10 De-stress massages
Just to be clear, you’re saying stripping off and wearing a pair of disposable pants, being slathered in coconut-scented butter and having a stranger punch you repeatedly in the back while you listen to pan pipe cover versions of Europop tunes is supposed to be relaxing? There’s a reason our neck and shoulders are tense and it’s because somebody has been scrubbing them with a loofer for the past half an hour while we insist through gritted teeth that “yes, the level of pressure is fine”.
9 Your boss hates you
Your work is slow, you have the charm of a rotting salmon, you arrive late and leave early every day, complain about your salary and spend most of the day messing around on Facebook. Are you seriously still trying to work out if your boss likes you or not? Of course they don’t. They think you’re a liability and a wastrel, but as you know, they’re lazy and talentless, so as long as you stay in a state of near-permanent panic, they’re not likely to give you the can just yet.
8 Your colleagues are better paid than you
How else are they eating a Dhs75 lunch every day and plumping for the VVIP tickets at the club? There’s no justice in it, but the sooner you stop worrying about their spare cash, the sooner you can start plotting their downfall.
7 Nothing you do really matters
Not that it makes any difference. Unless you’re a doctor or an especially inspirational teacher, your humdrum job contributes naught to society. If you don’t write those Tweets, crunch those numbers or sell those widgets, it will make absolutely zero effect on the world.
6 You’re starting to look old
You’ve noticed those creases emerging like glacial rock formations around your eyes for a few years now. They’re not, as you’ve been telling people, laughter lines. Don’t call them crow’s feet either. They’re giant crevasses of skin caused by your near permanent squinting to keep sand from blowing into your eyes and the glare of sun from blinding you as you read tiny text on a mobile.
5 There won’t be any parking in the mall
If you had just set your alarm you would now be one of the thousands of people shuffling around the shops scoffing pretzels and making needy therapeutic purchases. Instead, you’re driving round and round the infinite spiral of despair that is a full shopping mall car park. Spaces will only open up after you’ve already passed them and you’ll be a full hour lurching forward like a hyperactive hamster on a wheel until you can squeeze in between badly parked 4x4s.
4 Rent is going up
You wanted the apartment with the sea views and extra-large swimming pool, and with a few sacrifices, you were able to afford it. Alternating the days you eat and selling your mother’s jewellery was a small price to pay. But the rent is more likely to go up than down, and it makes no difference how nice to the security guard you are. Come renewal time, you’re going to be browsing room share deals on Dubizzle for the fourth year in a row.
3 You do look big in those jeans
We really don’t want you to worry about this. As long as you’re healthy and happy it really does not matter what shape you are and you should know that is true. But when your friends said they can’t tell if you’ve put on a few pounds since the all-you-can-eat wagyu burger brunch, they’re lying. If you need a harness and a run up to squeeze into your old trousers, rest assured, people can see that.
2 Somebody is going to steal your taxi
You’re soaked with sweat and have been standing patiently outside your office for 25 minutes before you finally reach the front of the queue. You just know that somebody will emerge from the graphic design studio next door and take the next cab before you have time to sprint over and demand they step away from the vehicle.
Don’t worry if you’re stressed, though. Sitting on a cold floor, closing your eyes and tunelessly humming will make all your problems disappear.
Will Milner is a regular contributor. We’ve never seen him relax.