At my full-time job at the zoo, I hear a lot of visitors complain about work stress. What are they complaining about? Not many of them work every day of the year like I do. How would they like to be photographed, critiqued and pressured all the time? It’s not easy to be constantly on display and charmingly entertaining.
Even so, I stay mellow. In fact, my name, Chúnhòu, is the Chinese word for “mellow”. I have learned to develop a thick fur over my thin skin to keep my stress down. Here are some of my tips for easing work stress.
Seven Tips to Ease Work Stress
- Get up and move each hour. Since I spend most of my day sleeping or posing for visitors, I get up each hour, lumber a few yards and snack on a few bamboo shoots. Fortified with some nutrition, I have plenty of stamina to deliver enthusiastic performances when a crowd gathers in front of my exhibit.
- Don’t take it personally. Visitors love to criticize and complain. Although I pay attention to feedback that helps me improve my work performance, I ignore the rest. Who cares? What do visitors know about pandas anyway?
- Avoid work gossip. I pay no mind to the zebras’ silly chatter about the giraffes. The zebras are just jealous of the giraffes’ long necks. You will never hear me spread rumors about the trainers bearing down on the elephants since I keep my opinions to myself.
- Refresh your talents. Each week, I devote a couple of hours to perfecting my tree-climbing skills. Sometimes I get a little coaching from one of the chimpanzees in the neighboring exhibit. This way I avoid being a victim of “talent refresh”, a ridiculous euphemism for being fired over not keeping up with the changing world of work.
- Strive for excellence. Forget about perfection because it’s just an illusion. Of course, don’t tell that to the swans.
- Dump the excuses. Workers would be far less stressed if they spent more time doing their jobs and less time making excuses about not doing their jobs. Tell that to the male lions lazing in the shade. Okay . . . sometimes I don’t keep my opinions to myself, but the lions have it coming.
- Have fun! If you don’t like your job, then find one that you do like. That seems obvious even to a bear. Click here for an inspirational story about a successful business executive.
Okay. I worked enough. Time for a snooze.