"Welcome aboard." Have you ever had someone inflict that greeting on you when starting a new job? It's annoying. Which is why I've used it more than once. I'm a bastard! For me it evokes contrasting images of both the Love Boat and the Poseidon.
Which is fitting when you think about it. For the first six months or so, if you're lucky, your new company IS the Love Boat. Good vibes, interesting afros, shack-up opportunities, free-flowing alcohol, and problems that are cheerfully resolved within an hour.
Eventually you pass the one-year point and soon thereafter find yourself on the Poseidon. Darkness rapidly sets in, and the swells ominously increase in frequency and amplitude. A fog-thick malaise descends and engulfs. Finally there's a splash, a crash, and a slow roll over (only this time it's not your 401K).
On the other hand, here is one that makes me want to get violent: "Where did we get you from?". Where? From ... the same place ... as ... this FIST! POW! And ... look ... from the same place ... there's ANOTHER fist! POW!
And of course there are countless other boorish introductions that are foisted upon us with painful regularity. Feel free to share your favorites!
Yesterday I had to take an online "personality assessment" as part of the interview process for a job opportunity. It was painless enough. Only 2-pages filled with check boxes to choose from. And it's not the first time I've been asked to complete one of these, so I'm relatively comfortable with them.
Now I know what some of you are thinking: "That's because it's YOU, Puerileuwaite. Hell, they oughta evaluate and monitor your thought processes EVERY day. And make sure that you're not toting any heavy dufflebags or "curtain rod boxes" into the building, for Chrissakes.". S.O.B.'s.
I won't go into detail as to the specific layout and content of the latest test. Suffice to say that I knew better than to check the "I like Calvin and Hobbes cartoons" box, since I know that is how they identify potential serial killers.
The purpose of these pre-screening devices for job applicants should be obvious. While companies remain ambivalent about the mental well-being of their employees, they have been reminded countless times over the years that problem employees can adversely affect the bottom line. So why not try to weed them out (except for Salespeople, where pathological social behavior and mild mental illness are precursors for greatness) before they get their crazy asses in the door?
In a future post, I hope to address the topic of personality assessment tests in greater detail. Even better, perhaps one of you want to rise to the challenge and take this task on. That WOULD show initiative. Something I am not sure you are capable of. Otherwise why would you be here instead of searching for a blog that has SOME socially redeeming qualities? But for now, allow me to briefly review some of the more common animals from the corporate zoo.
The Worker Bee. Comes with an eager, "can do" attitude. A drone who is so focused on his/her job and intense loyalty to the company, that sense of fashion and meaningful social interaction suffers for it. He/she is often disparaged with unflattering nicknames such as: "Suck Up", "Corporate Weasel", "Goodie Two Shoes", "Wayland Smithers" and "Ass Kisser". But his/her critics are just jealous that their lives are scattered across business and personal boundaries, while his/hers is compactly concentrated in one place. The workplace.
The Evangelist. This parasite attempts to recruit for their preferred religious affiliation whenever the opportunity presents itself; which is anytime an unsuspecting coworker wanders within 25-feet of their workspace. Insanity is the ultimate Dilithium Crystal* (* Attention nerds! Star Trek reference!), as it provides an endless supply of manic energy. If only the Evangelist expended even 10% of that energy on their actual job! He/she could carry the company on his/her back!
The Chatty Cathy. Don't be one. Avoid locations where they are known to dwell, such as lunchrooms, rest rooms, lobbies, hallways, parking lots, building entrances, rear exits, and of course the water cooler. In fact, the only safe haven from these types is your cubicle (Until they come to pay you a visit; so work on an escape plan ASAP. Every cube should have both a "fire" escape route and a "Chatty Cathy" escape route. Contact your local OSHA chapter for guidelines.). And just like the doll, the urge to throw the human version "under the bus" is frequently overwhelming.
The Top Dogs. These are the Chairmen, CEOs, CFOs, and occasionally Directors as well. Only the top dogs can be assholes. So if you're not one of the aforementioned "beautiful people", try not to be such a prick to your coworkers.
The Unstable Coworker. Rarely seen but known to exist. Who am I kidding? These time bombs are everywhere! And you never know what will set them off. Did you borrow a pencil and not return it? Did you inadvertently ask them to briefly perform some aspect of their job on your behalf? Are you one of them?
The Office Siren. There's always one, at least. But it's never a good idea to seek romance in the workplace. Or in the Ladies' Locker Room for that matter. Not so much for the threat of sexual harassment lawsuits. But rather because a failed office romance can render one inert, due to the resultant bickering and increased inertia. "Glen, I know that is was YOU who took the last donut, when you knew that I wanted it! You are such a cruel bastard! I should've never given you my cookies." "Doreen, this isn't about the donut at all, is it?"
The Sharks. Salespeople are expected to be obnoxious. They are also expected to make their quotas. At their best, they are superficial manipulators; at their worst they are the ultimate jerks. The good news is that they seldom last more than 6-months. The bad news is there's an endless supply of replacements.
Who did I miss? Quite a few, I'm sure. But that way you can all participate by adding your favorites!
By Your Side...
17 hours ago