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For Most Of Us, There's Something About Work

There’s something about work that’s sure to bug us on any given day.

It’s the main finding of the new 2011 Everest College/Harris Interactive Work Stress survey, which finds more than three-fourths of U.S. employees (77%) are stressed by "at least one thing" at work. Low pay (14%) topped the list of workplace stresses, followed by commuting (11%); unreasonable workload (9%); fear of being fired or laid off (9%); annoying coworkers (8%); "the boss" (5%); poor work-life balance (5%); and lack of opportunity for advancement (4%).

The survey also reveals workers in the 18-to-34 demographic tend to have the highest stress levels. The younger generation cites low pay and annoying co-workers as the main stresses at work. Welcome to the club, guys. Unfortunately, no one said growing up is easy.

The most surprising finding? A full 21% of people surveyed said that nothing at work stresses them out. Really? Nothing? One wonders if these workers have a pulse, live in an alternate professional universe full of glitter rainbows and unicorns, or weren’t being completely truthful. After all, even the best jobs in the world come with some level of daily stress, whether it’s having to call an abrasive client, taking care of a few less-favorite tasks, or having an unexpected deadline dropped in your lap. Maybe you forgot your lunch at home and now you’re stuck plunking down $7.50 at the only nearby deli for a sandwich that tastes like cardboard and will leave you slamming antacid tablets all afternoon. We’ve all been there, haven't we?

Luckily, something good will usually happen on any given day that makes up for the bad things. We lost a client this morning, but there’s cake in the break room and it’s payday! Our obnoxious co-worker won't stop bragging about his new, expensive car, but the boss loves our work on the project. All jobs are yin and yang, up and down, back and forth, try again another day.

So yes: Work is stressful, some days more than others. We’re all just a bunch of Roseanne Roseannadannas (Gen Y, see You Tube) muttering underneath our breath that it’s always something, if it’s not one thing it’s another. Well, at least we know everyone else is in the same boat, right?

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