Your inbox is flooded
When you take time off do you enjoy yourself or do you worry about what work awaits you when you get back to the office? Do you check your email while you are on vacation? How do you break this habit?
It’s a difficult habit to break in our “connected” world. I only have one mobile phone and I use it for work. I remember a professor of mine complaining about his beeper. He felt like he was a dog on a leash and didn’t like the “chain jerking”.
Here are a few tips that I don’t follow whatsoever.
Delete your email accounts
Just temporarily, I know it’s a pain to set them back up, but put it on your timesheet as “Admin”. Don’t try to sneak into your email from the web access either. You won’t like what awaits you.
Leave your smartphone at work in a locked drawer
Remember when you were a teenager in the 90s and didn’t have a smartphone and no one bothered you? Yeah me too. Take a trip down memory lane and ditch the smartphone for a week. Your wife and kids will eventually find you.
This is usually said when someone goes off to a new job. But you need to be careful. There may be a ton of cow manure that is causing the greenness. The greener pastures idea is nice, but eventually, the greenness will fade and you will start looking for the new and shiny again. Learn to be content, unless your life is in danger with your current job or it’s causing you to lose your family. Money isn’t everything, flexibility and PTO though, that’s another story.
Everyone is already tolerant of race, religion, ethnicity and gender. If you have an obese coworker or employee that is really good at their job, stay away from these accolades.
- “Really stepped up to the plate”
- “They are a big influence in my life”
- “Always bites off more than they can chew”
- “Brings a lot to the table”
- “He left big shoes to fill”
- “Well rounded person”
- “That fat-a$$ son of a b!+c# will be missed”
Not saying these things will show you are tolerant and keep you out of the Human Resource Office and employed. Really, you are better off not complimenting anyone.
No roll call!
Start with “Who’s on the call”, that way everyone can start talking over each other. You could also let everyone annouce themselves once they beep in even if they are five minutes late and someone is already talking.
Condecend as people join with phrases like, “Nice for you to join us” or “We’ve been waiting so we can get started”. You know, sayings to make them feel bad
Don’t use the mute button
Yell at your other coworkers to keep it down. If you work from home yell at your family. But if you must use the mute button, use it as a stall tactic so you can think of something to say when you are called upon.
Have a snack
If some schedules a call during breakfast hours (8am to 9am) or really anytime after, have nice crunchy snack. Don’t forget to leave your mic off mute.
Tell everyone you just got the meeting notice even though it’s been on the schedule for days. You could also blame it on another meeting or that you were “heads down” working on a tough problem. Be prepared for passive agressive statements
Make sure people can see your screen.
Don’t trust the techology, after you share your screen make sure you ask the important followup question of “Can you see my screen”.
Question the Question
Ask a follow-up question anytime someone tries to call you out. Redirection is your ally. Alway blame your faults on an insufficient functional spec or someone not on the call.
I’m so lonely
Whenever I’m on the road and see a travel center, they seem to tout the cleanliness of their restrooms. You will see a glowing red sign which reads “Clean Restrooms”. As it turns out, it’s actually a notification that the restrooms are in need of care. It seems like everyone is following the same rules when using a public restroom.
- If there is no toilet paper use the paper towels, use extra as to clog the toilet.
- Don’t pick up any paper products from the floor, even if you dropped it. Gross
- Never flush the toilet, even if you have to pile on. Who knows how many people touched that handle before you. This will encourage the owners to upgrade to autoflush. What are we living in, medieval times?
- Don’t lift the seat, even with your shoes. If you have to B-1 Bomb it, make sure you lay a few paper towels in the water as a landing pad.
- Don’t bother washing your hands, the door handle will just defile them
- It’s not your job to wipe down the sink, what are doing near the sink anyway?
- If you must wash your hands and they don’t have a Dyson Airblade, now is a good time to practice free throws into rubbish recepticle. Don’t forget rule #2.
One day, I hope to live a world where everything is automated.
Do you get offended when you are last on the carbon copy (CC) list in an email? Should you be? I think so!
Last on the List
It’s like the person considers you an after thought. Especially if it’s really good news. For instance if there are free leftovers in the break room and you are overweight, then it’s like they are saying you shouldn’t eat because you are too fat.
First on the List
Being first on the CC list is offensive depending on the subject line of the email. If its about a procedure being violated or a new SOP, then you must be the worst offender or a trouble maker. It’s even worse if you are addressed and everyone else in the department is CC’d. For instance, when a new CIO takes over and he says to you that he doesn’t care if you wear jeans to work. The next day you wear jeans and your manager who doesn’t have this information yet, sends an email, address you solely, but CC’s the rest of the department. However, if it’s good news, such as free leftovers in the break room, then you should feel honored. Unless you are rail thin, which means your coworkers are trying to fatten you up.
Somewhere in between
You want to be nestled somewhere in the middle of the CC list. This usually means you are part of a group email or just on a short list of people who need to know stuff. This also means that you aren’t really that important either, you get lost in the shuffle and you will never get a raise or promotion because you lack initiative and goals. Wow, maybe it’s worse to be in the middle.
Of course all these rules are thrown out if someone uses an alphabetized email distribution list and your last name is Aaberg or Zywiec.