Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The New Laws of the Workplace

This week is now officially two-for-two on the suck meter. I shouldn't complain, because I have a job and many other people don't, but it's still depressing ... and others in my office have it much worse than I do.

Feeling sorry for me yet? I didn't think so. (Mike, insert snarky "ha-ha-I'm-retired" comment here)

Speaking of Mike, according to his comment on yesterday's post, he evidently had a hard time accessing my blog for much of the day. Did anyone else have any trouble? Don't answer if you still can't access the blog and, thus, aren't able to read this.

But back to business: here, from my vast collection of Blog Fodder, is a good summary of the new laws of the workplace:

If you can't get your work done in the first 24 hours, work nights.

The difference between a pat on the back and a kick in the butt is only a few inches.

Don't be irreplaceable ... if you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted.

It doesn't matter what you do, it only matters what you say you've done and what you're going to do.

After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before ... unless you are wealthy and contribute to political campaigns.

The more junk you put up with, the more junk you are going to get. (Corollary: your reward for doing a good job is the opportunity to do more, on a shorter deadline.)

You can go anywhere you want if you look serious and carry a clipboard. (This is absolutely true ... trust me.)

Eat one live toad the first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day. (Unfortunately, this doesn't work well any more because pollution and global warming is killing off the toads.)

When the boss talks about improving productivity, he's not referring to him (or her-) self.

If at first you don't succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.

Keep your boss's boss off your boss's back.

Everything can be filed under "miscellaneous." (It's true ... that's how our office file plan works.)

To err is human, to forgive is not company policy.

Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn't the work he/she is supposed to be doing.

Important letters that contain no errors will develop errors in the mail. These errors will be so obvious that the recipient of the letter will automatically think you are an idiot and disregard the actual content of the letter.

If you are good, you will be assigned all the work. If you are really good, you will get out of it.

You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.

People who go to conferences are the ones who shouldn't. (Corollary 1: the person designated to attend a pop-up meeting is the one who can be spared at the time. Corollary 2: that person is the one least-qualified to attend. Corollary 3: the pop-up meeting will turn out to be critically important.)

The amount of time you will be given to review and comment on a document is inversely proportional to its criticality. (Corollary: If you have five working days to review a document, the actual amount of time you will get is fifteen minutes, because the rest of the time is needed for everyone above you in the chain to review and comment on the work you did.)

If it wasn't for the last minute, nothing would get done. (Brenda, this is for you!)

At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.

When you don't know what to do, walk fast and look worried. (I've got that one down pat.)

Following the rules will not get the job done.

Getting the job done is no excuse for not following the rules.

When confronted by a difficult problem you can solve it more easily by reducing it to the question, "How would the Lone Ranger handle this?" (Agnes's Corollary: "Just shoot 'em!")

No matter how much you do, you never do enough.

The last person that quit or was fired will be held responsible for everything that goes wrong.

That's all for now. Time to go back to work for more fun.


Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.



Amanda said...

I miss all that. I'm not kidding. I don't feel qualified to gripe about work because I obviously don't go out to work.

Margaret (Peggy or Peg too) said...

You work in gov't don't you Bilbo?

I had a friend who, like me, lost his job at a GDS company and went to work in gov't. He told me it was the font on the page that was more important than the content and they had meetings about it. He had to leave. He said nothing got done and it frustrated him so. He went back to work in what he called the Real World. It still makes me laugh because he said all the griping we did it was heaven in comparison to being a gov't employee. Although you could goof off more he said. Interesting to me.

Bilbo said...

Amanda - you may not go out to work, but I have a feeling you do more REAL work than most of us...

Margaret - I'm actually a contractor supporting the gov't. I really do like my job, but the petty politics and frequent concentration on style and political correctness over substance are what drive me crazy. That, and the huge, complex tasks you are expected to work to perfection by close-of-business ... when you actually got the task at about noon. Ugh.

Mike said...

"Don't be irreplaceable..."

I actually had that happen to me back in the day.