(Enter Clifford – rushes to desk and dials mobile number whilst trying to read
papers on desk and unload briefcase)

Hello? Yes, it’s me. Yes. First break in five hours. Just got of the M25. Nightmare. You know, at one point, a milk float was passing us on a parallel country lane – it just looks
ridiculous. Seem to be living in that car these days. Yes, a bloody awful day,
as usual.

(Opening letters at the same time)

Been on the phone to Michael bloody Green again. Three times in an hour. Well,
he’s a nice guy but he keeps repeating himself, same questions over and over
again! Then he sends an confirming email every time. I should never have given
him my mobile number. Some buyers think you are on 24 hour call.

Then I got Suzanne on the land line while I am trying to calm Michael down
asking for that progress report again. I wouldn’t mind but he did say I could
have until the end of the day. (pause) What do you mean? (checks his watch) It
is? Shit, I thought it was Wednesday!
(picks up a piece of paper) Oh lord.
Look at this. “Please submit your expense forms for the last three months –
and ensure all future claims are made by the 15th of the month” (empties his
wallet full of receipts). Damn. I need a cigarette. You’re different. Mrs. Relaxation and Indian Head Massage. I’ll stick with 20 Silk Cut and a Diet Coke.


Then, to cap it all, Annie Bordell from head office, who is on a visit before the company audit is poking around, asking to see the standard procedures manual. She asks if I know where it is kept. I tell her – yes, I do. She harrumphs and asks where, and I tell her – in the filing cabinet in the storeroom. She goes looking and can’t find it. By that time, I’ve gone for a well-earned tea break. Well, she asked where it’s kept, not who has it at the moment!

Then I got to the office and the email was down. It took me ages to get in and
then three people I try to phone  all goes through  to voicemail, one of them
after three minutes of listening to an orchestral version of Bohemian
Rhapsody. I am sick of people NEVER being there when you want them. Then
there’s a text from Ian asking why I’m never there when he needs me and
asking for the sales report for Monday’s meeting.


I mean, when does he expect me to fit THAT in? You know, I used to enjoy this job. I am so, so tired. No, it’s ok. I’ll manage, don’t I always? What do you mean, prioritise? OK, I’ll prioritise – right now I need a fag and a diet coke. Priority number one. Yes, ok, ok! I know, I do feel stressed out. Actually, I think I’ve got an other bloody cold coming on and I only got rid of the last one a week ago. Well, I know you’re the perfect one. But you have TIME, I mean, you are always chilled out. I bet you don’t take a Waitrose carrier bag full of work
home every night.  Go on then. Suggest away. What do you suggest?

Causes of Stress Which are you guilty of?




Poor Mail/Email Management


Doing too many things at once


No time for relaxation


Neglects health through diet and smoking


Lack of prioritization


Unrealistic Deadlines


Doesn’t seek support


Makes unrealistic promises


Allows problems to “fester”


Driven by workload


Dominated by mobile phone


Not at his best for others causing further stress


Frustrated at work


Doesn’t know when to say no/renegotiate a task


Unhappy in job/career


Driven by the watch/clock


Poor work-life balance

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