Tag Archives: surprise

Surprise! You are a guest blog!

surpriseToday I shot my wife an email and asked, simply, “How did it go?”

I try to be coy in emails that pass through “company-owned email servers.” Fuck ’em! Never include more information than necessary. Ever. I also refer to people by a single letter. It’s up to my wife to grok the meaning.

And that she did just fine.

Somehow she knew that I was asking about her trip to the DMV. I loved her reply so much I decided to make it a guest post. I plan to offer a reading of this at poet’s corner down at the beatnik place one night soon. Enjoy!
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Listen up! Can you hear me now?

I had an out of body experience recently and found myself surfing the Huffington Post religion section. Say what?

Don’t worry. This post goes downhill from that. 🙂

So, yeah. While I was there I found this video about listening. At first I thought it was touchy-feeling mumbo jumbo of the sort I would normally sneer all over, but I gave it a listen and I think she makes some damn good points. She approaches and communicates the subject matter in a way I wish I could – only without curse words and using actual intelligence and sensitivity.

My problem, I guess, is that I’m too busy wanting to punch in the face of asshole communicators to take the time to explain things this way. So I’ll leave it to her.

Don’t get me wrong. I didn’t fall for all of this hook, line and sinker, but I can’t help but think the world would be a better place if us human beings stopped being such selfish assholes and practiced the long-forgotten art of listening.

Who the fuck is this “other” of which she speaks? I like to call it “someone besides your own fucking self, you asshole.” But that’s just me. I have the gift of translation which I often use to put things in layman’s terms. In other words, there are people out there, other than yourself, who may also occasionally want to get in a word edgewise, so shut yer fucking blowhole and give ’em a chance once in a while.

The video is only two minutes long. Do you feel lucky? Well? Do ya punk?

WordPress didn’t make it easy to embed a Huffington Post video here. So pay a little respect and absorb this shit, k?

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Like a Boss

Image generated at http://www.OReillyMaker.com

How to Destroy Your Employees
by Tom B. Taker
Shouts from the Abyss Publishing, 2009-2010
Click here for more information about this author.

Chapter 27 – A Surprising Day

As we’ve previously discussed, when you want to destroy your employees, the element of surprise is one of your most powerful allies. The motto of “keep it secret, keep it safe” rings very true. Ideally you want your employees completely in the dark regarding everything you have planned.

Sometimes, however, there will be times you wish to employ the element of misdirection. If used correctly misdirection can be a real game changer. If the move is too abrupt, however, it can backfire. This is an advanced move and caution is advised.

This week, for example, my boss attempted this unusual ploy. As the new week got off to a start, he communicated with all of his employees that would be out of the office on Thursday. This immediately triggered spidey-sense amongst the employees. We all knew something was up. The change in his behavior was just a bit too dramatic. He always keeps his coming and goings from the office a closely guarded secret because he loves to keep us off balance and guessing.

He even held a staff meeting on Wednesday to remind the whole team, again, that he would not be in the building on Thursday.

You can guess what happened next. Thursday morning rolled around and he surreptitiously tried to drive into the parking lot. It’s only a few feet from the front office windows and I immediately recognized the distinctive sound of his big ass pickup followed by the tell-tale squawk of his alarm being activated. A few seconds later the front door was flung open and he popped in like a vaudeville comedian and yelled, “Surprise!” I shit you not.

There was a collective rolling of the eyes amongst all staff. The boss had overplayed his hand and his move fell short. It almost was enough to put me in a good mood. He still visited each workstation, though, and made requisite shithead comments liked, “That looks like actual work. I must have surprised you. You are pretty good on that boss key.”

Guest appearance of a demon made possible by Wikipedia. Click to enlarge.

I glanced out the window and noticed his second move. It was a variation of the classic Status Reinforcement tactic described in Chapter 5 – Make Sure Employees Know Their Place. All employees have been told they are not to park their vehicles in customer spaces. A glance out the front window confirmed that the Boss had parked his big ass pickup sideways at the front door, completely blocking three customer spaces. He has developed quite the penchant for this maneuver lately.

Going for the boss douchebage-trifecta, he then busted out the You’re-Not-Included move. This technique requires two employees within normal hearing range of each other. He approached my neighbor’s desk and started an inane conversation in slightly louder than normal voice. “Say, how’s the XYZ project coming along? Still late on that?”

Here was a prime example that he was following one of the golden rules of employee destruction – combine techniques whenever possible. Always be multitasking to maximize yield. The direct put down was for her, the overly loud voice was intended for me. Clever.

“Got any questions for me while I’m here?” Yeah, yeah, yeah. We know we’re all just utterly helpless without your God-like powers around here.

Then it happened. I couldn’t see the conversation from my office, they were not in my line of sight, but the shift in the tone of the conversation was palpable. Suddenly he was whispering. I could just imagine him bending down to talk directly in her ear. Lick lick, nibble nibble. Mmmm, boss juices.

“Whisper whisper whisper,” he said.

And so it went. A few words loud, then a few more whispers. And repeat. As we all know, Rule #52 of the Douchebag Boss Manual clearly states, “Bosses never need to be subtle. Unless, of course, doing so causes even more destruction.”

I wasn’t listening in to their conversation since I could give a flying rip shit about anything they had to say, but even when not listening the shift in tone was as obvious as a punch to the face. The impact and intent was clear: What is being said is not meant for your ears. Ah yes. Divide and conquer and toy with one employee’s ego while you make another feel excluded – all at the same time!

He had done it! He nailed the trifecta of employee destruction and in record time. The sheer effort from the exertion obviously wore him down and he was about to pack it in. He had neglected to pace himself and he was clearly spent. A few more minutes of standard garden-variety employee put downs and harassment and then he was on his way.

I hope this chapter has helped illustrate that destroying your employees takes skill, planning and finesse. Yes, the complete destruction of your employees is the ultimate goal, but remember to enjoy yourself along the way. Destroying your employees is not just about the end result, it’s about savoring each and every part of the process. Enjoy the journey.

Next chapter: Fucking with employees when they are off-duty.