Helping the Chronically Overworked Find Life Balance

Are You Pulling a Green Day at Work?


Tonight when I was cooking dinner, I put on Bullet in a Bible, Greenday’s 2005 concert DVD. The movie opens with an interview with Billie Joe Armstrong, the lead singer.
Question: What do you think of people who only like you because you are in Green Day? Answer:

I am Green Day. That is my life. – Billie Joe Armstrong

Interesting convergence of my favorite band and my work passion. I wonder about people like Armstrong. Is it ok that his work is his life?

Yes, I say to myself. It’s ok because it is not my place to say it isn’t ok. it is for each person to decide what their proper life balance is.

Later in the movie (after some amazing concert footage), Armstrong talks about going on tour as a cure all for life’s problems. You could be having a horrible day, and then you go and put on a great show, and everything is wonderful. And if you have a bad show, everything sucks. When the tour is over, you go home and have to face the issues again.

Going to work can be like going on stage, especially if we are good at what we do. There are times when work can become a refuge from stressors at home. Even the most unpredictable office can be more predictable than what happens in a chaotic home.

Armstrong was ~33 when the movie was filmed. In September 2012, Armstrong went into rehab for alcohol abuse, as well as addictions to pills for insomnia and anxiety. He was 40 at the time, the same age I was when I recognized my corporate idolatry, and cut back my working hours. As I’ve often said, I firmly believe that I would have had a major health issue if I had stayed on the same 90 hour a week track.

Stay sober Billie – I still want to see you in concert!

What do you think? Do people use the office to escape a bad situation at home?

This post originally appeared in the Idolbuster Update Newsletter. Subscribe now and get a free report “Who To Trust in the Workplace”