By now, everyone should have seen the movie Office Space, and as a result should be familiar with the phrase “a case of the Mondays” that was made unfortunately popular by the film. If you have a Monday-to-Friday gig, you know the phenomenon all too well. Every Monday, you’re engulfed by an overwhelming sense of dread, anger, gut-wrenching boredom, and a practiced apathy. You lament the fact that the weekend seemed to pass by faster than an hour at work, and as you shift your car into drive to head to your own personal hell, you entertain a thought of driving across the country and never returning. That thought quickly dissipates, along with the pained smile that it subconsciously wrought. Your mood deteriorates even further on your way in. You have a headache by the time you arrive, before you even turn on the computer you’re about to stare at for the next eight hours. If you’re less than thrilled with your job (which I would imagine most people are, whether or not they’ll publicly admit it), then work is the one place where you’ll actually sit and wish hours of your life away.
We all know that’s not where the pain starts, though. The seed was planted deep within your psyche the day before. I currently work a job at an office that operates within normal business hours. I spent just about the preceding 15 years stuck in retail hell, working nights, weekends and holidays. For the first time in my life, I now have Saturdays and Sundays off, and on the surface, it’s thrilling. However, no matter what fun activities or much-needed relaxing I’m engaged in on Sunday, the dread of having to go back to work the next day steadily creeps from the back of my mind to the forefront with each hour. As a matter of fact, by Sunday afternoon, I’m thoroughly depressed, as the cushion that existed between myself and work has been forcibly removed. On Saturday, there is a cushion, and it’s a soft one. The thing is, at least for me, that once Monday is in full swing, I’ve already begrudgingly accepted the fact that a new work week just began. Those taunting, miserable thoughts that besiege your mind all day on Sunday are, in the end, far worse than the reality. This brilliant meme, pictured below, perfectly captures the full spectrum of emotions that an average Monday-to-Friday laborer endures as the week progresses.
As you can see, Sunday is the most somber day of the week, rife with sadness about the next impending round of the rat race. Monday fosters a certain numbness as you get back into the grind. Tuesday feels just like a second Monday. By Wednesday, you know the week is moving, but you’re still rather indifferent. On Thursday, a glimmer of hope. Friday comes and your excitement is nearly impossible to contain, and you explode out of your seat not a minute after quitting time. Saturday is the apex of joy, the happiest day of the week by a long shot. And then, all of a sudden, your dreams come crashing down, as you spend Sunday unable to hold back from thinking that your life has become a real version of the movie Groundhog Day. The cycle repeats, you do the commute, you go blind staring at a screen for another 40 hours, and you have one day of reprieve before your neck stiffens with the worst kind of anticipation. Enjoy your Saturdays, because the light that shines so brightly when you take that first breath of fresh air outside of work on Friday afternoon will be stamped out when you wake up on Sunday.