American Management


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Rules of the workplace

Things I learned working for corporate America



Thinking is the hardest work there is, which is the probable reason so few engage in it.

Henry Ford


As of tomorrow, employees will only be able to access the building using individual security cards. Pictures will be taken next Wednesday, and employees will receive their cards in two weeks.

This was the winning quote from Fred Dales, Microsoft Corp. in Redmond WA


What I need is an exact list of specific unknown problems we might encounter.

Lykes Lines Shipping


E-mail is not to be used to pass on information or data. It should be used only for company business.

Accounting manager, Electric Boat Company


This project is so important we can't let things that are more important interfere with it.

Advertising/Marketing manager, United Parcel Service


Doing it right is no excuse for not meeting the schedule.

Plant Manager, Delco Corporation


No one will believe you solved this problem in one day! We've been working on it for months. Now go act busy for a few weeks and I'll let you know when it's time to tell them.

R&D supervisor, Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing/3M Corp.


Quote from the Boss: "Teamwork is a lot of people doing what I say."

Division Chief, RAFB, GA. Environmental Management


My sister passed away and her funeral was scheduled for Monday. When I told my Boss, he said she died on purpose so that I would have to miss work on the busiest day of the year. He then asked if we could change her burial to Friday. He said, "That would be better for me."

Shipping executive, FTD Florists


We know that communication is a problem, but the company is not going to discuss it with the employees.

Switching supervisor, AT&T Long Lines Division


Rules of the workplace


1. Never give me work in the morning. Always wait until 4:00 and then bring it to me. The challenge of a deadline is refreshing.

2. If it's really a rush job, run in and interrupt me every 10 minutes to inquire how it's going. That helps. Or even better, hover behind me, advising me at every keystroke.

3. Always leave without telling anyone where you're going. It gives me a chance to be creative when someone asks where you are.

4. If my arms are full of papers, boxes, books, or supplies, don't open the door for me. I need to learn how to function as a paraplegic and opening doors with no arms is good training in case I should ever be injured and lose all use of my limbs.

5. If you give me more than one job to do, don't tell me which is the priority. I am psychic.

6. Do your best to keep me late. I adore this office and really have nowhere to go or anything to do. I have no life beyond work.

7. If a job I do pleases you, keep it a secret. If that gets out, it could mean a promotion.

8. If you don't like my work, tell everyone. I like my name to be popular in conversations. I was born to be whipped.

9. If you have special instructions for a job, don't write them down. In fact, save them until the job is almost done. No use confusing me with useful information.

10. Never introduce me to the people you're with. I have no right to know anything. In the corporate food chain, I am plankton. When you refer to them later, my shrewd deductions will identify them.


Things I learned working for corporate America

Unfortunately all too true


1. Indecision is the key to flexibility.

2. You can't tell which way the train went by looking at the track.

3. There is absolutely no substitute for a genuine lack of preparation.

4. Happiness is merely the remission of pain.

5. Nostalgia isn't what it used to be.

6. Sometimes too much to drink is not enough.

7. The facts, although interesting, are irrelevant.

8. The careful application of terror is also a form of communication.

9. Someone who thinks logically is a nice contrast to the real world.

10. Things are more like they are today than they ever were before.

11. Anything worth fighting for is worth fighting dirty for.

12. Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.

13. Friends may come and go, but enemies accumulate.

14. I have seen the truth and it makes no sense.

15. Suicide is the most sincere form of self-criticism.

16. If you think there is good in everybody, you haven't met everybody.

17. If you can smile when things go wrong, you have someone in mind to blame.

18. One seventh of your life is spent on Monday.

19. By the time you make ends meet, they move the ends.

20. Not one shred of evidence supports the notion that life is serious.

21. There is always one more imbecile than you counted on.

22. This is as bad as it can get, but don't count on it.

23. Never wrestle a pig. You both get dirty and the pig likes it.

24. The trouble with life is, you're halfway through it before you realize it's a do-it-yourself thing.

25. Youth and skill are no match for experience and treachery.

26. No amount of advance planning will ever replace dumb luck.

27. Anything you do can get you fired; this includes doing nothing.

28. Money can't buy happiness; it can, however, rent it.

29. Never pass a snow plow on the right.

30. If you can smile when everything goes wrong, you probably don't understand the problem.

31. Morning people: "Early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise."

32. Night people: "Anybody who goes to bed the same day they got up is a quitter."

Now are there any questions as to why the United States has a trade deficit?



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Last modified 3/17/16