“Corporate Cringe”: 30 Of The Best Workplace Memes And Posts Shared By This Dedicated Instagram Page
Life can be so overbearingly busy that sometimes it feels like there's simply no time to catch our breath. From the moment our mothers held us for the first time to our mature adulthood – we're constantly occupied by the responsibilities of our existence.
We're always told to do well at school, to go to college and finish a decent major that'll allow us to live more freely. We think that our parents' nagging is the worst thing in the world and that our suffering will come to an end as soon as we become more independent – yet once we step into that 9 to 5 life, all we want is to experience the carefreeness once again.
Many folks thrive in the corporate environment – however, some find it a little too burdensome. Well, turns out there's an Instagram account called "Corporate Cringe" that focuses on creating very relatable work memes that might help to brighten up those gloomy office days. The page has over 21.5K followers, 109 posts, and Bored Panda has gathered a few of their best ones.
More info: Instagram
It's no secret that everyone would be much more satisfied if they ditched their ordinary routines, took off and flew somewhere to sip cocktails full-time. But sadly, not a lot of us can organize something like that, as we're quite literally tied to our responsibilities.
We're taught to strive to achieve the best to eventually get hired at a company that'll completely burn us out, both mentally and physically, but will promise to somehow compensate with its great pay. Most of us are already familiar with that "corporate world is bad" narrative – I mean, not a lot of folks enjoy being awakened at such an early hour to have to fight the traffic to get to the place where you get treated rather poorly by your self-centered boss.
While it's significantly important to maintain a good work culture, a lot of jobs still struggle with unhealthy environments. Even nowadays employees get discriminated against left, right and center, whether that's based on their gender, race, age, disability or any other aspects – it's quite common for people not to feel included and appreciated.
Moreover, many companies stick to this fake tale and advertise themselves as "families" where, in fact, half of the office is filled with ill-mannered and backstabbing people that'll use any opportunity to throw each other under the bus. It seems that this toxic competitiveness is really useless and is not helping anyone, so why are so many people this bad at collaborating with each other?
Bored Panda has reached out to the creator of the page and asked them to reveal what inspired them to make the account: “It was my short and terrible stint at PwC. I was there for about a year and a half but it felt like five. It was my first job out of college and I absolutely dreaded my existence there. The new job charm quickly wore off and I was thrown into my first busy season averaging 60-70 hour weeks for about 4 months straight. I'd wake up at 5 AM, and be back home by 8 PM. If I was lucky, I'd have 30 minutes to myself to eat dinner, watch a show, and then immediately go to bed to repeat the next day."
"The work environment was also very clearly not suited to my personality or lifestyle at all. I'm a more introverted and private person, especially in the workplace. I also enjoy drawing a fine line in the sand regarding my personal life and work life. The problem was that the work environment encouraged and unofficially demanded employees blend the two together and be BFFs with each other inside and outside the workplace and share everything about each other. I thought this was incredibly intrusive and my coworkers would constantly share things that were uncomfortable to hear at work.”
BP then wondered whether the author has an opinion as to why the corporate life tends to be so toxic, to which they said: "I don't want to say ALL corporate life is toxic, because there are definitely some companies that actually get it and I was fortunate enough to work for one. I think what leads to a lot of the toxicity that we see in corporate life stems from the fact that a majority of people (mostly the older generations) tie their purpose solely to their employment. Work is their life and their personality. Take away their job and they genuinely wouldn't know what to do or who they are. So because their purpose is their job, any little thing that can be perceived as a "threat" to their job is responded to with hostility. If there are faults, they take it as a personal failing both in and outside the workplace, which I think is incredibly foolish as your work does NOT define who you are."
"For example, a bright-eyed college grad comes in and starts questioning the way the company does things, and that there are better ways of doing them. I'm sure a lot of readers would agree with me saying that a lot of the time this results in painting a target on your back because now you're 'threatening' the way people have done their jobs for years. Then their ego kicks in, and if done by enough people in positions of power, it leads to a toxic workplace whether they intended that or not. These higher ups have a superiority complex and genuinely see themselves as 'above' you. Not in the workplace, but also life as well. What they don't understand is that a job is simply a means to an end. We work to live, not live to work. Once people stop living to work and start detaching their purpose and personalities from their jobs, we will see a paradigm shift in how society at large views work in our lives."
Of course, not every organization struggles with such a harmful system. However, what needs to be understood is that people don't hate working – people hate the unsuitable environment that messes with their needs. Everyone deserves to be respected, especially at a place that takes up a good amount of our time. Some employees choose to treat their jobs a little more passionately than others, for instance, folks refuse to have families simply because they've decided that they want to dedicate their lives to their careers, but it might be not as rewarding knowing that your workplace practices an aggressive environment.
Thankfully, these days, many companies are becoming more and more self-aware of their toxicity. Employers are doing their best to have an extra wholesome and inviting work culture that'll allow people to feel safe and appreciated. After all, we're all human beings and it doesn't matter how big our professional roles are, as we all deserve to be respected equally.
Lastly, we asked the Corporate.Cringe creator to give some advice to those who still practice an unhealthy environment in their workplaces: "If we're talking about leadership, it should be incredibly obvious yet it somehow needs to be shouted from the rooftops: listen to your employees. Your employees build the product/service, sell it, and support it. Listen to their concerns and just be empathetic. Have them know they are being heard and that their results matter. Vast majority of the workforce is not happy with their jobs, and the mentality should no longer be, 'you should be grateful for a paycheck, suck it up'. So figure out why."
"If we're talking about other staff, get off your high horses. You're not special because you're so desperately gunning for that promotion. You're willingly exploiting yourself for it and also dragging everyone else down with you because you're normalizing exploitation, an unfortunate spiral downwards with no end. If you're not in a position of authority, then stop acting like it and bossing your direct peers around. Rather work with your peers and lift each up for success in the company or even in another company."
Who knows whether the corporate world will ever lose its negative title and whether workplaces will ever be filled with humble higher-ups that will not only care about their own profit, but also about the comfort and the happiness of the people within their teams. However, since things are only starting to improve and some people are still stuck doing the office jobs they hate, hopefully, this article was able to put a smile on a face or two.
Note: this post originally had 40 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.