From the new book, I Hate People!: Kick Loose from the Overbearing and Underhanded Jerks at Work and Get What You Want Out of Your Job by Jonathan Littman and Marc Hershon, an excerpt on navigating the corporate America and its inhabitants.
“Learning from the Ten Least Wanted
Savvy workers in Corporate America understand the importance of steeling themselves for the human battlefield known as the office. But they are having to adopt new skills to survive the recession, the cutbacks, the lay-offs.
A thorough understanding of the Ten Least Wanted can help you weather the stormy business weather ahead.
These five in particular present the greatest threat to your success:
When times are rough it’s especially risky to find yourself falling in with the office Sheeple. They lack the initiative to move their hooves in new directions. Sheeple bleat stupidly even as they head toward the cliff. And in a downturn know this: Sheeple are among the first to be sheared. So stand apart from the herd now. Stand up, be counted and get noticed. It’s difficult for upper management to cull you when you’re providing undeniable – and potentially profitable – results.
When budgets tighten and markets sour count on Spreadsheet to hold you back. Spreadsheet will justify the failures of other individuals and departments for denying you the resources you need to thrive. Spreadsheets don’t see your talents or the opportunity you are pursuing. To them you are just a number in a column. Remember that they are trained to respect the bottom line. If they realize you’re on their side in that regard, even Spreadsheets recognize the need for a valued ally – after all, they’re just numbers in columns, too.
The current cloudy economy has proved conclusively that corporations and executives lie when the numbers go south. They lied on Wall Street to get their multi-million dollar bonuses. They lied to their clients when investments blew up. Today in companies across the land they are lying as we speak. Lying to cut back hours and salaries. Lying when they say everything will be fine when it won’t.
As the saying goes, when the Going gets Tough, the Liars get Lying. And it’s easy to think that way of thinking is your salvation. Don’t do it. As the bottom continues to fall out of the market and the workplace, your personal and professional integrity will likely keep you hanging on while the Liar Liars become tangled up in their lies.
Perhaps there’s no time to be more suspicious of Smileyface than during a recession. What in the world is he smiling about? Beware of that frozen fake smile. It’s disguising all sorts of bad news you desperately need to know about: looming budget and salary cuts, market declines and lost accounts. Push beyond that forced smile to the facts.
The perfect storm for the Switchblade is when jobs are on the chopping block. His blade is sharpest when the stakes are highest, when the issue isn’t about promotions or raises but who avoids termination. To the Switchblade a downturn is as attractive as midnight for a vampire. Beware. This is the hour he clicks open his blade and carves out your career. Take stock of those around you. Who can you count on? And who should you start watching like a hawk?”