Office Stress Is Contagious

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Being the busiest person in the office might seem like an effective career strategy. You know that person: their to-do list takes all the paper in the printer; they’re crazy-eyed, frazzled, fast-walking, fast talkers who go to 80 meetings a day and take conference calls in the bathroom at lunch. That particular colleague may get a lot done, but as a summary of research in the Wall Street Journal shows, those busy bees need to take a Klonopin. Their high stress levels are infecting office culture like a black plague of anxiety.

According to the WSJ, the frenzied pace of “the rushers” sets everyone else on edge. Colleagues (or, as the rusher might call them, “slackers,”) feel all sorts of emotions in response: from “am I rushing enough?” anxiety, to “I’m not as busy or important as that busy, important person” feelings of inferiority, to “please talk to me busy person” desperation, and, finally, an unhealthy sense of  “do you think you’re more important than me?"  resentment.

So how can office workers terrorized by this kind of person, inoculate themselves — or better yet, find a cure? This Christmas, we suggest the passive-aggressive gift of a Comme Des Fuckdowns sweatshirt.