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Girls You Shouldn’t Fall For: The Girl Who Hates Her Job Edition

December 1st, 2010 Leave a comment Go to comments

The first gig I had out of college was as a fact-checker at VIBE Magazine. To this day I remember the email asking me if I was interested, the look on my mom and sister’s face when I told them. The dance I did in front of my mirror when I realized it was going to happen.

I started in the summer of 2004, and for those first eight months, no one could tell me I didn’t have the coolest job in the world. There I was, this fresh-faced college graduate who came from a small town called Seaside, in California, now living this big city dream working at one of the best music magazines in the country. What made it all the more sweeter is I was doing exactly what I told people I would be doing; working at VIBE, writing about music.

But eight months passed, and like every person in my generation of strivers, my ambition was getting the best of me. I began to want more opportunities, more looks (what we call “stories” in our industry), more of everything. The job wasn’t providing me with such things, so what was once a dream come true became a bitter reality. Compounded with that, was a woman I was dating at the time, coincidentally going through the same thing as me.

Hating our jobs, no matter how much we wanted them in the beginning, almost seems like a natural thing. I’ve worked at four different publications, including my current one, and in the back of my mind I know there will be a day, maybe even a week, where I’m going to wish I was anywhere else but there. Three days into this new gig, and I love it more than I thought I would, but I also know at one point, I’m going to hate it, if only for a moment.

This is a natural thing, I believe. We hate probably not our jobs, but the routine of it all? I don’t know. But what I do know, or rather, strongly believe, is men and women carry  that disdain a little differently.

When a woman hates her job, she only sucks it up at the office, but come dinner time or Sunday evenings when the work week is creeping up, get ready to hear a rant about why her job sucks or how it isn’t what she initially thought it would be. Throughout my 20s, most women I date are at a point in their career similar to mine. They’ve accomplished a little, but want to accomplish a lot more, and in their defense, they deserve it. My women are the ambitious types who plot takeovers in their head and are willing to work for it. But when it doesn’t come as quickly as they thought it would, they began to get weary, they began to get negative, and they begin to annoy the hell out of me.

If anyone knows what it’s like to hate a job, it’s me. When I was working at GlobalGrind this past summer, the period was so dark, I felt my body begin to deteriorate under the stress. Not to say I was going to die or anything that dramatic, but passing out from the BS of it all was definitely a feeling I had on more than one occasion. I simply hated my job. Sure, some of the people were great, and if any of my former co-workers or interns are reading this right now, I promise that it was not you who contributed in any way to my dissatisfaction. But, beyond the lovable interns and a portion of very cool co-workers, there was nothing, absolutely nothing positive about my time spent there, save for the check.

So what did I do? Well, as we all know, I quit or put them in a position where they had to let me go.

What did I not do? Complain about it. At least, I don’t think I did.

Here’s my dating philosophy for men and women concerning occupation/jobs:  For women, it’s easier to date a man who hates his job than it is to date a man who doesn’t have one. For men, it’s easier to date a woman who has no job than it is to date a woman who hates her job.

If a lady friend of mine encouraged me to open up about what was truly bothering me, I would, but volunteering a rant on how unhappy I was never entered my mind. When I talked to my boys and they would ask me how my gig was, I always said cool and changed topics. My boys have spared me all the same. Some of them have worked for years at jobs they hate, with many attempts to make a change, only to be let down in the process. Still, never so much as a peep about their unhappiness with cards they’re dealt.

When I was living with my ex-girlfriend, I was equally dissatisfied with my job, if only because I felt I was being grossly underpaid and I was due for a raise that never came. Still, complaining to her about it was something I never really wanted to do. Hearing her complain about her job, that was a different story.

She didn’t complain everyday, but she definitely came home with some stories about a co-worker here or a boss there. Ditto for girls I dated prior to her. One girl I dated who did similar work to me, would get so upset over the stagnation of her job, she would cry to me.

And all the while I have wanted to tell these women to be proactive about changing the situation. Actually, I didn’t want to say that to them. I wanted to yell that to them. Here I was, going through whatever mess I was dealing with at my job, and I had to hear hers. Most men will do it, but all men hate to hear it, especially if they hate their job just as much.

When a man hates his job, he’s either going to quit or he’s going to suck it up, and more likely, it’s the latter. I know I’ll probably never quit a job again, no matter how unbearable it gets simply because if there’s one thing I learned in between GlobalGrind and XXL, job problems are a whole lot easier to deal with than no job problems, so I would never encourage any woman to do what I did.

What I will encourage a woman to do is if she is unhappy about her job, keep the complaining to the man at a minimum, even if he’s 100 percent supportive, give him a break. I know I needed one every now and then. It’s not like I hated playing the role of being the shoulder to cry on, and it’s not like I wanted her shoulder to cry on too. Complaining about how unhappy I was would never fix anything, and I think this is something we all know, but I think what some of us forget is how to be happy with what we have and who we have. So women, go ahead and take advantage of that man’s shoulder if necessary, but every once in a while, try to give it a break too because honestly, he’s probably tired of that job and too much of a man to complain about it.


The Process: I’m calling it now: 2011, the year of getting my money right. Time for some financial fitness to go with the physical and spiritual fitness.

The FOURTEENTH Edition of the POPPIN’ QUESTIONS PODCAST is UP! Click here to listen. Working on the FIFTEENTH podcast tonight after running into a snag recording last night.

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  • Kae-Toya

    Loving the process for 2011…………..imma steal it.

  • OhAight…

    What are you whining about? And what is with this gross generalizations??? If you don’t want to hear it tell her. Who are you to ostracize an entire category of women from relationships simply because they talk about their days? Never that serious. Blah…

  • ms

    Not sure how I feel about this one. Men and women communicate differently (so said my linguistics professor in college); women complain seeking empathy, while men complain in an attempt to find a real-world solution. Maybe you don’t complain to other people about your job because, for the most part, you don’t imagine others can help you? So there’s no use in discussing it? Meanwhile, women know there is a very real thing other people can do to help us out in a situation like that—listen, understand, acknowledge the fact that this is something we’re struggling with. In general, we tend to be more moved by our emotions than men, and we communicate through them. It’s a damn shame more men don’t.

  • Guest

    “And all the while I have wanted to tell these women to be proactive about changing the situation. Actually, I didn’t want to say that to them. I wanted to yell that to them.”

    Now here’s what gets me? Their complaints bothered you but you never bothered to say anything. No one is going to know you don’t like something unless you tell them.

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  • Talia Taylor

    I’ve complained about a job and was fortunate enough (I think) to be dating a guy who told me to pipe down. Of course, we got into an argument and broke up two weeks later. But I did learn one thing from him, and that was: to hold myself accountable for the choices I make. After all, it was my decision to go to the same job everyday and then complain afterward.

  • Truth

    This is a recession and most people men and women hate their jobs. Everyone doesnt have the priviledge of having a great job these days and some are just happy to have a job in the first place. Your man should be understnading complaints and all it doesnt matter he should be there for you.

  • Naomi

    I’m Inclined to agree with you ALTHOUGH I am that girl that complains. But I can say that I’ve grown weary of talking about it and have been trying to do something about it for almost a year now. So, if I’m tired of talking about it, I’m sure my dude would be tired of hearing about it. Makes sense. The only thing is, for me – my job is a huge part of my life. Like the ladies you’ve dated in the past, world domination and takeovers are constantly brewing in my head. I’m so far from where I want to be, so far from where I should be, and am definitely impatient with my progress. The one thing you said that makes me think though – “I think what some of us forget is how to be happy with what we have and who we have.” – And I do, but that doesn’t take away from the Longest 9 hours of my day. Yes it affords me my car, my wardrobe, and whatever else I have – but there’s nothing like being completely unsatified. It just plain out sucks.
    But I promise – I won’t complain [much] anymore. Hehe.

  • Sydnie

    I bet that your woman would actually loved it if you talked to her about your job woes, instead of sucking it up. She would love the opportunity to talk it out with you and maybe help you figure out how to make it better. I feel like this perspective is a little selfish. I’m not even sure if that’s the right word. I get that women can talk too much sometimes… especially about things they have no plans of taking action on. I see how that can be annoying. But there is nothing wrong with both parties in the relationship venting from time to time, and helping one another figure things out. It doesn’t have to be one sided.

  • Esoteric

    I’ve been unhappy at work and I’ve complained about it … never to a male because my pride wouldn’t let me… Solution, I work one additional job in a field I love for little to no pay and I freelance… so when I complain… I have every right and you should listen! I mean it is better than seeing her on the news in a “workplace situation” and if she has that much time to nag… maybe you’re not occupying her time well enough… beyond that put her up on Joel Osteen’s #455 Bloom Where You’re Planted

  • Breathe Easy

    “I think what some of us forget is how to be happy with what we HAVE and who we have”

    So true… smh.

  • Jayar Moten

    This is not one i’m sure I agree with. Great write though. I’m just pretty sure most of my boys have complained to me about their job (if it’s a vocation they are passionate about.) I’ll admit that women do complain about it moreso than men, but I KNOW i’ve been just as guilty. In fact, I think a woman who doesn’t OVERcomplain but expresses her disdain can probably find things in common as well.

  • Jax

    If nothing else, having a significant other should afford you the opportunity to express yourself; not only your hopes and dreams, but also your fears and frustrations. It is harmful to the spirit to continually be surrounded by negativity. This response is not a license to do nothing except complain. Rather, it is a matter of asking for clarity on the matter. To me, it seems as if you’d prefer to have a Stepford wife, always smiling, cheerful, and upbeat. As in the movie, in real life, that’s a disaster. A relationship should be a safe space; not a tightrope. A woman should not have to feel like she’s walking on egg shells with every word that she says to her man. Trust, as a woman, as a nurturing creature, I would allow that space and expect mine as well. Yes, constant complaining can be annoying, but there is nothing wrong with the occasional vent. Let people live.

  • Amber (Bam) Cabral

    Jozen. I fervently abhor my job (and I am at work so this may be littered with poor grammar and sentence structure- pardon my dust). Many reasons I can’t stand this place, none of them relevant, but I do.  And as I age and experience different jobs, I realize it is that I hate working in corporate altogether.  I am great at it but, I hate how I feel, I hate donating my time to something I don’t enjoy and the politics and performances required to merely perform an effective function are asinine.  Until of course I get serious about what I really want to do with my life, I too [try to] suck it up.  I occasionally rant on Twitter.  I grumble after work.   And I am a woman who is aware of the banter and tries to wrangle the side of me that throws these tantrums, as to not be known as a “chronic complainer.”  Here is the thing though:
    As a man in a relationship with a woman [like me] who hates her job, especially if she is a woman who you know works hard, deserves better and wants more – it’s your job to listen, then encourage.  We may lead packs, carry boulders, balance infinity, but we still need masculine support and a rant about our jobs is an invitation for you to say, “Baby, you are awesome, if you hate it so much, let’s figure out a plan to get you where you want.” Sometimes in the midst of doing it all, we can’t see our way out.  Capable is rarely the question, direction often is.
    So many things about this post are dead on. I too have the Sunday evening rant as I prep for Monday at the workplace.  I know any man I am dating with hates it.  But women need men, and this is just one of the ways, despite all our desires for equality, we need you to help us.  Especially the strong ones, because they are harder on themselves than life is at times.  At the end of the day, regardless of what she says and can do, every woman wants a man who can say, “Chill out, I got this.”  Even if it’s just a few sentences to help us see the path we are resiliently stomping on.
    There is nothing wrong with falling for the girl who hates her job, it’s just an opportunity for you to man up.

  • Suetiful

    this is the truest thing Iv read in a while… true to me anyway…


    I have a friend that as long as I’ve known her, has complained about E.A.CH. AND E.V.E.R.Y job she’s had, including the one I got her at my job… And she’s had a quite a few since I’ve known her. I’ve been at my current job for almost 4 years now. She was here less than 9 months. When she left here, she bragged about her new job, benefits, pay, and not a month later and up until she left, the other company, complained E.V.E.R.Y.D.A.Y to me, while at work, through email, while she was online looking for other work, telling me what jobs she found that were available.

    I’ve never really complained about any of my jobs. Sure there have been things that I might not like about a job I’ve had, sure we all want more money for what we do, and some of the benefits might suck, but nothing drastic overall to complain about. But I don’t volunteer unnecessary BS that may be going on at work, unless prompted, with “how was your day?” or “how was work?”. And unless it was something extraordinarily irritating, I usually would just say, fine, or if It was a little stressful might just say, ‘these people are getting on my nerves’, but not necessarily go into detail, again, unless asked. If I’ve complained about it once, there’s no real need to go into detail. It’s not that serious. Like you, I believe if you don’t like your job quit complaining about it and do something. I have a great work ethic in that I have longevity and very tolerant about a lot of things. But if I feel I’m not treated fairly in the workplace, I will and have been proactive to get things resolved or leave. There hasn’t been a job yet, that warrant bolting because I didn’t like what I was doing.

  • Sandra


  • Just sayin.

    I have to say.. I’m an avid follower of your blog and typically agree 110%, but these last few posts have you looking real bitter. Just in time for the holidays. Stop complaining about things women NEED to do to entertain you or keep you in a relationship and start thinking asking yourself if these are the very reasons you aren’t in one.

  • Scoop

    This is accurate. Men complain for a solution, women complain to let it out. However, this is a stark breakdown in communication for both parties. We just don’t see eye to eye on this topic.

    For a man, talking about something comes after we have begun the process of changing/fixing it. If I say my foot hurts, it’s so someone can take me to the doctor. For a woman, its to let someone know how they feel. If you suggest a doctor, most times they decline the offer, b/c they just wanted to get it out.

    I agree with this wholeheartedly.

  • Kady

    I hate people who complain in general, my thoughts on the subject is that everybody has problems and I usually don’t want someone complaining to me day in and day out. My feelings are if you’re going to complain so much do something about it or stfu.

    I too quit a job I hated a few years back and I guess its not a smart move now, but if you can find another one then I totally say QUIT!!!! Give your two weeks notice and go find another (better) opportunity. During that time, I actually talked to an ex before I finally quit. I don’t remember if I was complaining but I definitely needed a shoulder to lean/cry on, so if my own boyfriend didn’t want to be that shoulder I would be really hurt. I understand the overall frustration but I belief that a woman who constantly complains about her job, probably constantly complain about other things also. I think its more your type than women in general because all women don’t constantly complain about work. Also you may have to reconsider what you consider complaining, sometimes she may just be sharing her day with you.

  • Trayrific

    I don’t think your line of thinking is terrible. Who wants to be with someone that complains incessantly? I’d say no one. But I think where you lose some of us is the wording. The title of this post, along with some of the other text in the post, kinda leads some of us to believe that you’re almost setting “strict” rules for your (or a man’s) future gf. While you tweeted that that’s not your intention (and I believe you), I just think the way you’re putting your thoughts out there aren’t very clear. I mean, the title alone just sounds so…so…absolute? Sorry, can’t think of the right word. But the funny thing is, unless you meet this future girl and she’s complaining right off the bat, I’d venture to say that you’re more than likely going to fall for her and THEN learn she’s a complainer. Remember, everyone doesn’t show their cards up front when dating. It could even be several months before you learn certain things about a woman. And if she changes jobs while you’re deep into a relationship, you could very well find out after years of dating that this person is a complainer. Then what? :-/

  • Holly

    “So women, go ahead and take advantage of that man’s shoulder if necessary, but every once in a while, try to give it a break…” In Jozen’s defense…

  • Miamiloverg

    lol… funny… bitterness… the holidays… lol

  • Talia C.

    @ just sayin. I totally agree.

    And Jozen why are u so focused on women who aren’t dateable?? Aren’t there any who are worth ur time?

    And about women complaining too much… U know women are talkers….It’s how we cope.. How bout just staying away from the complainers 😉

  • Singled Out

    Bottom Line_________ your time together is your time together and your time apart is your time apart. Ladies: Stop trying to turn these men into gossip girls… That’s what your Mother and your friends are for. Yes, he wants you to share that part of your life with him, but he does not want to feel like he’s been going back and forth to work with you everyday. Because, I’m sure if you hate your job 9 times out of 10 he hates it more.

  • Rohlehr

    Don’t these differences in handling frustration simply boil down to the fundamental differences between men and women? Not surprising you claim guys will suffer in silence because men are generally not communicative while women usually are.

  • Janet A. Dickerson

    I’ve been a great fan of your blog Jozen, and will continue to be. But I’d be remiss if I failed to echo what many of your above commenters have expressed – which is that you’re way off base with this one. Would you prefer that your girlfriend/wife just keep her mouth shut about what ails her? Whether it be our jobs, our bodies, our families and friends, we all have complaints about how things are. And yes, God willing those complaints will manifest into action. But before anyone reaches that point, they must feel they have the ear and support of their loved ones, and especially the man (or woman) she lives with and is trying to build a life with. Also, what constitutes a complaint is in the ear of the beholder. Obviously if you’re not trying to hear any of it, it only comes across as a whining annoyance. But a good partner, one dedicated to unfettered communication – including what we don’t feel like listening to – will just sit there, listen and be supportive. Not just respond to an earful with “Well, if you won’t change your problems right now then shut it and suck it up.” Sorry Jo, that’s just not how grown folk relationships work.

  • Nk

    I dated a guy and by about 6 weeks I kinda got fired. I had not informed him about my work troubles because I was embarrassed and just wanted to concentrate on getting to know him. On that day he asked me what my day had been like and I had to be honest. Instead of being ultra negative I just said that I see this as a sign that I need to go in a different direction. I thought I was totally positive. When he informed me that he didn’t wanna see me anymore he said that being with someone who has been fired and obviously didn’t respect having a job was an issue for him. I was totally down about that comment. I thought I was real yet positive, I wasn’t crying or down in the dumps. Yet he still saw that as a huge issue for him. His loss aye.