Top Secrets of Making it at Work

After all the hoopla of going through the new job process. Firstdeciding yeah I am up for a change and yeah a little more change in mypocket. The human resource, the interview, the background checksfor skeletons and finally they want you. Then deciding do Ireally want to leave this known dysfunctional work family for a newdysfunctional work family. Maybe this will be just like theMonster commercials, Pizza Fridays, management seminars at Big Sur andChristmas bonuses chuck full of hefty stock options and turkey farms.

Alas, you are curious and take that greener pastures move. Thefirst week goes predictably, meeting, greeting and finding your space. “Sure glad you are on board.” Intermingled between the glad faces emerges several war torn messengers. Usually they have been with the company for a while. They do the company spin nicely. “The last guy in your job just wasn’t______(fill in the blanks.)

Sign 1 – – -The last guy or guys didn’t meet up to some vague, you know it when you see it company profile. This puts the new guy in the position of competing with a dead person with some bad history. In addition it should signal you that there is some non-specific criteria which you may not be privy to in people terms which may determine your success or failure.

As the days go on the commercial becomes less perfect. Meetings involve cost cutting measures like turning in your old No.2 pencils for the warehouse workers use. The spin is this is being environmentally conscience in this Green Era. You also find that your boss knows by the clicks of your keyboard when you are in the bathroom or idle. Benign comments like, “Hey new guy you all right, we aren’t a factory, but we do have a schedule lol.”

Sign 2 – – – -These are control techniques aimed at making you feel paranoid. You aren’t because it is true you are being watched. Some of the dysfunctional control freak managers seem to think it is part of their job to monitor and control basic human functions of their underlings. The cost cutting watch your pennies is just another tool in their arsenal of micro-management head bangers.

At the monthly meeting you are assigned your project of coordinating various functions in the department, but no staff, no control over spending and all the responsibility.

Sign 3 – – – – You are hired for a specific function and as the weeks go by you find the projects, tasks and meetings are adding up to create the perfect 24/7 company fall guy.

You decide to sit down with the hiring guy and talk about scheduling, priority and how to get the job done. The hiring guy is way too busy, but catches you in the company canteen grabbing some caffeine and says, in a laughing manner of course, “You must be ahead of schedule, ha ha.”

Sign 4 – – – The job is non specific, non achievable and not aimed at keeping people in the company for very long.


Okay, so what do you do. Well, the first thing is to appear to be very organized at this stinking widow maker job. Use every tool on the computer you have, break the job down into the most finite details, use Access, or any other software at your disposal. Set little reminders, deadlines and to do lists and mark them off as you do them. This is to bide your time until you find another job or someone with a pea brain who is head of this mess is so impressed with your neurotic record keeping that you are kicked up stairs to a six figure job. Either way is okay.

The worst thing you can do is to try to please everybody at this level. First off, they want some ephemeral result and more than likely don’t know what they want, except to keep the Goof on Top happy. Secondly, keep your sense of humor, but at the same time seem earnest. Third, be nice to the office staff because they can help you to deal with the insanity. Remember birthdays and by all means offer to help if they need to take some time off in the afternoon to pick up a sick kid.

Lastly, buy some brightly colored folders and put papers in them like your notes from the tedious gut wrenching meetings you have attended. It will make you appear to be connected and trying to achieve something even though you nor they have any knowledge of what it is. Go for walks, movies, stay away from drugs and alcohol and take long showers or baths.

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