Stop Saying “Proactive”

If I had a dollar for every time my managers used the word “proactive” in an evaluation, well, I’d have a lot more money than I do now.

The problem with this word is that, while it has a definite meaning, its use is vague enough that if your manager feels like giving you a bad review, they can just say you “aren’t proactive enough.”  Even if you do more than what is assigned to you, even if you anticipate future problems and take the necessary steps to avoid them, you can still be told you “aren’t proactive enough.”  It’s a catchall word for people to use when they need a reason to yell at someone who hasn’t really done anything wrong. It’s great because there’s no defense against it.

Consider this scenario:

Manager: “Your performance is sufficient, but you need to be more proactive.”

You: “I appreciate the feedback.”

Over the next few weeks/months, you proactively demonstrate all sorts of new, innovative ideas.  You proactively write a script that catches a certain kind of error before it’s introduced to the system.  You discover that some additional work needs to be done to clean up some issues from a project that just went live, and not only do you proactively bring this up to your manager, but you also proactively present your analysis and volunteer to head up the team that is going to be working on it.  You’re a proactive machine.

Then your next review comes:

Manager: “Well, the main issue I have is that you haven’t been being proactive enough.”

You: “Are you serious?  Not only did I successfully completely everything that was assigned to me, but I also proactively wrote that error catching script, identified errors that were missed by the testing team, did the analysis to fix the issue, and headed up the team that was in charge of implementing the updates.  All proactively, all ahead of schedule, and all without being told.”

Manager:  “Yes, but you weren’t being proactive enough.  So I have to give you ‘below expectations’ on your review.”

You: “I am proactively managing my career by accepting an offer from another company who has offered me more.  Later.”

If Your Website Resizes My Browser, I Am Not Doing Business With Your Company

No exceptions.

What is this, 1995?

Same thing goes if you autoplay background music.  How does that garbage even get approved?

“Hey, you know what would be awesome?  If we annoyed our visitors with background music.  Oh, and let’s make the pause button really tiny and hide it so it takes them 30 seconds to find it.  That’s a great way to keep potential customers on our website!”



Hey Tech Support, When I Ask You a Specific Question, a Link to a 300 Page Database is Not an Answer

I asked a specific question because I want a specific answer.

If your garbage documentation was helpful in the first place then I wouldn’t have even needed to bother you with my question at all.  But since your documentation sucks, now you need to answer my question.

That doesn’t mean to give me pre-scripted responses, either.

It means listen to my question and then give me the answer.  Not 5 other things that aren’t the answer, and certainly not a link to a big ass database that may or may not have the answer in it somewhere.

Geez, this is like if I ask my doctor a question about a drug and he throws the Merck Manual at me.

This makes me want to rip out what remaining hair I have on my head.

Answer my damn question.

Answer it.

Even saying “I’m not sure, let me get back to you” is better than the BS I’ve been wading through for the last 45 minutes as you throw answers at me that might be good answers to other questions, but don’t address the specific question I’m asking you.

You suck.

What Is the Cloud?

I thought the normal barrage of corporate buzzwords was bad enough, but now everyone has to talk about “the cloud” all the time?  Really?

Exactly what is the cloud?  Every time you see a technology commercial, someone is talking about “the cloud.”  It must be pretty awesome, right?

Do you know what it is?

It’s the internet.


We’ve all been using the cloud for years.  In fact, you’re using the cloud right now.

So why are they calling it that?  Why the new name? Why not just say “the internet” or after you finish uploading something, say “it’s online?”

Because people like stupid names for things, I guess.  It makes them feel special.

Now, get off of my cloud.

I Am Famous in Turkey!

It has been brought to my attention that someone in Turkey created a group on Facebook to celebrate Corporate Life Sucks!  Here is the link.  I am touched, and would like to express my gratitude, appreciation, and love to my fans all around the world.

It seems that corporate life sucks no matter where you live.  Keep fighting the good fight, everyone.