In these troubled times, a man must do everything he can to keep his job lest he end up just another depressing statistic/exemplary member of a vibrant homeless community. Given how high the stakes are (trash as clothing is so 2001), it can be tempting to work your face off an effort to stay at the top of your boss’s do-not-fire list. When you wake up under your desk at 3 AM covered in highlighter fluid, though, it’s time to reassess your priorities; things have taken a bad turn. Sound familiar? Check our checklist to find out if it’s time for a vacation.

You dream about your boss.
You know the dream. The one where you’re in the shower, and suddenly your boss shows up and demands a rewrite of the report you submitted weeks ago. You flip out and reach for the nearest towel, but he (or, if you’re lucky, she) takes no notice of the awkwardness of the situation and instead berates you for not using Times New Roman (Ed Note: Obey). Unless this dream turns into a hot fantasy involving soap on a rope and domination by a woman in a power position, you’re in desperate territory. When even sleep isn’t safe anymore, it’s time to take a break.

Portions of your face twitch uncontrollably.
Once your friends start mistaking you for a stroke victim, you need to face the fact that you’ve been logging a few too many hours under the glowing light of the office fluorescents. At this point, your only options are to spend a week “working from home” or check yourself into a rehab facility, and until the 12 steps are covered by your crappy healthcare plan, it looks like you’re in for five days of reality TV and mid-morning naps.

People have started to comment on your paper coffee-cup fortress.
Art is a valuable pursuit, but not when it’s made out of moldy sandwich wrappers and taking over your workspace. It doesn’t matter how many extra projects you complete ahead of schedule if you become the office hoarder by working so hard you’re unable to dispose of your trash in a timely and civilized manner. Sure, every once in a while it’s fun and healthy to work out your mental roadblocks with a little pencil architecture or stapler

Every conversation you have begins and ends with “at the office” or “while I was at work”.
Just like nobody wants to talk to the guy who can’t complete a sentence without mentioning his Warcraft avatar, the always-talking-about-work dude becomes the no-longer-has-friends dude faster than you can say “avatar”. If your dinner companion’s eyes glaze over every time you open your mouth, then you’re well on your way to becoming a one-trick pony who is likely to find himself the proud owner of the loneliest fantasy football league.

You’re more turned on by pivot tables than by the Pussycat Dolls.
Yes, we know. It is super awesome when equations update themselves at alarming speeds, especially when it leads to a pat on the back from the boss and the possibility of a raise when the economy rebounds in 2011. But there is no excuse for letting work take the place of more earthly pleasures, even if it seems like The Most Important Thing Ever right now. Excel will never love you back the way you want it to, and it gets mad insecure when you dabble in Open Office. You don’t need that kind of stress in your life.

A test.


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