Ode to the Dog of War…

This article is dedicated to The Dog of War; the person that is at war with his fellow man in the workplace. He is a destroyer, but presents himself in the guise of a “fireman,” needed and valued by his principals as the one person who can sort through the issues, determine acceptable solutions, and save the day. He is the one who will be known as “…he who put out the fires.”

Unfortunately, in putting out fires, he causes more…

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Dealing with Workplace Incidentals

Can you accomplish one or more of your objectives within this system? Keeping in mind that this system is not unique, but pervasive; and differs only in detail at other firms…

A series of statements recently posted on GaryNorth.com indicate an employee is trying to work through an understanding of his employment environment:

“I had told my wife I could try a dramatic approach, if needed, to try to get what I wanted (which included acting like I was quitting), but I told her the risk/reward potential of that approach wasn’t tilted in my favor in this situation.”

Nothing personal, and no hard feelings, but I suggest you act business-like. “Business-like” as if that next employer was watching. What image would you like him/her to see when you discuss your current behavior at that job interview? Let your preferred image guide your action.

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Manage the Risk of Briefing New Management

By staying objective, sticking to the facts, and allowing the new management the time and space to work through his/her problem, we can be part of the new manager’s solution, not part of the problem.

A respondent on GaryNorth.com has a problem…

He is a mid-level employee of a firm, is concerned about how to respond to the incoming new top-level boss, who wants one-on-one interviews with all subordinates in the firm, for the stated purpose “… to learn exactly what they do, and to get to know them.”

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What Are We Paid To Do?

Being a sagacious manager, he wasn’t rubbed wrong and didn’t take offense that I had been majoring in minors off performance objectives, and spending company resources doing so, but merely informed me that being rubbed wrong and taking offense were not requirements of being herein employed…

A member of GaryNorth.com recently posed a question:

Should you call people out on email etiquette errors?
Example, there is a person I often work with in my company who:


1) Sent an email to me with a simple request, and CC’d my supervisor. My supervisor has complained to me in the past that he gets too much email. But now that he has been included in the chain, I have to include him in all replies — good etiquette. He doesn’t really need to know or care about this simple request sent to me and that fact that I have completed it. He’s delegated complete and total responsibility to me in this area. So when I have to include him in 3 or 4 emails back and forth, I feel like I am clogging his inbox. Now, if I had totally blown off the request (not even replied) and this person wants to email me a second time, and also include my supervisor — thereby properly escalating the issue, sure, that’s understandable. But including him on the first email is totally unnecessary, and, completely annoying.


2) Sent me an email, the first email on a new topic, by replying to an old email I sent, without changing the subject line of the email. E.g. new email is on “Topic B” and subject line reads “Topic A”. Again, a little frustrating when I see my inbox and I see “Topic A” in the subject line. My first thought is, “What now? I thought Topic A was resolved days ago!”

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