It has been a while since I wrote on this topic, which, as I explained initially, was going to be a blog category called “Mama AnnMaria’s Advice on Not Getting Your Ass Fired” but it turned out out that doesn’t fit in the sidebar.
It was suggested to me this week by a couple of my less technical readers,
“You should write more posts that I actually know what you are talking about, like that 55 things you learned in 55 years.”
So, just for you, here is
How Not to Get Your Ass Fired: Part 3 – Realize you are NOT smarter than everybody
- Padding your hours isn’t fooling anyone. You might think you’re getting away with something but if your boss and co-workers aren’t particularly dumb, they know about how long it takes to create an SQL database, enter data or write a report. I don’t care if you say you were posting about your job during those 10 hours you were on Facebook. You’re not fooling anybody.
- Padding your expense account doesn’t prove you’re smart, it proves you’re clueless. Just like with hours, everyone else in your organization isn’t stupid. They know what it costs to fly from LA to Denver, what you pay for a meal in Fargo, on the average. Do you really think they don’t have any idea that $3,000 is unreasonable for a week in Omaha?
- Don’t try to milk your employer. This is completely different from asking for what you need to get the job done. I need a cinema display monitor because I have very poor eyesight and need large fonts to read. I spend the majority of my time on my computer. I travel many, many weeks out of the year, so I need a good laptop. I don’t need three laptops, two of which I give to my children to do their schoolwork. Again, because I travel a great deal, I do need a phone, but I don’t need every new iPhone and iPad that comes out.
Here is a really important key fact – you may think you are getting away with any of these stupid habits, but you’re not. Yes, maybe you turned in that expense account and the business office paid it. Maybe they did pay you for those 47 hours of overtime you said you worked. Maybe they bought you the new iPhone even though they bought you another one last year.
Why do they do that?
Let me give you three possibilities.
1. It may be that they don’t think you are worth bothering about. Yes, I know this hurts your little ego, but it’s a possibility. The business manager, in her head, makes a little black checkmark against you, thinking , “What an asshole”, but she has more important things to do than worry about some peon that overcharged the company by $700.
2. They are building a case. Did you ever hear the saying, “Don’t make a federal case out of it?” If you THINK you are getting away with embezzling money from the federal government, it may be that they are just collecting evidence. This may go with the first possibility, in that they are either in their heads or formally adding up the money you are costing them.
3. They know exactly what you are doing but they have decided that you are worth the pain in the ass of putting up with you – for now. Maybe you are a great software developer, attorney or accountant. It isn’t that your organization doesn’t know that you are screwing them over, but rather that they have decided to overlook it – for now.
So hey, you’re getting away with it, what’s wrong with that?
“No matter how great you are at your job, there comes a point beyond which it is not worth the pain in the ass of putting up with you.”
When your organization no longer needs you that badly, if your work starts to decline, or if you get a little more greedy, you, my friend are going to get your sorry ass fired.
They may keep you around but they sure as hell are not going to trust you. If you wonder why you aren’t getting raises, aren’t getting promoted, maybe it’s because you aren’t quite as smart as you think, or the other people around you aren’t quite as dumb. You might want to give some serious consideration to turning it around before you get your sorry ass fired.
It’s like push-ups for your brain.