A Lifetime Working with Idiots & How to Survive – Chap. 5

At one particular company I was consulting for, I had a team of approximately thirty-six members. Two-thirds of my team members were provided by other departments; not members I had either interviewed or hand-selected. Within the first few months, I had to dismiss several members, as they were not qualified for the positions they held and could not deliver. Almost every resource in these very necessary dismissals had been fulfilled by one particular department; one particular Manager. Let’s not mince words here…the people I had to let go were from “deep space”.

Whenever one of them would be in the vicinity of my office, I swear I could hear the robot from Lost in Space warning me, “Danger, Will Robinson”. After the second time that a particular position wasn’t filled appropriately, I went and visited the hiring Manager. I made a suggestion to improve his interviewing skills. I told him that when he was escorting a candidate to the interview and they were coming up in the elevator together, to ask one simple question, “What planet are you from?” Then I told him, “If the answer isn’t Earth, hit the down button, immediately!” I don’t think my suggestion sunk in. In fact, I’m sure it didn’t, because the next person he placed on my team introduced himself to my Senior Coordinator with, “Take me to your Leader”. Continued in book…

A Lifetime Working with Idiots & How to Survive – Chap. 6

One of my favorite quotes pertaining to perception is: “In the Kingdom of the blind, the one-eyed man is King”. How you perceive the world and others, and how the world and others perceive you, are entirely different; of this I’m certain. Very few people are completely honest with themselves. Many become their perceived selves and live their lives as such. Introspection is a difficult task. After all, it’s not easy for many people to admit to themselves their faults; that they might be lazy, a liar, dishonest, etc.

At the same time, more and more people are posting their antics on Facebook, Twitter, youtube, and the like, affording others an opportunity to form their perceptions based on these snippets of bad behavior. In the words of Aldous Huxley, “There are things known and there are things unknown, and in between are the doors of perception”. Continued in book…

A Lifetime Working with Idiots & How to Survive – Chap. 7

Today, political correctness has gone amuck in every aspect of our lives. A day doesn’t go by that there isn’t at least one story on the evening news that doesn’t reveal just how far gone our society is. One day, the news reported on a five year old boy who was expelled from kindergarten for kissing a five year old girl on the cheek. Under that criteria, I would have been expelled weekly. Another day, there was a story about a twelfth-grader whose teacher told her to take off her tee-shirt because it had a picture of a political candidate the teacher was opposed to; and when the girl refused, she was escorted from the building.

Then, there are those organizations that want to stop the Nativity from being displayed at Christmas and people from saying Merry Christmas; school boards stopping Halloween parties and costumes from being worn to school because some kids may not have the money to buy a costume. Are you kidding me? These idiots came to the conclusion that such children are deprived. So, in their infinite wisdom, they deprive them even further. Brilliant! And, I don’t want to hear about all that psychological crap they always use to base their decisions on. That’s pure bullsh#t. Kids are resilient. Did the school board really think that these same children wouldn’t be resourceful enough to improvise some sort of costume and go trick or treating later that night? Continued in book…

A Lifetime Working with Idiots & How to Survive – Chap. 8

In the next few chapters, we’re going to cover some day-to-day business etiquette specific to dress code, meetings, emails, hallway conversations, the Christmas party, maintaining one’s office space, and the like. If you didn’t know these activities had certain “protocols”, you do now. Let’s start with a high-level, common sense review of meetings. I’m sure somewhere in America there is a college that offers a degree in Corporate Meeting Protocol, a certified CMP program, as well as dozens of additional “no-hope-of-ever-getting-a-job” majors.

Let’s cut to the chase: your participation in a meeting will, more than likely, be one of three roles: the chairperson / facilitator, a presenter, or an attendee. If you are the chairperson/facilitator (in most organizations, both roles are combined into one), your responsibility includes arriving early and having everything prepared in advance: conference line established, the projector or video conference capability functioning, presentation materials organized on your laptop to be displayed, etc. Continued in book…

A Lifetime Working with Idiots & How to Survive – Chap. 9

Email protocol is critical to one’s success in the workplace. Unfortunately, email has just about completely replaced the personal visit and phone conversation as the preferred method to communicate. IM (instant messaging) is yet another unfortunate means of communication in common use. The reasons I state that these means of communication are unfortunate is that these alternatives have replaced in-person interaction; and the myriad of benefits which could otherwise be derived: eye-to-eye contact, voice inflection, body language, facial expressions, etc. For those very reasons, still to this day, I get up and go to see people first, if not feasible, call, and as a last resort, send an email.

Emails proliferate like rabbits. We’ve all seen it countless times; leave two emails in your inbox, go to a meeting and come back to hundreds all jumping up-and-down, screaming for attention. A properly constructed Subject Line will definitely help to ensure that your email grabs your intended reader’s attention and helps to elicit a timely response. Below is how I’ve structured my subject lines which have produced excellent results over the years. Continued in book…