Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Finding the Right Employee

"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!

49 comments:

JustRun said...

I can't add anymore... I'm too busy trying to figure out which one is me.

puerileuwaite said...

Justrun, I have a feeling that you aren't any of them. My guess is that you're a "Silent Sufferer"; an employee who quietly and efficiently does her job while avoiding the ones that I did mention.

jmeped said...

Me too...Attention nerds...that was funny! Now I'm all distracted because I don't know where I fit it, thanks!

puerileuwaite said...

Oh, I think you DO know, jmeped. I think we all do.

BTW, I am STILL waiting to see the ideas that you promised.

jmeped said...

The waiting is the best part, no? I thought you had forgotten that....Let me just start by saying that was the insperation for the pantry. If you like I could go on about my panties. Just know that I often don't wear any.......

puerileuwaite said...

Me too. I seldom wear panties as well. Yet another thing that we marginally have in common. Score!

jmeped said...

I would hope not. Let me see you want something to entertain you? This is one of my favorites. I take the fluffinator for a walk. I like to lay by the pool and look at the slobs that should not be wearing that.. and oh, yeah I like to make and eat guacamole. Sexy enough for you? No! Here, I'll tell you about my favoite two pairs of panties. One is a black g-string and it has a pink bow where it peeks up at the top, and the other are lace boy shorts that make my butt look so good I find myself staring at it in the mirror. They are my magic panties. Did that give you enough to ponder?

puerileuwaite said...

How magic? Can they make a LIVE rabbit appear? That would be covenient in the event of a paternity suit.

puerileuwaite said...

By the way, one should never mention panties and guacamole in the same comment. It's bad blog form, you bad, bad girl.

jmeped said...

How about whipped cream and guacamole?

jmeped said...

Magic because my ass looks so good in these panties that you would swear david blaine himself made it appear.

puerileuwaite said...

Well then, the clown makeup really didn't do it justice. But it sure was smokin'!

jmeped said...

Your funny! God help us if that were my ass! Who's got that job, waxing that thing? While it mocks them?

puerileuwaite said...

My guess? Another clown.

Pud said...

You forgot The Posers. These are the people who look busy, but you are not quite sure what they do and they can never be found. But somehow always miraculously end up getting a "good job" quote from the boss.

leelee said...

I am once again grateful to be self employed!

Mighty Dyckerson said...

What, there isn't a category named after Dyckerson??

puerileuwaite said...

Pud, I forgot/left out enough for at least SEVERAL more posts. "Posers" is an excellent submission. Painfully true. This one makes it into my next batch.

puerileuwaite said...

Leelee, looks like you need to hire some of us to fill these openings in your operation. Why, I alone can cover several categories as needed. I'm assuming you will be able to provide the donuts.

puerileuwaite said...

Mighty D! Welcome back. It is truly an honor to get a visit from the king of office observational humor. You will be in batch #2 as well. Nice new icon, BTW. It shows your kinder, gentler side.

Mayden's Voyage said...

"Dumbutts in Charge"

Wait...those are called Managers!
sorry :)

puerileuwaite said...

FM, that is yet another animal to be added to the menagerie. Though I may change the name to protect the innocent. Innocent? Who am I kidding?

Party Girl said...

One of my least favorite: the gossip.
Also, the person who should have retired about 10 years ago, but refuses to and just makes us linger in their misery.

Oh, and Jay would be tickled that he is pictured on your blog.

puerileuwaite said...

Okay, PG, that's 2-more great additions. You rock.

And yes, I've been jealous of Jay's picture (and your love for him) for sometime now. I wanted to give hime credit, but couldn't do it within the post. Feel free to let him know, if you want.

jmeped said...

Do you remember the movie Big? I just had a flash of the woman who he was told would wrap her legs around him, and he said I'll be sure to stay away from her. Really, why can't I have usefull stuff floating around in there......

puerileuwaite said...

???

Please tell me you haven't starting using the neighbors "product". Especially after last week's "just say no" speech, Little Miss Nancy Goodie Two Shoes.

Your comment appears to indicate that you are coming down from some sort of "buzz". If so, what were you "hopped up on" this time?

But if you were attempting to compliment me on my "bigness", well then thank you. And if you were hinting what you could do to me with your long legs, then I am both nervous and intrigued. The devil make just have to go down to Georgia.

Party Girl said...

Oh, you made me laugh outloud.

Thanks.

I like to make up nicknames for my co-workers
ie: Gossipy Gretchen
Comb-over Cal
Sarcastic Sue.

Of course, it can get tricky if their first name doesn't match their trait. However, I have found that some way, some how, it always matches.

puerileuwaite said...

Okay, PG. I'm going to use your insights for my next post. Keep 'em comin'.

jmeped said...

If you never seen the movie then you wouldn't get the comment. Tom Hanks has a new job and is inroduced to co-workers. He is told about the office slut and he says he will be sure to stay away from her. All the men look at him like he's crazy.

My only drug of choice is rock stars. Not the singing kind the energy drink kind. Besides my parents did so many drugs when they conceived me I think I might still be high...

puerileuwaite said...

Jmeped, I was just teasing you. Of course I saw "Big". I own a copy as well. Great movie, great line. I'll have to try that drink.

jmeped said...

I am TOTALLY addicted! Try the juice kind. Orange can. Goes well with Vodka, and Rum.

puerileuwaite said...

It's a deal. So what does it do for you?

jmeped said...

I'm not sure, I seem to be dragging lately. I think it might be all the allergy medications. I start with coffee and keep a steady stream going until bed. And then wonder why I have bad dreams! ;-)

puerileuwaite said...

Dream of pugs instead of clowns. That should help.

Crashtest Comic said...

I hate paper-shovelers...

Little Lamb said...

I work with a few of those people and I don't even work in an office.

puerileuwaite said...

Crashtest, I think that Paper Pushers are even worse. They get you hooked on that shit, and the next thing you know, you're strung out on White-Out. G*ddamn the Paper Pusher Man!

puerileuwaite said...

Little Lamb, unfortunately they are everywhere. The ones who don't work in an office per se, are the "free-range" variety. They are the most dangerous animals because they can strike ANYWHERE at ANYTIME! Even on a plane! So beware!

BTW, has anyone ever ... told you ... how ... hypnotic ... your ... icon ... is ... ... ... suddenly ... I ... find ... myself ... at ... the ... beach ... not ... in ... an ... office ...


(Seriously, I DO love your icon. And real sheep as well. It's a guilty pleasure; well "guilty" according to the local branch of municipal court.)

puerileuwaite said...

Seriously, thank you Crashtest and Little Lamb for stopping by and taking the time to comment. I wish more people did both. Crash, I need to focus on your Paper Shoveler idea and generate an appropriate character bio for next time. I love Curtis Mayfield, so that's a good starting point. And Little Lamb, you already know of my fondness for sheep.

puerileuwaite said...

Holy shit! I'm starting to overuse the word "seriously". There goes my credibility.

Paula said...

What leelee said. By the way PW, where do you fit into the office landscape?

Little Lamb said...

I rather like the lamb icon myself. There's just something about it that relax's you.

Look into my eyes...

Little Lamb said...

A whole bunch of people stop by here and comment and you want more people. I'd like this kind of following myself. I'd like more people to read my blog.

By the way, I updated my blog once again. Gotta get more regular with this.

puerileuwaite said...

PJ, I am jealous of youe employment status. If you ever are looking to expand, the slackers that you need are right here.

I intend to reveal that* (* where I fit in ... if at all) in the follow-up post that I'm planning.

Oh, BTW, I've selected a winner for the "Pimp Daddy Contest", so stay tuned for that (if I can EVER get around to it).

puerileuwaite said...

Little Lamb, you are so right. I've been a fool. I've been taking my readers for granted. From here on out I shall treasure them every single day. Except for one.

Okay everybody, please listen up. We all need to visit Little Lamb's blog. Her icon commands us to do so ... ... so ... .... so ... ... hypnotic ... ... ... ... ...

Paula said...

Well, I have two sons so the slacker positions are filled. At least on a part-time basis.

We've been through the "follow up" planning stages before, PW.

It's about time, I've been waiting to re-do the den on the off chance I may have won.

puerileuwaite said...

Well PJ, you know us "slackers" ;-)

AeroAangel said...

very amusing post.

puerileuwaite said...

Thanks aeroangel. I had fun doing this one, so there may be more installments in the near future.