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Pimp Your Work

January 3rd, 2008

15 Signs that You’ll be Fired

  1. You see your position being advertised on JobStreet.com or the newspaper classifieds.
  2. Your coworkers keep asking you “If, theoretically, you’ll resign or be fired for whatever reason, may I have your cubicle/chair/lamp/pencil holder?”
  3. The IRS or the FBI come to your company building looking for you.
  4. For some reason, your coworkers have stopped inviting you to staff meetings.
  5. The person you’re dating, who happens to be the boss’ son or daughter, breaks up with you unexpectedly.
  6. Your direct subordinate is running around your office with measuring tape and wallpaper samples.
  7. The budget list for the following month has an increase for “office supplies” equal to your salary.
  8. You receive an office memo with the subject “Re: Merger”
  9. Your secretary is given more work than you.
  10. All your friends in the workplace have already been fired.
  11. The boss insists that you take an “indefinite” amount of time off as a “vacation”.
  12. Your performance review, instead of verbal or written, comes in the form of a guy in a black cloak with a sickle.
  13. Instead of your position, the text under your name on the office door reads “Dead Man Walking”.
  14. The font color of your department profits is red.
  15. Your new boss is 15 years younger than you.  And you’re only 35.

By Celine -- 2 comments

December 27th, 2007

Cartoon Thursdays: Reducing stress


From Carol Simpson Productions’ workplace cartoons.

By Celine -- 3 comments

December 20th, 2007

Cartoon Thursdays: Improving morale

From Dilbert by Scott Adams.

By Celine -- 0 comments

December 13th, 2007

Cartoon Thursdays: do more with less

Do More with Less from Savage Chickens by Doug Savage

By Celine -- 0 comments

November 30th, 2007

Are you successful? Find out now! (Part 1)

*Cartoon by Andy Singer

Success. It means many things to different people.

A man lives in a small farmhouse with his wife and two kids. He spends his days on the field, and his nights reading to his kids. Is he successful?

How about a young stockbroker with a six-figure income who doesn’t have savings or an emergency fund, but can buy anything she wants. This includes the latest designer clothes and the most high-tech gadgets. Is she successful?

The thing is, success means whatever your definition of success is. Here are some common ideas:

Career. Some people measure success via the corporate ladder, or how far they’ve gone in their careers. Your ambition greatly depends on your position in the company, or any specific rewards you’ve gotten for your good work. Sometimes, you don’t have to be at the top to feel successful - I know some people who would prefer to be team captains rather than managers, or creative directors rather than CEOs. It all depends on where you want to be career-wise.

Family life. Some people dream of meeting “the one”, settling down, and raising kids. For them, having a stable family life is ideal, where the relationships are harmonious and everyone is healthy. People who define success via family life might often pass up “important” career opportunities just to be near and accessible to their loved ones. An example would be a mother declining a promotion that would require her to be out of town for 4 days in a week, or a spouse who would work at a job he isn’t passionate about if the job could pay for his wife’s hospitalization. Also, they spend most of their free time with their family.

Money.  This type of definition may depend on a few different things: the assets one has, one’s income, or one’s savings.  For some people, the more income you have, the better.  for others, the more they save, the more financially free they feel.  I know of someone who measures his financial success mostly on how much he earns from the stock market. If money is one of the ways in which you measure success, figure out where you want to be financially, and see if you’re taking steps to get there.

Objects and possessions.  Whether it’s a house in the Hamptons or the entire collection of Star Trek commemorative plates, some people measure their success based on the objects within their possession.  For example, a young teenager may have an iPhone, and think that she’s “made it”.

Free time.  Timothy Ferriss of The 4 Hour Work Week comes to mind with this one.  Some people measure success based on the free time they have to do the things they love.  This means that they are in full control of their time, often without having to sacrifice so much time on something they’re not passionate about just to earn a bit of money. 

Monumental discoveries or achievements.  If you dream of winning the Nobel Prize or writing a bestselling novel, then you probably measure success based on achievement.  This doesn’t necessarily mean that the achievement is quantifiable.  For example, an artist may simply want one of her paintings exhibited at the Met.  Or a playwright might want to have his work staged on Broadway.

Physical and mental health.  It’s hard to be completely healthy in this world of processed foods and psychological disorders.  If you’ve never been hospitalized and are considered to be of sound mental faculties, then you might consider yourself a success.  My grandfather is 81 and he can still play tennis in winter.  According to him, he feels very successful, compared to his wife who has to walk with a cane and takes tens of pills everyday.

The common good or society at large.  It’s hard to find people who devote their lives to the greater good, but they do exist.  They go where they’re needed, whether it’s on a medical mission, building homes for impoverished families, or teaching in a third world country.  Of course, “good” is still relative, but as long as they feel they’re making a positive contribution to the planet and society, then they can consider themselves successful.

Stay tuned for part 2 of this post, where you’ll learn how to measure success more accurately.

As for you, how do you define success? Share it with us in the comments.

By Celine -- 2 comments

November 16th, 2007

Top 7 ways to make your boss hate you

1. Be obvious that you’re after her job. The best way to do this is to go to work very early in the morning and sit in the boss’ chair. When she arrives, she’ll be surprised to find you there. Tell her you’re merely “practicing” for when you get her job. Then, have an evil chuckle while walking all the way to your cubicle.

2. Make excuses. Lame excuses. For any complaint from your boss, you need to make the most unbelievable excuses possible. This is because if you’re excuse is believable, she might think “This is too believable to be true!” Instead, say the following things:

“The 10 pages of ‘All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy’ in my report wasn’t from me… it was from Jack Nicholson in ‘The Shining’.”

“My gigapet ate my PowerPoint presentation.”

3. Believe that deadlines are merely suggestions. If you haven’t finished a report on time, it’s best to tell your boss “You didn’t really mean November 18, did you? Because from your tone of voice, I was under the impression that you meant ’somewhere near or maybe after’ November 18.”

4. Know that your boss is there to be the butt of jokes. Everyone loves humor in the office. That’s why The Office is such a big hit. If your boss announces that he’s got a “shiny new award” at a seminar, ask if the award is his “shiny bald head”. Or, if she announces she’ll give everyone a raise, you can joke about how you get your own personal “raise” whenever she passes by. Female bosses love that! It’s a compliment!

5. Free yourself from the dictatorship of your alarm clock. Waking up to get to work when your alarm clock rings is a sign of slavery. From now on, stop becoming a slave of this infernal machine! Wake up whenever you feel like it. Go to work whenever you feel like it, if you feel like it at all.

6. Evade all responsibility. That’s what colleagues are for. If they’re around to take initiative, why should you? In fact, if you’re assigned to something, it helps to tell your boss about a colleague who is really good at that kind of task. “You want me to present? But we all know that Holly is the expert presenter around here!”

7. Take home all the staplers, paper clips, and post-its that can fit in your briefcase. If you want more, simply bring 5 briefcases to work.

By Celine -- 1 comment

November 1st, 2007

Work Music: “Stress” by Jim’s Big Ego

I can’t believe I’ve been blogging at Pimp Your Work for a full month and I never ever mentioned “Stress” by my favorite band in the world - Jim’s Big Ego.  It’s a very funny song and it’s one of the most played songs I have on my computer.   But before I forget…

Watch the Flash Video! 

It’s catchy! It’s fun! It’s completely pimped out!

Lyrics under the cut…

Read More

By Celine -- 0 comments

October 31st, 2007

How to make your team fall apart

Bob Turek of Project Management 411 made an excellent post about working together.  Naturally, this inspired me to write my own post about how NOT to work together.

 Keep everything to yourself.  You want to know why?  Because everyone will steal your super genius ideas.  Dont’ share anything.  If you’re making a group presentation, just tell your teammates that your part will be a surprise.

 Don’t bother asking your teammates about their own tasks.  After all, they’ll be doing the exact same thing you’re doing - keeping their entire contribution a secret.  Besides, why ask?  It’s not like you need some kind of continuity or organization.

If a team member notifies you that he or she needs a certain resource, don’t take their request seriously.  If they really needed access to some equipment or paperwork, they should just get it themselves.  They’re not the boss of you (even if they could be your supervisors).

Make sure there are no rewards.  Incentives, gifts, prizes, and free lunches turn everyone into a wussie.

Don’t take any action.  There’s a chance that some of your teammates are the ones doing the really important stuff, so you can just slack off and prepare a speech filled with nonsensical jargon.  You’re too busy “synergizing concepts” and “conceptualizing synergies”.

By Celine -- 3 comments

October 7th, 2007

Symptoms of productivity phobia

Spiders, rats, vampires, seeing your grandmother naked - these are all valid phobias. However, there’s also such a thing as fear of productivity. Yes, it’s entirely possible that you have it even if you’re reading a blog like this. If you want to get your own diagnosis, here is a list of 5 symptoms of productivity fear:

1. You’re afraid to read this article. True, it may be because you’re afraid of what grammatical horrors I might commit, but maybe you’re also afraid that you’ll have some or all of the symptoms listed. The truth is, everyone is fearful of changing unproductive habits. Take comfort in the fact that productivity and organization is a lifelong learning process.

2. Procrastination. Some of you are probably reading this blog post to avoid working. I know that I’m writing it to avoid completing a more difficult article that’s been sitting in my hard drive for days. Everyone goes through procrastination, but some people live and die by it. How do you know if you procrastinate?

  • If you spend more time than you’re supposed to on mindless tasks
  • If you keep “resting” every 5 minutes.
  • If you say “Hmm… I have enough time for that later.”
  • If an hour has gone by and you’re still reading this article

3. You get annoyed when authority figures call you on unfinished tasks. Whether it’s your boss, spouse, or your labrador, if you hear the phrase “Aren’t you supposed to be finished with that by now?” you usually get mad and start stomping around. A lot like those cartoon characters with storm clouds and lightning appearing over their heads. If you’re offended, it means there’s an element of truth in it.

4. You dont have deadlines for tasks, or you have deadlines but you keep missing them. If you have a to-do list, sometimes specific tasks don’t get done at all. Until 5 months, years, or decades go by and you still haven’t ticked the item off your list.

5. You watch too much TV. That tube is costing you more than electricity - it costs time. Some of us sit for hours watching shows we don’t even like, shows you’ve seen a thousand times, and even infomercials. Why? If you want to get entertainment (no matter how mindless it is) put it on scheduled, moderated time. Watch DVDs instead or check out YouTube clips. Some TV stations even let you watch shows from their website. Sitting in front of the TV just makes you susceptible to eyestrain and subliminal marketing messages.

By Celine -- 4 comments

March 15th, 2007

Chris Pirillo’s Laptop Battery Recall Test

Wondering if your laptop battery is at risk of exploding or causing a fire, Chris Pirillo will show you what to check:

I hope you didn’t spew coffee on your keyboard. ;)


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By Tris Hussey -- 1 comment