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.

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?

Hey Alcoholic, Try to Wait Until Happy-Hour!

Contrary to how it may sound, drinking at work is a bad idea.

Some people take things too far.

Most people hate their jobs.  You know it’s true.  I know it’s true.  That’s why you’re on this website in the first place.  And a lot of people turn to alcohol when they’re in a situation that they don’t like.  But seriously, don’t drink at work, and here’s why:

1.  Contrary to what you think, alcohol has a very noticeable odor.  You know that little sample-sized bottle of vodka that you keep in your desk drawer and mix into a bottle of fruit juice when no one is looking?  We can smell it.  Even if you go into the bathroom and mix it there, put the lid back on, and hide it in your desk, we can still smell it.

2.  Contrary to what you think, we can smell vodka on your breath.  For some reason a lot of people think that vodka doesn’t have an odor.  I don’t know where this idea started, but it’s wrong.  It has a very distinct smell: ALCOHOL.  So even if you pound your drink while hidden in a bathroom stall, we can still smell it on you when you get back to your desk.

3.  You’re probably a useless employee in the first place, but when you’re drunk at work, you somehow manage to become even more useless.  At one of my jobs there was this woman who would leave for 15-30 minutes at a time and go to ther car and drink.  When she came back she’d smell like alcohol (see point #2 above) and just sit there at her desk doing nothing.  Actually, now that I think about it, sometimes she would pick up the phone and call her kids and start screaming at them.  How classy!  Of course, she was buddy-buddy with her manager so she never got fired because let’s face it, it’s not about how productive of an employee you are; it’s about how much your boss likes you.

4.  Your liver will thank you.  That’s right.  I said it.

Now get back to work and try to wait until at least 5pm to start with the drinky.

“Hey Is For Horses, Not For Managers”

At my first corporate job we used Lotus Notes and subsequently used an instant messaging program called Sametime. I’m sure many of you reading this are familiar with it. If not, it’s basically exactly like Instant Messenger except it says “Sametime” instead of “AIM” in the window.

Anyway, one day I had to ask one of my managers a question so I sent him a Sametime and said “hey.”

He replied “hey is for horses, not for managers.”

I’m not sure if he was trying to be funny or if he was trying to suggest that I should be more formal with him. But since I hated working there (in fact, it was that job that inspired this website) and I was already annoyed in general, I responded:

“no, that’s ‘hay’ with an ‘a’. I was addressing you with an informal greeting which has previous been established as being acceptable given the tenure of our professional relationship as evidenced by the fact that yesterday in the hallway you saw me and said ‘hey!’ and proceeded to initiate a high-five.”

He was kind of a tool anyway. He was the kind of manager who would get in an argument with you about how some system code or something worked, you would empirically prove him wrong, and then he would give you a bad performance review as revenge.

Reason Number 2 Not to Come to Work Sick: You Might Have Swine Flu

And more importantly, you might give me swine flu.

I’m just kidding. There’s already more than 2 reasons to not go to work when you’re sick. But now in addition to being unproductive, annoying, unsanitary, and a danger of spreading regular germs around the office, you geniuses* with your ridiculously convoluted sense of company loyalty who insist on going to the office and working all that unpaid overtime with a smile on your face when you’re sick are also going to be spreading around swine flu.

I know you love being in the office coughing all over your coworkers, but you know what?  We don’t want you here, either, because you know what’s cooler than being sick? NOT being sick!

Or, maybe you’ve got the right idea.  Maybe when review time comes around, your boss will say “hey, remember when you came to work with your 104 degree fever?  That was awesome.  You’re a real proactive team player.  I’m gonna recommend you for that promotion!”

Cuz that happens.

But seriously, genius*, think about it:

You love this  company so much.  Why else do you work 20-30 additional hours of unpaid overtime every week?  The company’s survival is your survival!  But sick employees are unproductive, and you coming to work and giving everyone swine flu is going to result in lots of unproductive employees, which is actually going to hurt your beloved company.  In other words, the small amount of work that you actually get done in the office when you’re sick is going to be overshadowed by the decrease in productivity from all the people that you make sick.

Stay. The. Hell. Home.


Smoking Is a Great Way to Get Out of Doing Work

I do not smoke, but I think smokers are absolutely brilliant. It’s the greatest excuse possible to excuse yourself from working, and it’s absoutely, 100% legit.

If you’re not a smoker and you get up to go stretch your legs and take a break, chances are your micromanaging boss will see you and will cite “slacking off” as a reason you’re not getting a raise at your next performance review.

However, if you are a smoker, you are free to excuse yourself whenever you want to go have a smoke. The entire corporate infrastructure is based around understanding nicotine cravings. Not only will you get out of working for a while, but you will get empathy from your coworkers and boss (who probably also smokes). In fact, chances are at least 3 other people will come out with you to join you for a smoke. So not only are you getting out of work, but you’re also building your relationship with your coworkers (“putting in face time”). And if your boss joins you for that smoke break, you can bet on getting a fantastic raise after the next review cycle.

To make things even better, if you’re a hardcore smoker who needs their fix every hour or so, you can effectively reduce your workweek by a few hours on a regular basis:

Say you work an 8 hour day (yeah right), and say every 2 hours you need a cigarette. Suppose that you can get outside, smoke, and get back to your desk in 10 minutes. So in your 8 hour day you will take 4 smoke breaks, each of which lasts 10 minutes, or 40 minutes total. If you do that every day, that’s 200 minutes per week, which is 3 hours and 20 minutes total. In other words, every week you get over 3 hours of break time without penalty.