b Self-Helpless: True Tales of a Working Girl: February 2006



Shades of Grey - Micromanagement Hell

The following is an Instant Message chat: (it's on the long side today, bear with me)

Friend A: why do I even get out of bed?

Friend B: what happiness was she spreading today?

Friend A: She sent me 3 emails to confirm that Worker Bee A called out sick.

Friend B: ok

Friend A: then Miss Manager emails me a 4th time with this huge paragraph about the analysts' hours and how she needs to know when they're working, when they're late or making up time. Then she ending by saying to call with any questions. So I did. And asked her - Is there a problem???

Friend A: then she called me into her office

Friend A: Yadda yadda, she's on me about keeping her in the loop when I have an employee out. I told her that I always let her know. Then she makes a face and says, "Not always." Oh really? I asked her when exactly I failed to mention something like this and she got up to shut the door because she said the conversation was getting out of hand. But she never answered the question. I asked her if she needed to know every time one of them is late 10 minutes or 15 minutes or if they're making time up at lunch or after work hours.

Friend A: she says they're here after 6p alot and what are they doing here and am I aware of it? I answered that they were either finishing things or making time up and yes, I was aware of it.

Friend B: ok

Friend A: then she accused me of twisting her words and of seeing things only as "black or white" and that this was a "grey area"

Friend A: So I asked her again, "Do you need to know everytime they're late or making up time?"

Friend A: she said "No - we just need better communication. If they're here after 6p, I'd like to know what they're working on."

Friend B: so ask them

Friend A: so then I asked her again, "Ok - so you want me to tell you when they're late and making up time?"

Friend A: and she said, "you're twisting my words." and I said, "No - you're either asking me that or you aren't"

Friend A: that's when she said that I was seeing things black or white only

Friend A: So I told her that this was really a yes or no question - does she or doesn't she want me to tell her these details?

Friend A: and she said to me, "well, you tell me when you're late and when you make up time." and I said "yeah - that's because you're a stickler for it."

Friend B: that's a polite way of calling her a micromanager

Friend A: I told her that I wasn't a stickler and that I was aware they tend to run in late but that they make their time up. I told her the work was getting done and that's what mattered to me -- I'm not the stickler.

Friend A: she was pissed

Friend B: haha

Friend A: but we ended it w/me saying that I would talk to my team. was I wrong?

Friend B: not only that, if you tell her about your time it's because she is your manager, that is who you should tell

Friend B: they should tell you and that is enough. you're their manager.

Friend A: that's what I said to her. she either wants to know or she doesn't

Friend B: does she tell her boss so he can then tell his boss that you are making up time?

Friend A: and she said No - we're a TEAM

Friend A: I almost laughed in her face

Friend B: no we in team

Friend A: no s***

Friend A: so I asked her why she was getting questioned, and not me -- since they report to me. That's when she was all, "well we're a team"

Friend B: you should have asked her for a trade

Friend A: trade?

Friend B: in sports players get traded from one team to another

Friend A: yeah lol

Friend B: many times at their request

Friend A: I requested, remember? I got stuck

Friend B: yeah

Friend A: I mean, come ON -- this is nonsense

Friend B: yes it is

Friend A: I mean, she WAS asking to know their comings-and-goings, no?

Friend B: She was - you can't do one without the other. you can't tell her what they're working on and when they are late without telling her that they are staying late because they came in late

Friend A: but she doesn't micromanage

Friend B: indeed

Copyright 2006 Pied Piper Consulting




Another One Bites the Dust...

I.P. Freely emailed me a good resignation story - his. Some of you may recognize I.P. from comments he's left on my previous posts. This is the true story of how he left his job. I believe this went down today:

"I wanted to tell you this story of how my boss, when I cancelled a business trip to Bulgaria rather than waste company time / resources (not to mention a trip I was never asked if I wanted to go on, but was told I was) became a little unhinged.

So... after debating and writing an elegant and polite letter of resignation which included my 2 weeks notice, I wrote a new letter. I offered the 2 weeks, but since the boss had suspended me effective Sunday afternoon, I wrote:

'Please accept this letter as my official notice of resignation. I am offering my two weeks notice as a courtesy; however, since I have been suspended indefinitely by your email of February 26, 2006, and in the absence of an employee handbook outlining such procedures, I understand that my resignation will take effect immediately.

Please note that State X General Law requires that an employee, leaving service, be paid in full upon the next payroll date (March 6th per Company X Policy). In addition to my regular base salary, I am enclosing the following as a breakdown of the commissions received by Company X prior to February 27, 2006 and due myself.

So I show up at the office, and he's not there (it's 9AM). So I go to the post office and mail him a copy of the letter, certified mail, return receipt requested (He won't sign for it, I know that much). So I drive back to the office, and after having a brainstorming chat with my friend, realized that my boss' wife is on the board of directors of the corporation, and as such, I can tender resignation to her.

However, he's there.

Deep breath. Ring bell 5 times. I finally open the door with my keys for the last time.

I walked into the office.

"Here is my letter of resignation."


I handed him a bag full of cell phone, work related crap, and etc. "Here's all the articles that belong to Company X that are in my possession, including work credit cards. The balance of the work credit cards are in that desk drawer right there."


I picked up a 'Get Fuzzy calendar'. "This is my only personal effect I want or need."


"Thank you."


I walked out into the sunset. Well, kinda into the sunrise, but meh, it sounded more dramatic the first time."

-IP Freely

Copyright 2006 Pied Piper Consulting




Say Goodnight, Gracie

In the spirit of Resignation Week (which is now wrapping up), I decided to share something with you. You know how some websites have those fun little quizes that you can take to show you how smart you are, or romantic, or adventurous? Well I found one on http://www.kissmyfreckledassbye.com/quiz.html to determine if I should quit my job.

Here's what it said in response to my answers:

"You should definitely quit your job. You're using your job as an excuse not to do what you are really meant to. Obviously, who you are and what you do are solidly connected in your mind. Chances are your very spirit is entrepreneurial, or you have a deep- seeded disrespect for all authority, or you have to do something that is eating at you for your neglect it. Quit already. Go, start your own company, write the novel, paint the picture. People like you, at your stage of life really shouldn't be working for anyone else."

Hmmmm. I'm down to little more than a month folks.

The following is another interesting resignation letter that was also found on www.kissmyfreckledassbye.com:

Dear Sir (and I use that term loosely as I have not a smidgeon of respect for you),

It gives me the utmost pleasure to tender my resignation. As I have never been permitted to tender an opinion before, I will now do so with oh so much abandon! You are an arrogant little twit who has little regard for your staff unless they come in a five foot two package with enormous mammaries, a vapid, but pretty face and a mammoth lack of brain cells...that is how you place value on individuals, never mind their intellectual worth or the expertise they bring to the company. You have been abusive and vile in the extreme which is why your staff ridicule you and refer to you as Napoleon (only he was taller I believe). In short (and ain't that appropriate), you are a bloody-minded little man who is self gratifying, self absorbed and a pathetic excuse for a human being.

I would like to say I have enjoyed the experience of working alongside you, but having ventured into the corporate structure as you perceive it, I would prefer to eat my own vomit.

Au Revoir.

Copyright 2006 Pied Piper Consulting




2,000 Emails

It’s interesting how much stuff you accumulate at the office. I’ve learned from previous experiences that it’s easier to leave as much home as possible. It really stinks when you finally leave your job (or get fired) and then carry home 10 pairs of shoes.

When things really started going south for me at he office, I learned to take as much with me as possible to prepare for a last-minute departure. Interestingly enough, it hasn’t happened. Probably won’t happen either. Either way, I am fully set to walk out the door almost completely empty-handed.

One other thing I’ve been doing as the number of days left at my job dwindles is delete unnecessary files on my computer. This is something that I made a point of mentioning 2 days ago. Since I know I’m going, I’m lightening the load. There is nothing personal left on the pc (not that there was much to begin with). However, I wanted to share the fact that over the last 3 days I’ve deleted 2,000 emails. It seems I’ve had emails save from when I started almost 7 years ago. There’s more yet. It's still too early to get rid of them all, but a little at a time till ZERO.

The countdown continues…

Copyright 2006 Pied Piper Consulting





The following resignation letter is REAL. I've only altered it so company/department/industry names have been changed.

This letter is from someone I know. As a matter of fact, it's someone that I used to work with at the company referred to in the letter. Even better than that -- this letter was written to Inhuman Resources and the manager in question is none other than Miss Manager. That's right, it's the SAME bat-$%#@-crazy-manager that I reported to back in the day. Best of all, this individual was my predecessor in this role.

So, while my posts over the last 2 days suggest doing things "the right way", I ponder how I will compose my own resignation letter when it's time. Will I go the "safe" route and say "I quit"? Or will I (and should I) explain - in a perfectly professional manner - the real reasons that precipitated my departure?

Anyway, enough of that... on with the letter. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did. The author is my hero, the wind beneath my wings.

To Whom it may concern:

Let this serve as my official letter of resignation from Company X as of October 4, 2004. It actually makes me sad to have to leave such a wonderful organization as Company X. I joined this company with the hope, anticipation and excitement of learning a great deal from such an industry leader, when instead my time here in Department X has been anything BUT rewarding. When I arrived here my immediate boss was on a leave of absence with no indication of where she was or when she would return. I felt it left me with no guidance as a new manager and made it difficult to run a team of three analysts. I credit my analysts for stepping up and teaching me all the day-to-day responsibilities of the team.

Having seven years in this industry, I have never seen such a lack of communication between the upper management and their subordinates. I feel that Miss Manager is never clear cut with her answers and is often vague about many situations. This department often leaves their employees in the dark, which causes a very negative & stressful atmosphere about what will occur next. This is not an environment which allows you to grow and expand professionally, therefore a place I do NOT want to be a part of.

I have learned over the years that a good manager must build solid relationships with their employees in order to gain respect and foster positive working conditions. I consider myself an extremely diligent & hard worker that always gives 110 percent, however when there is no respect present, I am unmotivated and unwilling to go that extra mile.

Working under Miss Manager did not allow me room for autonomy as a manager, due to her MICROSCOPIC management skills. In my time here at Company X, I felt that I haven't learned anything more than I already knew. Instead, I felt like an English teacher correcting emails and a babysitter, rather than an industry professional.

Therefore, due to the poor management skills of my supervisor Miss Manager and for the reasons mentioned above, I've chosen to terminate my employment with Company X.

I.M. Happytobegone

Copyright 2006 Pied Piper Consulting




Ciao For Now

So what do you do now that you’ve tendered your resignation?

I get all giddy when I think about leaving my job. I play out in my head all the possible scenarios of what it will be like when I finally leave. Since this is a hot-topic lately, I decided to add this to “Resignation Week” and discuss some things you need to be aware of before the final departure.

The first thing you do is purge all personal files that you may have on your desktop. I’d delete any/all non-work-related emails and even delete the cookies. The less you leave behind, the better. Come to think of it, you may want to do this before you submit your resignation. In the event that you are immediately escorted out of the building, you will lose any opportunity to “clean up”.

Free Escort Service
Not everyone has the pleasure of being escorted out of the building. If you work with proprietary information or go to work for a competitor, the company may be uncomfortable about you staying. Otherwise, you’ll most likely remain for the standard 2 weeks.

“It’s not you, it’s me”
Don’t feel bullied to cite your reasons for leaving or where you’re going. That should really be up to you and what you’re comfortable with. You should be able to get by with, “I’m sorry to be leaving the company but am looking forward to a new opportunity/challenge.” It behooves you to avoid negativity. That old adage is true: You really never know who you’ll run into down the road. You may need a reference. Crazier things have happened. It will make you look better if you keep your mouth shut and don’t give in to saying how you may REALLY feel.

The Exit Interview
Don’t feel compelled to do one!!! I know, I know, you *should* go along, be polite and submit to one. If you choose to do so, it’s good to say that you’re simply leaving for a better opportunity. Bottom line, this is the reason that most people leave anyway. However, the way I see it is this: If I’m leaving because I’m miserable (and that would be me), why would I want to talk to HR now? If they didn’t want to listen to me when I needed them, why should I help them? Chances are, nothing will be done about any grievances since it would really be “a day late and a buck short”. Don’t bother.

2 Weeks’ Notice
You are not required to offer more notice than this (unless you are under some prior contractual agreement). Of course, this is up to you as well. If you’d like to extend your stay until say, a replacement is found, you can certainly volunteer it.

Again, these are just a few things to think about when you resign. I’ll get into some more of them tomorrow when “Resignation Week” continues.




Resignation Week

Getting a new job can be exciting. But before you start downing the celebratory cocktails, there’s one necessary item that needs to be addressed: The Resignation Letter. I’ve decided that this week will be dedicated to the final “Good-bye” when leaving a job. So, throughout the week, I’ll explore different resignation letters and how to write the one best suited to your needs.

Most people will advise (myself included) that it’s important to keep things professional and to the point. In most cases, you don't want to burn bridges because you really never know if you'll cross paths again or if you need a reference.

The standard resignation letter should include the following information:

· State your intention to resign
· Share your reason (totally optional)… relocation, acceptance of another offer, etc.
· Mention 2 weeks’ notice as a professional courtesy
· Indicate the final date of employment
· Include a “thank you” to the employer for the opportunity to work for the organization (again, totally optional).

The letter can be written just to state the facts or include (as professionally as possible) the reason(s) for the departure.

Before I end tonight, I’d like to share with you a resignation letter that made me laugh so hard, I cried. It can be found online at www.shanemcdonald.com

"Dear So-and-So:

Please take note of the fact that I am hereby tendering my resignation from ***, effective, September 1, 2000.

While I have a high degree of personal respect for you and the opportunities you have offered me, I am no longer comfortable working for a technology organization largely populated by politocrats, vengeful rivalries, and fiefdoms reminiscent of imperial Chinese literature. In fact, I dare say that I would rather be tied in a leather bag with ravenous, rabid ocelots than remain at this company any longer than the next two weeks.

It was my sincere hope that the reptilian extraterrestrial tyrants who clandestinely own and operate the Technology Group would reveal themselves during my tenure here, but it appears they are far cannier then I ever gave them credit for. Hopefully, their insidious plot to befoul the Americanfinancial industry with foolish and ill-advised technology policies will eventually be revealed, but until then it seems their plans may march on uncontested. I give you due credit, for choosing to remain here to fight this hideous alien menace from within.

God's speed, and may the Force be with you.

Employee X"


10 Tips for Performing Under Pressure

I love these articles. This was one I found from Robert Half International. My sardonic remarks follow each point in italics.

Today's work world is fast-paced and deadline-driven. Many companies have not yet fully recovered from the economic downturn and are still operating on tight budgets and lean staff levels. Employees across the board are managing large workloads and long hours. On top of that, many employees (such as myself) have rotten managers.

As a result, now more than ever, on-the-job success depends on your ability to show grace under fire. Here are 10 tips to help you become a peak performer when the pressure's on and you have an Idiot Boss:

1. Go with the flow.
Adaptability is an invaluable skill. If priorities change and your boss asks you to move from one project to another, embrace the new challenge and demonstrate your ability to learn on the fly. Remember: If you're always flexible, you'll never get bent out of shape.

However, what that can also mean is: If you have a boss who is disorganized and doesn’t even know how to manage so much as an ant farm, they will give a list of tasks as long as your arm and then tear you away to do other meaningless projects. Once you’ve gone along with them and allowed them to derail you, they will then wonder why you didn’t get the first list done and berate you for it. Sometimes you need to put your foot down – if you’re asked to do something that doesn’t make sense… speak up!

2. Seek clarity.
Don't be afraid of asking too many questions. If a hot assignment is dropped in your lap with little warning, it's to your advantage to clarify timelines, personal expectations and overall goals with your manager before starting work.

What will happen: Even if you have half a brain, a micromanaging moron will send you 88 emails explaining how to arrange the proper subject header of an email. Sometimes there is such a thing as TOO much “clarity”. Tell your bat-$#@%-crazy manager to “lead, follow, or get out of the way”.

3. Prioritize, then strategize.
Take a few moments to develop a game plan before diving headfirst into any project. By thinking tactically and constructing a road map on the front end, you can spot potential hurdles before they slow you down. A plan will also help you stay clear-headed throughout the process.

Regardless of how well you plan, an Idiot Boss will do their best (often without trying) to block your best efforts to get your job done. Then they will lecture you about how to manage your time better (in my case = working through lunch, staying late, bringing work home and working weekends).

4. Don't procrastinate.
Worrying about a project doesn't count as working on it. Rather than putting off your most pressing deadlines, hop to it. Getting these assignments out of the way first will lower your stress level and make your overall goals seem more manageable.

(See point #3)

5. Break it up.
Take short breaks to relieve crunch-time tension. Collect your thoughts by going for a walk, stretching or briefly engaging in watercooler chitchat. If you can't leave your workstation, close your eyes, take deep breaths and try to clear your head for a few moments.

If you work in my office there is most certainly no socializing allowed. You must be chained to your desk. It sounds like good advice just to take deep breaths, but sometimes the only thing that helps is getting fresh air. What’s even better is hanging your boss out of a 7th story window by their feet so that they too can join you in the fresh air. Now that’s teamwork!

6. Stay cool.
Even the most affable and well-mannered people can become flustered and temperamental when under stress. Don't contribute to the tense atmosphere. Although it's not always easy, take criticism with a grain of salt on hectic days. Think before speaking and don't let anyone else's poor attitude affect your own.

I have learned this one the hard way. Relax! If you know you’ve done the best job possible, then that is enough. If someone else doesn’t appreciate that (and if they never will), then it’s certainly best for you to move past it and let it go. Trust me on this one.

7. Ask for help.
Even with talent and a Herculean effort, some jobs simply can't be completed by one person. If you're doing everything possible to accomplish a task and still foresee a problem, ask for assistance. Identify duties that can be delegated and request backup from your supervisor. He or she would much rather divert resources to help you now than hear of a missed deadline later.

Not if you worked for Miss Manager!!! She has actually said how she resented having to help me on projects in the past – especially when I was down by 2 employees on my team (and therefore handling the workload of 3 people). I had to “step up to the plate”, but she didn’t. Hmmm.

8. Fix your gaze.
When operating on overdrive, it's easy to lose sight of big-picture goals and the fact that working hard now will help you achieve them. Keep your eye on the light at the end of the tunnel.

Sometimes the light at the end of the tunnel is the vision of your gasoline-drenched Idiot Boss meeting a lit match.

9. Turn downtime into prep time.
After a high-intensity period passes, decompress by making note of the lessons you just learned. What factors, if any, caused you to fall off schedule? If leading a project team, how could you have communicated goals more effectively? Reflective thinking will help you streamline your pressure-handling processes and prepare you for the next big brush fire.

“Reflective” time may be when you realize that you’re going nowhere fast working for an idiot that’s making you sick and you need to get the hell outta Dodge!!! Downtime could be a great time to work on your resume.

10. Foster good office karma.
It's always a smart move to build rapport with co-workers. If a colleague is on deadline and has an inbox piled to the ceiling, offer to help if you can. By lending a hand, you'll likely make an ally who'll return the favor the next time you're in a pinch.

That is, unless you work in an office that does not foster a friendly environment… then you’re pretty much on your own.

To perform well when the heat is on and the stakes are high, you need focus, organization and steely resolve (as well as the absence of a bat-$#@%-crazy manager). Being optimistic and viewing challenges as opportunities for growth won't hurt either (but of course that can be beaten out of you). Use the tips highlighted above to not just survive but thrive the next time you find yourself under the gun.





Is the Grass Greener?

By now, you’ve all heard my mis-adventures in management. Come to think of it, MANY people have heard my stories. Of course, there’s almost an unending supply of them. I’ve even shared some of them on jobschmob.com (the latest one I posted was Will You Please Keep it Down? ).

A funny thing happened. Not funny “ha-ha”, but funny in an interesting way. As I perused the many stories posted by other disillusioned workers across the country(on jobschmob.com), I realized that working for idiot bosses and with idiot co-workers was actually the norm rather than the exception. I’ve seen this on various message boards and read plenty of articles that go on about micromanagement, bullies and your garden-variety Idiot Bosses.

So, looking back at my lengthy job search I have to wonder: Is the grass really greener on the other side?

Let’s take a look at some of the places I’ve interviewed at. One place surprised me by conducting a panel interview – which was okay – except that the head interviewer was a pompous weasel. Overall, I got a weird vibe and was very uncomfortable. This was a position that was recommended to me. I should have realized something was up when the person referring me warned me in advance about the head interviewer. Hmmm.

Then there was another similar position I interviewed for that I found out a colleague of mine got instead. Sure, I was disappointed but I got over it. Thing is, when I met up with this former colleague a month after he left, he seemed pretty unhappy with the job and the way things were run in that organization. Another “hmmm”.

Then the granddaddy of them played out until very recently. I was referred to another company for yet another similar position and hit it off beautifully with the person who would be my potential boss. All signs pointed to me getting this job. He even told me flat-out that he wanted me for it. THEN, I met his boss and things started going downhill. His boss was let go and the position I was going for went with him. But, I hadn’t given up hope because the gentleman I first interviewed with said that he may be able to convince the new management on the position. Okay. Then just last week I found out that this nice man is also being “let go” due to changes in management.

So really, who actually has it good in the workplace? Is there such a thing as having a “good” job? I would have to say that about 80% of the people I know in the workforce are unhappy with their work conditions. Does anybody have a great boss? Is there any way to escape the office politics that so often dictate the overall environment of the company?

You know, I’m not so sure that it exists. When you look at it that way you really need to ask yourself: why is it so important to flee to another job in hopes of finding it “better”? The only 2 valid reasons I can come up with are:

1 – moving into a higher position for more money

2 – the current job that you’re in is causing such mental and physical anguish that you truly need to leave out of fear for your health.

So, I no longer feel the urgency to look for any more jobs. There just isn’t going to be anything out there that answers enough of my needs to make me happy day-in and day-out. At least I know what to expect when I work for me. If I become disappointed in my standards, then it’s completely up to me to do something about it. And given my abilities, I can adapt and make something work. It’s difficult to leave that kind of happiness up to someone else. It doesn’t exist there.




A Hard Day’s Work?


A few months ago, I had a “discussion” with my bat-$#@%-crazy manager on the topic of “working smarter”. You may recall I recounted some of that story in my blog entry I’m Not a Micromanager .

There’s a little more to that story. As part of her loony diatribe on working lots of overtime = working smarter, my Idiot Boss mentioned another manager as a “positive” example. Miss Manager said that “Miss Treat” was seen working at all hours in the office. I almost fell off my chair.

Yeah, Miss Treat may have been seen at all hours in the office, but I’d hardly say that she was working that whole time. Or even a lot of it. Maybe none of it.

You see, I used to share an office with Miss Treat. And OHHHHH what a treat she used to be!

But I digress.

When Miss Manager said her name I was shocked. I said, “You mean she actually takes time out from doing her nails to get work done? I thought that was why she had minions, uh, I mean analysts.”

Miss Manager looked at me all confused. Uh, HEL-LO? I continued, “You and I used to have conversations about the perpetual manicure. I used to come into your office BECAUSE THE SMELL OF THE NAILPOLISH FUMES SMOKED ME OUT OF MINE!!!”

Now Miss Manager’s using Miss Mani/Pedi as a ROLE MODEL for work??? I’d like to say that she was kidding, but she wasn’t smiling. I know I shouldn’t be surprised when I talk to her – ever – but I just couldn’t help it. This was one of those times. I just couldn’t believe what she was telling me.

What I really wanted to comeback at her with was, “Well, if you’re idea of working hard is giving myself a manicure then hell… I’ll do that AND THEN give myself a pedicure!” I’ll show YOU how dedicated I am!!! (Of course, it won’t be pretty for anyone when I rub my heels with a pumice stone).

This is the kind of "advice" she gives me. Thank you so much. How did I ever get this far in my life without her?





I’ve been grinning most of the day today. Yes, I’ve been at work and smiling.

It seems as though Miss Manager has been called on the carpet for a DOOZY of a mistake 5 YEARS IN THE MAKING. Not only that, it was a costly one as well. Unfortunately, I cannot share that information with you folks, but believe me – it was big. Like, if it was me I’d have been fired for certain.

As it turns out, this was an error that could have – and should have – been caught. It wasn’t. AND IT CAN’T BE BLAMED ON ME!!!

However, the climate in the office reflected the turn of events. There was a discernable edge to her voice today when I said Good Morning. She had quick answers for me and was all up in my stuff this afternoon trying to make up for how lousy she was feeling, no doubt.

When I say “all up in my stuff” I should specify, my 2 new employees’ “stuff”. The two *new* people I have are NEW and doing a splendid job so far (as if I could pick anyone short of a winner!). This afternoon, after one of them made a SMALL “faux pas” (which I attended to immediately), my bat-$#@%-crazy manager asked me if they were in fact working out and if we should keep them. She wanted to know what the conversation was that I had with the employee and what had caused the “faux pas” in the first place.

“Uhhh… a typo?” was my answer. That thrilled her.


So anyhow, I recognized that she wanted to make herself feel better by stomping on someone lower. But as I said, I couldn’t stop smiling all day because it finally came back to her.





Useful Facts About Jobs, Worklife and the Workforce

(from my friends at jobschmob.com... where I just posted a copy of my story: Will You Please Keep It Down??? )

Mull over these job facts on your 15 minute break. Some of this stuff may shock you!

-According to a Harris survey, the amount of leisure time enjoyed by the average American has shrunk 37% since 1973.

-According to a Harris survey, the average work week, including commute time, has jumped from 41 hours to nearly 47 hours since 1973.

-14% of respondents felt like striking a coworker in the past year, but did not do it - Attitudes In The American Workplace 2000 Gallup Poll

-25% of respondents felt like screaming or shouting because of job stress - Attitudes In The American Workplace 2000 Gallup Poll

-Three fourths of employees believe that workers have more on-the-job stress than a generation ago - Princeton Survey Research Associates

-40% of workers report thier job is "very or extremely stressful" - Northwestern National Life Survey

-Health care expenditures are nearly 50% greater for workers who report high levels of stress. - Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine

-Many studies suggest that psychologically demanding jobs that allow employees little control over the work process increase the risk of cardiovascular disease. - Encyclopedia of Occupational Safety and Health

-The U.S. Unemployment Rate is 5.0% in Jun 2005 - U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

-Retail salespersons and cashiers were the two largest occupations in the U.S. in May 2004 - U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

-According to the 2004 America Time-Use Survey, on days that they worked, about 1 in 5 employed persons did some or all of their work at home. - U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

-A total of 5,559 fatal work injuries were recorded in the U.S. in 2003 - U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics

-31% of workers in the U.S. do not use all their vacation days as opposed to 24% in Canada and 17% in France - Monster.com




Those Who Can Do, Those Who Can’t Bully

The following is taken from www.bullyonline.com It briefly details the difference between a *Good* manager (yay!) and a Bully (boo!). Hopefully you’re more familiar with the first list than with the second.

A Good Manager:
- Leader
- Decisive
- Accepts responsibility
- Fair, treats all equally
- Respectful and considerate
- Leads by example
- Confident
- Good interpersonal skills
- Motivates
- Builds team spirit
- Uses influencing skills
- Cares about staff, the business, etc
- Listens, guides, instructs
- Has high expectations (that staff will do well)
- Shares fairly
- Shares information freely
- Focused on the future
- Respected

The Bully:
- Coward
- Random, impulsive
- Abdicates responsibility
- Inconsistent, always critical, singles people out, shows favouritism
- Disrespectful and inconsiderate
- Dominates, sets a poor example
- Insecure, arrogant
- Poor interpersonal skills
- Demotivates
- Divisive, uses manipulation and threat
- Alienates, divides, creates fear and uncertainty
- Cares only about self
- Tells
- Has low expectations of everybody
- Controls and subjugates
- Withholds information, releases selectively, uses information as a weapon
- Obsessed with the past
- Loathed




Will You Please Keep It Down?

Tell me something: Why is it ok for the “upper echelon” of my department to have an ongoing “coffee break” that’s disruptive to others, yet the rest of us schmoes get dirty looks when we stop to say “Good Morning” to a colleague?

It’s irritating, it’s rude, it’s obnoxious. Is it really that hard to keep your voice down when you’re socializing – in YOUR office??? Why should I have to not only listen to what’s going on, but lose my concentration because they’re shrieking with laughter? No joke… they sound like a bunch of banshees.


You know, I don’t think I’d even mind it so much if they actually fostered a friendly and warm environment. But they don’t. They don’t encourage any socialization amongst the workers. You begin to feel guilty for having social conversations and start to look over your shoulder at every turn.

Why is it this way? Why don’t employers realize that happy employees work harder? They’re more willing to go the extra mile. That, in turn, equals a LARGER bottom-line for the company. This isn’t me just blowing steam. There are studies that prove this – companies could be earning HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS MORE by improving employee morale.

I don’t get it.


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