Canadian Mental Health Report #1

I am an increasingly angry canadianThe CBC and Angus Reid reports that Canadians are more angry than they were a year ago.

No $&#@‘ing kidding?

According to the pollster, almost 50% of Canadians feel their fellow Canucks are angrier than they were last year, and 25% admit to losing their own temper more often now than in the past.

Apparently women and young adults seem especially irritable: 30 per cent of women and 32 per cent of those age 18 to 34 say their fuses are way shorter than they used to be.

Why is that? Kathryn Jennings, a counsellor at Anger Management Counselling Practice in Toronto, suspects the increasing use of computers and technology is shortening our patience.

“With technology, our lives are faster, access is faster, and a lot of our needs are met immediately,” she says. “It has made our expectations higher. We expect that things should work and should work quickly.”

Personally, I feel a corporate culture and mind-set has invaded many employers previously more evenly paced… leading to frazzled worker bees.

Take my employer for instance – I will let you, the readers, figure out who that is.

Not that it really matters.

My work environment has quadrupled in size in 15 years with a net increase in individual responsibilities (within our technical group) by a factor of about 3 to 5. And if that is not entirely clear – My workload has probably tripled and the number of bodies available to deal with this massive increase in responsibility has dropped.
Where we once had 4 or 5 guys handling a large chunk of technical territory, we now have about 1.

Recently my employer approached me about taking on about 50% more work on top of this – with no increase in pay of course.

Another example: A colleague of mine crossed my path on the job site recently reporting how intense things have become. I replied… “We have become members in a culture of intensity…” “running from fire to fire is our way of life every day on the job…” “We start a job and that job is interrupted and that interruption is clobbered by yet another interruption… or a more serious crisis…”

It is bullshit. It gets a little worse each week. And we are willing participants in this ballet of madness. As my colleague and I parted ways, I coined another phrase…
“This trend is like an asteroid within… slowly making its way toward crushing our sanity…” An asteroid within… Damn. That’s witty.

So what else is making Canadians angry? Apparently queue jumpers are at the top of the list. I encountered one at a bank machine once… if you can believe that someone would be silly enough to cut in front of a line-up of busy and aggravated people (myself included…) in a bank machine line-up. I assure you… he will never do that again.

Other irritants include loud cell phone talkers, aggressive drivers and, oddly, people who ignore greetings in the office or have generally bad manners.

My personal favorites include motorists who eat breakfast cereal while at the wheel, cyclists who do their make-up – or hockey fans who talk about their financial portfolios for 3 periods of play.