Tag Archive | career

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 […]

Sick days and substitute teachers 

Substitute-teacher days were always weird. You knew something was off as soon as you walked into class. You could feel it churning in your gut – along with the undercooked corndog you’d eaten for lunch. Some random adult would be standing at the head of the classroom, looking lost and out of place, as if […]

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, […]

I still don’t have a clearly defined dream

Ever since childhood, I had a vague notion that I wanted to be a writer. I carried the idea with me through college. And although I was always writing short stories and even novels, I never gave much thought to how to develop my dream. I think I just assumed that I’d become a novelist, […]

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 […]

Those days when you just can’t deal

So I woke up the other morning to my alarm clock. Its relentless, piercing squawking pulled me out of a deep, restful sleep. Groaning, I reached out and fumbled around my nightstand, grasping for the snooze button. Instead of hitting it, I ended up knocking my wristwatch to the floor. “Uh,” I groaned. “I’m too […]

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. […]

Financial experts: No matter what the market, you should always buy stocks

I walked into a local money manager’s office the other day to open an account. “Do you have an appointment, sir?” the receptionist asked, as I walked past her desk. I walked into the money manager’s office and sat down at his desk. “Here’s the thing,” I said. “I know you’re a money manager, so […]