Workplace gossip might seem harmless but it can have some serious consequences. Take this video, for example:
I know what you’re saying to yourself, “that’s fine Jeff, but I know the difference between Sheri and Ted. Sheri has cute side swept bangs and Ted has an ugly toupee and always smells like feet”, but even if you don’t make the mistake this guy did, you can cause other problems. For example, once you get on the complain train it’s hard to get off, then others will join you and before you know it you’ll have an office full of complainers, and that’s no fun. Make it a rule not to gossip in the office and if you absolutely have to complain about something, meet Ted after work for a beer or take him out for a muffin. Ted likes muffins.
For more cool videos like this, check out LevityUniversity.com. It’s the educational equivalent of a field full of puppies!
So it turns out that Charles Darwin may have been wrong about the mechanism that governs the formation of coral atolls. If you didn’t know that Darwin even had an opinion about the way atolls are formed, you’re in good company – no one else did either. Most people are, however, familiar with the theory of evolution that he very famously espoused. In case you missed that day in school, the theory of evolution states that God doesn’t exist and that people who believe in Him are dumb. It also states that scientists are evil alien pod beasts with a hidden agenda to hide the truth from the rest of us.
Wait a second – oops! Sorry, I got distracted there for a second by reading the comment thread following this article. An overwhelming majority of the comments are better suited for elementary school parking lot fights than for anything resembling rational discourse. Evolution, like plenty of other difficult issues, tends to make people throw logic and respect completely out the window. Which is exactly what I want you to do!
So, in honor of the people who posted comments in the comment thread of an article questioning the particulars of one esoteric element of the theory of evolution, I’d like to share with you a few conflict resolution techniques to keep in mind whenever your next argument happens:
Well folks, it looks like posting Spring Break pictures and engaging in long, incoherent rants against strangers actually can come back to haunt you. According to a recent study, approximately 10% of people between 16 and 34 have been turned down for a job based on something they’ve posted on their social media sites. Notice that the study includes people 16 years old. I repeat: some 16 year olds are being deemed incapable of bagging groceries at the grocery store because of some of the crap they post online.
Which I think is great – seriously, the way my groceries go into those bags is a really big deal to me, and I’m glad they’re being discriminating about who they will and won’t hire. The bigger problem, though, is that most young people still don’t realize how powerful a tool their social media sites can be to make sure they never have to suffer the oppression of a steady paycheck. Fully two-thirds of respondents don’t think their social media presence has any bearing on their ability to get a job. That’s a level of ignorance that I find appalling. I mean, if you want to avoid working, you should be aware of the things you can do to avoid it. Sure, maybe you’ll luck into unemployment by accident, but that’s not a real strategy.
So, in my continuing effort to make sure all of us can play all the video games we want, here are a couple ways to ensure that your social media platforms assure the world that you are effectively unemployable:
Wedding season is just around the corner, and we all know what that means. It means that all across the world, women everywhere are going crazy trying to figure out how to incorporate all of the things they’ve pinned on Pinterest into a single, cohesive wedding. I’m pretty sure some girls are already trying to figure out who they’re going to marry next so that they can organize all their ideas into different folders. Seriously, ladies, you can only have so many cake toppers.
And, in honor of the truly paralyzingly overwhelming onslaught that Pinterest subjects its users to, I’d like to share a few ideas that will help you ruin what would have otherwise been a perfectly enjoyable social media experience:
Sign Up for Every Social Media Platform You Are Aware Of! This is the equivalent of taking every single class that your university offers. Different social media platforms are useful for different audiences, and it’s fine to have a few favorites. But you know how when you join too many groups you end up being a crappy (and really stressed out) member of each of those groups? Well, it’s the exact same in Computerland.
We all know that we need continuous training to get continuously better. That’s true in every profession. Football players continually train, watch films, exercise, and run into cement walls to make sure they’re always at the top of their game; mimes continually don’t talk to anyone and get trapped in boxes so they can hone their particular craft; and you need to do the same if you want to be the best whatever-you-are they you can be.
Unfortunately, when it comes to spending money on business skills training, most of us put it slightly below the need to upgrade the filing cabinets. (Note to reader: if you have ever stared longingly at a new filing cabinet because it’s just so much more amazing than the filing cabinet you currently own, then you desperately need to find some better ways to entertain yourself.) So what can you do to get the training that you need? Fortunately, I have a few ideas:
Thank you, random Internet searcher for your curiosity about instant messenger at work! As some of you know, I have a professional development presentation called Becoming a More Annoying You! that covers issues of conflict resolution, dress code, office behavior, and sexual harassment. Which means that when someone wanted to learn more about instant messenger etiquette, they naturally came to my site to see what I had to say about it.
The answer? A big fat nothing. NOTHING! I HAD TOTALLY OVERLOOKED THIS!
How have I gotten this far without making fun of all the idiotic things people do with IM? Seriously, I’m pretty sure I’d forget to put pants on everyday if I didn’t sleep with them on my head so I’d see them first thing every morning. Anyway, here you go world – all the ways I can think of to annoy the crap out of anyone dumb enough to be your IMing partner:
So yesterday I went shopping. It’s something I generally don’t make a habit of, because there aren’t an enormous number of things I need to buy. I already have all the stuffed animals I need, and I’m not allowed to get an attack helicopter until I clean out the garage, which I really don’t want to do. However, when I do need to buy something, I am the quintessential man – I know what I want, I go out and buy it, and I leave the store as quickly as it is possible to do so. To the best of my knowledge, it is the only way to shop without slowly going insane.
And yesterday, after faithfully serving me for several years and through innumerable security checkpoints, my toiletry bag finally gave up the ghost. Its poor little zipper would hardly open anymore, and the stitching was coming apart on all sides. After performing a small ceremony (read: taking all my stuff out and throwing it in the trash), I decided to go buy a new one. I had about 40 minutes between appointments yesterday, and so I figured I’d have plenty of time. There was only tiny problem.
Well, it’s official. As of last week, Hotmail is dead. All Hotmail accounts have been ported over to Microsoft Outlook. If you have a Hotmail account then it will still say email@example.com, or whatever your screenname is (which I hope isn’t blubberfan), but you’re really on an Outlook account. The user experience isn’t going to change at all, but from now on anyone with a hotmail.com address should really be forced to display livinginthepast.com.
But living in the past isn’t such a bad thing. I had an awesome time as a 6-year old, and I see no reason to stop acting like I did then just because occasionally wetting myself isn’t considered as normal as it used to be. So to help you cling to the past like there’ll be no tomorrow, here are a few things to keep in mind:
Hello, and welcome to May! It’s finally spring. Everywhere you look, the butterflies are blooming, and the daffodils are coming out of hibernation and looking for salmon in the mountain streams. Ants everywhere are gearing up to kill other ants, and bees are researching new and improved ways to administer anaphylactic shock. Maybe we’ll get infested with locusts this spring, or perhaps mosquitos will finally get tired of going after arms and legs and will start to kamikaze our eyeballs. Your allergies will probably render you incapable of any constructive activity, and by the end of this month I wouldn’t be surprised if a tree falls on your house. Spring is a horrible season. And don’t even get me started on summer.
Notice how I took a generally happy time and turned it into something terrible? It’s easy to do. Here’s how!
Last week, NBC ran a TV segment predicting the potential demise of keyboarding classes. It seems that so many kids are becoming accustomed to texting that they don’t see the need to learn formal keyboarding skills. It also seems that smartphone manufacturers believe that predictive keyboarding is advancing at a rate that will make the need to spell words – or indeed, even know what words you wanted to use – irrelevant in the future.
Now I’m sure some of you know that I used to be an English teacher, and so you might be tempted to think that I find this development unnerving. But nothing could be further from the truth! I think this is perfectly awesome. And let me tell you why: