Tag Archive | business

When you’re less successful than an empty desk

It’s not exactly a confidence booster when somebody gets introduced to an empty desk and ignores you completely.  This happened to me years ago, and it’s happened to other people I know, too. I was working at my desk when a manager tromped in with a high-level executive. I had heard that she would be […]

Anything you can do, a computer can do better

My boss called me into his office the other day. “Take a seat,” he said. “I’ve got big news.” My heart jumped. “Is it about that promotion I’ve been asking for?” “Not exactly,” he said, sinking into his chair. “I’m afraid I’m going to have to let you go.” “Oh.” I looked down. “This doesn’t […]

An economy where no one has to work

We live in an ultra-modern, super-high-tech society with instant messaging, social media, visual teleconferencing, desktop screen-sharing and collaborative workspaces. Yet despite all that, it’s still impossible to get a hold of anybody. In my professional career, I don’t think I’ve ever called anyone and actually gotten through. I’ve always been directed to voicemail. This frustration […]

Seasoned employees don’t use exclamation points

When I compare my work e-mails today to the ones I wrote as a new hire, there’s a noticeable difference. My e-mails today — though friendly — are often brief and to the point. The sentences are simple, and the punctuation is basic. “Hi John. Please send me a copy of the check. Thank you.” […]

Welcome to the Period of Post-Quality, where the details don’t matter

A lot has changed since the 2008 financial crisis. Some of the aftershocks are more obvious. There are fewer jobs. Fewer opportunities. Wealth and abundance flow into Wall Street, while capital and resources are siphoned from Main Street. Yet some of the effects are more abstract — harder to define. People sense there’s something off, […]

Being curt doesn’t make you businesslike

I’m noticing a trend lately where people respond to e-mails with an abrupt, terse tone. No greeting. No “please” and “thank you.” Just a curt, one-sentence response, with a sprinkling of condescension. I imagine they’re trying to sound confident and authoritative. After all, real professionals don’t waste time with pleasantries or kindness. Real professionals are […]

Every online Office Assistant job posting

Our company has an exciting opportunity for an enthusiastic and dynamic Office Assistant. The Office Assistant will be responsible for supporting 47 senior-level executives, as well as completing degrading, rudimentary tasks — such as making coffee and sorting the mail. Qualifications: • Four-year degree required, preferably with an emphasis on structural engineering or quantum physics. […]

So my boss said to leave the report on his desk…

When I first got my new job, my boss, Steve, asked me to write a one-page report for the executive manager. “Be sure to send the report directly to me,” Steve said. “You don’t want me to send it to the executive manager?” I asked. “I don’t. I want to check it before he sees […]

Your dirty dishes are my problem

Dear Senior Leadership Team, Good morning. I’m writing to you today to express a grave concern. I’ve spent many sleepless nights debating whether to escalate this concern to senior management. As a result, my work performance has suffered, and I’ve ordered way too many useless gadgets from the Home Shopping Network. I feel I have […]

Attack of the time parasite

The time parasite is a wretched and despicable creature. They’re among the lowest form of scum imaginable (a true invertebrate with no noticeable backbone or useful purpose), and they often come with an overinflated sense of self worth and a graduate degree in business administration. The time parasite is a true bottom-feeding life form oozing […]