Monthly Archives: August 2006

Top ten tips for creating angry employees

I’m somewhat of an expert on anger. I think I’ve had good teachers, which is to say, I’ve worked for some very bad managers who were absolute masters in the art of infuriating their employees. I’ve decided to distill all the worst anger-instilling behaviour I’ve witnessed over the years into a top ten list – the things that absolutely guarantee an angry workforce.

This is not intended as a how-to guide for wannabe satanic managers. I did briefly consider that this might be akin to distributing a bomb-making recipe (very dangerous information in the wrong hands) but I actually believe most bad managers aren’t deliberately bad. They are far more likely to be ignorant of how destructive their actions are. As Hanlon’s Razor states: “Never attribute to malice that which is adequately explained by stupidity.”

So please, anyone in doubt, this is top 10 list of things NOT to do. So here are my top 10 tips for guaranteeing an angry workforce:

1. Don’t communicate – That’s right, don’t tell ‘em anything. Why do they need to know? They’re not the all-powerful manager – you are. Here’s a tip: if you aren’t communicating, your staff are filling in the gaps themselves. And they rarely put the most positive spin on things. Case in point: in one job the IT manager went on a trip to the branch office in India without telling anyone what he was doing. As a joke, I said he was going to outsource the whole department.

Everyone believed me. I assured everyone it was a joke and I had no reason to think we were being outsourced and everyone calmed down. Then he came back and still didn’t tell anyone the purpose of the trip or what he did while he was there. Then I started to think he really was outsourcing us.

2. Encourage a culture of blame – Things go wrong from time to time, that’s unavoidable. But if you spend more energy fixing the blame than you do fixing the problem people will know not to make mistakes again. Actually if you make people think your first reaction to discovering a problem is to look for someone to blame, they’ll stop coming to you with problems. And then you’ll never find out about problems until things are totally and irretrievably screwed.

3. Don’t recognise achievements – if you congratulate people for doing a good job they’ll expect pay raises and that will ruin your budget. Actually, recognising achievements can create more positive feelings in a workplace than money but still, they’ll get all uppity if you congratulate them for a job well done.

4. Impose arbitrary rules
– There’s no end to how far you can take this one. The rule can be no talking to co-workers, limits on software, hardware and/or peripherals available or even no drinking coffee at the desk. The important thing is not to waver from arbitrary rules no matter how logical the counter-argument made by employees. Change one rule and they’ll think they can change any rule they can build a compelling case for.

5. Play favourites – Some people are just more likeable than others. Everyone tells you to treat staff equally but how will your favourites know you like them more unless you give them preferential treatment? And besides, what’s the worst that could happen? The rest of the staff get resentful? You don’t like them anyway, maybe they’ll stay the hell away from you.

6. Be inconsistent – Even arbitrary rules can be made worse by enforcing them inconsistently. If staff don’t know how you’re going to react to a given situation, they’ll never relax. And relaxed staff are unproductive staff. Probably. Best not to take the risk.

7. Be secretive – This is not exactly the same as not communicating. Being secretive is making it obvious that something is happening but not telling staff exactly what. It’s even better if you tell them there’s a big secret that you can’t tell them the details. Combine this with playing favourites for extra effect – make it obvious you’ve told your personal pet but forbid them from telling anyone else.

8. Be unresponsive – Don’t respond to email. Stare in the general direction of your staff with a peeved expression but don’t say anything. Respond to any questions or (god forbid) small talk from staff with a grunt. Agree to meeting requests then don’t show up. This will let staff know exactly where they stand and exactly how powerful you are.

9. Refuse to listen – When staff come to you with important issues, brush them off. If you listen once they’ll expect you to listen all the time. How they think their concerns can have any effect on managing the department is anybody’s guess. They’re probably just complaining that they think your favourite never does any work. And you wouldn’t play favourites with anyone who’d exploit that favoured position, would you?

10. Refuse to change
– Sometimes staff will go to the trouble of presenting a case for changing your way of doing things. Sometimes that case will seem compelling. Sometimes you will be tempted to think about changing because it seems like the best thing to do. Banish that thought from your head! Are these schmucks managers? How could a non-manager possibly be smarter than a manager? Make sure to mark them down in their next annual review.

These are not the only ways to make staff angry but they are methods I’ve seen successfully employed many times over the years. Sometimes very successfully. So successfully that sometimes I formed the obviously mistaken impression that the manager concerned was a deranged psychopath. It’s a consistent disappointment to me that all the best staff quit when faced with managers like this. Where do they get off making logical choices to protect their own well-being? And how do quality staff always manage to find another workplace where they aren’t subjected to such negative behaviour?

Don’t people like a challenge any more?

60 Comments

Filed under Work

Michelle Malkin’s secret lesbian sex tape leaked

OK, I should admit up front that I don’t think that’s Michelle Malkin you see in this video.  To the best of my knowledge Michelle Malkin has not indulged in lesbian sex or made a sex tape of any kind.  But that girl at the front kinda looks a bit like her.  And I’m incredibly irresponsible.

UPDATE:
Some loser sack of shit complained on YouTube and this video got taken down.  The concept of someone being genuinely offended by a still image that shows a bit of butt crack is too fucking stupid to believe.  Based on my other online experiences, this is the work or some loser hater, not a genuinely offended person.  It isn’t as if it matters anyway, this is hardly an important video to me.  Either it was one of the normal boring haters who thought they were getting back at me by doing or it was a Malkin supporter.  Either way, fuck you losers.

- – - -

I’m a bad baaaaad man. I was bored and wanted to get some more hits on YouTube so did another “trick” video that fools desperate horny losers into thinking it’s a porn video. Hopefully you’ll find the out-takes funny – they certainly appeal to my juvenile sense of humour. Particularly the last one. The sound is real, not a trick effect. And, as embarrassing as it is to admit, it’s me.

I’m gonna get lots of hate mail from disappointed horny losers on YouTube now. HAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAA

14 Comments

Filed under Video Blogging

Sometimes being positive can get you killed

I’m all for positivity in the workplace, most of what I put in this blog are jokes (grounded in reality) but I usually wouldn’t act remotely like “Mr Angry” to anybody in real life, particularly at work. But every now and then someone gets just a bit too goddam cheerful at precisely the wrong fucking time to precisely the wrong fucking person.

This morning one of my cow-orkers crossed an important cheerfulness tolerance threshold. The wrong fucking time was 8.55 – 5 minutes before an important presentation when a major system meltdown occurred which, shall we say, slightly derailed my plans. The wrong fucking person was me. Basically, the situation was pretty shitty but salvageable. I was going to lose face but the people I work with are pretty reasonable, they know unpredictable disasters happen occasionally. So I was stressed but not totally losing my shit. Then the inappropriately cheerful cow-orker piped up:

Cheeful Cow-orker: Cheer up, it could be worse.

Me: (deep breath, search for inner calm so I don’t punch CC) How exactly?

CC: At least you have your health.

Me: How do you know that?

CC: What?

Me: How do you know I have my health? You don’t know anything about me. For all you know, I have cancer.

CC: Oh my god, you don’t, do you?

Me: No, but you don’t know that. Stop saying fatuous things or one day you’ll end up saying it to someone who’s just been diagnosed with some horrible disease.

CC: That’s a terrible thing to say. I was only trying to be positive.

Me: Well don’t, there’s nothing positive about this situation.

CC: There’s always something positive, you just have to keep looking.

Me: Yeah, like maybe I do have cancer.

CC: What?

Me: A really fast acting cancer that’s going to kill me in the next five minutes so I don’t have to deal with this shit.

CC: You shouldn’t say things like that.

Me: Or a massive brain haemorrhage. I could really do with a catastrophic subdural hematoma right now.

CC: I… uh…

Me: You do realise that the only reason you’re still alive is that this projector is too fucking heavy to throw at your head, right?

CC: (looking considerably less cheerful now) Whuh?

Me: How many seconds do you think it would take you to get out of my sight? Because I reckon I can find something to stab you in the brain with inside of 7 seconds from now.

And then the only sound I had to put up with was the sound of scampering feet as the inappropriately cheerful cow-orker fled in terror. It turns out he only needed 3 seconds to escape. Which was quite lucky because I found a sharp bit of metal in 5 seconds.

12 Comments

Filed under Work

Stephen Colbert, ZeFrank, a doughnut and a predictable backlash

Long-time readers of this blog will know I’m a big fan of Stephen Colbert, having formed the Church of Colbert earlier in the year after being simply overwhelmed by his ballsiness in ripping on George W Bush at the Whitehouse Correspondents Dinner.  While Bush was sitting about an arm’s length away from him.  Go and watch it on Google video if you’ve never seen it – it’s astonishing.

More recently, I have become a fan of ZeFrank, an online video blogger funny type dude.  ZeFrank’s “The Show” is, for my money, far and away the best work of its type being done online.  If anyone thinks they’ve found a video blogger funnier than ZeFrank I’d love to hear about them.

Anyway, this week, Colbert finds himself embroiled in an Internet storm-in-a-teacup involving ZeFrank and a doughnut.  Sharp-eyed WordPress blogger Kleinschmidt who has an interest in mathematics noted that ZeFrank and Colbert made essentially the same joke about the Poincare conjecture, illustrated with a doughnut.  ZeFrank’s show featured the joke before Colbert’s.  He made a good natured joke about the cynic in him thinking Colbert had ripped off ZeFrank but acknowledging that in all probability it was a coincidence.  The blog linked to above contains links to both videos so you can see them for yourself.

Then BoingBoing picked it up and ran with the rather more sensational headline “The Colbert Report rips off Ze Frank? For shame, if so.”  This in not a rip on BoingBoing, I’m a big fan and they did leave the question open ended.  Then they went and included a reader comment that basically said Colbert does this all the time as you’ll see in the following quotes:

“this isn’t the first time I’ve seen Colbert “ripping off stuff” from the Internets… It’s like he takes the stuff that, say, received 1,300 diggs that day and does the same thing on show and passes it off as his own… Now I wish I had a bunch of examples to give you to back up my point, but I don’t. I know, bad me.”

So essentially they decided to reprint someone’s opinion slagging off Colbert when that person admits to having no objective measurement for what he’s saying, just his opinion.  Well, I guess that’s what blogging is all about – slinging shit at other people.  The overall tone of the BoingBoing piece was reasonable enough but this reader comment was just bullshit.

Let’s see if we can objectively recap what happened.  ZeFrank does a daily show where he gives humourous takes on current events.  Colbert has a daily show where he… you guessed it… gives humourous takes on current events.  They both make an incredibly obvious joke about a current event.  The fact that ZeFrank got his version out first does not give us a straight line to Colbert ripping him off.  Admittedly, if I did a joke on my blog and then saw the same joke on a TV show a day later I’d be pretty spaced.  I might even suspect I’d been ripped off.  To his credit, ZeFrank doesn’t seem to be making a big deal about it.

If you think about it, for this story of a deliberate rip-off to be true, The Colbert Report’s writers, producers and Colbert himself would have to be stupid enough to think they could steal from one of the most popular video bloggers on the net and get away with it.  Possible but not very fucking likely.  And seeing someone big-note themselves and go on about how Colbert is unoriginal just pisses me off.  It’s an absolutely predictable backlash against someone who’s popular – it always happens.  Someone tries to build themselves up by tearing someone else down.  Real responsible, BoingBoing. 

Like I should complain.  I say worse things all the time.

5 Comments

Filed under Colbert, Internet, Video Blogging

Medicine is voodoo!

…Wherein I recount my misadventures with the head-hole spelunking ear specialist who traumatised me:

On the subject of videos, I’m doing my next piece for The Blogging Times in the next 24 hours.  If anyone has any suggestions for a topic I’d be glad to hear them.  Something topical about the internet generally or bloggin specifically that’s worth getting angry about.  I’m thinking about the British newspaper that stole someone’s blog post but I don’t have anything definite planned yet.

The Revver URL for this video is: http://revver.com/video/53291/20579

5 Comments

Filed under Video Blogging

Being obsessive is weird, even when you’re right

I’m starting to think all governments should be run by obsessive-compulsive hypochondriacs. We’re already dealing with a world run by people with severe personality disorders (usually of the Narcissistic sociopath variety) so I think we should simply switch the personality disorders involved. Seriously, all the major ills of the world could be fixed by OCD politicians.

We’d never go to war because they’d be freaked out by the potential consequences (as opposed to the current crop of political and religious leaders who don’t seem to even take a breath to consider the consequences.) We could stop worrying over what does and doesn’t cause cancer because they would focus on finding causes rather than protecting industries, companies and products that might be responsible. Pollution would be reduced as they obsessed over the health implications. We’d get clean energy sources because they’d pour research money into way to reduce pollution. That would get rid of oil dependence (a major source of conflict) and help reduce global warming risks as well.

But they’d still be weird.

It’s one of those things – being right doesn’t stop you from being weird. And most people would rather not listen to weird people. Attacking “problems” in an obsessive manner leads many people to think you are actually the problem. Like people who get obsessed with disinfecting every surface and constantly admonish you to constantly wash your hands, particularly when going to the toilet is involved. I have covered this topic several times (in fact I was prompted to think about it again when my very first video blog on the subject was featured on Chartreuse over the weekend) and I think I’ve established the definitive rules on the topic.

One of my favourite websites, the Snopes Urban Legends Reference Pages, has a great example of where being right doesn’t mean you aren’t weird. As a bit of background, Snopes.com seems to be run by people with way too much time on their hands. They actually have the time to research urban legends and see if there is any basis in fact. Sometimes it is a real surprise which stories are actually true, like this one about purses carrying germs from public toilets into the kitchen.

It turns out the freakishly obsessive person who wrote the original email message is right. But they’re still a fucking freak. Just get a grip! Why do some people have such a problem with perspective? If a few fucking bugs in your kitchen is your biggest problem, you’re doing OK. We all give ourselves food poisoning now and then. Deal with it and move on. This reminded me of one of the stories that tabloid “current affairs” TV shows regurgitate every now and then.

A couple of times a year they run some variation on a story where an “expert” runs tests on things like public transport, stair railings and door handles to show there are germs all over everything and we are picking them up whenever we touch anything. Well, duh. Whenever I see one of these freakish people obsessing over the germs that saturate every surface, I can’t help thinking they’d be a very weird sex partner.

“You want me to do what? Touch you where? Oh my god, you actually want me to put my mouth there? Do you have any idea how many germs that carries? I have no idea where it’s been!”

Or at least that’s the sort of thing I imagine.

16 Comments

Filed under General Angriness

The voices tell me what to do

It’s Sunday.  I’m trying to think of what to do for my blog.  I’m feeling a little… peculiar.  Then the inevitable happens.  I switch on the video camera.

The Revver URL for this video is http://revver.com/video/52969/20579

And what did the voices tell me?  The told me another sign of the impending apocalypse.

Spread the Revver ad-included gospel: http://revver.com/video/52836/20579

7 Comments

Filed under Video Blogging

Help! They’ve stolen my creativity!

Anyone who’s read this blog for a while will know that I’ve got a fairly liberal attitude towards content linking and re-use AND I’ve had some complete scumbag straight up steal my work and provide no credit back. The scumbags in question particularly pissed me off because they reproduced one of my posts in total, didn’t even suggest it wasn’t theirs and had a site full of ads. In other words, they were making money off my work and offering me nothing in return, not even a tip of the hat.

At the end of the day, I don’t think it’s worth losing too much sleep over the sort of prick who would do this. At this point in time, my biggest concern is getting my work seen. If someone manages to popularise my work while making it clear that it’s my work I’ll be happy even if they make money off it and don’t share it with me. If they’re better at publicity than me, that’s how they’re paying me. If they try and pretend my work is theirs (and therefore don’t give me publicity) I’ll be pissed off but it’s still relatively easy to prove it’s my work if they make it popular – after all they can’t steal it until after I publish it.

This video put forward my case that people who are getting really uptight about (for example) their Flickr photos being used on other people’s websites should calm the fuck down:

Of course you should feel free to distribute this video far and wide if you so choose. Here’s the Revver URL:

http://revver.com/video/52447/20579 

9 Comments

Filed under Video Blogging

I’ve been possessed by the spirit of Barry White

Which is to say, my voice is all deep and husky on account of this fucking chest cold. On the plus side, with my voice sounding like this, I could start a new career working on a phone sex line. I can’t see it lasting though, I’d start off sounding all sexy and sultry then end up coughing up a lung.

On the plus side, I’m not really, really sick, just enough to have the life sucked out of me so I don’t feel like doing anything. And my brain is so overworked simply maintaining basic bodily functions that it has no energy lift for actual thinking. Luckily I did another video yesterday before I started to feel this way. As soon as I edit it, I’ll post it. Which might take a little while because right now I can’t concentrate on anything for long before I uhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh…….

7 Comments

Filed under General Angriness

It’s official – I’m on The Blogging Times!

Anyone who reads this blog regularly will know how fixated I am on world domination so I’m very pleased to announce that Phase Two has begun. After a whirlwind of high-powered meetings (involving a couple of emails saying “You wanna do this?” , “Yeah, sure.”) my first video blog is up at The Blogging Times.

Here’s the first of what will hopefully be many regular posts about the wonderful world of blogging and the internet:

This is shaping up to be fun. Getting involved at close to the ground floor with some clever and committed people makes the future look very interesting. And this is just the beginning, Howard says he has another venture I can get involved with as well. Woo! Step back Rupert Murdoch!

14 Comments

Filed under Video Blogging