There’s a potent cure for job misery hiding in plain sight in your workplace. But to find it, you have to understand what’s likely causing your misery in the first place.

If it seems like who you are and what you’re doing, don’t matter much to the people you work with, it’s pretty darn likely you’re miserable at work.

At least, according to Patrick Lencioni, author of ‘The Truth About Employee Engagement.’ He claims that feelings of anonymity, exacerbated by lack of attention to measuring or noticing our progress, results in feeling irrelevant. …

And How I Came Back from the Dark Side

“What are you doing?’ Asked Grandma Ollie.

My six-year-old fingers lifted a hardened mud pie out of the cooling chamber of my light-bulb powered Easy Bake Oven, and I slipped another pan of wet-dirt in the into the cooking chamber.

The cake mix that came with the toy oven was gone, but I had dirt, water, a tiny spoon and mixing bowl. That was enough to accomplish my mission.

I placed my still-warm earthen sphere on the backyard picnic table next to its’ toothpick-engraved older sibling, and vaguely felt my Grandmother’s gaze as I began to scratch the phrase, ‘I…

How To Help Put the Man Back in Humanity

I would never have discovered it if I had not been so desperate for a job. I’d just graduated with a social work degree and through a string of unexpected events, found myself in a new town, with no contacts and a burning need to save the world while continuing to make my car payments. One morning in the local café I noticed an ad from a non-profit looking for a ‘Youth Worker’ to work with ‘Behaviour-Disordered Boys’.

“Eureka!” I thought. Paycheck here I come.

Then I read it again, as the words “Behaviour-Disordered Boys’ started flashing in red.


Image: Annie Spratt

If I asked you to go to your local hospital maternity ward and spend a few minutes looking through the window at the babies born today, then come back and tell me which one is not enough…could you do it?

This is a question I heard posed by Vancouver trauma therapist Marshall Willensky, with whom I was fortunate to study with several years ago.
How is it we are able to see brand-new humans who’ve done nothing except arrive and need …well…EVERYTHING, as enough, yet we live in a chronic state of insecurity about our own enough-ness? …

Flopping with exasperation on the couch in my counselling office, I hear my client Danny (not his real name) say in a frustrated tone, “I may have to quit my job. The new guy at work is driving me crazy, and I don’t know how much longer I can take it.”

“What’s he doing?” I ask

“He’s constantly schmoozing, thinks he’s so great, he assumes everyone wants to be friends, and it really BUGS me. Yesterday, just hearing his voice outside my office made me want to punch him.”

“Is he bugging other people too?”

“That’s what makes it even…

“It’s ready Mommy!” Opening one puffy eye, I struggled to adjust to the stream of light pouring into my room from what seemed to be a two thousand watt light bulb in the hallway. It was my born happy eight-year-old, Sophia who had taken to rising early on school days to make hot cereal for the entire family.

I looked at the digital clock; five-twenty two a.m. glowed obnoxiously at me, like a red rip in the velvet darkness.

“Sophie…today is Saturday, there’s no school today, why are you up so early?” …

Willow Brocke

Therapist, Wisdom Junkie, Teacher, Mother, Feminist, writing about everyday human stuff. Reach me at

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