Archive for the ‘Motivational Musings’ Category

karatekid

As a kid in school, I learnt early on that my skills as a class clown didn’t translate to “The Colosseum” (the football oval behind the shelter sheds, the usual choice of venue for school fights).  While I was quick with smart ass retorts, I wasn’t so quick with my right hook. For some reason, the average bully was more interested in punching my face than entering a verbal jousting match in responding to my suggestion that they explore their inner feelings of abandonment and confusion over their sexuality, in a public forum. (more…)

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There is a wealth of information out there about staff on long term leave returning to work. That’s all well and good for people recovering from serious illness or injury, but what about the people who are returning to work after a short term holiday?

You just can’t underestimate the difficulty in re-entering the workplace after a holiday. That is unless of course you work in a stress or thought free environment like an elected government official or if you just happen to like your job, such as in the case of a mobster, parking officer or some other psycho career choice. Although I don’t know why those types would even need a holiday? But if you’re not one of society’s undesirables, then returning to work can be somewhat traumatic.

Consider for example that you spent the last five days on holiday, lying on a beach with the warm sun baking your body, listening to the waves crashing in the background while dropping in and out of naps like a 90 year old watching an action movie. You got out of bed each morning because, wait for it, you wanted to! The only coffee you were drinking was a well prepared latte, for the purpose of self-indulgence rather than a caffeine enhancement to keep your eyes opened and even that dodgy takeaway meal just seemed to taste better when you are on holiday. Your only duty, to rest up, make sure you have enough energy for a big lunch, a massive dinner and a few nice glasses of wine and beer for dessert. The most stressful thing you had to deal with was jumping from the hot spa at the heated “wade in” swimming pool to the refreshing blue ocean.

But as fate has it, all good things must come to an end. It turns out, the best things in life are most certainly not free, therefore you must work your butt off to collate vast amounts of cold hard cash to afford more of these “best things,” like food, water, shelter and a luxury yacht. So like it or not, you’re suddenly knee deep again in the stench of your work environment until you can figure out the perfect crime to make the actual money you require.

So back to reality then, work. It’s such an ugly world. Unlike the tropical paradise you just came from, in this place, people are no longer queuing happily for their turn on the water slide. They’re not wearing a deeply satisfied smile as they ride the elevator up from their expensive hotel’s lobby. Nope, the people around you are now in fact screaming for service and for your blood if they don’t get it. What just over a day ago was a well prepared latte, is now an instant coffee that tastes something like stagnant water from a city swamp. For all you know, it IS stagnant water from a city swamp. It wouldn’t make a difference, hey, it may even be beneficial if it sends you to an early grave, preferably before you have to work a full week. So there you are, a bitter taste in your mouth and you’ve hit rock bottom after your beautiful holiday. You look like shit although the sunburn will fade, you feel like shit because you don’t want to be here and according to your boss, you ARE shit!

But fear not and don’t give up, if you are in fact just shit, then it’s your duty to stink up the workplace. Aside from that, there are a few things you can do to ease yourself back into the rat race. All it takes is a little preparation and the right mindset to combat those that thrive on your misery.

Firstly, the night before you are due to go back to work, leave a hammer next to your alarm clock. Smashing the clock when it goes off at your normal 5.30am wake up is the best way of getting you in the right frame of mind for a busy day. It’s probably a bit early to throw a sickie, but if your mental state is in such decay, don’t take it off the table. But generally, try to save sickies for when you are feeling at your best.

You’ve made it out of bed. Next, it’s the breakfast of champions. Over the past week, your stomach has become accustomed to the “big breakfast” option by the ever efficient room service at your resort hotel, or that nice little café overlooking the beach. Try to soften the shock by eating four breakfast bars, instead of your normal one. Eat it while you are overlooking your children’s sand pit, for the beach effect (if you don’t one, maybe your kitty’s litter box?). Wash it down with orange juice instead off instant coffee since you’re not ready for caffeine yet and also because orange juice is often a base to many holiday cocktails. The key is to “ease” yourself into things.

Now you’re on the road, don’t take on the F1 drivers on the way to work on your first morning like you normally do. Yes, we know that speeding and weaving through traffic will improve your overall position and give you a sense of self-satisfaction as you “win” between sets of traffic lights. But this added concentration is often at the expense of your calm. Instead, just drive to work extra slow, with your finger held high out the window in the customary “bird” position. Other driver’s will be sympathetic that you are returning from holiday and will courteously give you a wide birth. Their frequent honks are votes of support. Be content to waste a few extra minutes, don’t worry about being late, it’s expected.

Once you’re in the office, turn on your computer then find the lunchroom and relax until the IT staff come in, since you have forgotten all your computer passwords. It HAS been a week after all and forgetfulness symbolizes a great holiday. Make sure you let the IT nerds know that the network is running slowly, your computer is making an abnormal buzzing sound and that something appeared on your screen saying “virus detected,” but that you didn’t have time to read the full message, so you just pressed the “install” button. That will undoubtedly by you some more down time.

The computer nerds look worried since they couldn’t find anything, but you’re now logged in, the clock is running. You can start looking forward to going home now. Before reading any emails than have banked up, remember that your boss is a dumbass. He/she did not attend any “How not to be a dumbass” courses while you were on holiday. Even if they did, you can’t undo their troubled childhood and their lack of matches on dating sites. The smart drugs they require to bring them up to your intellectual level are simply not available yet. Sort your emails by name, find your bosses name, then delete them all. Once they’re in the office, don’t bother engaging them in conversation, just ignore them as you normally would. Yes, it’s difficult not to want to correct some of the garbage that spills from their blubbering mouth, but you are recovering from holidays, now is not the time, so ask them to call back next week when you’ll be far more ready for processing stupid requests.

As your co-workers settle in, they might ask you about how you enjoyed your holiday as they try to capitalise on your abnormally joyful mood. Remember that your work colleagues did not attend any “How not to be an incompetent annoying waste of space” classes while you were away. You didn’t talk to them before, today is not their day either. Tell them to stop sexually harassing you and immediately offload any work you have on to them.

It’s lunchtime and by now you are probably shaking with the DTs. This is your body’s response to a lack of strawberry daiquiris and a cool ocean breeze. There’s really only one option here. You need to drink more coffee until the involuntary convulsions increase to a frequency that is undetectable to the human eye. Once in this buzzed state, you will appear quite normal, however you may need to pause between words as your rate of speech increases substantially.

For the remainder of the day, it is a relatively simple exercise of “micro sleeping” at your desk. Given the amount of caffeine you have ingested, you should be able to achieve this vegetative state with your eyes open. If you’re in a more relaxed work place, just pull out your pillow and teddy bear and take a nap. Ask your colleagues to play your favourite sleepy time song. Before you know it, you will have reached the end of the working day and with any luck, by following these simple steps, by the end of the working week, you will be fully integrated into your depressing working life and ready to count down those pay cheques until your next holiday; it’s not that far away.

1.  Have a BBQ and invite some friends over.  If you supply the food, your mates will undoubtedly bring some beers, usually in the form of six packs.

2. Check your kitchen cupboards, food and beer fridges.  You will often have unopened stubbies lying around the house and man cave.  Find them, group them into six.

3. Sit on a street corner, strategically close to a bottle shop.  Place a sign around your neck “Help! Need six pack. Very thirsty!”  Be prepared to knock back offers of non-beer related products.  Also be prepared to sprint from local by-laws enforcement officers.

4. Ask your partner for assistance.  “Oh darling, oh bringer of beer, a six-pack would be really swell.  Could you hook me up?”

5. Go to the shop.  Buy a six-pack of your favourite brew.

Care Factor Zero

Care Factor Zero

(Plus, if your job is really shit, a bonus 8 ways at no extra cost).

1. Don’t look for another job
Finding a better job is a big misnomer for people who hate their jobs, simply because all jobs place your free time in serious jeopardy. Remember, it is a completely natural and normal experience to hate your job. In fact, if you don’t develop a hatred for your job, there’s probably something seriously wrong with your priorities or mental state of mind.
Oh and there’s no such thing as a “career.” That term was just written for students who wasted years of their life studying for something that turned out to be a big mistake, but then they had invested too much time to back out. Oh and if you come across anyone that says, “I love my job,” tell them to “SHUT THE HELL UP!”

2. Be angry
You shouldn’t bottle things up. People that do that just get more and more wound up until they eventually snap and then end up on the evening news. If you release your anger in the office, by the end of the day, you will be as calm as a cucumber, ready for your afternoon nap.

3. Work in an office? Turn up the ring volume on your handset.
A noisy working environment is annoying… UNLESS… you are the one creating the noise! Due to the popularity of open planned offices, turning your ring volume up to the max will do the trick. If you work outside an office, consider using other items such as power tools unnecessarily or radios on full volume. Also, speak LOUDLY! If anyone complains, just say “WHAT?” Then tell them you’re very sensitive about your hearing problem.

4. Ride or jog to work
I know, I know, this sounds counterproductive and I’m the last one to encourage physical fitness. But body odour is a relatively under rated commodity when one is trying to avoid enquiries from pesky managers and co-workers. Don’t worry, you’ll quickly become accustomed to your own stench. Keep annoying people at a distance, go skunk!

5. Raise your eyebrows to every question
People will second guess themselves when you use this type of body language to your advantage. Always give them the impression that they have asked a stupid question and are wasting your time.

6. Don’t be yourself
Approach your job, your role, as any Hollywood actor. They don’t have any real skills, generally do a bad job, they’re certainly not saving the world, but people love them for it. Hooray for Hollywood. There are huge rewards for being a fake. Don’t think of yourself as a movie “extra” in your job, but as a brooding rebellious imposing ogre who is the star of the show. If you prefer to work behind the scenes, try Director of Sabotage.

7. Be mysterious
The less other staff know about what your job entails, the less likely they will be able to ascertain that you are goofing off. The art of looking busy whilst being lazy is an art worth pursuing, particularly in larger organisations that are more concerned with bureaucracy and statistics than actual productivity.

8. File an employee harassment claim
Today’s Occupational Health and Safety laws can be used to trigger lengthy time wasting investigations against staff that caused you “mental anguish.” It will also be helpful if you can find a decent quack to write you a long term medical certificate.

9. Remember to laugh
Stupid people are funny. Watch your co-workers. Laugh at them, especially at their misfortunes, even more so if you created those misfortunes. It’s terrible if you’re a victim of office wars, so don’t be a victim.

10. Make a game of it
Then break that record. One of the best activities, is the blame game. It involves looking for errors that are not yours, or at least cannot be attributed to you, then making sure they are pointed out publicly to the employee responsible. Give yourself an extra 1000 points if the target staff member takes stress leave. Delete 500 points if you have to take over some of that staff member’s role. Add 500 points if you get a salary raise as a result of the “extra responsibilities” that you will shirk.

11. Don’t look on the bright side
Don’t confuse a “positive attitude” with a positive action. You don’t win office wars with warm fuzzy feelings. “Bright siders” are out of touch with reality and are often brown nosers whose only real future will involve getting screwed over. Nobody likes a brown noser, don’t lower yourself. Stand tall and learn to love the power of the dark side.

12. Know your procedures
Be a stickler for detail in others (not yourself). Lawyers are annoying because they use loopholes in mind numbing piles of documentation that most people couldn’t be bothered reading. Use your corporate “laws” to irritate other staff and bind them in red tape. Eventually, they know that approaching you will be so difficult, that they are better off working it out for themselves and leave you in peace.

13. Don’t create work for yourself
Be careful when pointing out deficiencies in company policy and other people’s work practices, as you don’t want to be responsible for writing new ones (unless you want to orchestrate the creation of new, more evil policy documents). Instead, focus on pointing out deficiencies in other employee personalities. Be sure to point out that you are actually perfect and that staff should consider modeling your exemplary lead.

14. Surfing the net
In order to make most efficient use of your time, you’re going to need to do a lot of surfing. Because most organisations now monitor network usage, it is preferable to “borrow” another staff member’s mobile device and surf from the company WiFi under their credentials.

15. Read eBooks
Sometimes surfing the net is “a bit obvious” when other people can see your screen. In these instances, it is best to bring in your favourite eBooks in to work and read. Textual documents (you will refer to it as an “Operational Manual”) generally fall under the radar and give you hours of “me time” while looking incredibly involved with your work.

16. Dealing with stress
This is largely related to employees that care about what they are doing. Reset your care factor gauge to zero. Stress is something you pass on to others, not something you would personally suffer.

17. Job networking & Team building
Don’t do it! If you have to do it, use sabotage. Working relationships do not require an underlying friendship. Understand that people at work are not your friends, they are your enemies. The only time there could be any possible reason to develop an alliance is if you intend on organising industrial action.

18. Industrial action
Is a great way of goofing off. Just make sure your action is “protected.” Rather than going all out for a stop work action (which results in a loss of pay), consider using “bans” which reduce your already low productivity.