Archive for the ‘corporate’ Category

How to get anything done: Lie

I am a very upfront, and highly honest person. Maybe a bit too honest. I’ve said that before here at my blog but now I see that I have been wrong all along.

I recently spilled a glass of my breakfast Odwalla B-Monster smoothie all over my work laptop computer…and it wasn’t closed. At least the computer itself wasn’t effected but the keyboard no longer types the letters “U, Y, G, V and J.” I kind of need those letters. Well when I called IT, they basically told me in a very quaint and polite way.

“Just turn the laptop over in a towel. Everything will be OK. Contact your manager.”

Basically I needed to call my boss to see about replacing the whole thing as it was clear that the help desk didn’t offer an alternative other than make a hope, wish and a prayer.  I am quite sure that all I need is a new keyboard because luckily the actual computer works fine in my work docking station. I just can’t use it at home. When I told my boss, he was like “We’ll get it replaced.” But when I told him that I told the IT department that I spilt the smoothie he said, “You really are too honest, Jenice.” Is this a bad trait to have. Geez. I thought that was endearing in a person.

I guess some would call what I did too much disclosure. I probably should have just not told the whole story. But that just seems too unethical and of all the questionable things I am guilty of, being unethical is one thing I don’t want my name attached. So I told it like it was. I shall call it “Smoothie-gate.”


Well, all was fine for a while. The crud dried and the keys seemed to work for like 30 minutes and then it was no use. I was contacted this week about getting things sorted (not exactly sure how) but I just got this email from the tech handling my case.

 Just found out that the Dispatch was canceled for being honest about the reason for replacing the keyboard.

So when I emailed him back I said:

So if I had lied then I would have had this expedited better? Good to know that lying is the best policy these days. (INSERT SARCASTIC SMILEY FACE HERE.)

He said I had a point. However the the moral of the story is that when the B-Monster hit my keyboard, and I made the call, I should have said it just stopped working. I should have lied my ass off (or what many people call “not telling the whole truth/story”) and I would have a laptop with keys that work right now.  And as it turns out, the tech is going to find a way to help me so maybe being too honest still works out in the end. But really, lying is the best policy when it comes to getting things done.

Is drinking with co-workers a no-no?

It’s no secret that for centuries people have used drinking to celebrate special occasions or to bring people together. I don’t really see it as a “good” or “bad” thing when done in moderation. Of course that is me as of late … not me circa 1996-2006 (may she rest in peace).

But where does drinking stand when it comes to the office? Yes, I will be giving a television reference here but look at shows like Boston Legal and Ally McBeal. Please note of course that I realize these are both lawyer sitcom/dramas. There is always a silver of truth in even the shows we watch. Is it just the lawyers who can get away with the booze? Well lawyers AND journalists for I’m sure there are quite a few of the latter that could be considered quite pickled by now.

I recently attended a happy hour of sorts with co-workers. It was under the guise of being a send-off for someone heading to a different office. But I also think it was orchestrated as an event to finally relax, blow off steam and regroup. My question is, was that such a good idea? There were direct reports there, sitting right next to their bosses and having a few sips of whiskey.

To my knowledge I don’t feel we broke the work laws by partaking in the fire water after hours. I am not even really worried about next week. But I do wonder if it was ultimately the right move. I think we all wanted so much to just chill out and not worry about crap for ONE evening. I let go, everyone let go. It was freeing and everyone stayed tame and uncontroversial for the most part while being tipsy. So is it really all that taboo anymore to share a few drinks with folks from the office?

It’s not like anyone got naked anyway…

But isn’t that left for the company Christmas party? I mean, holiday party.

Can I please trade in my purpose in life?

In all seriousness, none of us can really know what our purpose is on this Earth — but we can sure take a stab at guessing what it may be.For instance, my guess for my purpose in life would be that I was placed here for two things: To act as a the corporate sounding board where ever I work and to “eagerly” volunteer for everything — even stuff I know I don’t really want to do. My time at work last week and now working well into the weekend helped me come to this “realization.”

Scenario one:  The Perpetual Complainer

OK, I do my share of complaining — off the clock. It was a hard lesson but I learned it just in time to now have to manage folks and keep a focused “eye on the prize.” But ring, ring here is yet another peer who is yaking about how much she doesn’t think things are going in a “fair” direction at work. And usually emails follow. It usually starts as, “Well why do WE have to do it when [the perpetual] THEY never do?” or “I just don’t see how this will benefit us.”Well usually I feel the same. I listen. I try the “positive” spin as I work through the complaint. Inside I agree, but I just can’t fuel the negativity. I save that for here.  🙂

Scenario two: The Big Cover Up

All I’m going to say is if you have to call before my visit to your bureau and unprofessionally warn me not to listen to what your “gossipy” staff says about your management and overall personal skills, you have something to hide.

Scenario three: Bitch Fest Liaison

Last week was like walking into a mine field when I visited another department at my company. Let’s just say I like to be able to hear what EVERYONE has to say; relate to them so they are comfortable; laugh; tell jokes;  decide what is fact, fiction or embellishment and then make sense of it all in time to report back to my boss. Why do I have to? Well because I really don’t see anyone else in my department doing it. But somehow my newly found “sense of purpose” is emblazoned on my forehead.

Scenario four: “When and where do you need me?”

That’s my handicap. Something needs to be done, the company needs help with something off work hours or so and so flaked, “Can you fill in?” Like the kid who always raises her hand in the front row of class, I remark, “Sure!” or “When and where do you need me?” When you scan the room of management, I’m the one who isn’t married. The one without kids. The younger one.

A wonderful addition to this is I get this closing remark from the older folks in the department quite often, “You’re young. You can handle it.”

Scenario five: Keeper of secrets

So and so did this, said this, their boss is having them do this but, “Don’t say I told you.” WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO WITH THAT? Here in my hands is a problem, now I have to decide if it’s true and then I have to decide the next plan of action in the most diplomatic and slick jewel thief kind of way in order to execute the solution or “report back” to the powers that be.

I know there is more to life — and for that matter my purpose — than this. But when it is the majority of your day to day activity … living … existing — it’s a little difficult not to think that this may be the illustrious “point of it all.”

Live blogging: Today’s journalism

Is the newspaper going to vanish any time soon?

That question isn’t really new. It seems like a lot of companies have asked that question already and have quickly jumped on the Internet bandwagon — and with such voracity and speed that the pages are still flying in the air from the desks of old cronies as the trend zips pass.

Now with the capability to write just about anywhere and have it immediately appear for eager eyes to see, what will be the wasteful point of print? The world is thinking green and that’s paper we may not need to use anymore by the time the 20 somethings are 50 somethings. Of course there are still people like my father who enjoy picking up a Sunday paper, having it in his hands, and being able to turn the page. You can’t turn a monitor screen but you can click away on a trusty mouse.

Today was the second time my publication did live blogging. The company that owns it has been doing live blogs for a while but now we are finally getting in on the action. I enjoy it but can’t help wondering who is it all for. I know the big wigs will be/are pleased. Names will be mentioned. Hands shook. Pat-on-the-back emails will go out next week. But did ANYONE read it??

Who can really sit at the computer most of the day tracking a live blog every three minutes? I guess you can read it after the fact but then that loses the “action” I think.

I’m not for or against the shift of journalism…but I do wonder what will be considered fad and what will stick even five years from now.

Any thoughts?

You blog, therefore you risk

Do you admire people in the media field?

Friends of mine have expressed from time to time that they felt I was pretty lucky to be in this industry.

And to their credit, they are sort of right. There are a some perks. People know what you do and they try to stay on your good side because they know publicity can be power. You get to meet people you may not have and do things that you may not have been able to otherwise. On bored, rainy or lazy Sundays you know that when you Google yourself, you will be on at least the first six pages. But that fact right there is the rub. Your name is out there. You stay somewhat exposed. And obviously by my writing this blog, I’m not really dodging the exposure factor. There is just something freeing about sharing your beeswax. Is it just me? Is it better to go into hiding?

I never really was the one to be a shrinking violet. Expression, to me, is a virtue. Way above patience though I think people who know me will say I need to switch the two.

So what do you do when you are a part of an industry with bylines but you want to put yourself out there in some other avenue that isn’t work-related? This is what I’ve mapped out so far and some of these are probably going to be self-explanatory as well as the fact that I’m only just now testing my theory. I may very well be slicing my own throat.

1.) Don’t name names. Hey, you’re going to probably be found out (even with a pen name, nothing is sacred anymore) at some point so don’t make it worse by giving people hints about who you are talking about. Don’t describe exact characteristics and don’t get into physical detail.

2.) Don’t give numbers, discuss circulation or share the intimate details of what can be conceived as the corporate pitfalls of your place of business. Though this WIRED article given out to my team by my boss may steer you differently on this subject.

3.) Don’t dis your company. Save that for anonymous myspace profiles.

4.) Use humor and some tack. You can still share you funny stories, talk about your experiences and what not, but don’t get carried away in profanity, threats and general remarks about just what exactly you may want to do to so and so in the office — or worse, your boss.

5.) Cross your fingers and hope if you get caught, your company has a sense of humor.

We’ll see. According to this article, I’m already breaking the rules.