Top 5 Articles to Read While You Wait For My Book

I know the book is supposed to be out by now, but you know how things go.  In the meantime, here are some classic Corporate Life Sucks articles for you to read while you’re working late without being paid overtime.  On a weekend.

The article I wrote that was the inspirational basis for this entire website:
Working in Systems Development Sucks

The article that exposes the truth about the corporate game.  It’s not what you know, nor is it how much work you do.  It’s how much your managers think you do:
How to Get a Good Performance Review

So many of you are disgusting:
It’s Too Bad a College Education Doesn’t Teach You How to Use the Bathroom

Keep your germs away from me:
If You Come to Work Sick, You Should Be Fired

Stop talking like idiots!
Guide To Corporate Buzzwords, Part I

These should keep you satiated until the next article/book release.

When I Ask For Clarification, Don’t FWD Me Another Copy of the Same Email

It boggles my mind that some of the people I deal with can even manage to tie their shoes in the morning.

Imagine you get a request from a client for some work they want done.  Ok, great, right?  Except their request has a few issues so you email them back and point out the issues and ask for clarification.  At this point, you are probably expecting an email from them clarifying the items in question, right?

So imagine when the response you get is just a FWD’ed copy of the first email they sent you.  This is like the business equivalent of when some idiot is dealing with a tourist who doesn’t speak English and they just repeat themselves louder when the tourist doesn’t understand them the first time.

Way to be classy, asshole.

Had I wanted to read a stupid, unhelpful email, I would’ve just read the first email you sent me all over again.  Why send me the same thing again?  Why?  What possible thought process lead you to do that?  Were you like “Hey, this guy asked specific, quantifiable questions, so rather than answer them so we can move forward with this project, I’m just going to send the same ambiguously vague bullshit again”??

I cannot wait until I have the power to refuse work for clients simply because they’re annoying to deal with.

Corporate Life Sucks: The Book – Coming Soon!

Soon you will be able to head over to and buy yourself a copy of Corporate Life Sucks: The Book.  The book will feature a cover that pays tribute to the original Corporate Life Sucks color theme, every article posted so far on the website, and a few new, unpublished articles as well.

Have a look at a rendering of how the actual book may look:

In the meantime, keep working that unpaid overtime with a smile on your face, taking smoke breaks, and asking stupid questions in meetings while you wait!

Your Incomplete Sentences Make You Sound Like an Idiot

I just sent someone an email asking detailed questions and the response I got back was this:

“Not sure. Propose for current state of market.”

Guess what, asshole? I can’t “propose for current state of market” until you answer the fucking questions I just asked you. Do you think I asked them because I was bored and didn’t have anything better to do? Do you think I asked them because surfing the internet finally got boring and I decided I would rather do some work? And speaking of questions, did you mean to ask me one? Because your sentence ended with a period.

And what is this “not sure” shit? Who or what is not sure? I mean, in this case I know the answer is the guy who sent me the email because he’s a moron, but in the future, don’t forget to include the subject of your sentence.

And “propose for current state of market???” Did you mean to ask me what my proposal is but you’re too much of an idiot to formulate a complete sentence? How did you ever pass elementary school?

This drives me nuts.

Do you know how many emails consist entirely of these abbreviated thoughts pretending to be legit sentences?

“Things good. Seeing improvement in stat not sure how long will last.” (I didn’t even know what the fuck this guy was talking about in the first place. That’s all the email said. It didn’t have a subject or even any previous emails quoted below it. And I’m not even sure how that happens because every email client I’ve ever used gives you a warning message if you try to send an email with a blank subject field).

“Not sure. Thinking of the second but it makes good case.” What????

To call these “Pidgin English” would be an insult to Pidgin languages everywhere.

These all came from native English speakers, too. For the most part they can speak ok, but when it’s time to write an email it’s like they instantly drop 30 IQ points.

And if I had a nickel for every time some moron ended their email with “please advice” I would have enough money for me and my entire extended family to retire. Not only does that make you sound like another mindless corporate drone who loves working long hours, but “advice” is a noun. The word you’re looking for is “advise.” At least try to be less of an idiot.

Please advice.

It’s OK to Say “Merry Christmas” to Me

You can’t even say “Merry Christmas” in the office anymore without offending someone. What the hell is that crap? I remember years ago when you could say “Merry Christmas!” and people would respond “Merry Christmas to you, too!” People used to decorate the office with Christmas trees and banners that read “Merry Christmas” and everyone was happy. But you can’t do that anymore. It’s all “Happy Holidays” now.

The worst part is that no one cares except for HR. If you say “Merry Christmas” and someone in HR overhears, you’re going to get written up for being culturally intolerant. They will tell you “you know, people who celebrate Hanukkah and Kwanzaa will be offended!”

Are you serious? No they won’t! I’ve never met a single Jewish person who was offended at me saying “Merry Christmas” to anyone. I even say “Happy Hanukkah!” to my Jewish friends. I’ve never met anyone who celebrates Kwanzaa, but I’m sure they wouldn’t be offended, either. Hell, I’d like to meet someone who does so I could tell them “Happy Kwanzaa!”, but HR probably wouldn’t allow that, either.

What about people who celebrate Festivus?

What about members of the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster?

You know, I feel that HR is not being sensitive to their needs when they display a Christmas tree, a Menorah, and a Kinara (Kwanzaa candleholder) in the lobbies of their buildings. Where is the Festivus pole? Where is the… whatever Flying Spaghetti Monster worshippers display?

You know what, I can’t even finish this article. I have to go cry to HR about cultural insensitivity…

Annoyed at Work? Why Not Take a Bathroom Break and Relax For Awhile!

Going to the bathroom in the corporate world can actually serve two purposes: 1) relieving yourself, and 2) passing time. I think number 1 right there is pretty obvious, so let’s talk about number 2 (no pun intended).

It’s no secret that being at work sucks, but you can’t just get up and leave whenever you feel like it without getting fired, and if you’re being timed on the clock, you may not even be able to get up and take an unscheduled break.  But sometimes you just need a break from your micromanaging bosses, your annoying coworkers, your stupid clients, and all the bullshit that you have to deal with on a daily basis.  Fortunately, there is a solution: the bathroom break*.

Bathroom breaks are great even if you don’t actually have to go to the bathroom! They provide you with a private, stress-free environment, and no one can tell if you’re sitting on the toilet because you actually have to go, or if you’re just taking a break! You can do whatever you want, including:

– Surf the net on your phone
– Test out that new iPhone game you just downloaded (make sure to turn the sound off, however, lest your cover be spoiled)
– Take a break from the never-ending babble of annoying coworkers
– Hide from annoying managers
– Sit back and relax
– Take a nap (this is an advanced technique that will be examined in a later article)

Look at it this way: if CEOs and other high-level executives can get paid millions of dollars a year to play golf, then there’s nothing that says you shouldn’t be able to take the occasional unscheduled bathroom break to play a golf game on your cell phone. It’s really the same thing. The only difference is your break isn’t costing the company as much money.

As you become more in tune with your surroundings, you may begin to notice a “clicking” sound during your bathroom breaks; indeed, this is the sound of people in the stalls next to you pushing buttons on their cell phones as they surf the net or play a game as well. Congratulations! You are now a member of an exclusive club.

*I am aware of some companies that do not even allow unscheduled bathroom breaks (it’s usually the same type of company where you’re not allowed to call in sick). In the event that you work for one of these types of companies, you should probably just quit.

Firing Someone Sucks. Sometimes.

Everyone has that one person at work that they hate; their very presence makes your blood boil and your teeth clench. And I’m sure some of you have those 50 people at work that you hate. And you’re probably like “man, I sure do hate so-and-so. I wish they’d get fired so I’d never have to work with them again!” And then on those days when you are really bringing the hate, you probably think “Hell, I’d fire them myself!”

Well, you probably wouldn’t actually do it. Everyone likes to talk a big game, but having to fire someone sucks, and the more human and empathetic of a person you actually are, the harder it is. You’re basically telling them that they’re going to have a lot more difficulty in the near future providing for themselves and their families.

Now, if the person truly is useless at the company and you’re firing them because they actually suck, then it’s not so bad. You just have to pretend to care. Try not to smirk, laugh, or celebrate until they’re out of your office and you’ve closed your door.

Then bust out the champagne.

Attn: Everyone – “Ping Me” Does Not Mean “Email/IM Me”

Ping. verb

1. the act of checking the speed of Packet data sent and received on a network.

I propose a revolution: whenever the next corporate idiot wants you to send them an instant message and tells you “ping me when you get back to your desk” (or whatever), reply with “Ok, what’s your IP address?” Then perform an actual ping on him and inform him of his computer’s response time 😀

Rules for Office Elevators

If your office building has an elevator you probably use it every day, especially if you’re lazy (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). But there are certain rules that should be followed if you’re going to use the elevator.

1. If you just got in and someone else is approaching the elevator and is only 5-10 feet away, hold the door open. Don’t be that person who starts hitting the “close door” button really fast, and if you are going to be that person, definitely don’t look at the person and shrug as if you were actually pressing the “open door” button but it wasn’t working properly.

2. If you are waiting for the doors to close and someone else is approaching the elevator, but they are still 50 feet away down the hallway, you don’t have to hold the door for them. This is especially true if I’m in the elevator with you and I’m late for a meeting.

3. No farting.

4. The person nearest the buttons is in charge of pressing the buttons. If there are 10 people in the elevator and everyone is trying to reach over and press the floor they need, it becomes a giant cluster of awkwardness and fail.

5. Personal conversations get put on hold if someone else is in the elevator with you. Really, you can wait 20 seconds.

Do You Give Nicknames to People at Your Office?

Look at this list of nicknames.

I was just talking to some former coworkers of mine and we were remembering how, when we all worked together at the same company, we came up with nicknames for all these people that we saw frequently but we didn’t actually know. So we’d see someone in the cafeteria (this job provided catered lunch) do something, and if we wanted to tell the story we’d have to use an agreed-upon nickname since we didn’t actually know the person. The company was huge and not one of those cases where everyone knows everyone else. Anyway, here are some of the names we came up with:

the Librarian – this chick who gave off librarian vibes but looked like she had a freaky side
Model Hair – this middle-aged eastern European woman whose hair always looked like she just finished a photo shoot.
Hitler – self explanatory. I wonder if this guy ever looked in the mirror, though? I mean there’s no way could see himself and not think “gee, I look like Hitler.”
Fanta 1, Fanta 2, Fanta 2-1/2 – these three woman who looked like the Fanta softdrink spokeswomen, the Fantanas.
Super Fanta – a woman who looked like she had undergone a ton of plastic surgery and makeup application to look like a Fantana.
Suitcases – this guy who was a weightlifter and always walked with his arms out to the side, flaring his lats, like he was carrying two invisible suitcases.
That chick who wants to have a kid – there was this woman who was around 28 who gave off really powerful “I wanna have a kid” vibes. Everyone picked up on it, and then someone who actually knew her confirmed it.
Italy – this attractive Italian woman. It’s funny, though, because she wasn’t actually Italian.
Baseball – a guy who carried a baseball around with him and brought it to meetings.

We had a few more but they were inside jokes that wouldn’t make any sense here, even if I explained them.

So does anyone else do this at their job?