Sunday, September 30, 2012

Workplace Advice

Here are a few more pieces of workplace advice:

  • Arrive a little early. Stay a little late.
  • Never make excuses.
  • Don't interrupt people.
  • Choose not to attend every argument to which you are invited.
  • If you smoke, quit.
  • Never borrow or lend money to workmates.
  • Eliminate "can't" from your vocabulary.
  • Return phone calls, texts, and e-mails within 24 hours.
  • Confirm appointments.
  • Never disclose confidences.
  • Stay out of office politics.
  • Avoid office romances.
  • Say "Please," "thank you," and "pardon me" often.
  • Use your best manners at meals.
  • Don't take things, even little things, from work. It's stealing.
  • Be especially kind to people beneath you in the company's pecking order. Notice them and speak to them.
  • Smile a lot.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

One of Those Days

Did you ever have one of "those" days? One when you "zigged" when the world around you was "zagging"? One when you looked at what was happening and said, "How could this be happening - again?" One when you felt like you were at the end of your rope, or possibly that there was no rope?

Chances are someone is listening to me right now who is feeling this kind of frustration and despair. If so, I've got good news for you.

You are a creature of great worth. Your life has real meaning. Most of the things that are frustrating and discouraging you today will not matter a year from now. Life will move on. Somehow you will survive, and the problems of today will fade into the background.

So breathe deeply. Relax. Let the tension drain out your fingers and toes. This is going to be a good day after all.

Friday, September 28, 2012


Have you ever had surgery? If so, did they put you to sleep?

Surgery is a simulation of death. We fear surgery for the same reasons we fear death. We fear losing consciousness, losing control, not waking up.

Notice the people who are on gurneys being pushed to surgery. Their heads are erect, off the pillow. No matter what they say, they are frightened. They fear that they are being pushed to their death – feet first.

Sometimes when I am with people prior to surgery, I get them to pray the old childhood prayer: "Now I lay me down to sleep. I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take."

Somehow it helps.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Keep Your Job

Here are a few pieces of wisdom that might help you keep your job:

  • Know when to e-mail and when to talk to people in person. Err on the side of personal communication.
  • Never shop, do personal correspondence, or apply for another job on the company's computer.
  • Never forward non-work-related e-mails.
  • Use gender-neutral words in all of your written communication.
  • When your boss drops by for a visit, put everything aside and be attentive.
  • Know the names and faces of your company's top executives.
  • If you don't know something, don't expose your ignorance by saying something. Stay quiet.
  • Do what you say you will do. And do it right - the first time.
  • When people praise your performance, don't minimize. Just smile and say, "Thank you."

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


The standard railroad track is four feet, eight-and-one-half inches wide. Where do you suppose the railroads got such a strange measurement?

The first rail lines were built by the same people who built the tramways which preceded the railroads. And the trams were built with the same tools used for wagon transportation.

And why did wagon transportation use a four foot, eight-and-one-half inch wide spacing? Because the imperial Roman army used war chariots which had wheels that same width.

And why did the Romans use this measure? Because this is the average width of the rear end of the two horses which pulled an imperial chariot.

Isn't it amazing how many of our contemporary decisions are based on old, poorly-thought-out assumptions?

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Harry Houdini

Harry Houdini was a famous twentieth-century escape artist. He claimed he could quickly free himself from any confining enclosure.

A group of people offered Houdini a challenge. They locked him up in a rural jail cell and challenged him to escape.

Once in the cell, Houdini removed a strong but flexible piece of metal from under his belt. Using the piece of metal he worked hard for 90 minutes to free himself, with no positive results. Frustrated, he labored another 90 minutes, with no success. By now he was soaked in sweat. Totally exhausted, Houdini fell against the door. To his utter surprise, the door opened. It was never locked - except in his mind.

There are some barriers in life that strain and stress cannot remove. Try believing that all the doors in life you will need to open will open for you.

Monday, September 24, 2012


Here are some gems that will help you at work:

When you're asked to do something that you don't know how to do, nod confidently, leave calmly, and go immediately to someone who knows how to do it.

The three most important parts of your job description are attitude, attitude, and attitude.

New bosses mean new rules. Adjust to the new rules and play by them.

Be prepared for meetings, and show up on time.

Prioritize your work by the 80/20 rule: do the 20% that gives you 80% of the results first.

When you are sick, stay home. But, if possible, don't get sick on Mondays or Fridays. Supervisors will be suspicious.

Learn the important skill of asking the right question. If you can ask the right question, you can help your group find the right answers.

Listen to people. It's the highest form of flattery.