He got his start laying pipe for the Atlas Water and Sewer company. Eventually, he climbed the ranks, becoming responsible for a staff of 800 and annual revenue exceeding $120 million. His name is Victor Kipling. This is his weekly column. If Halloween doesn't give you the creeps anymore, well then maybe you ought to think again. True, it's cool outside and leafless trees stab at night skies. And the usual slash-mouthed jack-o-lanterns seem to leer at you as they blink from behind darkened windows. Movie monsters like Michael Meyers, Jason and Freddy re-emerge for the annual TV horrorthons. Weilding bloody axes and knives, we mistakenly call them 'psychopaths.' If only it was that simple... Most of all, Halloween is all about masks; masks and disguises. And while we find this a bit of harmless fun once a year, the fact is that, hey, it's really Halloween at the office every day! Because many of our co-workers, and bosses, wear masks all of the time. Some … [Read more...] about Psychopaths Loose at the Office
Archives for October 2007
Halloween at the Office
It never ceases to amaze me how many adults still look forward to getting all dressed up in a Halloween costume to wear to work. Call me a stick in the mud, but other than a costume party Halloween is a holiday for the children. In fact I stopped trick-or-treating long before many of my peers did; I was 12 the last time I participated in knocking on people's doors to ask for candy. No one forced me to stop. I guess I just lost interest. But another Halloween is upon us and while my wife takes the kids around the neighborhood I'll stay home and hand out the candy. I think maybe this year when a child at my door asks 'trick-or-treat' I'll go with the trick. See if these kids have anything planned. After all, why should candy be an automatic? You gave me the option. If you're unprepared don't dare say, "treat please."This blog, however, is not about how the Grinch Stole Halloween. No, I’m more interested in Halloween in the workplace. I so look forward to coming in and … [Read more...] about Halloween at the Office
How to Find Your Inner Self
There's an expression that has always been around, but recently, it's been inescapable: "Find your inner- _______." For example, if I was suffering from serious writer's block, a buddy might lean in and whisper, "Hey Andrew, just find your inner-blogger." Or if one of the Iron Chefs is stumped on what to do with octopus eyes, the Chairman might offer the following advice, "Find your inner-chef."Well here we are, at the beginning of another "full" work week. No holidays, no planned days off for my boss and nothing but a series of mind-numbing meetings ahead. Let's welcome a special guest to the Jobacle blog, Donald Trump. He's here (in spirit) with some helpful quotes to challenge you to find your inner-ANYTHING.Trump Quote: "Deals are my art form. Other people paint beautifully on canvas or write wonderful poetry. I like making big deals...That's how I get my kicks." How do you get your kicks? Before … [Read more...] about How to Find Your Inner Self
My Resignation as an Adult
Love 'em or hate 'em, e-mail forwards flood our inbox on a daily basis. You know our rule: if we suffer you suffer. So here is the Forward of the Week...I am hereby officially tendering my resignation as an adult. I have decided I would like to accept the responsibilities of a 5 year old again.* I want to go to McDonald's and think that it is a four star restaurant.* I want to sail sticks across a fresh mud puddle and make ripples in a pond with rocks.* I want to think M&M's are better than money because you can eat them.* I want to lie under a big oak tree and watch the ants march up its trunk.* I want to run a lemonade stand with my friends on a hot summer's day.* I want to go fishing and care more about catching the minnows along the shore than the big bass in the lake.* I want to think the world is fair.* I want to return to a time when life was simple. When all I knew about were colors, multiplication tables, and nursery rhymes. When I didn't know what I know now. … [Read more...] about My Resignation as an Adult
The Office Has Murdered the Merit System
This could be painful for some of you, but I'd like to ask you to think back to grade school. Think about most of the teachers and how they would single out one kid behaving badly and then threaten to punish the entire class. Unfortunately, this is a poor practice that is running rampant at the workplace. Whether it's a product of fear or laziness - I don't know. But what I do know, as one of the "good" kids, it sucks to be punished for the actions of others.What ever happened to the merit system?They tell us it still exists but I happen to think that's a bunch of bullsh**.Ten vacation days. Five sick days. And the same lousy rules for everyone.Why are we all treated as equals when clearly some of us have earned more than others.Don't get me wrong. The office is also afflicted with a serious case of self-entitlementitis. However, there's a difference between those who EARN and those who feel they DESERVE.THE EXCUSE: "If I do it for you, I have to … [Read more...] about The Office Has Murdered the Merit System
Goals Are for the Unenlightened
Being a follower of the philosophy of Taoism I find myself returning to the Tao Te Ching time and time again whenever I feel the need to be reminded of a basic set of fundamental rules to guide my life. As basic as these principles are, it is so easy in today’s high-speed culture to lose site of the little things that can add up to so much. Having said that I would like to share with you one of Taoism’s strongest teachings, and one that I find so helpful with regards to my career: Focus on the path and the goal will take care of itself.Unlike today’s goal-driven society Taoist masters only ever speak of “the Way.” In fact “the Way” is the closest translation we have in the English language to describe Tao. So many of us find ourselves so bogged down and distracted these days (often self inflicted) that we begin to miss the little steps. The ones that often lead to bigger problems. As a result we regroup and try to regain some level of control. … [Read more...] about Goals Are for the Unenlightened
New Phenomenon: Fainting at Work
In light of Marie Osmond's fall on Dancing With the Stars, I thought it was a fitting time to revive one of the very first Jobacle blog posts: Fainting at Work - What You Need to Know!For the second time in my career (lucky me!) a co-worker fainted within 10 feet of me. I'll be honest. I heard a thump, looked up, saw nothing - and assumed all was ok. Two minutes later a secretary noted, "Oh my God, _______'s down." All kidding aside, I feel like crap for ignoring the thump. So, if you hear an inexplicable sound - investigate. Aside from ignoring the poor guy as he lay motionless (it's our understanding that it was a case of extreme exhaustion from overworking), I realize that I hadn't a clue what to do. Sure, call 9-1-1. I left that to someone else. Then I bee-lined for the HR office and let them know, figuring someone there would be equipped for this type of situation. They weren't. Beyond that, I was pretty helpless. In … [Read more...] about New Phenomenon: Fainting at Work
Management: What Have You Done for Me Lately?
He got his start laying pipe for the Atlas Water and Sewer company. Eventually, he climbed the ranks, becoming responsible for a staff of 800 and annual revenue exceeding $120 million. His name is Victor Kipling. This is his weekly column. I confess. I have been sneeringly called ‘Mr. October’ by my baseball buddies. They say that I only care about the final outcome, the proverbial bottom line, and they’re right. Why wouldn’t I want to see the very vetted, the best of the best, compete against each other in the World Series? If this means that I forfeit the privilege of being considered a true-blue, all-American baseball fan, well then the hell with it. Now, you may well ask what, if anything at all, has this to do with the Cubicle Continuum? Just consider the Joe Torre story. There’s some mighty meaty stuff to think about here. Stuff that certainly transcends Torre, the New York Yankees, or even baseball in general. Because, in the end, … [Read more...] about Management: What Have You Done for Me Lately?
Resume Writing 101
Today's WorkHack: Use your resume as a tease. Pretend you're about to go on a blind date. Which woman would you rather date? Miss A) Slender, brunette, funny, family oriented. Miss B) 5' 11", dark/curly hair, loves to tell jokes, single mom. Miss A tells the truth without giving away too may details. On the first date she'll share her real deal, but if she gives away too much early on, she won't even get the date. You must think of your resume the same way. The goal is to get you in the door - only then - can you work your magic. Be clear about your experience and background but do not give away too much. If not, you'll end up like Miss B, spending Saturday nights alone teaching yourself to crochet. Learn more Resume Writing 101 by printing or downloading the document below. While designed for graduating college students, it warrants a read from job seekers of all ages. … [Read more...] about Resume Writing 101
Trouble at Work? Be Like Manny.
"It doesn't happen, so who cares? There's always next year. It's not like it's the end of the world." That, my friends, was a comment made last week by Red Sox left fielder Manny Ramirez when the Sox were one game away from post-season elimination. Since then, the Red Sox battled back and have gone on to beat the Cleveland Indians in a best of 7 series. This season Manny earned $18,279,238.00. Being a big Yankee fan I had my usual knee-jerk reaction, which basically came down to cursing Manny. I’m not a fan (obviously) and it usually makes my skin crawl to see Manny succeed… which is often.Once I picked up my eyes (that had rolled out of my head) I began to wonder if Manny was onto something. Granted, I think the guy should keep his bullshit comments to himself. But I must say that after watching the Yankees bad pitching and lack of any offensive threat - maybe what they needed most of all was to not play this game as if it were life and death. I can’t … [Read more...] about Trouble at Work? Be Like Manny.