Thursday, June 11, 2009

Idea 54 - Grinning At Idiots: Achieving Success In The Workplace

Listen, I've been around the ol' office park more than a couple times. I've had a seat at the big table, I've outlived the layoffs, I've accidentally replied-all with the best of them. And I could tell you what it takes to get by in one... simple... sentence.

But I won't, because I can't get a book deal with one sentence. But here's a sexy snippet of a very important chapter:

On Suppressing Your Real Opinions

In the business world, you'll often be asked what you think about business things. But if people truly wanted to know what you thought, they'd give you some kind of book deal. No, they actually just want to hear some non-threatening pap that sort of sounds like what they were thinking.

Sure, if you have something smart but contradictory to say, I guess you could bring it up. And you know what, the people in power might actually commend you for it. Then, shortly after the meeting, they'll get in touch with HR to start planning your severance package. Oops!

No, it's best to smile and breathe through your teeth, even if what's being said is so egregiously false and bad for business that your mind's logic center attempts to commit ritual suicide inside your skull.

Now, I realize that this book idea may seem slightly bitter. And sure, maybe it is, and maybe it only represents a shadow of a fraction of a hint of the intensity of my resentment for the corporate world. But I'm not venting -- I'm helping. When you, the book publisher reading this, finally starts distributing this lil' baby, you'll be saving countless office drones from getting royally reamed out, put on "a plan" (i.e. probation), or being forced to take a quasi-religious all-day behavioral seminar intended to fix my fucking attitude, which was total insane bullshit and I fucking refused.

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