Showing posts with label Office. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Office. Show all posts

July 26, 2019

Duck Donuts Don't

A colleague brought these unbelievable fresh, hot, Duck Donuts into the office yesterday. 

Each one weighs like a brick and is so full of carbohydrate good(bad)ness. 

I had to use all my self-control and willpower not to eat any (or all) of these. 

It comes down to mind over matter--If you don't mind, it doesn't matter!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 27, 2019

Is Beer A Color?

So thought this was an interestingly funny flip chart. 

It's titled "Colors".

And it has the typical ones you'd expect: blue, red, green, yellow, orange, purple, black, white, grey, brown, and tan. 

But thrown into the mix is beer (and Summer)--maybe these go together! 

Perhaps, someone had a little too much beer when asked about colors.

On second thought, maybe beer is a color.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 9, 2019

Solving Computer Problems

Funny T-Shirt on solving computer problems:

Does it work?

Did you screw with it?

Does anyone know?

Can you blame anyone else?

This little flowchart seems to capture so many issues in the office like:

- Accountability

- Problem-solving

- Doing the right thing

Oh, maybe that's a different flowchart. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 30, 2019

This Is The IT Help Desk

This was a funny true story that happened recently. 

Someone found a roach walking around their desk in the office. 

Not knowing who to call...they call the (IT) Help Desk.


Hello. What is the asset number on the device you are calling about?


Asset Number! You don't need my asset number.


Well, what is the nature of your problem?


I'll tell you what my problem is. The problem is that I have a cockroach walking around on my desk!"


Ah, do you know that you are calling the IT!!! Help Desk?


Ah, yes I do. Can you give me the number for who to call about this roach?


Ah, you are calling the wrong number. Why don't you try finding out who your facilities person is?


Facilities person! But you guys are the Help Desk! Can't you tell me how to get help to get rid of this roach? And by the way--where there is one, there are definitely more.


Ah, We don't typically handle roach problems, but thank you for calling the Help Desk. {{click}}

I know many organizations are moving to Enterprise Service Desks where you can call and get help for all sorts of issues at work. 

Even then, I wonder if the employees answering the line will be trained in who to call to get a Roach Motel or some Raid. 

Perhaps this is the next evolution of support.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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February 13, 2019

Colleagues That Care

I loved this from a colleague the other day.

When things got a little tough in the office, I came in the next day to 6 smiley faces lined up on my desk. 

This is something that I really appreciate from some people:

Their HUMANITY.

Even though my colleague faced the same tough day, she was thoughtful of others and the impact on them (not herself). 

There are some amazing people out there, and I thank G-d for putting them in my orbit. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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June 8, 2018

Helmet Head

So happy Friday funday. 

We work hard during the week, right.

Today in the office, we replaced some old metal clunker garbage cans with some new clean plastic ones. 

The old ones, every time you threw a bottle or anything hard out, it made a crazy loud banging noise disrupting everyone. 

I started to joke with my colleagues that the dirty, heavy old cans were more useful as a helmet in case of emergency evacuation of something. 

So today the old metal junk cans got a happy face helmet head and a prestigious place next to the office plants.

Everyone had a good hearty laugh!

Honestly, it's wonderful to be incredibly productive and accomplish a lot for the people, the mission, and all the stakeholders, and at the same time know how to have some fun and make people happy. 

Good for morale and good for teamwork!  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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October 1, 2017

The Games People Play

The title sounds ominous, but I mean it differently.

People like to play games--the type you have fun at.  

We learn to play when we are kids. 

We get the attention of our parents and friends--and we have fun just being together, acting silly or even competing with each other. 

Whether it's over a game of Life, Monopoly, Risk, or Connect Four, or even these days going online with a game of Minecraft or Crush.

Sports is another type of game--great to play and others like to watch and cheer for their favorite teams or athletes. 

This week at work, someone said to come to his meeting because:
"...everyone would have fun."

Have you ever heard that at work--a fun meeting or for that matter anything being fun in an office setting?

The guy is a genius--people actually showed up in droves at the meeting. 

They had to choose between various meetings going on at that time--and low and behold, people chose this one that was going to be fun!

In the meeting, there was a big bowl of candy and chocolate in the center of the conference table.

And the mood was relaxed as we got down to some business. 

While we did the business, people felt free to be a little silly and laugh with each other too.

The tone had been set for some fun.

The person who hosted the meeting explained that he wanted people to have a good time coming to the meeting (and to work).

He called it "gamification."

The idea is why not make things into a type of game and have some fun with it instead of everything being so stuck up and nasty all the time. 

Listen, it was still a meeting and work had to get done, but it was nice to see a different lighter perspective put on it. 

People want to enjoy what they do--whether it's time with their family, friends, or why not even their work.

If we can make more things in life into a game of sorts and put "fun" into the equation of what we do--people smile, laugh, and let down their guards a little. 

Why shouldn't adult play games and have fun too? ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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April 9, 2017

Third-World Office

So hooray for paper towels. 

A good workspace is definitely conducive to productivity and morale. 

That means cleanliness, open collaborative spaces, quiet work areas/offices, ample supplies, and obviously good technology. 

I've been in world-class institutions in terms of their mission, but that were third-world in terms of their work conditions. 

In one place, the bathroom toilets kept getting clogged with paper towels, so they got rid of them altogether, which forced the employees to use toilet seat covers for hand towels--yes, believe it!

Of course, at least we had running water, but there was also often flooding in the cubicle areas and the windows were nailed shut--high-tech security, not. 

In another place, in the private sector, I remember a new CFO coming in and being so cheap that he actually got rid of the milk and creamer from people's coffee. 

Talking about pennywise and dollar foolish. 

Don't these institutions get that the way you treat people impacts the way they respond to their work.

How can we be the Superpower of the planet and can't provide decent, normal work conditions to our workers. 

It goes without saying that treating people with respect, dignity, and value should be happening all the time, but doesn't.

We're not even talking six-figure bonuses and stock options either--just treat people like human beings and not indentured slaves or cattle. 

Wake up America--you're people are worth working plumbing, paper towels, and some milk and creamer for their coffees and really a heck of a lot more than that. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 3, 2016

Relationships Matter Most

So if I have only learned one thing from work and office politics...it is that relationships matter to results!

And not only that they matter, but that they matter the most. 

Results are great and important; however if they come at the expense of relationships or it's a "burn the bridges" type deal--then the results are not just tainted, but perhaps will be doomed to fail anyway and all the more so. 

The way we treat others is paramount to what we do. 

G-d watches us--and He/She will judge us accordingly. 

Every interaction with others is a test for us. 

How do we speak to and act with another one of G-d's loving creations. 

Treating people well does not need to come at the expense of results--rather it is the secret sauce to getting results. 

This doesn't mean that you have to be liked or loved, but that you do the right thing and for the right reasons--great deeds come with truly best intentions. 

Integrity is not just a word--it is a life principle!

When you treat people badly--how do you think that impacts the office and the ultimate mission?

Success is people and product.

And life has a funny way about it with karma being ever present.

(Source Photo: here with attribution to PoYang) 
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February 23, 2016

Work Is For Work

So when I saw 2 awesome colleagues bright and early in the morning standing in the hallway on the way into the office already talking about work--I said, "You guys are already talking shop?"

Now it happens that these 2 actually carpool in together...

So I asked, "Didn't you have enough time in the car to talk about this [business]?"

To which one person replied, "Oh no, we don't talk about our work in the car!"

At first it seemed funny that you would wait an hour's drive and not say what you have to about work and hold it until you just get in the door.

And then after a split second--well of course, that's their time!

Work is for work. and free time is your personal time (for personal care, health, G-d, family, extra-curricular activities and interests, travel, etc.)

It's good to have some healthy separation--to mentally box them out and to keep each sacrosanct. 

We can live and work (not just "live to work") each in it's own rightful time and place and get the most done for our jobs, ourselves, and our families. ;-)

(Source Photo: here with attributio to AmatuerX)
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January 1, 2016

Homesick or Heresick

It's funny, my dad used to tell a joke about not being homesick, but being heresick (wherever that "here" may be for somebody--they just want to get out of there)

Recently, at work though, I have found there are many people that don't want to go home at the end of the day--and it's not because they always still have so much work to do (although sometimes certainly they do). 

Yesterday, I asked someone at work--on New Years eve--what they were still doing there late in the day.

Someone with a fairly new baby at home, jokingly winced at me, and said something about it sometimes being better to stay a little later at work, because when he/she gets home, they start all over again with the spouse and kid(s)--like so many of us. 

It's strange to me, because I love and value home. 

And it's like the old rhetorical question about do you work to live or live to work. 

Just yesterday, in the Wall Street Journal, there was a book review about someone who opined about how home is where the heart is--and in anthropological terms--it's always been that way!

Home is our sanctuary, for ourselves and our beloved family, it is where we are "king of the castle," and where we do everything from shelter, comfort, reproduce, share, and generally love and care for each other. 

Yet, back to work, many people these days don't want to go home to crying babies and dirty diapers, nagging spouses and the evening fights, encroachment on private spaces, and errands galore (it's a 2nd job almost)--cooking, cleaning, shopping, laundry, and bills--or even just plain loneliness there. 

So people hang out at work--they schmooze, they snack, they Internet, they may go to workout, or they dilly and dally--just so they don't have to go home. 

As someone recently said to me, "It's quiet. I like it there. Nobody bothers me there."

They are homesick--not missing and yearning to be home, but some almost to the point of sick at the thought of going home. 

Work or anywhere else then becomes a refuge from the home that home is supposed to be. 

Sometimes it's just a temporary thing at home, sometimes it's more ongoing or permanent.

Everyone has a different home--for everyone it should be a true home. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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August 31, 2015

Quickie But Goodie

So in the office, one person says to another that they need to have a meeting to catch up on some things. 

The other person is obviously very busy, and so the first person trying to accommodate and be mindful of people's time says, "We can do a quickie."

At which point, the kindergarden personalities take over in the office, and the person responds cracking up, "I am begging you never to say that again!"

It funny how despite people growing up on the outside (in years), people are still always sort of just kids on the inside. 

Maybe in a way that is a good thing that part of ourselves retains the carefree innocence and jovialness of our youth.

We may not be sooo gorgeous anymore, but we are still the same person on the inside--just a little more experience behind us. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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July 17, 2015

Work-Family Is A Word

This week I learned something about "work-family."

Yes, work is not family--it's your job.

But on the job we meet people that influence us, change us, and sometimes inspire us. 

Not everyone has a positive impact on us--some people we work with are bad, unbalanced, selfish, biased, and abusive--they bring their personal craziness into the office. 

But some are truly good people out there--and they leave a lasting impact. 

This week was the first time I experienced someone in my group passing away suddenly. 

She was at work Monday and Tuesday--we had talked and joked.

I remember she wore pink on Tuesday and it matched a pink stuffed animal on her desk--she looked happy or at peace. 

By early Wednesday morning, I was getting texts then calls that she had passed away (I simultaneously let my boss know). 

One day she was there in the office (and had been for some 30 years) and the next day she was gone.

But there was something special about this lady and how she interacted with the team. 

She seemed to touch people far and wide with her outreach, caring for others, joking around, and good spirit despite whatever challenges she herself may have been going through.

When she passed this week, people were in my office and the halls crying--they loved this lady, their coworker and friend.

At 9 AM, I gathered the broader team to announce her passing. "One of our own has passed." I spoke and then went around offering others to say a few words, which some surely did. 

At 10 AM, I sent a notification of the passing to the people in the entire building (and others associated).

Later in the day, there was a toast to her and more speeches from up and down the chain to remember this good lady as well as to pull together as a team to support each other.

By the next day, things had quickly moved to care for the family, packing her office things and memorializing her, as well as provisions for some grief counseling. 

[Note: I am blessed with an extraordinary high-performance team, and this passing was not only a shock but added to the intensity of the work we do and how much of it there is.]

Once we have all the funeral arrangements, then next up is sending out an broader department-wide notice--and a large attendance for her is expected. 

What I learned is that while work itself can be productive and meaningful, through doing good to others and sincere personal interactions on the job, there can be bonds formed that can have a personal impact on people and bring tears to their eyes. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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March 25, 2015

The Geometric Desk

Thought this desk was really nice. 

Professional, clean, hardwood, and very polished!

Not overly large, but I  liked the geometry of this thing, which made up for it.

The square draws on one side and the inverted cone on the other--very cool.

Great design, and seemingly good quality for home or office. 

Made in America? That would be especially nice (let's bring the manufacturing home!)  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 30, 2015

Going To War, In The Office

So occasionally in the office, people perhaps forget where they are...

And instead of working together to solve problems, they go to war with each other and make more problems. 

Yes, there are power politics and plenty of my slice of the pie versus your slice of the pie--whose slice is bigger, whose got more cheese and toppings, and whose slice is pipping hot. 

Most often these office controversies happen behind the scenes or closed doors.

Behind the scenes, you can't see the knives violently slashing and behind paper-thin closed doors you (usually) can't hear the screaming!

But every once in a while the "passion" of the work spills over into the public domain--sometimes in a meeting, hallway, cafeteria, or the even the company picnic. 

In all these cases, the professionalism goes out the window way too fast and out comes the drawing of lines in sand, the I'm right and you're wrong (including wagers for a good lunch or even maybe a nice crisp $100 bill), and threats to escalate (as if this wasn't ugly enough already).

What comes over people in the moment--perhaps they simply feel like they are in the right or that they are simply defending themselves, or maybe there is spillover from problems at home, ego at play, socialization issues, or even personality disorders.

Whatever the reason, as one of my best friend's fathers used to say, "When 2 people fight, they are both wrong!"

Or some people say that "they both end up with black eyes"--even if one comes away worse than the other...

And I think if you've ever had a car accident with another driver, you would know that the insurance companies agree with this principle, and attribute some portion of blame to each driver--whether 50/50 or 99/1--everybody plays a part whether in an accident, dispute, or an all out brawl.

What's interesting watching these unfold is how the participants are almost in their own world with everyone else as bystanders, sort of just fading into the distance--so they do everything wrong:

They speak emphatically in absolutes (and maybe even yell a little), cite chapter and verse (but from different books), name drop (ever bigger executives in the organization whether they really know them or their positions on the issues or not), name call and make personal digs, and perhaps--although it should absolutely never come to this--get physical (like slamming their portfolios, coffee mugs, and doors, or I heard one person who even threw something at their colleague).

Aside from these folks typically losing the argument and whatever they were after, what's worse is they lose everyone's respect, and maybe even their jobs. 

The arrow of the workplace fight shoots way up, and comes down hard and fast right in their behinds...it's a stupid, but endlessly painful and deserved ouch.  ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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January 7, 2014

Live Stress Free, Almost

As we all know, stress is a killer--so you want to minimize it (if you can)!

There is a great little piece from CareerCast on the most and least stressful jobs out there in 2014.

From least stressful--audiologist.

To most stressful--enlisted military.

Anyway, to avoid stress--keep calm like the picture says, but also consider jobs with the following attributes:

- Desk job

- High growth potential

- Fewer strict deadlines

- Less travel

- Greater congeniality 

- Non-hazardous

One question from the list of jobs...why be a taxi driver earning an average of almost $23,000 a year in one of the top 10 most stressful jobs, when you can be a hair stylist earning about the same and have the 2nd least stressful job out there? 

So trade in your driver's license and learn to give a great hairdo! ;-)

(Source Photo: Dannielle Blumenthal)
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December 25, 2013

The Lie Of The Open Workspace

There are so many workplace liars—the problem is many of them are experienced and good at selling you a bunch of malarkey.

Often, they tell you what they want, either to save the company money or to make themselves look innovative, but either way it’s inevitably at your cost. 

One of these lies is from chieftains that tell you’ll be better off working in an open workspace--i.e. thrown into a corporate bullpen.

Oh, by the way, vacate your office by Friday!

Sure there are a plethora of benefits to having common spaces to share ideas and open up communications—and these should be plentiful and stocked with comfy sofas, energy-inducing munchables, and ample white boards and tech gear to facilitate collaboration.

But when the pendulum swings all the way to the other side, and your personal office space become a hoteling situation, you know you are losing out to penny-pinching executives, who want to save on leasing office space, furniture, and the like in order to boost their personal bonuses at the end of the year. 

Just ask yourself:

- Do people need privacy to handle sensitive personnel, budget, contracting, and strategic planning and execution issues (as well as occasional family or personal issues—we are all human)?

- Do you need time to close the door for some quiet time to think, innovate, and catch up on work?

- Is there a genuine human need to have a place to put your work and personal things to be productive and comfortable?

The truth is that people need and deserve a balanced work environment—one where people can move healthily between closed and open spaces, individual work and teamwork, privacy and sharing, creativity and productivity, individualism and conformity, comfort and cost-savings. 

Anyone that tells you that people work better in a fully open environment where you have to book up a desk and computer is selling you on short-term organizational cost-savings at the expense of longer-term human capital satisfaction and productivity.

Next time, a “leader” tries to convince you of the merits of your not having a professional workspace, desk, computer, and so on—ask yourself whether you want to work in a Motel 6 every day or for a stable organization that values and invests in it people. 

An appropriate blended environment of open and closed work spaces, where it shows that you are empowered and valued is a career, and not just a job;-)

(Source Photo: here with attribution to epochgraphics)
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September 29, 2013

Smellicious

This past week in the office we had an etiquette offense. 

Someone had some lunch that was smell-eeeee!

The whole suite was reeking from it.

First one person runs up to me as I enter the suite and says, "Did you smell it?"

Just getting over a cold, I say innocently, "Smell what?"

Then as I head down the hall, even the sniffles doesn't protect me from whatever's been cooking in lunch-land.

Ick--it's like a combination of day old leftovers that have been warmed over with a foul fishy smell combusting the whole work area. 

Next, I see one guy running around the cubicles with a air freshener--spraying and spraying--everywhere. 

Followed by a lady, with a similar aerosol, sticking her head in the offices and giving a spritz or two or three. 

Colleagues were gathering to discuss the stink and venture guesses as to who the culprit was that would invoke such horror in the office. 

Jokes and mild-mannered innuendoes followed to sort of lighten the mood of the folks that had been working extra hard the last few months. 

The stick stunk for almost 24-hours, but despite the bad smell in the air, the gregarious mood made up for it--as it was just another event we could bond around--the smell, the sights of the people running around with air fresheners, and the good-natured ridicule on who would offend and break the professional code of conduct--and leave everyone gasping for breath. ;-)

(Source Photo: Andy Blumenthal)
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