Hey here's something interesting: The Germans are miserable at work too! It's not just a crappy American situation after all! (Side note: We Americans always tend to think we're the only ones who can claim title to anything, even being miserable at work, don't we?)
A nice little clip from the article that I liked:
"..one reason managers are bad at making their workers feel better is that they have forgotten what it felt like to be starting out. I think there is a better reason. Management is one of the most intrinsically miserable jobs there is. Managers find it hard to make the lives of their underlings any better because they are too miserable themselves."
I think this is true of most people who rise to the top in any area of life. You're just too far from the bottom to remember what it looked like. This applies to memories of many aspects of life---childhood, working in the mailroom, being a woman trying to move up, putting your time in as a medical resident, the list goes on. It is the rare bird who is able to keep his head on and remember where he came from and not let power and responsibilities distort his view of what he once was.
Again, I say this is why I refuse to move up the ladder. I don't want to lose perspective.
Check out the article I linked to below for a German point of view on misery at work.