Tag Archives: office

The Unhappy Face

The unhappy face started when I was in preschool: Ms. Judy showed me a letter and I would have to name it.
So when she placed the magnetic “W” on the board and I said “C”, she sent me home with a brown-construction paper sad face while my best friend Kyle got the yellow-smiley face.

I don’t know how many four year olds are familiar with the alphabet, but I was not one of them and Kyle was.

So far that’s a 50/50 statistic.

To this day I still remember that unhappy face I continually got sent home with. If you’re good with reading between the lines, you have come to the rightful conclusion that I always guessed “C” in this non-multiple choice test.

Fast forward 25 years and now I can confidentially say I know the difference between a “W” and “C”. I am also fully aware of the impact a sad face has for any sort of negative reinforcement.

Because my job is in front of a computer all day, I successfully gained ten pounds.

Unfortunately not in the chest area.

Once I finally got fed up with the steady weight gain, I proposed to my department to do an exercise for two minutes on the hour.

In front of the window.
That’s in front of the street.
That’s in front of an apartment community.
Where people walk their dogs.

Luckily they agreed.

The first thing I learned: squats do a better job of waking me up than my third cup of morning coffee.

The second thing I learned: supermans in an office in the middle of the day looks eerily similar to a bank being held up.

The third thing I learned: it’s really easy to skip an hour – especially if we are in the middle of something.

That’s where the unhappy face comes in.

As a joke, I placed a sad face under our 12pm slot to remind ourselves we failed. Much like the way Ms. Judy reminded me I failed at the alphabet so many years ago.

Clearly I have some deep seeded psychological issues with this.

But somehow, this joke caught on. My manager missed an hour and made sure to do double the next hour because she “didn’t want an unhappy face.”

Soon enough we made sure to get each hour, whether it was to do double one hour, or exercise alone in front of the window if we missed on the hour. If not, we shamefully have to draw the dreaded sad face.


Since I’ve started this routine, I’ve lost a couple pounds. (With my luck, probably in the chest area.) I see a little definition in my abs, and I feel more camaraderie with my department.

The fact is, you don’t need multiple hours in the gym, or need to be in shape, just a little change to your daily routine and you will be surprise with the impact it will have on you. You will also be surprised the impact an upside down happy face will have on your motivation.

‘Til next time friends!!

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