Category Archives: Work

Work: Dealing with those wack ass people at your j-o-b

Small Business Malarkey

big-business-bailout-plan

Small Business Talk

I’ve worked with many small businesses throughout the years and for the most part the experience has been beneficial to me in realizing GA certain salient point – I either don’t really want to work with them or makes me want to focus on my own business (which is small). By definition, ‘small businesses’ are exactly what their title implies – so this causes resources limitations, and more annoyingly the hustling by them to try and get you to do work for free – which I hear to often. Small Businesses can at times use the tactic of “do this job for us, and down the road it may open up the opportunity for more work” – I’m sure that many entrepreneurs and creative professionals have heard this line in many ways and forms:
– You know if you do this for us, well it can be the start of a partnership
– If you do this and it turns out well, I know several other businesses that may require your services

The ‘Dangling Carrot’ works as you (the rabbit) is susceptible to chasing this carrot because we want to be successful – and we want more carrots of course.

Now don’t get this post confused with myself not understanding that small businesses are the backbone and core of this economy – and heck, I’m a small business owner myself, though I haven’t really tried to exploit others to work for free for me, guess my thing with ethics and doing the ‘right thing’, kinda gets in the way.

If you have a small business story to share, please post in the comments.

.::LiBM::.

On the Strength Of

Feats-of-Strength
Recently had to ask some people that I work with a strange request: “can I have a woman dump a bag of flour on you?”. Yes, the bag of flour that you make bread & cake with. At first, I thought that I would be looked at as a ‘madman’ – or to some, ‘madder’, but I decided to ask anyway. Sometimes I was hesitant, other times I was blunt with it. I found out that most people at first found the request strange – as I expected. Some said ‘nah’, which I knew was gonna happen, however more people than I thought actually agreed. No compensation was offered, nothing was promised, which led me to ask the question as to why they would agree to such a request. And the only answer I could possibly fathom is the apt title of this post – ‘on the Strength of’.

One could only agree to such a request if they fully believed and supported the individual making the request. This had me almost kinda baffled because sometimes, or most times, I question and doubt my self, ideas, and concepts, but it is almost overwhelming (don’t worry, not gonna cry) to know that there are a group of people around me that will ‘ride for the cause’, primarily because they believe in ‘YOU’. And its odd, and something that I have to change. I should be my biggest believer in my self before anyone else is. We all should aim to have that same mindset.

.:: LiBM ::.

The Peter Principle

Rewarding Incompetence

The Peter Principle – explains a lot

When I first heard about the Peter Principle I felt a couple of things; first, this explains a lot – that’s it. Sorry for saying a ‘couple of things'; as I guess the first explanation explains so much situations and scenarios that we all can relate to. The Peter Principle is a special case of a ubiquitous observation: anything that works will be used in progressively more challenging applications until it fails. This is “The Generalized Peter Principle.” It was observed by Dr. William R. Corcoran and he found that in an organizational structure, the Peter Principle’s practical application allows assessment of the potential of an employee for a promotion based on performance in the current job; i.e., members of a hierarchical organization eventually are promoted to their highest level of competence, after which further promotion raises them to incompetence. That level is the employee’s “level of incompetence” where the employee has no chance of further promotion, thus reaching his or her career’s ceiling in an organization.

The employee’s incompetence is not necessarily exposed as a result of the higher-ranking position being more difficult — simply, that job is different from the job in which the employee previously excelled, and thus requires different work skills, which the employee may not possess. For example, a factory worker’s excellence in his job can earn him promotion to manager, at which point the skills that earned him his promotion no longer apply to his job.

How to resolve the Peter Principle:
– employees who are dedicated to their current jobs should not be promoted for their efforts for which they might, instead, receive a pay increase.
– employees might be promoted only after being sufficiently trained to the new position. This places the burden of discovering individuals with poor managerial capabilities before (as opposed to after) they are promoted.

I don’t know about you, but this explains a lot and allows me to understand the chaos, dumb, asinine logic that exists in the corporate/government world.

Some Key Examples of the Peter Principle (Fiction & Non-Fiction):

Former FEMA Director Michael Brown

Former FEMA director Michael Brown was called to testify before Congress for the botched relief operation in New Orleans (Hurricane Katrina 2005).

 

George W. Bush

Self-explanatory for most

 

Michael Scott

– The Office star, and lovable incompetent boss that represents so many of our bosses

 

.:: LiBM ::.
Sources:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Peter_Principle

tan(011) – My Intuition parks bad on the streets, sickly

tan(011) – Against your Intuition, Street Parking, Sick from Work

NOT to go off on a Tangent, but …

Preamble: Without the venting of frustrations, one is destined to be a very hot pressure cooker, so let the steam go!

Against Intuition
This is a rant against myself. Against my fault for having too much faith in other people and their abilities to fulfill an order. The ordeal happened when I was renting some audio equipment for a friend’s going away party, and to make a long story short, I rented speakers and speaker cables from a local audio rental store that will go unnamed; but the customer service rep gave me incorrect speaker cables – rendering the speakers useless. Now when placing the order, I suspected that the customer service guy was a bit new and somewhat inexperienced; and at this store, it is a requirement that you know your stuff, very well. Preamble, I have rented from this store numerous of times in the past though; with no bad experiences, they have always given me the right pieces of equipment and necessary cords (I never had to check before I left the store). However this time, because of the inexperienced and uncertainty vibe that I was picking from the CSR, I wanted to do a physical check of the equipment, but I was reluctant to do so. I think my rationale for NOT checking was that if I persisted to check, that action may have been insulting to the CSR; so I was kind of being sensitive to his feelings. But, after having to drive across town and back to pick up PROPER speaker cable from my house, I will be LESS sensitive in the future

Street Parking
Pretty simple concept: if you are going to park on the street, and clearly there is enough room for two cars to park, park APPROPRIATELY. That means, consider other cars that may want to park; so that means, don’t park in the middle of the space so that only your car can fit – instead move up a bit and park so that another car can park behind you. Simple concept, yet some people have no consideration for others and will park selfishly so that no others can use the parking space. Let’s be aware people, you mofo’s aren’t the only ones out there; let’s have some thought for others. And not to digress, but this is also a gross act of laziness – especially when your girlfriend is to friggin lazy to move the car up a bit so that you can park behind her. Instead, you have to go park across the street in a private lot that is subject to parking tickets and towing … and she has the nerve to call me ‘selfish’, hopefully she isn’t living in a glass house, lol.

Sick for a Day
I hate it when you are sick for a day, and one of your fellow employees goes to your workstation to ‘see what work needs to be done’, and they completely reorganize your stuff. It’s a simple concept dumb mofo’s; leave things the way you found it. Don’t change the position of the phone, don’t move papers around to different locations, put it back the way you found it. You are not doing anyone a favor by moving stuff around dummy. Lame dummy.

tan(010) – Importance to women is a hard route to MapQuest

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Super Tangent(010)

Night out with friends, prep your route, importance, workplace exit cues

Preamble: Ahhhhhh, feels good to get writing these tangents again – its not that nothing hasn’t been pissing me off (there is never a dry spell of that), just been busy focusing on more topic related posts. There is a correlation I think between tangents/rants (pent up anger and frustration) to producing great content; whether it is art, writing, sports, or singing – frustration seems to affect performance (for some), well for me, looks like it is positvely correlated. So, haters, busters, chumps, pricks, hacks, and lames – keep doing your thing!

Night Out with Friends

Maybe it’s the anti-social nature in me, or maybe it is the years of experience waiting for people, picking up people, people not being ready when they said they will be – but I do not really enjoy the process that preceds going out to the club/lounge with friends. I know there are some folks that bask and really like this stage of going out; but I repel it, try to avoid it as much as possible. My usual experiences usually goes like this: friends get the ‘cheap-bug’ and want me to drive, they are reluctant to pitch in on gas & parking, and then there is the waiting part (see my various posts on ‘time’ to understand that). Recently I have tried to bypass all of the elements that annoy me of the club process by telling my friends that I will meet them at the venue – but somehow that never pans out as expected. Maybe, just maybe, in the future I will pronounce that I will not attend, and then magically appear – thus saving my time, money, and sanity.

 

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Preparing Your Route

Maybe its one of those weird logical things that only make logical sense, but if I were going to an address that I don’t know – I will not ask directions from other people; as usually these directions go somewhat like “turn left after 2 lights, the 4th street turn right, after you see the school go for 2 more blocks then turn left”, and so on. More times than not in those situations, a key count of a light or street is overlooked, which leads to one getting lost. So to avoid those situations, one should search out the directions on Google Maps or MapQuest so that they can print out or write the directions – especially if you have days/weeks advance notice in knowing that you have to be at this specific location. It baffles me that some people who use web communications daily, do not rely on the web to solve a simple problem such as directions. People need to be self-reliant in solving life’s simplest problems, don’t rely on others solving your issues that you could’ve easily solved yourself with a little effort and time management. Step your game up!

 

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Measuring Importance

Women have a hard time in understanding. Period. Wait, that was too ‘black & white’, maybe not ‘period’, because women have no problemo in understanding what is important to them – but lord help you for women trying to UNDERSTAND anything that DOES NOT relate or affect them (ooh, isn’t that ‘selfish’, lol). That is like trying to explain color to a man that was born blind, teaching a dog to speak several human languages, understanding the meaning of life – it is damn near impossible and will take years to accomplish. I don’t think there is more need to elaborate other than that women usually have a tendency (yes, strong stereotypes are being used) to only have concern for themselves, and to f— everything else, everyone, and there desires. So fellas, as I have said many times in tweets, posts, in relationships it seems that you got to sit on your knees, cup your genitals, give up your independence, brain, and pride to your woman – if you truly want to make her happy … (that was sarcasm). Stand up fellas, don’t let these birds peck at you; if you had fear before, get some courage you cowardly Lion – stand up.

Workplace Body Language Cues

This is for all those in the work environment, I am sure you have experienced a million times already. I can’t stand when people don’t pick up on body language cues that I drop, that indicate that: a) I don’t care to sit and ‘chit chat’, b) I have lost interest in the conversation, or c) I really don’t give a f— in engaging in this mindless dialogue. I usually drop cues such as backing away from them, turning my body away from them, begin typing on my workstation again – but it usually doesn’t work as they still talk; talking about what they did last weekend, what they will do this weekend, about the boss, blah blah blah blah. I have to blame myself for this, I have to rant on my behavior because I am a very good attentive listener. I give good attention cues such as nodding head, saying stuff like “oh really?”, “wow”, “ok”, “that’s good”, and so on. Essentially, I may be motivating them to talk more as they are picking up on my verbal responsive cues, and may be ignoring or not even noticing my body language cues … and they say that “Body Language speaks louder than Verbal Language”, well, not in the workplace environment, at least not for me.

.:: LiBM ::.

Presenteeism pt. 2

Presenteeism pt. 2

The Lawyers, Retail, and Chicken-esque ticket writers

This is part 2, check out the first installment below in ‘related posts’, I will be brief, there are a lot of jobs, positions, where people are present, but not really their, and I thought of some more …

Retail Sales
I am sure that any retail associate can vouch for this, but you all don’t really do much work. For the most part, you stand around while potential customers come into your store, and if you are able to muster the energy, you will ask them for help, but usually you won’t. I can’t tell you the countless times that I have walked into a store and have not been acknowledged or greeted – I don’t necessarily think it’s a racial thing, I think on general, most people are just a-holes and view the customer generally as an inconvenience that they gotta help. However, I am hearing with the recession, every retail store from the little guy to the nationwide chains are being more friendlier and improving on their customer service skills because they know that their job/store may get the axe.

Lawyers
Ok, lawyers do work when they gotta read over case studies, and files, and stuff. However, where it is very sweet for a lawyer, is that in some instances they get paid for just being present and not really saying much; divorce hearings, corporate signings, et cetera. Lawyers are paid a ridiculous amount of money just for their ‘perceived retention of knowledge’ when it comes to the law – nice gig.

Parking Enforcement Officers
These are the guys that were not quite good enough to make it as a real police officer, so these guys spend their days messing up your day. They sit, talk on cell phones while driving, text, and wait 3 hours – just so they can give you that $40 ticket. Because of these guys, I always have to look at the clock, because if your even

.:: LiBM ::.

Stretching Thin

Stress 

Stretching Thin

Staying on the equilibrium path of momentum for the Yuppy; CAUTION, challenges ahead, usually from within

The Yuppy goes ‘hard’, our lives is a constant balancing act as we try to maintain a steady equilibrium of forward movement. Some of us have vices that we use to sustain the movement; alcohol, drugs, avoidance, detachment, and we think that this will stretch our movement. However this is counter-productive thought, our vices usually are a quick fix for us to escape our fears, insecurities and problems which are probably interfering with the forward movement that we are desiring to achieve. Being self-aware of such a fact, and taking a hard look at your inner self can make one realize potential hazardous behaviors. I am not saying that social drinking is not acceptable, but if after every stressful event in your life, you cope with a bottle of Jack Daniel’s, then one is creating a dangerous dependency.

Personal relationships can be the worse as we may not be able to enjoy the company of others (our family, friends, loved ones). Sometimes yuppy’s are so passionate about their own projects, their agenda, that they can’t relate to others’ accomplishments and stories. It’s like our sister and brothers can be telling us something about their day that they find interesting, and we will show an attitude of of un-interest and nonchalant behavior. Appreciating others may be a first step in appreciating our own selves and accomplishments.

In all, the Yuppy goes hard, and the Yuppy has a lot to deal with. A lot of pressure and stress can come from various sources, and how we deal with them ultimately defines how far we will go, and at what cognitive/physical/social expense.

.:: LiBM ::.

Presenteeism

Presenteeism

I am here, but not here

Presenteeism can be defined as the following:

“20 to 30 days out of the year, people show up for work, but accomplish very little”

Presenteeism is the opposite of absenteeism. In contrast to absenteeism, when employees are absent from work, presenteeism discusses the problems faced when employees come to work in spite of illness, which can have similar negative repercussions on business performance.  It can also refer to the expectation of employers for their employees to be present at work regardless of whether any work is available or accomplished.

After thinking about this concept, I thought of a few industries/professions where this behavior may run rampant, such as:

Government Workers

– If you ever tried to pay a parking ticket, or get something from a government office, it seems like its workers are lethargic, and definitely don’t show no real interest in providing prompt customer service.

IT Professionals

– Ever tried to call your work’s technical support line? Ever noticed that though they are well connected with Blackberry’s and computers, but are never available to assist you? IT dudes seem to always be ‘there’ but are not ‘there’ for you when you need it.

Call Centres

– Ever worked in one of these disaster zones? I have, and I recall being physically there, but mentally in another atmosphere.

Presenteeism is only really applied when one is working at a job that they do not really enjoy – Dr. Ron Kessler of the Harvard Medical School, published a journal that outlined the relationships to depression in the workplace and presenteeism.  His study calculated the costs to the employer when staff show up to work and are not productive as they should be.  I

am sure that many people can relate to this behavior of ‘presenteeism’ as you are most likely reading this blog at your job!

.:: LiBM::.

Sources:
1. http://www.depressionisreal.org/podcast/transcript_show46.php
2. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Presenteeism

Custom Out-of-Office Assistants for the Yuppies

Jealous office women

Custom Out-of-Office Replies

Something to make you laugh for those times at work when you went to send your superior’s head throught the TFT monitor display.

Suggestions for next time you’re out of the office and need to set up an Auto-Reply e-mail:

“I’m not really out of the office. I’m just ignoring you.”

“You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn’t have received anything at all.”

“Thank you for your email, but I am busy ‘poking'”

“When I am finished watching my pirated movie, I will respond to your inquiry”

“Sorry to have missed you but I am at the doctors having my brain removed so that I may be promoted to management”

“Your e-mail will be responded to in priority sequence, enjoy the wait”

“Thank you for your message, which has been added to an email queueing system. You are currently in 352nd place, and can expect to receive a reply in approximately 19 weeks and 3 days.”

“I am on holiday. Your e-mail has been deleted.”

“Hi! I’m busy negotiating the salary for my new job. Please don’t bother to leave me any messages.”
“I’ve run away to join a different circus.”

“I am currently out at a job interview and will reply to you if I fail to get the position. Be prepared for my mood.”


.:: LiBM ::.

Workplace Etiquette for the Yuppy

Workplace Etiquette for the Yuppy
Some tips for getting through the day

The Yuppy (Young Urban Professional) is constantly on the go; most times though, the Yuppy needs to resort to a full-time job in order to fund their projects. However, the Yuppy has to be careful and walk that fine line of being productive at work, and being productive for their business. Thus, I thought I would share a few tips with my fellow Yuppielites.

Cycler
alt+tab (windows) OR apple+tab (mac)

You have more important things to do than prepare the 3rd-quarter report, you need to check your gmail and facebook. Instead of making it look bait by using your mouse to click back to the work your supposed to do, using alt+tab on the keyboard quickly changes your active window in a smooth manner.

IT Connect

Your IT Department is one of your greatest resources at work, befriend one of them as they can give you valuable Intel and help. The IT department can grant you special privileges, advise you what sites not to visit, and give you a heads-up on ‘crackdowns’.

Avoiding the IDC Symptom

The IDC symptom can be defined as “I Don’t Care”, and is developed when your co-workers start talking to you about trite details: ‘My kids hockey games’, ‘this boss is incompetent because …’, ‘did you watch that show last night’, and so on. My initial, instinctual response is ‘I really don’t care’, and ‘why are you talking to me’, but since we need this job to generate income and living, we need to avoid the IDC’s. Some common ways to avoid the IDC is:- Smile and nod: very effective, but can be deadly because it implies that you are actually intrigued in the conversation, and it shows that you are engaged.- Hmm, ok, wow: also very effective, alludes to you being not only responsive, but implies that you are listening to their every note and syllable

Outlook
Outlook is the enterprise e-mail application that most businesses use because of its powerful Exchange Server (even though Mozilla Thunderbird is better). I know you may have some documents to work on, and opening up MS Word may seem very suspicious as you may have to do a lot of ‘cycling’, however, Outlook can be used as a word processor and has some useful features such as ‘tasks’ and ‘notes’. Better yet, if you are working on a document, compose it in an e-mail, so that even if someone walks by, it looks like you are composing a work-related email.

Punctuality
This really shouldn’t be a point, but its important that you start on time, and leave on time. Because as with all work environments, there are snitches and informers – don’t give them anything to use against you.

With that said, you are the future of tomorrow, get ahead today … at work.

.:: d.b ::.