I started writing a WorkHack blog entry on remembering names. In fact, it was pretty much done. Then I Googled it and saw how thoroughly exhausted the topic is. We've made a commitment to our readers and listeners to offer a unique take on all things work related. That being said, I literally just hit delete on the whole piece.You already know you need to make an effort to "catch" their name, repeat it immediately, sprinkle it in throughout the conversation and say it again at the end.You probably also know that it's useful to ask people how it is spelled or what variation they prefer to help you recall it later on. Andrew? Andy? Drew?I always try to draw a parallel between the name and a famous person or band or song. Whatever. Enough about that.Eric and I are almost done with the Working Podcast #53 - our first show back after an extended hiatus. I can't even begin to tell you how excited we are to be back on this … [Read more...] about Blog Entry Deleted for Lameness
I recently was scanning my bookshelf and stumbled back onto an oldie but a goodie, "The Games People Play" by Dr. Eric Berne. While it's not a career book, if you've ever felt that each day at work repeats like a vicious cycle, the book will give you some interesting insight into how people interact. At the very least, you'll know you're not alone!Today I'm gonna talk about "strokes." I will resist any temptation I have to be punny. In the world of Transactional Analysis (also known as TA, and sounds much scarier than it it) a stroke is the fundamental unit of a social transaction. The underlining theme is that all of us need recognition from other people - even though we spend a lot of time trying to convince ourselves otherwise. These strokes can all add up to a ritual, many of which we have EVERY freakin' morning!ME: "Hey Bob."CO-WORKER: "Hey Andrew."ME: "Can't believe it's winter, eh?"CO-WORKER: … [Read more...] about Stroking Each Other At Work
Sitting at my desk. Minding my own business. And then it hit. A smell that was like no other. Fortunately, I've never smelled a dead body in my life. But I imagine it smelling something like this.Apparently, it's called natto. And it got the whole office talking. In fact, I don't think that poor Asian girl I work with is ever coming back.A Google search turned up that natto is a traditional Japanese food made from fermented soybeans. Man, I like soy - but this stuff is rancid. Seriously, we're all so distracted now that it's impossible to work.Granted, if our bastard employers gave us the lunch hour we deserve, eating at your desk would be a non-issue.Do you think certain foods should be banned from the office? I've got my list below (by no means complete!) and I'd love to hear from you. Visit the message board to join the conversation.Natto (a new reason to bring up an old topic!)EggsTunaSalamiAny type of nuked … [Read more...] about Should Offices Ban Smelly Foods?
Your boss wears these underpants. Well, 2 out of 5 at least. Many newspapers and Web sites that cover the "career genre" are running this headline today: "2 of 5 Bosses Don't Keep Word." Yeah, no shit Sherlock. Why do people jump all over every survey conducted by Anybody, USA? I really hope as this podcast/blog grows we will give the hardest working souls out there a voice. No statistical garbage. Cause at the end of the day, do you care if you're among the 99% who couldn't care less about career surveys?That being said, I'll contradict myself and post a few findings by a study that will be released later in the year by The Leadership Quarterly (sounds sooooo important):• 39% of workers said supervisors broke promises.(Supervisors ARE human. Would you expect anything better?)• 37% said their supervisor failed to give credit when due.(Where the hell do the 63% work?)• 31% said their supervisor gave them … [Read more...] about Boss's Pants On Fire!
A clear desk means a clear mind. It also means a quick exit! But that doesn't mean you don't have room for some personal items. We're anchored to our desks for the majority of the day - so we might as well make the best of it. Here are some personal items that I have found very useful to keep on my desk. Your results may vary. I'd love for you to share your ideas in the comments section below. And this is the kind of stuff you won't mind leaving behind if you ever get fired!Plant This Did you know that the large seed in the center of a papaya can turn into the perfect office plant? Aside from giving you a boost of oxygen, a plant is something that can still thrive - even as your career dies! To learn more about the benefits of desk plants and what kind will work for you, listen to episode #42 of the Working Podcast.Breathing ReminderPut a tiny symbol in your field of vision (mine is on my monitor) that serves no other purpose than remind you to take … [Read more...] about 9 Positive Items for Your Desk in '07
Start the year off right - plan your sick days now! Print the official calendar and get your excuses ready. Only a sucker loses days at the end of the year!Martin Luther King, Jr. Day: You have a dream. And it's four straight days away from your boss's ugly mug and Microsoft Outlook. Call in sick on Friday, January 12 and Tuesday, January 16. Winter's in full swing and the "flu" is hard to fight. Make MLK proud!Valentine's Day: Romance has a price. You'll be oozing so much love that a full 24 hours to recover is in order. Get the sniffles so you can snuggle on Thursday, February 15.President's Day: Honor thy country. Since you didn't even know Hayes and Tyler were presidents, you better take off Friday, February 16 and Tuesday, February 20 to study. I sense a headache. *And for those of you with big cajones, you can bridge Valentine's Day and President's Day for a mini six-day festivus.Easter: It can't be "Good" Friday if you have to … [Read more...] about Official 2007 Sick Day Calendar
U.S. News & World Report has published the "Get-Ahead Careers for 2007." You can find the article on Yahoo - but quite honestly, we feel it's a waste of time. It's the same recycled list that you get every year. With amazing advice such as:"Many experts predict further terrorist attacks on U.S. soil. If that should happen, watch for a hiring boom in the areas affected. A cyberterrorist attack, for instance, would produce lots of jobs for computer-security experts. If the water supply gets poisoned, toxicologists will suddenly be in high demand."Genius!"Immigration. The growth in America's Hispanic population seems likely to skyrocket, creating a virtually unlimited demand for translators, English-as-a-second-language teachers, and bilingual workers in healthcare and the legal system.Brilliant!!Don't get me wrong, many of the career sites have some great stuff to offer. And when they do, we'll let you know about it. But it's … [Read more...] about Yawn. Get-Ahead Careers for 2007.
Today's history lesson! ;-) THE STAPLER: It holds together TPS reports and keeps down the carpet. We can thank the analness of King Louis XIV of France for these "fastenating" devices. Apparently, he insisted that the insignia of the royal court be inscribed with what came to be known as staples. As the use of paper picked up steam in the 19th century, Samuel Slocum created a device that stuck pins through paper to keep it together. Since momma didn't raise no fool, he was awarded U.S. Patent No. 56, 587. Thankfully, staplers are about 2.5 pounds lighter than their predecessors - but that doesn't stop that last damn staple from jamming every time. THE PAPERCLIP: File this under 'anyone could have thought of that.' A thin wire bent into a looped shape that holds papers together via pressure. The kick in the nuts is that the paperclip's inventor apparently WAS raised by a fool: he never got a patent. However, that didn't stop the Gem … [Read more...] about The History of Common Desk Items
This is a simple question from a simple man. Like most of you, I toil the day away in a cube. My only relief: a one hour lunch break and Digg. You can imagine my surprise when I went to go submit a story yesterday and received this shocking message, "Access blocked. Consult your administrator."Red-faced with rage, I sat at my desk and zoned out for the rest of the day. After some deep breathing I called my friend Jon. He told me that he's NEVER been able to submit a story to Digg from work, let alone "Digg" anything.Since this blog and podcast is all about things work-related, I was wondering - is this a cultural phenomenon that we should all expect more of? As sites get big, will our employers block us? And if they do - do any of you know of any workarounds? Share the wealth! Leave a tip on our toll-free hotline 888-786-1080 or e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. … [Read more...] about Movement to Block Digg at Work?
-Tumbleweeds. No one is here today. The early bird gets the worm, and those who were smart requested the days bridging Christmas and New Year's early in the year. (Put in your request for '07 now!) People are either using their remaining vacation days, milking their sick time or are still sitting on the porcelain throne from all the crap they've eaten. This means no meetings, no one blocking your way to the coffee pot and not needing to fake washing your hands in the rest room. -Faking it. Nothing gets done this week. Nothing. Unless you're a doctor saving a life or a party planner putting together some New Year's eve bash - you've got nothing to do. This is the kind of week that you realize that surfing the Web full time could actually get kind of boring. -Cleaning Up. I don't know about you, but I clean my desk at the end of the year like I'm never coming back. Besides, there's nothing else to do. It's amazing how an empty desk … [Read more...] about 5 Reasons I Love Working This Week