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Exercise Wednesday: A bad day at work

June 4, 2014

People are different at work. They put on a different mask and play different roles. The guy who doesn’t eat the junk food because his wife forbids it and whose back is damaged from the contortion of being wrapped around his daughter’s finger could be the guy whose Patton-esque persona makes status meetings difficult. The soft-spoken woman who goes along with everything in the office or the assembly line may be the queen of the household, setting the tone for everyone else.

A person’s character is exposed as much at work as at home or anywhere else. Especially when work is…well work (exclamation point).

Today’s not a lucky day for your character because he or she is going to have a terrible, awful, no-good, very bad day at work. The way the day is bad should be specific to the character. Someone who’s fiercely independent could get yet another round with the new sheriff in town, a relentless micro-manager. The person going through a divorce could suffer a betrayal from a co-worker who seemed like an ally. The person whose identity oozes success could be emasculated by a client.

The point isn’t just the action here, but it’s to touch the core of your character in a profound way.

If it helps, start with It was the worst day of my professional life…

Time limit: 30 minutes


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