“Wanted: Office admin assistant with 2 yrs exp. Must be able to handle relaxed, non-rushed environment. Must be competent and able to complete tasks at a pace that you deem suitable. Responsibilities can be taken on at your determination, and multitasking likely won’t be necessary unless you want to get out of the office earlier than usual one day. Please fax resume and cover letter to…

Have you ever seen a job opening posted that conveys a tone like that? Me either, or else I would have applied to it and not shared it. All of the postings I’ve ever seen want their applications to be multitaskers, able to handle a fast-paced environment, and include an absolute laundry list of responsibilities that one person alone likely wouldn’t be able to handle, let alone a brand new hire.

I got to thinking about it today when I got absolutely balls to the wall stressed out at work today. My aunt had called to tell me that she was taking my grandfather in for a chest x-ray and they were at the ER (even though it wasn’t an emergency, it’s just where his doctor recommended he go for one) and people at the office kept asking me to do and remember things and the phone was ringing off the hook and my heart just started feeling like a ripe peach that was being squeezed. It didn’t hurt so much as it was really uncomfortable and unpleasant feeling. Even just thinking about it brings back a dull ache to my chest. In a ridiculous twist of irony, I started to feel relaxed when I was sitting in the ER waiting room with my aunt and grandfather, which is normally an incredibly high stress, miserable environment. Only then did my heart/chest start to unclench.

I know that having my mind and body be so tense and coiled for a prolonged amount of time like that is not healthy at all, and I just don’t know how to stop it, or preferably prevent it. I know that my job isn’t magically going to become “chill” and that people aren’t going to start respecting my personal preferences for how I like to receive task requests and information just because it’s more convenient for me. They (like all other humans) will do what’s more convenient for themselves, when given the choice. And being that I am the bottom rung on the hierarchy there, the choice for them is easy. There are (little to) no consequences for upsetting me as opposed to upsetting upper management.

This is really a question based post because I need help on how to control the anxiety within my body when I feel overwhelmed yet still want to show that I can handle it and do not just a good job but a Great Job. Deep, yogic breaths aren’t quite getting the job done. Drinking hot herbal teas help momentarily. I make lists and write everything that I can down on them, but I can never seem to cross anything off for being interrupted in the middle of tasks. I need to learn to deal with the pace that the American office culture has set for me and all of us without it taking a major toll on my body. Suggestions? Can you think of a job description that calls for a relaxed pace environment without a lot of time pressures?