.

    • My tyrant is demanding too 🙂 but he’s someone else’s problem 9-530. I’m teaching him sarcasm by saying “mommy is excited to see you too” when he whines when I come to pick him up from daycare.

    • Jill that made me spit out my tea. I bet Stephanie’s cat would have fallen off then counter.

  3. #11 – WHY have I never thought of this before? What an awesome idea for staving off boredom on slow days at the office! Thanks for the inspiration. Great post!

  4. Pingback: 15 Signs You Might Be Headed to Burnout - on Blunt Moms - Sparkly Shoes and Sweat Drops

  5. Pingback: 15 Signs You're Headed To Burnout - Sparkly Shoes and Sweat Drops

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