My housemate, Casey, is forever going on about how stressful her job is, and I’m not ashamed to say that I’m officially so over it. I mean, I’m sure it is stressful and that sucks for her, but I’ve never seen her do one little thing to change the situation – like looking for a new job, for example. It’s like she can’t resist getting sucked into the swirling morass of chaos.

Last night, upon coming home, she immediately launched into a tirade regarding her office life, while simultaneously switching on some terrible news channel and scrolling aimlessly on her phone. If it was me, I’d be running a bath or at least sitting quietly for a moment – or, at least, I’d like to think that’s what I’d do. Fortunately, my workplace is very functional, which I think has been somewhat a matter of choice on my part for the sake of my mental welbeing.

Maybe Casey should arrange a stress management training session for her office. She is a manager, after all – it would probably be within her power. From what I understand, half the problem seems to be people not knowing how to deal with stress in a healthy way, and proceeding to take it out on their colleagues in ways that could be construed as passive-aggressive.

There are companies that run corporate stress management workshops and the like. I know this because we’ve had them at places I’ve worked in the past, and I think it’s given me an appreciation for harmonious workplace relations that I might not otherwise have. That’s what I mean when I say that being part of a functional workplace is a choice, at least to some extent. It starts with known what healthy and unhealthy stress looks like and knowing that there are ways to manage it effectively.

From my point of view, Casey’s problem is not being able to identify that it’s not ‘normal’ or healthy to be involved in the toxic work environment like the one she describes.