'Desk Rage' Is a 'Silent Epidemic' Among Assholes


There’s this crazy new thing happening called “people hating their jobs” that has spawned this other new thing called “Desk Rage.” It’s basically being really annoyed with stuff that happens… at work.

According to a Telegraph article that contains the delightfully inscrutable phrases “het up” and “niggles,” Brits suffer from “desk rage” an average of twice per day over everything from credit-stealing coworkers to printer malfunctions to “skipping the tea round.” (I’m assuming that in American English, that’s sort of like when a coworker takes the last cup of coffee and doesn’t make a new pot even though it takes like THIRTY GODDAMN SECONDS FOR THE FUCK OF SHIT I AM NOT YOUR MOTHER, COWORKERS.) At any rate, British workers are super mad at work, like, all the time.

First of all, if you’re experiencing DESK RAGE — a phenomenon TIME calls a “silent epidemic“— then congratulations, you not only have a job, you have a job that allows you to sit down for most of the day. You’re already way ahead of a child in a Bangladeshi basketball factory and 100% of the undocumented farm workers responsible for harvesting the wilted lettuce bed that lies forlornly underneath the last stale bagel in the break room that you’re soooooOOoooo mad about because they’re not the GOOD bagels. And secondly, we can’t just go around declaring basic things that annoy people rage syndromes. It’s disrespectful to the concept of rage.

Rage is, by definition, irrational and overblown, but being irritated with the daily minutiae of the yellow wallpaper that is your existence is a pretty standard part of the human experience. Rage is a guy getting out of his car and smacking a stranger because he hesitated for too long after the light turned green. Rage is punching a wall so hard that you break your hand because you missed a layup. Rage is silly. Rage is when a cartoon character’s head turns into a teapot and begins shooting steam out of the spout for comedic effect. Rage is so overwhelming that it demands a betrayal of composure.

Here’s what rage isn’t: rage isn’t “being reeeeally annoyed.” It’s not the feeling you get when you’ve strategically timed your visit to the work bathroom for an afternoon poop and like 5 seconds after you sit down, one of your coworkers comes in and takes the stall next to you and just sits there not making any noise OH MY GOD WHAT ARE YOU DOING IN THERE. When the person ahead of me in line for the water fountain at the gym takes what feels like 5 minutes filling their goddamn water bottle while I sit there panting like Old Yeller right behind them, I may feel a little like taking their water bottle and clubbing them with it, but as long as I keep it together, what I’m experiencing doesn’t deserve it’s special capital-R Rage syndrome. There’s no such thing as Clerk at the American Apparel Won’t End Phone Conversation About tUnEyArDs So I Can Just Buy Some Goddamn Tights With Cash Rage. Unless I physically tear the enormous backpack from the guy who keeps bumping into me with it during rush hour on the train, there’s no Guy Riding the L Train Oblivious To Size of Giant Backpack Rage. Nor is there Getty Pictures Are Taking Too Long to Download Rage or My Internet Is Being Weird Rage or Seriously Another Motherfucking Site Redesign!? Rage.

So the next time you feel yourself succumbing to the epidemic of desk rage, remind yourself that you have a job, and a desk, and that you’re really not that mad. Besides, if you weren’t at work, you’d figure out something else at which to be angry. Your neighbor who plays the drums. Your cat. The sun. The clouds. People who complain about their jobs constantly.


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