Plots and Thoughts

Yahoo’s Annoying @Work Series

Posted in Analysis, Observations by Captain Optimistic on February 18, 2010

Warning, fusty language below the belt:

Fuck their whole damn “advice” series.  ALL OF IT.  As feministing notes their dating advice also sucks butt.  But I am here to talk about work.

Yahoo’s work yahoo writes:

In this economy, everyone needs to bring their A game to work. Thinking smarter is free, and we all need new ideas to grow our businesses. [… blah blah …] Recognize yourself in one of the seemingly benign bloopers below? Follow this advice to promptly change your ways, and pave the way for personal professional success!

Yay, personal success!

Let’s go team Plots and Thoughts.  Personal Professional Success awaits!

Office oops: You default to email for important dialogue.
Overcome it: While email seems like a good idea for most ordinary office exchanges (“When do you need this report finished?”), it can lend itself to misinterpretation (your boss hears: “I’d rather go drinking than stay and finish it tonight”). To ensure you’re sending the right message, remember this: If your missive is longer than a paragraph or could easily be read more than one way, have a face-to-face discussion instead.

Fuck That Shit: Our counter point comes in the form of a simple equation: Email = Paper Trail.  Need proof that you said it?  Email it.  Also many office exchanges involve multiple people on a team.  This isn’t the 1950’s.  So when you want something less formal than email, use whatever instant messenger your company prefers.  You can easily log the conversation if you’d like, its up to you.

Office oops: You’re a cubicle hermit.
Overcome it: You may think that keeping your nose to the keyboard will help you climb the corporate ladder, but coming out to kibitz with colleagues can actually improve your output and foster camaraderie. Joking on the job strengthens bonds between employees, bettering communication and performance, a study from the University of Missouri at Columbia suggests. Another crowd gatherer: Keep your desk full of healthy snacks—almonds, fruit, celery—and make it clear that the bowl of bites is for anyone to come by and sample when needed. You’ll be popular and hear the office scuttlebutt.

Meh: Depends heavily on where you work.  Some offices over promise and under deliver to clients, leading to a fanatical emphasis on keeping your “nose to your keyboard”.  Others have so little real work that hobnobbing is practically your job.  Also, wtf with healthy snacks?  Put some sugar and caffeine in there.  You are here to cynically win office friends, not look after their health.  That said, some people do go for healthy foods.  No reason you can’t make them more appealing if food-bribing is your strategy of choice.  Go for wasabi or jalepeno flavored almonds.  Follow Machiavelli in all things office: if you are going to be kind spread it out over time and don’t get too intense.  Maybe once a month bring in cherries.

Office oops: You’re the resident germ generator.
Overcome it: Feeling sneezy, sniffly and coughy? Call in sick! Soldiering into work when you’re a germ-spreading machine can turn the whole office into a hotbed of sickness, especially considering that the average desk has about 400 times as many germs as an office building toilet seat, according to a study by the University of Arizona in Tucson. Stay home on under-the-weather days. Your boss doesn’t want you to hand her a cold along with your project.

Fuck That Shit: Where does this columnist work?  If you have a job that expects you at your office, go!  Hoard those sick days like a rancid pirate king.  If you take what your boss decides is too many sick days you job could be in peril.  Yes I speak from experience here.  If other people get sick, whatever.  This is America and no one cares about how healthy you are – just their bottom line.  (For real though, test the waters here, you might be lucky enough to work for closet socialists who do care.  Just be careful, many companies fake it extremely well – until you take that 6th sick day).

Office oops: You’re too free with your fragrance.
Overcome it: Eau boy. Your morning spritz may be sending your coworkers into olfactory overload. The number of workplace complaints linked to fragrance has grown [… Blah blah BLAH …]

Whatever: I couldn’t whip up enough energy to care about this.  I’ve never ever noticed it as a problem in the office.  Again, where does this columnist work?  This feels like someone titled her column “5 Biggest Mistakes” and then found herself short one…  I will say this though, since I’ve notice it in every office I’ve ever worked in: Wash Your Fucking Hands You Disgusting Slobs.  Every single office – there’s always those who use the facilities and waltz right out of the bathroom like there’s no issue.  Make it an issue.  When you see someone neglect this basic human duty, remind them bluntly.  You are doing the world a favor, and establishing dominance.  A personal professional success on both fronts.

Office oops: You doodle during meetings.
Overcome it: Scrolling through your BlackBerry during the proceedings is a no-no, says Liz Bywater, Ph.D., a career consultant in Yardley, Pennsylvania. Indulging in these sorts of distractions not only disconnects you from the issue at hand, it tells others you don’t care. To prevent meetings from becoming snoozy, spend at least a few minutes researching the topics on the agenda beforehand. By showing up prepared, you’ll be driven to contribute and less susceptible to distractions.

Fuck That Shit: Meetings are a waste of time and an insult to your productivity.  Establish dominance by not giving a fuck.  If you must give a fuck, use the time productively by doodling the shit out of a pad of paper.  If caught use one of these handy excuses:

  • It helps me think.  Great point on blah blah…..
  • I’m taking notes, I want to implement blah blah when I get back to my desk in 5 fucking hours.
  • I’m paying attention, that last point just reminded me of the solution to a problem, and I wanted to write it down before I forgot.
  • Like you don’t wish you were doodling too, you fucking hypocrite.

Etc etc.  (Choose your excuse wisely).

Stay sharp 9 to 5 (and beyond!) by savoring healthy snacks. Try these 30 healthy picks, each less than 200 calories.

Bonus Fuck That Shit! Instead try staying alert by getting enough sleep, or taking brief brain breaks to meditate for a few minutes.  Forget the damn computer even exists.  Better yet, try and find a job you don’t hate with a boiling passion.  Though good luck, in this economy you are lucky to have anything at all.  Maybe take a few minutes and thank the conservative ideology that made this economy possible.

So in conclusion, dear generic Yahoo columnist – get it together sport.


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