Thursday, May 6, 2010

Postcards from Podsville #29.875.

Inside the zombie mind!

Think the 4 I's are destructive, and unprofessional?
Let's see what some "pros", say!


The Worst Words to Say at Work

9 common words and phrases that will make you sound noncommittal, undependable, and untrustworthy.

Some words and phrases are often used to buy time, avoid giving answers, and escape commitment. If you use these words and phrases yourself, take a scalpel and cut them out of your thinking, speaking, and writing.

"Try" is a weasel word. "Well, I'll try," some people say. It's a cop-out. They're just giving you lip service, when they probably have no real intention of doing what you ask. Remember what Yoda says to Luke Skywalker in "Star Wars": "Do or do not--there is no try." Take Yoda's advice. Give it your all when you do something. And if it doesn't work, start over.

Put passion into your work, and give it your best effort, so you can know that you did all you could to make it happen. So if the outcome you were expecting didn't come to fruition, it's not because you didn't do everything you could to make it happen. It just wasn't the right time for it or it wasn't meant to be.

Yeah, and then you can get a bunch of shit from your supervisor.
Now, you can't even cushion things a little bit, this piece is telling 'em "give 'em shit anyway!".

And as for Yoda, he was asking for Luke to raise an X-Wing with his fucking brain.

Without the force, that shit really is ridiculously impossible.

And sorry kids, there's no force.
Legions of geeks would be real Jedi by now.

Now, imagine the boss wheels up a shopping cart full to the brim with shelf pegs, and "asks", you to mold them into an attractive and large display sculpture in the next 45 minutes before lunch.

How to even proceed? Bend 'em with a blowtorch? Is there a blowtorch around?
Can a blowtorch be MacGyver-ed out of office supplies?
By the time you've reasoned through how to even start, you've lost the first 30 fucking minutes.

Now, do you think he/she wants to hear "no fucking WAY!".

Hell no.

No, and now you can't even say "I'll try", which is true, but you'll fail, cuz it's crazy.
Nooo, now you've gotta fucking lie.

"I sure will!! :D".

Or, even "I'll give it my all! :D", with fake optimism.
Insincerity, that's nice.
Great values so far.

This word is a trusted favorite of people who want to dismiss you, diminish what you say, or get rid of you quickly. "Whatever," they will say as an all-purpose response to your earnest request. It's an insult and a verbal slap in the face. It's a way to respond to a person without actually responding. When you say "whatever" after another person has said his or her piece, you have essentially put up a wall between the two of you and halted any progress in communicating. It's a word to avoid.

What if the "earnest request", was some toxic shrieking?
What if you were getting the inevitable rash of shit for failing the "display project"?
"Whatever", is the nicest thing to say, now they're taking that away.
So...I guess they WANT you to last-resort to the list of 7 from the "insouciance", rant?

"Maybe" and "I don't know"
People will sometimes avoid making a decision--and hide behind words and phrases like "maybe" and "I don't know." There's a difference between legitimately not knowing something and using words like these as excuses. Sometimes during a confrontation, people will claim not to know something or offer the noncommittal response "maybe," just to avoid being put on the spot. If that seems to be the case, ask, "When do you think you will know?" or "How can you find out?" Don't let the person off the hook so easily.

Maybe "maybe", is the correct answer.
Oftentimes "I don't know", is the correct answer for sure.
Sure, a lot of pricks dodge and delay, but sometimes a clear black and white answer isn't forthcoming.
"When's the package going to get here?".
"I don't know".
I mean, really, who knows?
Maybe the trucker bringing it is getting a bj at a truckstop.
Who fucking knows?
It'll get there when it gets there.
A lot of things genuinely do have "maybe", and "I don't know", for an answer.
Now they want them gone from the vocabulary.
Okay, what do they want, more lies?
"When will the package get here?".
"Floonsday!! :D".

"I'll get back to you"
When people need to buy time or avoid revealing a project's status, they will say, "I'll get back to you," and they usually never do. If people say they will get back to you, always clarify. Ask them when they will get back to you, and make sure they specify the day and time. If they don't, then pin them down to a day and time and hold them to it. If they won't give you a day or time, tell them you'll call in a day or week and follow up. Make sure you call and get the information you need.

So, you've MagGyver-ed a blowtorch, and are bending the metal of the shelf pegs, and are making some headway with the sculpture, but it's ugly as fuck, and you've burnt yourself 60 times, and the crummy company hasn't put you on their insurance yet, and you're swearing your head off, and begging for the sweet release of death.
Then, you're paged on the company phone.
"How's it coming?".
Half of the thing crumbles before you.
"I'll get back to you".
Oh no, now they want to know WHEN you'll get back to them.
"Floonsday! :D".

Projects depend on everyone doing his or her part. People who use "if" are usually playing the blame game and betting against themselves. They like to set conditions, rather than assuming a successful outcome. People who rely on conditional responses are fortifying themselves against potential failure. They will say, "If Bob finishes his part, then I can do my part." They're laying the groundwork for a "no fault" excuse and for not finishing their work.

Well, maybe Bob is building the fucking arms, and you can't put the arms on until Bob fucking makes them.
Nope, it's "making excuses".
Okay, I'll just wish the arms into existence, or put temporary invisible pantomime ones on so I "look busy".
When will Bob's part be done?
"Floonsday! :D".

There are always alternatives, other routes, and ways to get the job done.

Well, I could help Bob build the arms, but you're insisting I work on the ribs to "maximize output".
It ain't fucking working.
But they don't wanna hear that shit, do they?

Excuse makers usually have the energy of a slug and the spine of a jellyfish. You don't want them on your team when you're trying to climb Mt. Everest.

Sure expect an awful lot for minimum wage, don't they?

"Yes, but . . ."
This is another excuse. You might give your team members suggestions or solutions, and they come back to you with "Yes, but . . ." as a response. They don't really want answers, help, or solutions. You need to call the "Yes, but . . ." people out on their avoidance tactic by saying something like "You know, Jackie, every time I offer you a suggestion you say, 'Yes, but . . . ,' which makes me think you don't really want to solve this problem. That's not going to work. If you want to play the victim, go right ahead, but I'm not going to allow you to keep this up." After a response like that, you can be assured that the next words you hear will not be "Yes, but . . ."!

"Yes, but Bob hasn't finished the arms, and you won't let me help him with the arms, because you keep insisting I do the ribs, and also, we only have the one torch, and we used up all the paperclips in its construction".

"You know, Mike, every time I offer you a suggestion you say "yes but..."".

"Yes, but you keep trotting out the same unhelpful unreasonable bullshit".

"I guess . . ."
This is usually said in a weak, soft-spoken, shoulder-shrugging manner. It's another attempt to shirk responsibility--a phrase that is muttered only when people half agree with you but want to leave enough leeway to say, "Well, I didn't really know. . . . I was only guessing." If you use this phrase, cut it out of your vocabulary.

Yes but, they just shot down "I don't know", so what else are you supposed to say when you genuinely don't know?

They WANT "sir, yes sir!! :D".

That would be a lie.

It's not going to get done in 45 minutes.
They're nuts, and they're trying to kill you.

"We'll see . . ."
How many times did we hear our parents say this? We knew they were buying time, avoiding a fight or confrontation, or really saying no. It's better to be decisive and honest by saying, "I need more information. Please present your case or send me the data--both pro and con--so I can make an informed decision." That way, the interested parties will contribute to an in-depth, well-researched "verdict."

"It can't be done, we've tried our best, and broken our backs, and fricasseed our appendages, and it's just not going to happen, but you don't want to hear that shit, and you've shot down any other avenues to communicate the problem we're having, you're an unreasonable awful person, and I hope you get rabies".

No, "I quit", is more succinct, and for the same results.

So, that's that bit of bullshit, now on to....


10 Tips To Find Happiness At Work

Happiness is in vogue, and everyone--from psychologists to academics and career coaches--has advice on how to find it and how to keep it. Juxtapose that with a workforce that is more stressed out and cynical than ever. After a recession where millions of jobs were lost, remaining workers are doing more work with fewer resources and a heavy helping of distrust in management. Is it possible to find happiness at work these days? These experts say: Yes. Start now.

Well, sure inspiring confidence already, innit?

Throw Out Labels

We spend most of our lives instantly judging things that happen to us. It's raining: Bad. No bonus this year: Very bad. The boss is out of town: Very good. Author of Happiness At Work Srikumar Rao, Ph.D., says you can boost your sense of calm by turning off the mental labels. If you decide something is bad, it most likely will be, he says.

Bullshit yourself.

Let It Go

When something throws you off, being able to let it go quickly will exponentially increase your happiness at work. The ability to move on--resilience--enables you to handle work challenges with composure and strength. Instead of focusing on how bad a situation is, focus on how to fix it or the next step.

"How can I not care about this?".

Write A To-Do List

It's hard to feel resilient when you also feel like you have no power over your work day. You can take some of that control back by writing a to-do list and completing tasks in that order. Also, limiting distractions by scheduling times to check e-mail or social networking sites will help keep you on task and feeling productive.

No it won't.
Not if you're trying to follow the last one.

Focus And Engage

"The current workforce is like the cast of the Night of The Living Dead, says Rao. Disengaged worker-zombies do nothing for the company or for individual morale. If you are able to get excited about your work and focus on it with full attention, time will go by faster and the experience will be much more pleasant.

Bullshit yourself.

Quiet Mental Chatter

A constant stream of negative thoughts sends many workers into a downward spiral of unhappiness. Quiet the chaos by redirecting your thoughts. Think of a positive memory and create a mental image of it. The next time you have an idle moment, instead of surfing the Web, draw up this mental screensaver. Replay this in order to reset your mind and scale back the negative.

"Go to your happy place".
Like a rape victim.

Find Restorative Time

Workplaces are stressful and you need to cope. But "alcohol and TV won't help,"

Yes, try various other opiates.

says happiness author Jessica Pryce-Jones. Instead, set aside some time each day to recharge. Taking a peaceful walk at lunch rather than mindlessly eating at your desk will restore calm. Maybe a warm bath in the evening or fun book for the commute are your fix-its. Experiment and find what works for you.


Connect To Your Values

People who feel more connected to the company's mission and feel like their work is valuable or meaningful are more likely to be happy on the job. If you begin to feel like your work is meaningless, look at the big picture: Work for a pharmaceuticals company? Think of the lives being saved. Or, consider how showing up each day aligns with your personal values. The money you earn supports your life outside of work, and whether that's your family or a hobby, it's a good reason to keep coming in with a smile.

Unless you work at Wally World, then it really is meaningless, feeding the mindless hollow consumer drive of fat, dying America.
Or, an insurance company that looooves to deny coverage.
"The won't wash off!".

Yeah, this level of self-bullshitting demands you avoid knowing too much.
Reading and thinking will totally ruin this one.

We're The Same

It's easy to put people--colleagues, bosses, clients--into categories. People I don't like; people I do like. Me vs. them. A simple way to make work relationships more pleasant is by finding common ground. Consider what makes you similar to your co-workers rather than different and the dynamics of the relationship will change. Social interaction play a huge part in your happiness on the job, so it should prove a good investment of your time and energy.

Talk about the weather.

Feel Compassion For A Toxic Boss

The No. 1 reason employees leave a company is because of a bad boss, says Rao. They're everywhere, and you're likely working with one. See a boss for who he or she really is, he advises, and feel compassion for them: "You have to put up with her a couple hours a week, and she has to put up with herself her whole life." Rao suggests picturing a toxic boss as a child having a temper tantrum. When you remember the negativity is all about them, not you, you'll be better able to shrug it off.

Bullshit yourself.

Know When To Leave

You can do everything right and still be dissatisfied with your job. If you've tried everything in your power to make a situation work and you're still unhappy, that's when it's time to leave. Situations can be salvageable, and it's in your best interest to admit it and move on. Workers spend an average of 90,000 hours at work in their lifetimes. You owe it to yourself--and your health--to discover happiness on and off the clock.

Get the fuck out of there!!!

Now, on to....


Nine Ways To Talk To Someone You Can't Stand.

Face it: Some people are simply insufferable. With any luck, they can be avoided, but not always. Here are nine time-tested conversational strategies for when there is no escape.

Oh, goody!

Indulge Them (If Only A Little)

The last thing you want from a name-dropping coworker is an account of his latest personal conquests. One coping strategy, care of Christopher Groscurth, an instructional consultant at the University of Michigan with a Ph.D. in interpersonal communication: Bypass the painful chitchat by steering the conversation to project goals and how the person's golden Roledex could help your cause. Groscurth did just that with one particularly annoying colleague. "Ultimately, this gave him what he wanted--some space to talk about himself--while sparing me from his indulgence," he says.

Unless he won't let you get a word in edgewise, otherwise you're fucked.
And you usually are.

Massage The Bruise

There is always a reason people are disagreeable: insecurity, the poor-me syndrome, general selfishness--the list of foibles goes on. In many cases, you don't need a degree in psychology to zero in on the problem. Insecure people are some of the easiest to suss out. One classic trademark: They tend to turn into jerks when challenged. You can't live in fear of these meltdowns, but you can ease their intensity by stroking the person's ego a little more during those rare moments when they get something right. It's disingenuous and annoying, perhaps, but ultimately worth it.

Bullshit them.

Control What You Can

In most encounters, you can choose to escalate conflict or keep things civil. "The only response that you have control over is your own," says Groscurth. Humor helps. So does a positive attitude. When dealing with a Debbie-Downer type, for example, try spinning their complaints into questions: "That situation sounds tough, but what can you do to turn it around?"

"How can I not care about this?".

Look For The Good

Surely the person you can't stand has some redeeming quality. Find it and focus on it all the way through the conversation, even it's just a physical feature or nice piece of clothing, advises Dr. Kathleen Hall, chief executive of The Stress Institute, a mental-health consultancy that works with corporations and nonprofit organizations. "For example, if you you're talking to a person who is incredibly rude, but she has good hair, just think about the pretty hair, smile, say what you need to say and move on with your day," she says.

Bullshit yourself.

Find Common Ground

Perhaps the person you can't stand is also a parent, a fan of the same team or an alumnus of the same school. "Focusing on what you have in common gives you more positive feelings toward them, as well as something connecting to talk about," says David Levin, author of Don't Just Talk, Be Heard!

Talk about the weather.

Empathize (Even If It Means Making Stuff Up)

As with all noxious substances, toxic people should be handled with care. Difficult (and disconcerting) as it may seem, try to imagine that you were born in their similar uncomfortable circumstances. Or even go the extra step and imagine that they've been told, that very morning, by the one person they love, that it's all over. Who cares if it's true? The fictional scenario will reduce the level of toxicity in your body--and that's what counts.

Bullshit yourself.

Avoid Blame

People who are particularly difficult often seek to rationalize their actions. They don't want to be the bad guy, so therefore you must have provoked them. This tendency is called cognitive resonance: our nearly obsessive desire to appear consistent with what we have already done. With that in mind, avoid assigning blame to the blighter at all costs. Instead of saying, "You kind of screwed this one up," go with "Here's what would really help save the day."

Bullshit them.

Let Them Save Face

So the insistent boor won't back down, even though (you both know) his argument is somewhere between specious and laughable. Asking him to "reconsider"--implying that he had made a mistake--is asking for trouble. Instead, present a new dilemma based on new information and ask for his decision. That way, he can save face without admitting his mistake.

Bullshit them.

Plan A Quick Exit

Always go into these conversations with a plan. Know what you want to achieve during the talk and have an exit strategy once the mission is accomplished. "I'm waiting for an important phone call" or "I'm hoping to catch a client before they head out" work well. Plan for contingencies, too. "Be prepared to cut your losses and move on to something more enjoyable, or at least more manageable,” says Vlad Zachary, founder of, which offers resources and strategies for job interviews.

Get the fuck out of there!!!

Oh, but we're not done yet.
Now, on to....


Six Ways To Keep Your Cool At Work

You don't need us to tell you that work is more stressful than ever. Longer hours, less pay and morale-sapping layoffs can drive even the most placid Bruce Banners to Hulk out. While it's unhealthy to bury all of that emotion, you can't let it boil over on the job, either. Here are some time-tested anger-management techniques, care of those who make a living helping us...all... remain...calm.

How can I not care about this?

The Double Blow

No, this doesn't mean give your colleague a jab to the gut followed by an elbow to the face. This trick, courtesy of Dr. Robert Epstein, instructor at the Rady School of Management at the University of California San Diego, works like this: As your rage swells, exhale fully and then, just as you're at the end of your exhale, blow hard. This expels the remaining air that's trapped in your lungs and counteracts the dangerous tendency to breathe shallowly when you feel threatened. "Shallow breathing circulates toxins in your bloodstream and makes you panicky," says Dr. Epstein.

Then blow your nose, and fart....

Verbal Jujitsu

Berated by a co-worker or a frustrated superior? Dr. Debra Condren, founder of Manhattan Business Coaching and author of Ambition Is Not A Dirty Word, a career guide for women, has a solution: "I keep my face neutral, make sure I'm breathing and staying calm, with my feet planted any my body relaxed," she says. When the other person's verbal screed is done, Condren utters flatly: "I hear what you're saying," or "I can see you have strong feelings about this issue." The lack of visible reaction snuffs the emotional wick.


Don't Curse (It Makes You Angrier)

If you can't manage complete stoicism, at least do your best to clamp down on the obscenities, even if they come naturally to you. Swear once and your adversary may well fire back. After a few volleys, fisticuffs aren't far behind. "Swearing intensifies anger and adds to its incivility," says Jim O'Connor, author of Cuss Control: The Complete Book on How to Curb Your Cursing.

Ah, bullshit.
There was another study that said swearing is good for you.
However, if you think you're in the presence of a violent hothead, get the fuck out there!!

Avoid Assumptions

A co-worker is late, and it's looking like you'll have to do that joint presentation alone. His fecklessness is infuriating. Before it engulfs you, says Dr. Simon Rego, assistant clinical professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Albert Einstein School of Medicine in New York, pause to consider all the things that could have happened. Perhaps his child is sick or his car broke down. Avoid assumptions--or as Rego calls them, "cognitive distortions"--which can lead to blame and anger. Says Rego: "Once these distortions can be identified, challenged and replaced with more helpful coping thoughts, the feelings of anger should decrease."

Bullshit yourself.

Don't Take Things Personally

It's in our DNA to perceive personal slights--but that's usually not the case, says Marty Brenner, anger management counselor in Beverly Hills, Calif. Brenner recalls a client who stopped by his ex-wife's house to pick up his child for court-scheduled visit only to find his ex-wife had forgotten about the visit and the child was at a friend's house. Brenner's client almost exploded. Then he took a breath and told himself that his wife wasn't sabotaging him. "His first thought was to be aggressive verbally," says Brenner. "Then he realized that anything he said would not change the person or the situation." (Good move: Indeed, his ex had forgotten about the visit.)

"Is this actually my problem?".

Know Your Triggers

Plenty of people get angry, but they don't know why. Look for anger-inducing patterns and jot them down, says Marty Babits, author of The Power of the Middle Ground, A Couple's Guide to Renewing Your Relationship. This takes hearty doses of self-honesty and willingness to accept the truth. If certain people get on your nerves, then, well, they just do. In many cases, your best bet is simply to recognize who they are and avoid them whenever possible. (If that sounds cold, take comfort in knowing that you are doing them a favor.)

Get the fuck out of there!!!

So, there you go, some of my actual stuff, with a healthy dose of lies and bullshit thrown in.
That's what the professionals tell you.
To bullshit, and lie.
That's how most people are getting along.
And drugs, and religion.

Poor bastids.

Poor beaten down bastids.

But, about what I expected....

No comments:

Blog Archive