The office jerk. Death by television. The curse of the agreeable worker. All good news for me.

Three recent studies that bode exceedingly well for me, and perhaps for you. Study #1 

Research published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior found that people who are regularly stressed out by the office jerk are more likely to take that stress home with them — and pass it on to whoever is unfortunate enough to be cohabiting with them.

Whether or not I am the office jerk is debatable. I suspect that there might be at least a few previous colleagues who could think so.

office jerk

Regardless, few who know me well would disagree that I am impervious to the actions of most office jerks thanks to my previous and rather unique history with them. Think of it this way:

If the office jerk has, at some point in the past, used the office jerk equivalent of nuclear weapons in an attempt to annihilate you, the actions of the average, everyday office jerk become meaningless and irrelevant.

Silly, even.

As in all things, perspective is everything.

I survived Armageddon. And it’s hard to top Armageddon.

Study #2

Every hour of TV you watch after age 25 shortens your life by 21.8 minutes, says a study by researchers in Australia.

There are admittedly some problems with the methodology used in this study, and I have my doubts in terms of its findings as well. After all, if these results are accurate, I have friends who should've been dead ten years ago.

I might even know a few people who watch so much television that their lifespans should register in the negative numbers by now.

too much tv

But putting aside my doubts, my wife and I watching remarkably little television, averaging less than an hour a day. Although even this amount is apparently shortening my life by 22 minutes each day, I am at least well ahead of the 4-5 hours per day that the average American watches, and the 80-100 minutes of lifespan that they are sacrificing in the process.

Study #3

A new study finds that agreeable workers earn significantly lower incomes than less agreeable ones. The gap is especially wide for men. The researchers examined "agreeableness" using self-reported survey data and found that men who measured below average on agreeableness earned about 18% more—or $9,772 more annually in their sample—than nicer guys. Ruder women, meanwhile, earned about 5% or $1,828 more than their agreeable counterparts.

I have saved the best for last, at least in terms of its application to me.

It is in my nature to be disagreeable, and it does not take a person long to discover this about me.


My former boss referred to me as a curmudgeon.

My mother called me The Instigator.

A college professor, in front of the entire class, once said hat I was like a minefield when comes to class discussion. “Eventually one of your classmates steps in the wrong place and you blow up.  You don’t exactly promote discourse.”

Colleagues once conducted a strategy meeting in order to plan for the likelihood that I would disagree with (and therefore be disruptive to) a new initiative.

Being disagreeable is one of my most defining attributes.

If this study is accurate, I should be rich any day now.