life in the corporate world
It is often said that manners are the lubricant of society, the problem with manners in the workplace is that they can very easily get in the way of you getting what it is you think is owed to you.
In order to make the workplace a more favourable place (for you), I have compiled a general office etiquette guide.
It is important to note that good etiquette can sometimes get in the way of self-advancement; in these instances self-advancement should always take precedent.
If your cell phone rings whilst you are on your landline, you should always answer your cell phone.
This proves to the person on the landline how busy you really are. For maximum effect, always tell the person on the cell phone that you are on your landline as well.
You should then have two conversations at once, no matter how confused you get about who you are speaking to and when, never show confusion and always try to use important words.
If neither conversations is particularly interesting, place the phones next to each other to facilitate conversation and go and get a coffee. Important people drink coffee.
If you arrive at someone’s desk whilst they are on the phone or they have a visitor in their office, always remember that your time is more valuable than anyone else’s; interrupt immediately.
Ignore the visitor, unless they look or sound important, in which case alter your conversation to make yourself look really important.
Do this by speaking loudly and not listening.
In a meeting, if someone else is speaking, and you have to say something, just cut him or her off.
What you have to say is way more important than their inane contribution and besides your voice is more pleasant on the ear. If they do not get the hint and they carry on speaking, then you should always speak louder than they do until they keep quiet.
It may be necessary to shout for a long time, this can be sore on the throat, so always take a glass of water into meetings with you. (If they do not stop talking you can throw the water at them, this often stops them immediately).
If your phone rings and you are in the toilet, always answer it, especially if there are people in other cubicles. Speak loudly and say things like “fiscal responsibility? “fiduciary duty? “multi billion dollar deal?and “accountable? even if the person on the other side of the phone is your mother. It makes the other cubicle occupants think that you are very busy and very important, even if you are talking what you are doing.
The sweeping statement
All right-handed people smell funny. This is an undisputable fact. I am sure that there are many right handed people who would like to dispute this, but that is of little consequence to me, because I have just made a sweeping statement.
I am fast becoming a true believer of the sweeping statement; it provides a sense of power and it gives others the impression that you are an exceptionally knowledgeable individual.
I have not been unlucky enough to ever have attended an MBA class, but I am quite sure that the first thing you should learn during an MBA type of degree is the power of the sweeping statement.
Managers who want to be thought of as being highly effective should use the sweeping statement whenever possible.
In fact any manager who feels the slightest bit of doubt should take immediate refuge in the sweeping statement and wherever possible they should strengthen their position by prefixing their statements with at least one statistic.
Given that the statement about right handed people does not contain a single statistic it is probably a bit amateurish and can perhaps be disputed; this is the last thing you want to have happen.
Therefore I would suggest that the statement be subtly altered to ?5% of all right handed people smell funny? See how much credibility is gained by adding the statistic, and you have let 5% of right handed people off the hook, a small sacrifice for added credibility.
Managers need to be able to spot sweeping statements as well; here are some tips on getting this right:
Business people love to make sweeping statements about IT like “the system does not work? or “I could not do my work because the system was slow?these are generally false.
IT people have been known to make statements like “all users are incapable of using computers and should be given pen and paper only??these are often true
No matter what, you should never underestimate the power of the sweeping statement.
Oh yes, the reason why right handed people smell funny is because their eyes are not quite aligned with each other and this blocks their nasal passages just a bit, and as consequences they smell funny.
Year end etiquette
It is that time of the year again, the time when companies around the globe have their year end parties in an attempt to make up for all the horrible things that they have done to their staff over the course of the year.
In order to show your gratitude to your company for having a party, here are my top ten tips for acceptable office party behaviour:
1. You want to make an impression so show up in a really eye catching outfit ?for the women this can be a skirt just below “see level?and a low cut see through top, for the men this can be a pair of red leather shorts and a knitted vest. Have a drink.
2. Drink a lot of alcohol. Don’t eat anything, it interferes with the alcohol this is a bad thing. Have a drink.
3. Pinch bums. You need to keep score of how many bums you pinch ?junior staff members have an aggregate of 10 points all the way up to 1000 points for any member of the group executive. And not just a pinch, try to make it a real full hand grab. 20 points extra if you get a squeal. Have a drink.
4. Berate your boss as loudly as you can, make sure that they can hear you. This is the ideal time to tell management exactly what you think about them and what their true flaws are. Be personal it works better. Have a drink.
5. Try to smooch someone in public, it is easier if you find them attractive, but it is not necessary for them to find you attractive. If you miss, keep at it until you feel as though you got it reasonably right, or until they start to find your attention attractive. Have a drink.
6. Take off a few items of clothing. Not all of it; do it suggestively and in time to the music. Make sure you know your underwear status (i.e. if you are wearing any) before you reach that level of undress. Have a drink.
7. Find something to wear on your head - a plate, a lampshade, your bra anything that makes you look really cool and with it. Have a drink.
8. Lean on people and tell them how much you appreciate what they have done for you over the last year. Tell everybody you meet that you love them. Try to kiss them. Have a drink.
9. Take off the rest of your clothes, run around shouting “I am free, I am free?put your underwear on your bosses head. Have a drink.
10. Try not to vomit, it is a waste of company money, but if you must, then try to do it on someone senior’s shoes. This guarantees you the attention you deserve.