January 15, 2008

what have i learned? – 02

[to continue from “what have i learned? – 01″]

Lesson 03: Your boss did not hire you to ask him/her to solve your own problems
A lot of bosses may seem very nice to offer an open door policy and such. You know, stuff like “If you have any problems, do not hesitate to come look for me”. I can assure you one thing about that – it’s a gyp. A trickery. A stratagem. A bait in the form of assurance and promises… to lure out and identify suckers like you (face it, everyone’s a sucker).

The first step is always ‘to identify’. Once identified, they’ll have reasons to deny you your cheese, be it a business-trip-of-a-lifetime to Europe, an increment or even a promotion. It’s never a good thing to go to your boss and hope that you’ll get your problem(s) solved. Going to your boss for solutions is akin to admitting that you suck, weak, incapable and useless. Never ever do that. If you have problems, solve it yourself. That’s what they’re paying you for – to work for the company… which pretty fucking much includes solving problems. Get someone, anyone except your boss, to help you get through the hurdle. If you can’t solve it still and you’re in deep shit, good. That means you’ll never get into the same trouble again (presuming that you’re smart enough to learn from it) – and it’s still very much better than telling your boss that you suck.

Lesson 04: You’re making yourself look bad when you gripe, whine or backstab
Everyone judges. Your boss, your colleagues, your friends, the fatass security guard. All of them. And that makes it dangerous when you have a negative opinion about something. This is especially critical when you’re doing it in front of your boss. “Boss I think Benny sucks because he didn’t do his work properly bla bla bla”

If you think your boss is going to think that Benny really sucks and you’re better than him just by listening to your acrid testimony, then you must be delusional. Your boss sees it differently, no shit. He’ll see it that instead of helping your colleague Benny to improve his work quality, you’re trying to mar his reputation further by badmouthing him. That makes you even more of an asshole, less of a good worker cum team player and a least potential candidate to be a leader. See my point?

If you really want to make Benny look bad, the art is to be very much better than him (work performance wise) and at the same time, be able to indirectly show your boss that despite giving all the required help to Benny, he’s still as useless and painful like a hemorrhoid. That way, you’ll project yourself as a benevolent and dedicated team player, and at the same time, make Benny look bad ‘unintentionally’. (Don’t ask me how I learned this…)

Lesson 05: If you can’t beat the devil, join him
If there’s ever the most valuable lesson I’ve learned in these years working in a corporate world, this has got to be it – to learn things from everyone indiscriminately. You see, sometimes we tend to hate someone because he/she’s a zillion times smarter than us. This is natural. It’s our ego that’s fucking with us. We tend to feel threatened when we get outsmarted at stuff we think we rule best. I had the same thing when I started (still do, sometimes). I hated that cheebye senior engineer who coached me and treated me like shit. I hated that arrogant manager who kept rejecting my process application. I hated that pukimak HR cunt that almost took me for a ride by discreetly reducing my agreed starting wage (errmm, I still hate her today, despite her being retired and shit)

But the fact is, most of these people are the ones that can really impart shitloads of valuable knowledge and experiences that you can use. The person may not be someone you like in principle or whatever, but it’s your call. Fuck with them, you lose, because they’re so much better than you… or you can choose to join them and learn something from them. The dearest lessons in life don’t often come sugar coated for your convenience. They’re most of the time, hidden in guises and odd shapes (Now who the hell doesn’t want to learn all the good things from an ultra friendly scorching hot bimbo with embossed nipples? You wish)

I learned this in my second year. I started socializing with people whom before I considered despicable pieces of shit – but later, much to my own embarrassment, went on to discover that they’re very much knowledgeable than I ever was. These people kinda became my best mentors and I had less treacherous paths to worry about. I mingled and I learned indiscriminately. Still doing it.

michaelooi  | enlightenments  | 

12 Comments to “what have i learned? – 02”

  1. Adrian says:

    This is by far the ultimate guide, especially for those fresh graduate who is venturing into the corporate world, or some corporate world newbie. Most part of the lessons you have learned are true, but you forget to add that it is important to work hard and play hard to have a balanced life (or how you go home to a happy family to play with Regine, and that’s important to keep your sanity).

  2. jason says:

    when a boss says “my door is always open for u” he means what he says. just that people tend to interpret it as that it is open for them to come in. when in actual fact, the boss means that it is open for him to kick u out.

  3. hflee says:

    You got 4 and 5 spot on but I can’t agree with 3. Managers DEPEND on his/her subordinates for his/her own survival. And they know very well that if they can’t help solve problems, the entire group’s performance will suffer. Nevertheless, good advice all around. Your experience in thriving in company X shines in this post.

  4. michaelooi says:

    adrian – It’s not an ULTIMATE guide. It’s just some crude guide. The reality is much harsher than this.

    jason – Sort of.

    hflee – *chuckles* Whatever dude. You can even choose to believe that your boss is an alien, I’m not concerned at all.

  5. Pah says:

    for lesson 4, what if it’s the boss who whines and back stab? my ex boss is like that. whine to his subordinate. WTF?

    also, my other colleague was backstabbing me cos I do a better job than she does. So this idiot boss tried to penalize me during appraisal by saying ” U know, you need to share more with your team to climb up the corporate ladder”.. wtf? ask me to be kepochi? what an idiot he is.

    luckily i left the company. if not, sure i’ll rot there. If i mention the company name, u wont be surprised la cos alot of people know it sucks. :P

  6. Nicevil says:

    Great advice…… thanks for sharing your experience ! ;D

    But the “unintentionally degrade others” technique seems very mean though…………. must we truly eat each other to climb up the food chain ?

  7. souplad says:

    I have learnt my lesson and have a fair share of Mgt BS.

    Personnally i beg to differ on point 5. No offence to u …. for me it is hard sometimes to convinve oneself to stoop low.

    Ironically, it is equally hard to stand on that moral high grounds…

    and perhaps it is just a matter of changing one’s perspective where unacceptable immoral or lack-of-integrity behaviours might suprisingly be relevant acts of “justice” and “wisdom”

    they are definitely lessons and experiences that can be accumulated. whether or not it is relevant or valuable to anyone… well it might not be important anymore some time later.

    As for me i have decided to call it a day and seek for a sabbatical retreat.

    good luck to you and yours

  8. michaelooi says:

    Pah – A big work organization is like a mini government. There are bound to be politics and people wanting to carve flesh out of your back for their own gain. It’s always good not to take your work too personal… well, at least that’s my motto now.

    nicevil – No I’m not encouraging anyone to sabotage their co-workers. That’s just wrong. If you can read carefully (#4 – last para), I’m asking you to be better than him to show that he’s weak – and help him if you must. Simple. If that person still doesn’t improve and lags the org, then he’s doing the undermining himself. (digging his own grave)

    souplad – No problem dude. There’s no definitive way to get through a work life. Everyone has their own way of doing it. I’m just sharing.

  9. Eve says:

    u still rule, michael! lol

  10. Primrose says:

    Eh, that’s exactly what I’m doing now. Joining the devils. Funnily, they seemed tolerable afterall. Hmm…

  11. bongkersz says:

    Lesson 05: If you can’t beat the devil, join him

    this is the best advice. it can be fun. on the other side, haha!

  12. Neo says:

    My very first post here after reading your blog for years. A good piece of advise for rookie like me.

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