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How this started….

In the beginning, there was a workplace that appeared normal from the outside……

The first day that I started my career, I was going to change the world, and I had no doubts that I would make a difference. I had the education. I had the work ethic. I wanted to learn (because I was Girl watching the starsstraight out of college and knew nothing). I believed in ALL of the things that we were taught by our parents, grandparents, Bible School, etc. such as be kind, be respectful, the best finishes first, etc.

During my eighteen years of being a professional engineer in this world, I came to realize that this is not how the world operates. Not only was I wrong, but I was also vastly outnumbered by people who lived and looked at life way different from me.

So to embrace the madness and to conserve a portion of my sanity, I wanted to write about the transformation from the professional who I thought I was going to be to the professional that I became.

Maybe this will help others who are still trying to figure out why their bosses don’t seem to care if the company loses money or find themselves inundated with coworkers who complain constantly about how much work they have to do but yet spend 3 hours migrating between offices like African Wildebeests yammering on about what was on the latest episode of the Bachelor.

This blog is about how to survive in a Dysfunctional Work Place. Nothing in this blog will be found in the latest “How to be a better Manager/Leader” Book or by searching the internet for endless hours trying to find some sort of article, chat room, or blog where people can find advice on how to survive a more non-traditional workplace.  This blog is about a real place with real people.

And if you find yourself reading this one day, I truly hopes it helps (and hopefully at the same time, I will be lying on a private beach, sipping an alcoholic beverage after I just said “Fuck It”, quit my job, and got on the first plane out of that hell hole).

Sorry, I will get back on target.

So lets begin with a Work Place that refuses to put any policies in writing……I believe if the company did have an Employee Manual, it would go something like this….

Book secret

 

Want to Work a Problem Out with the Boss? Empty your office…..

In this dysfunctional workplace, management periodically disappears for stretches of time. People that view their job as a job versus a career find these times to be quite beneficial to catch up on personal errands, internet shopping, etc. shopping cart race

For those that view their jobs as careers, you really have to adapt a mentality of “You are on your own”.

Unfortunately, there are cases where you have to track down the four managers as they control all of the key resources at the facility from computer equipment to accounting software which are, believe or not, needed to run a company. Revolutionary, I know. And well, like in life, shit goes wrong at work, and this requires that you track one of the four managers down and “strongly convince” them to do their jobs.

Group of neanderthal hunting a bison

But when the stress is high and/or the hours of sleep are few, a “career”employee will ask, “Why in the hell do things have to be this way?”. One of the common denominators for a career employee is that we will never accept “It is what it is”.

Would life be a whole lot easier if we could?

HELL, YES!!!!

Will we try to accept “It is what it is” at different points in our careers?

HELL, YES!!!!

Will it last?

OH HELL, NO!!!!

And then we break. We think if we can sit down with our manager and have a rationale conversation, then surely, the manager will see that there is a problem that if fixed, can make things better for everyone including their bottom line. Sounds great on paper, but in a dysfunctional workplace, the managers will go out of their way to keep from addressing a problem unless it directly affects them in a negative way.

Over the years, I have seen career employees employ several tactics to get their manager to have a conversation regarding issues that managers go to great extents to avoid discussing.

From catching them in the restroom where the manager cannot realistically stop what he is doing to run away….Man Stuck in Toilet Holding Help Sign - Emergency SOS

To tricking a Manager to have drinks under the illusion that you are  trying to be “pals”, and then having said Manager write down all of the things he agreed to on a paper napkin.

Tiki bar

And one tactic that has a 100% success rate in getting a Manager to have a conversation, removing all of your personal effects from your office. Managers will freak out thinking that you are quitting which would definitely impact their “I walk around and do nothing” streak.

Vase

But as they say, “Be careful what you wish for”. As no one who starts off in a career in this type of workplace can be prepared for any of the following.

RESPONSE #1 Manager will agree with everything that you say including telling you how invaluable you are to the company. All kinds of promises will be made, and you will walk out of the meeting truly believing things will change. THEN, nothing happens. You will tell yourself to be patient. You will try to talk to the manager again to “revisit” the action items that you discussed. But nothing ever changes.

RESPONSE #2: Manager will say that the issues should be addressed by you. That is what they are paying you to do. The Manager will also add how change starts from the bottom up or some other stupid management saying that they read once and manipulated for this very conversation. RESULT: Well, that just pisses you off.

RESPONSE #3: Manager will say to try the solution that you have tried before without success. This Manager believes that there is only one solution for all problems because well, that is the only answer they have. RESULT: You will walk out of the meeting wondering why did you even bother talking to this smuck?

RESPONSE #4: Manager will explain to you that you can be replaced, and how dealing with these types of issues are nothing compared to what he/she has to deal with. RESULT: This meeting can have mixed results but all are located on the anger/revenge spectrum.

So what do we do now depends on the person. For me, I enjoy my work. I actually deal with the Client more than I do my own company’s managers. Of course, this is not real difficult as the four managers have not all been at work at the same time for months now.

So, my day includes dealing with people from all walks of life from all parts of the world. Granted, that some of them can be real, high maintenance assholes, but some actually are like me and want to fix a problem versus have fourteen conference calls about who is to blame for the problem. Some days it is enough, and some days it is not.

But I will take a wash over a loss any day.

The Sociopath

Every workplace has one, and this Sociopath is a real piece of work! Now, I have been known to give coworkers nicknames over the years, and I have had several for this woman such as:

Dementor (Harry Potter reference)
Succubus
Smoke Monster (reference to LOST TV show)
Wicked Witch of the West (Wizard of Oz reference)
Dream Sucker
Hope Smasher
Psychopath

I even tested my theory about her being a sociopath once when I found a test in a magazine on how to tell if you work with a Sociopath. Lets just say she passed with flying colors even though it was not the most scientific of experiments.

pass text sign label stamp.

Every single time that you have any type of interaction with this woman, you walk away from her with this overwhelming feeling that you may never feel happiness again, that flowers will stop blooming, and that there are puppies around the world crying because this Sociopath exists. And even though it may sound like an exaggeration, it is like this woman creates her very own Humane Society Commercial with those sad dogs that are being rescued.   Sad Pug Puppy

The Sociopath wants to command respect like that of the Man, but she also wants you to be her friend. According to her, she has always struggled with making friends even when she was a kid. I think it may having something to do with the fact that she finds it impossible to have a conversation with anyone without insulting him/her on such a personal level.

You can always tell when she is in the office by the number of people hiding in the bathroom from her. There is even an alert system that is activated via text messages between the employees to alert each other of sightings of the Sociopath. We also use weather patterns for describing her mood of the day.

warning sign of bad weather aheadOn a clear, pretty day, you hear employees in the hallway talking about the “storm front” that just passed through the kitchen. We have more “tornado sightings” inside this office than Oklahoma. If you pass the Sociopath in the hallway and she is smiling, don’t mistake this as a sign that she is in a good mood. She only smiles when she has just had a fresh kill of an employee’s confidence level.

I have found throughout my career that there are people who seem to be still compensating for high school not exactly going the way that they hoped and those that still think they are in a high school. Tailgating: Group Of College Students Excited For Football Game

For the Sociopath, she wants to be the most popular girl at school, and when she fails, it enrages her. She never experienced having a best friend, going to slumber parties, or having a prom date. It will make you feel sorry for her at times but never let your sympathy/empathy for her lower your guard for her. She will eventually come after you. She eventually goes after everyone at some point.

When she is in the office and in between the insults, she spends her time focused on how others do their jobs incorrectly. She has literally missed deadlines with her Client because she is rearranging someone’s To-Do-List on their dry erase board because she decided that the way the employee had made his/her list was “too messy”. There is no rhyme or reason to what she does or how she selects her next victim.

You have to accept that there is no avoiding the Sociopath. There are no pardons from her wrath, and there is absolutely no one that will rescue you if she pins you in a corner. You will get a lot of “Poor Bastard” looks and “Thank, God, it is not me” looks from your coworkers as they pass by you but that is the extent of their help.

Hiding from his problems.Just remember that the only way out of her trap is to get yourself out. Like when a bear chews off its foot to get out of a bear trap.

You may ask, “Can’t the Man stop her?”.

Ideally, yes, but the Man gets some perverse pleasure in watching her torture others.

She has no right to treat people the way she does. In a normal workplace, there would be procedures in place that would allow employees to file complaints against her, but at this company, your only option is to quit or learn how to manage her behaviors.

So, why don’t employees go talk to Human Resources?

Human Resources consists of one person who is bought and paid for by the Man. I will tell you about the pleasures of dealing with Human Resources later.

Okay, then why don’t a group of employees just go straight to the Man? He can’t ignore multiple complaints.

Over the years, numerous people have tried this approach. The Man will be seem attentive and empathetic and will promise you that he will address the issue with the Sociopath. Do not be fooled by this. Each and every time an employee complains about the Sociopath to the Man, the Man will repeat the conversation to the Sociopath and name the people in the room that filed the complaint. Basically,  he lines up her victims for her. Business people in blindfolds

Once he has reported in to the Sociopath regarding the mutiny, there are only two outcomes for the employees that complained. The first outcome is that you become the Sociopath’s primary focus for torturing until you finally just resign. The second outcome is that you are banished. You keep your job, but you will never see the level of raises or bonuses that you would have seen if you had not complained. You could bring in a new multimillion dollar account every year, and the Sociopath will block any and all salary increases that you have earned. She is the second most powerful person in the company, and she has her hands in everything from what type of font we use in reports to payroll.

So, if I already have the Man’s support for my new idea, how then do I get the Sociopath to support it?

You don’t. The Sociopath will not support any idea other than her own. Even if you use the same technique as you did on the Man, the Sociopath will have no part of it unless she controls every aspect of your project, and when she controls every aspect of a project, she will make you so disenchanted with the project that either the project fails or she wears you down until you give up. To get past her, you have to stack the deck against her or implement your project in the shadows.

Okay, how do I stack the deck?

You will have to secure the support of the Man and the two remaining senior managers. Now these three are weak when it comes to confronting the Sociopath so you have to keep providing positive reinforcement to them that their support of your project was the right decision. The Sociopath will see this as a personal attack by you. So for every time she lobbies for the three senior managers to change their minds, you will have to counteract it. If she doesn’t have success in changing their minds, her next step will be to go after the resources that you need for your project. So, if you decide to take this approach, you have to have available time because you will spend 50% of your time managing your project and 50% of your time holding the Sociopath back.

What is the second option?

One of the pros about working in a dysfunctional workplace is that senior management really has no clue about how you do your job. To launch a new project in the shadows is possible. It is easier to make a little improvement at a time and still remain completely under their radar. By the time they figure out that changes have been made, you already have embedded the changes in the day to day operations, and it is amazing how many times that senior management has said that these little improvements were their ideas in the first place. The cons of this approach are that it is a solo mission, and there are more setbacks due to trial and error because there is just no one that you can bounce your ideas off of without senior management being tipped off. Needless to say, you will spend a lot of time in your car driving home and talking out the glitches in the project. Also, you will receive no credit or glory for making something better.

Personally, I think any idea should be brainstormed with a team of people with different expertise. Ideas, projects, etc. are always improved when you have a team of people that can approach a problem from different directions. At this workplace, you have to accept that there is no teamwork because senior management keeps changing the rules of the game which creates a continuum of chaos. In a chaotic workplace, the idea of coming together to accomplish a common goal just doesn’t exist, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t one day. For now, you have to learn to survive before you can fly.

Until that day comes and to help you deal with the Sociopath, here is a list of things that you can do to throw her off of your scent.

Distraction: This particular Sociopath has an obsession with everything being in its place. You can move the staples from the top shelf in the supply closet to the bottom shelf, and she will spend half of the day verifying that everything is in its place. You can place a binder clip in the middle of the hallway, and she will search every hallway looking for more binder clips. If you pour part of your Coke on the kitchen counter then use a dry paper towel to clean it up to where only an invisible stickiness remains, she will spend the whole day cleaning that kitchen. Now in my defense, I knew she was coming into the office that day, and I had a lot of deadlines to meet on that day. I didn’t have time to deal with her getting in my way. Granted that I sound as crazy as her for doing this, but you can’t argue with my results.

Diversion: There are times that she will come to your office to discuss an issue and well, you are just cornered. When she starts telling you how to do something that you are sure will not work, tell her that you wish that you would have thought to do it that way, but you have just been so tired lately. She is an extreme one-upper. If you say that you are tired, she will say that she is exhausted. If you say that you are willing to put in extra time to change the way that you have been doing things, she will tell you that she works 26 hours a day. You have her in the net now. Make one more comment about how you noticed that her eyes looked tired and cough, and she will go home sick for the rest of the week. The plus side of this is that she will have forgotten why she came into your office in the first place.

Division: The third most powerful person in the company is the Dragonfly. See next chapter. The Dragonfly has a lot of good ideas that he likes to bounce off of employees all of the time. Tell the Sociopath about one of his latest ideas and how you think it could really work, and you can watch her boil into a rage right there in your office. Three seconds later, she will be on the Dragonfly’s tail. This trick also works when one of your coworkers has pissed you off lately. Just tell her that this coworker has been doing some really great things on his/her project, and she will be camped in that coworker’s office the rest of the day telling the employee how all of their hard work needs lots of improvement.

Dismissive: The Sociopath thinks everything is a crisis. She will also criticize people just to upset them. Whatever she does or says, do not react. Those who have argued against her always fail. It does not matter if she is in the wrong, the Man will never fire her. So when her sole purpose of coming to your office is to destroy your confidence or depreciate the value of your contributions to the project, respond with a complete absence of emotion, and she will retreat every time. You just have to be able to stop yourself from screaming, “What the fuck is wrong with you?” and “Who the fuck do you think you are?”.

Depreciation: The Sociopath has some real self image issues. Whenever you find yourself listening to her go on and on, just stare at her stomach. She is paranoid about her weight, and she will become so insecure that she will leave.

Direct Deposit: There are employees that have direct deposited their souls to the Sociopath. They are on call 24 hours a day unless you believe that the Sociopath is actually working 26 hours a day. Those last two hours must be special overtime because there is no such thing as regular overtime here. If you chose to direct deposit your soul, it has great financial benefits because the Sociopath controls payroll. Of course, you will probably spend all of that extra money on therapy sessions or a divorce lawyer. If you can accept that you will never be good enough, that you never will do anything right, and you can listen to her personal stories about anything from her digestive health to her sex life, good for you. I have no shame or blame for you because we all have to make choices that are right for us. I am sure the therapist will make everything better when you drive to your next session in the new car that the Sociopath just bought you.

So that you are prepared to deal with the Sociopath, here are a few things that she has said to me over the years and things that I have personally seen her do. This will hopefully prevent you from screwing this up right out of the gate by saying “What the fuck is wrong with her?” around the wrong people.

Any type of perfume or hand lotion that you may be wearing will give her headache. She will ask you not to wear it anymore. Amazingly, she is immune to the 44.3 gallons of cologne that the Dragonfly (Chapter 04) bathes in every day. Seriously, it is like he is trying to hide the smell of joint that he smoked 30 years ago. You can honestly smell him before you see him. We have some really fucked up alert systems here.

She periodically has melt downs in the bathroom which really sucks for the employees that are in there hiding from her. If you ever hear her sobbing and really need to pee, go tell the Paperweight (Chapter 05). He can talk her out.

If you find yourself wanting to be friends with her because you have never had problems making friends with someone, be careful if you discuss your hobbies. Any hobby of yours will now become her hobby. This means that once she starts a hobby, she automatically knows more about it than you, and she will need to tell you about it all of the time.

She told me that I would never be the face of this company because I was too country.

She told me that she figured that I slept in barns all of the time since I grew up on a dairy farm.

She told me that the only reason that I have been successful at this company is because she taught me everything that I know.

She laughed during a coworker’s funeral when the preacher referred to him as an engineer instead of a geologist. She thought it was hilarious “because there is no way that the coworker was smart enough to be an engineer”.

The Man

He owns the company, and you better know it…..

The Man is the Chief Executive Officer of the company. He is intelligent and has an air of authority about him. He has been in the industry for a long time. Most employees believe that this is a guy that can fire them on the spot for little to no reason. These same employees want and need his approval from everything from their work performance to their life choices.

Employees usually will take one of two approaches with this guy.

  • They will either spend an inordinate amount of time telling him how great he is, or

Employees trying to get a promotion from his boss

  • They will avoid him based on their fear of him.

HIDING OUT

The Man is a human with his own set of insecurities and quirks just like the rest of us, and you can use these insecurities and quirks to your advantage. Just remember if he senses that you fear him, you have already lost. If you try to impress him by knowing something that he doesn’t know, he will destroy you.

But I thought I was being paid to come up with new and innovative ways of providing services to the Clients?

This is true.

The Man needs to feel the power of being in charge every minute of every day. Any challenge to his authority is viewed as an act of war. In a dysfunctional workplace, a challenge to his authority can be anything from having a really good idea to parking in his unreserved parking space. Yes. I said UNRESERVED.

The trick is that the Man has to believe that any new innovative approach to a problem originated from him. If you pitch an idea and you want it to succeed, you have to make the Man believe that this new idea would not have happened without him.

For instance, say you wanted to streamline the way that a report is prepared in order to reduce the labor hours. Once you have all the pieces of your idea in place, find the Man and get him started talking about how these types of reports were prepared when he was starting off in his career. The Man likes to talk about his career and his successes. Now be prepared to listen to how he once prepared 200 of these reports over a 36 hour period where his boss would not let him have food, water, or sleep until the reports were done and how he had did all of this while he was suffering from a Super Flu.

He will need to tell you how employees today have it so much easier. He will also throw in how employees should appreciate the fact that he is nothing like his old boss.

Please know that you must be able to keep a fascinated and interested look on your face during the entire conversation and be able to hold down anything that feels like it is rising in your esophagus.

Conference Room with Chart

Never under any circumstances do you ask the Man to read anything, provide feedback, or assist you in any way. Disagree with nothing that he says. After the discussion is over, do not vent to anyone about his absurdities or brag to anyone about your face time with the Man.

 

Keep in mind that over your career you may only meet a handful of coworkers, employees, or bosses that will not repeat absolutely everything that you say.

A violation of any of the previous will result in penalties which can range from the Man ignoring you to placing a cap on your bonus check for the remaining time that you are employed. There is one employee here that has been paying for his wife expressing a different opinion than the Man’s wife at a Christmas Party that happened 10 years ago. This employee should be making three times the bonus check that he has been pulling in over the past years, but the Man will never let it go. Ever.

You need to know what your up against beforehand. If you really want to make a change or a difference, you have to know everything about the blockades that are in your path or you will never be able to maneuver around them, mow right through them, retreat from them, or blow them the fuck up.

Scared shitless yet?

Good. Now let’s go get what you want.

When it is time for you to present your idea, you have to mention snippets from your conversation with the Man during the presentation. Then the Man will think that you would have never come up with the idea if it wasn’t for him and his counsel. If he believes that you think like him, your life becomes a whole lot easier.

By the way, it is best if you never fact check the Man’s stories. It will only lead to disappointment.

Regardless of what the other three senior managers tell you, ALWAYS start with the Man when you want something. The Man is the simplest to navigate of the senior managers, and he carries 50% of the vote. The three remaining managers are constantly jockeying for the Man’s approval or to seal their place as the Man’s Favorite. So, the three managers see all employees as potential threats to their positions and will not do anything that will allow someone else to share their spotlight.

Once you have the Man’s approval, you are already 50% of the way done in making your idea into a reality.

The next step is to get through the other three senior managers. At this point, you may want to say a prayer, meditate, or take a nap because the three remaining senior managers are real psychos. You are going to need all of your strength to deal with these three.

Until you decide to move on to the next chapter, here are some observations that I have made of the Man at this Company that you need to be prepared for.

He eats his own boogers. You heard me right. I have personally witnessed it on numerous occasions. I think he thinks that they are medicinal because he is really into super vitamins.

He really likes chicken wings. He is always emailing coupons to the entire office for free or discounted chicken wings. Sometimes we even get emails about chicken wing fun facts. I have no idea why.

He likes to periodically speak with a Chinese accent. Yet again. I have no idea why. He is not Chinese.

He listens to conversations outside of closed offices, and he will read anything that you print out on the printer. Sometimes he will stand at the printer and read, and sometimes he will take your documents back to his office to read and never return the documents to the printer. I always chalked this up to his paranoia about someone taking his company away.

He hates all birthdays, baby announcements, weddings, and especially, Administrative Professionals Day.

He sometimes brings his Doberman pincher to work and will walk this dog through the office using a metal chain as a leash. The dog is very friendly, but when he walks past your office with this dog, it does remind you of a prison guard doing bed check.

You will periodically see him sweeping the outdoor sidewalk, washing the vacuum cleaner filter, or toting a box of office brand toilet paper to his car to take home.

He cannot stand the sight of men’s toes. It grosses him out, and he will tell you about it.

He usually comes into work around 11:00 am and stays until 5:30 pm. He complains about anyone who leaves work before him.

He likes to talk about his military background and his time in minor league baseball. None of these stories are true. He actually was in ROTC in college, and he used to go watch minor league baseball games.

Above all, he ranks loyalty of employees to the company (i.e. Him) as the most important quality in an employee. Loyalty trumps performance, profit margins, and personal hygiene. So, if you are a lazy, never meet budget, employee with a slight B.O. problem, you will be fine as long as your loyalty to the Company comes first.

The Non-Existent Employee Manual

This is the Employee Manual that I would have written IF the Company actually had a Manual.

WELCOME TO THE COMPANY!!

I am sure that you are excited about this new opportunity. You may have just left a really crappy job to start a new chapter in your career and Kudos to You for taking that step!

This manual is to guide you through some of the challenges that will be thrown at you by a company that meets every definition of a dysfunctional workplace including not giving employees an Employee Handbook.

Now don’t think that since you are not given an Employee Handbook that you do not have any rights or that you can’t be successful here. You do have rights, and you can be successful. Both will depend on how well you manage the insanity and how insane you are.

Questions?

So, why is there no handbook given to employees?

There is actually a handbook that management created in 1992, and in their defense, senior management has periodically tried to update the handbook over the years. The issue is that senior management cannot agree on anything. So, the updated handbook never gets past the draft phase. The last attempt failed because they could not agree on what type of font to use in the new handbook. The time before that failed because they couldn’t agree on who should be on the handbook review committee, and so on, and so on.

Meeting.jpeg

The original handbook is kept in a locked cabinet somewhere in the office. If you ask to see the handbook, you will be told that the handbook is currently being updated and that you will be provided the updated copy as soon as it is approved by the company’s legal counsel. This sounds legitimate on the surface, but keep in mind that this is the same story that they told me over fifteen years ago. Senior management also has the tendency to use free online legal apps as their “legal counsel”. So, buck up! there is probably some guy overseas living above a crack house reviewing the handbook as we speak.

How do I know that they will give me what they said they would in my interview?

You will get everything that is in your offer letter, but do not expect anything else. Most employees expect to show up for their first day of work with a work area set aside for them and a boss that is at least physically present to show you where the restrooms are. That is not the case here. The degree to which you are welcomed will depend on the circumstances under which you were hired. These circumstances are contingent upon which of the four senior managers were in favor of hiring you.

For example, if the manager that is referred to as a Sociopath hires you as her file clerk, your office will look like this…….

home office with a view

If the manager that is referred to as the Dragonfly were to hire you as a Senior Development Engineer, the best that you can hope for is this…….

opened and empty drawers of an old furniture

(By the way the Dragonfly outranks the Sociopath in the organization.)

Do not take it personal. These are things that are out of your control.

Okay, is there any other reason that a handbook is not given to employees?

Good question.

If three out of the four senior managers were capable of agreeing on anything, they would still need to wait until the primary shareholder in the company sold his shares or willed them to his next of kin because the primary shareholder holds 50% of the vote. The primary shareholder has publicly expressed his opinion on numerous occasions that if employees are provided a handbook, they will spend their days at work trying to exploit loopholes in the handbook, OR they will find something in the handbook that will let him/her sue the company.

Now at this point, you are probably thinking that you have made a huge mistake by accepting this job, but don’t despair, all companies are dysfunctional at some level, it is how you handle it that matters. You can make an obscene amount of money at this company, and this can be done by working as little as possible or as hard as possible. It is really up to you. The flip side of the coin at a dysfunctional workplace is that you can also lose money by working as little as possible or by working as hard as possible.

Now, that doesn’t make any sense?

Exactly. Welcome to a dysfunctional workplace. Traditional management techniques do not work here. You have to throw all of that out the window, or you will end up crying in the corner of the bathroom or develop a disorder that  will require medication. Already medicated? TablettenThen you will be fine here with the occasional increases in dosages. You may want to put that doctor of yours on speed dial.

I am doing this to prove that the power to excel in a workplace is yours if you are willing to embrace the environment that you are in. Managers come and go. New management techniques come and go. Sometimes logic works. Sometimes it doesn’t. You can stay too long, and you can run so fast that you catch the front door and the receptionist on fire when you finally decide to quit.

To allow your success and happiness to depend on a handful of people that would rather discuss font type than why their latest idea has put the company in the red is ridiculous. This is your career not theirs. So, it is time to embrace the reality of the situation and make a buttload of money off of these assholes! Remember that you wouldn’t have this job if the senior managers knew how to do the job.

Now even though there will be times, many, many times that you will just want to throw your hands up and walk out, you are not alone. For people who think that this manual makes sense, you have to understand that there are people like us out there. It is just that people have to keep us separated because if we found one another and started a company, it would put everyone else out of business.

You are going to be just fine.

Wait! You said that being insane has something to do with working here. Are there really insane people that work here?

One person No one that works here currently has papers provided by a medical doctor that say they are insane.

I know that all of this sounds ridiculous, but you will learn that in order to be successful in this workplace that you not only have to manage the employees that will be assigned to you, but you will also have to learn to manage the people that have the power in this company. Power in this company has absolutely nothing to do with the job title or where you fall in the organizational chart which by the way, has been in draft form as long as the Employee Handbook.

If this still scares you, don’t worry. No one is ever fired here. It is easier to fire a tenured teacher or impeach a President than it is to fire someone at this company. This is a company that fires you by making you quit.

Now let me introduce you to your senior management team…..in order of the most powerful to the least powerful.