Larry Craig is a really great example of why teams are for suckers.
Here I am.
I was referred to as a poster child for mental illness in the comments section of this blog (which I actually really enjoy reading) because I believe that stress at work made me eat. I’m also crazy because I believe that I was addicted to fast food.
I know, I know. I’m insane. I’m ape-shit-crazy. I’ve worked in Human Resources in the insurance & pharmaceutical industries over twelve years — two industries that have laid off more people than occupy most towns — and I’m all insane with my beliefs that my body became dependent upon sugar, fats and salt to keep itself going through those tremendously difficult times.
Look at me being all girl interrupted & shit.
Then I started thinking about my life and, well, I might be insane. I’ve had three haircuts in the past six weeks. I’ve spent more time on the internets looking at different haircuts — and I’ve spent more money on haircuts than food in the past 45 days — and only now (after the third cut) am I finally satisfied.
Some might say that I need medication and intensive, in-patient therapy. I’m thinking that I need another day at the spa and possibly a manicure & pedicure to go with this new haircut.
I really hate career articles on Yahoo that offer trite advice on how to handle workplace conflict or how to get ahead at the office.
To counter the duh-no-shit literature that’s out there, here are the TOP THREE CERTIFIED PUNK ROCK WAYS to say no to anything — or anyone — at work.
- Hell no.
- Are you f-ing kidding me? No way.
You may say, “Laurie, that’s totally unreasonable. I’ll commit career suicide if I talk like that.”
I say, “Like your career is going anywhere, chump? You will never get ahead at your company if you are a pushover and take on extra duties that you don’t even want.”
My advice is to only say YES to extra projects and work when it benefits the greater good — and by greater good, I mean the magic combination of your career, the stockholders, and your pocketbook.
- Say YES to working late when you’ll get both short-term and long-term credit for it.
- Say YES to a project that has a direct link to savings (for your department or for the enterprise).
- Say YES to attending an extra meeting where you can speak your mind and accomplish something that you couldn’t do via email.
Saying no is tough, and you may worry that you have something to lose. I’m here to tell you that you have something to lose at work when people know you have something to lose. Start acting like you are empowered to own your own career, which means acting in the best interest of your company’s shareholders (& in the best interest of your personal salary).
My advice is so simple and will lead to instant results. When you nut up and act like the personal shareholder of your own career, coworkers and leaders will respond positively. Expect to hear:
- Dude, you are on fire!
- You were speaking for all of us at that really crappy meeting. Thank you.
- That’s a great idea and we really think it’s something you can present to (the VP, the CEO, etc.).
I know, I know. Thanks to this awesome advice, you are now punk rock enough not to care about what your peers and leadership team have to say.
You can thank me later when you get that big merit increase, yo.
I’m not sure that subject line is true, actually.
Today I will throw on my best yoga pants and go over to the Michigan Talent Bank, where they must verify that my resume is in a database before they’ll release my unemployment check.
That’s right. They have a database linked to the interwebs, but you still must drive over to the office and demonstrate that your resume is indeed on the interwebs.
Laurie, didn’t you add your resume in the official Michigan database from home?
- Yes, I totally did that. This is just a weird, redundant step in the process meant to inconvenience me. I’m not a woman who appreciates driving my car and wasting gas because the state government hasn’t figured out this whole technology thing. This also infuriates me as the former HR manager of an IT organization. Why even bother with the expense of the internet and database?
Laurie, do you even know where the local Michigan Works office is located?
- I have no idea. If it’s not near Starbucks or Target, I might not be able to find it.
Laurie, will it be sad when you’re in the office and see near-homeless people who are desperately looking for work?
- Yes, it will be very sad. I’m a very fortunate woman with luck on my side. I blame George Bush and the GOP for Michigan’s woes. I like to spread the blame around.