Ah, the mystique of leadership - a phenomenon that we've all been brought up to value, revere and even aspire to. Leaders are made, not born, or so they say...and they abound in just about every movie ever made. After all, it's really a continuation of the Horatio Alger myth; ever striving onwards and upwards, fighting adversity, and overcoming all odds to be a 'success,' a leader of others.Yet, in our real world cubicle continuum, all too often we've seen not the best and the brightest, but the kiss-asses, sychophants, back-stabbers and other assorted dirt-bags promoted way, WAY beyond their capabilities. And so we've been generally more cursed than blessed with poor managers and even worse leaders. It's almost a generic - or genetic - institutional flaw. Just look around you. All too often, the charismatic, Pied Piper types are the worst of all.Yet, countless books, articles and the like have been written about leadership and management, and the possible differences between the two. … [Read more...] about Are You a Leader? Questions to Ask Yourself.
The Cubicle Continuum
What the hell has happened to the way the average American white collar male looks today? If I didn't know better, and just looking around, scanning offices and cubicles, I would swear that I had just landed in SLOBovia, no passport or visa required.True, the number of studies, books, advice columns, etc. are virtually endless in stating the very obvious - that looks do indeed count. And not just first impressions, either. In fact, a recent book by Prof. Gordon Patzer 'The Power and Paradox of Physical Attractiveness,' states that not only is physical attractiveness a very potent measure of a guys' future, but that this is a universal phenomena, transcending all cultures and countries. So what happened to the gentlemen at my office?Well, this thinking is directly at odds with, yup, you guessed it, the ethos of our old pals at HR and EEO. One might say that to them, ugly for men, anyway, is 'in,' and plug-ugly is, well, even better. I'm not sure if this is due to the phony glorification … [Read more...] about Sloppy Men's Dress Code Rules the Cube
Joe and Stacey work next to each other. They sit no more than five feet apart. Even though they often arrive at work before the rest of the team, there's no communication between them. Only silence. No morning greeting. No acknowledgment that they are sharing the same office oxygen. Career advice experts agree that saying 'good morning' should not be difficult. Yet, there's an increasing trend, almost a rebellion, against saying these two simple words to our co-workers. It's not like we're required to salute, bow, kneel or curtsey. Even a casual nod and mumble would be a lot better than the nothing that's now occurring at far too many work sites. Don't become part of this alarming trend. Experience the power of 'good morning.' 1) It maintains the standards of basic civility that we're all entitled to at work. Like 'please' and 'thank you', these two little words also go a long way towards improving communication and the overall atmosphere. 2) ’Good morning’ … [Read more...] about 7 Reasons to Say Good Morning to Your Co-Workers
As if corporate America didn't already suffer from enough obsessions as it continually tries to make an even larger profit while pretending to be humanistic, a new neurosis has now taken root on the company psyche. That is the seemingly urgent need to label everyone in an easily-digestible capsule. What better way to force human labeling than the requirement that we all wear, and 'proudly' display, the company ID card. It beats, I suppose, bar-coding on our collective forehead. Although that may well come next, along with retinal recognition and an assortment of other biometrics.From the White House to the Big House (even prisoners get to wear ID cards), everyone's marked. It's like we've all become canned goods in the supermarket soup aisle. In a similar way, we've become effectively labeled and branded. The ID card really tells a great deal, just like Campbells Soup; content, price and, for some, expiration date. They say it's because of security, that everyone needs to be on … [Read more...] about Livestock Get Branded, We Get Company IDs
He got his start laying pipe for the Atlas Water and Sewer company. Eventually, he climbed the ranks, becoming responsible for a staff of 800 and annual revenue exceeding $120 million. His name is Victor Kipling. This is his weekly column. As the late, great Lee Marvin tells his Dirty Dozen, 'there is no escape, there is no appeal.' And so it goes for all of us, as we're constantly bombarded with the political bluster and bombast that yet another presidential primary season brings. Thanks to media super-saturation, be it on the blogosphere, in print or on the tube, they all provide the same inanities, day after tiresome day. We now see and hear these three potential candidates running between venues, imploring, pleading, demanding and sometimes even whining, doing almost everything they can in order to get our support. And all on our uncomplaining dime, no less. One can almost feel sorry for these three, 'cause, and whether you support one or the other, or none … [Read more...] about The Longest Job Interview Ever
In many ways, it seems that everything comes in threes. For example, there's the trinity, the trifecta, the three musketeers, the three blind mice, the triple crown...and bookoo more. And yet, as diverse as all of these 'threes' are, the one thing that they do have in common is the almost mystical quality that this number possesses. Which brings us to the ominous, but age-old adage, and that is that we are always warned to avoid talking about any of 'the three no-nos'; religion, sex or politics, while at work. The clear implication, of course, is that if you get caught discussing these in any but the most plain vanilla way, it won't even take three strikes to be out...And the PC police where you work will be more than happy (in fact, it's their specialty) to be (you guessed it, but another trio) judge, jury and executioner, if they think that you violated their set of ever-expanding rules and regulations.It is certainly ironic, not to say damned undemocratic, that we have to be so … [Read more...] about Office Approved: Sex, Politics, Religion
He got his start laying pipe for the Atlas Water and Sewer company. Eventually, he climbed the ranks, becoming responsible for a staff of 800 and annual revenue exceeding $120 million. His name is Victor Kipling. This is his weekly column. So today the popular mantra mandates that we drink white tea and eat dark chocolate, while avoiding the evils of caffeine and nicotine at all costs. Supposedly, by doing so, we'll all be 'healthier, wealthier and wise.' We'll also become the Zen-like, unemotional zombies that most corporations and offices really want us to be. Paragons of political correctness, we'll just silently continue to suck it up, 'living lives of quiet desperation,' as Henry David Thoreau said. As our daily frustrations continue to mount, we all too often end up with the unenviable - and equally destructive - choice, of whether to explode or implode. So while a few 'go postal,' others less dramatically simply get sour and sick, or just drop dead. And then there's … [Read more...] about Cursing at Work: Let the F-Bombs Fly!
He got his start laying pipe for the Atlas Water and Sewer company. Eventually, he climbed the ranks, becoming responsible for a staff of 800 and annual revenue exceeding $120 million. His name is Victor Kipling. This is his weekly column. His opinions and views do not necessarily reflect those of Jobacle.com. In the interregnum between New Years and Valentines Day, the weather can be kinda dreary, and there's not a helluva lot going on. So, the power elite has decided that, not unlike the Roman emperors of old, we proles deserve a distraction. It will keep us compliant like sheep - as any corporation dare hope for. So, instead of circuses and chocolate, they have granted us 'the Supers' (or should I say 'Sewers'). Yes sirrr, the next week or so should provide enough alleged amusement to carry us to the next holiday. Because not only will we be afflicted with the usual Super Bowl stuff with all of its hype, but worse yet, we have the presidential primaries to … [Read more...] about Presidential Candidates Invade Your Office
He got his start laying pipe for the Atlas Water and Sewer company. Eventually, he climbed the ranks, becoming responsible for a staff of 800 and annual revenue exceeding $120 million. His name is Victor Kipling. This is his weekly column. With the advent of Chinese New Year in a few weeks, you'll be pleased to know that we say bye to the Pig and welcome to the Year of the Rat! Legend has it that the Buddha invited animals to attend a new-year celebration, and those that attended were forever honored by having an eternal place in Chinese calendars and astrology. And, if you're a good customer at your local Chinese take-out, you may find a calendar next to those egg rolls between now and Feb. 7th.What, you may ask, does any of this have to do with life as we know it at the workplace? Well, when you consider how often all of us liken our bosses, peers and subordinates to various animals, there are some parallels and maybe even inferences to be drawn here. … [Read more...] about Office Animals: Which Do You Work With?
He got his start laying pipe for the Atlas Water and Sewer company. Eventually, he climbed the ranks, becoming responsible for a staff of 800 and annual revenue exceeding $120 million. His name is Victor Kipling. This is his weekly column. When they say that 'those who don't learn from history are condemned to repeat it', they must have-had to have-been thinking about horrific dictator bosses and how to deal with them. Because, as we all know, human nature just ain't gonna change, no matter what spin we put on it or what euphemisms the corporate world uses to manipulate us into thinking otherwise. And that's why it's no surprise that history is replete with the proverbial bad boss; the psychotic, the cruel, the blood-thirsty tyrant who has caused bookoo human misery and, what's more, is damned proud of it! Like all psychopaths, these types of humangarbage come in all shades, types and stripes. More relevant to us, they infect all levels of the work-a-day world, … [Read more...] about Spot & Defeat a Modern Day Dictator at Work