It’s after midnight and officially the weekend so it’s time for the sixth installment of Mama AnnMaria’s Guide to Not Getting Your Sorry Ass Fired.
As I was saying … there are many reasons you can get your sorry ass fired and many of these have nothing to do with your ability to perform competently at your job. I used to think the same as you, that if I was a good programmer/ cashier /secretary/ accountant / dental assistant / teacher or whatever, that my job should be safe. If I was a better than average whatever it was, they were lucky to have me.
No. Read my lips, or, in this case, type … no matter how great you are at your job, there is a point beyond which it is not worth the pain in the ass of putting up with you.
Let me give you a few examples in the “I can’t believe I have to explain this” category.
- The stuff at work is for you when you are at work. There are two parts to that sentence you should understand, “FOR YOU” and “WHEN YOU ARE AT WORK”. Maybe your job provides a nice office for you with a nice employee lounge. Your spouse/ mom/ roommate/ homeless guy you met on the street should not be in the employee lounge drinking the free coffee, watching the free cable and eating the free bagels. Now, I’m not saying if your roommate is in the neighborhood one day, he or she can’t relax and have a cup of coffee while waiting to go to lunch. What I am saying is that I shouldn’t see your boyfriend hanging out in the lounge more often than people who work here. There is NO circumstance under which I should find an adult who doesn’t work here sleeping on the couch, floor, across two chairs – either in your office or anywhere else in the workplace. If they are that sick, take them to the hospital. If they are that drunk, take them to rehab.
- Don’t take stuff home unless you need it for work, that includes filing cabinets, coffee pots, fax machines, boxes of – well, anything – and that package of printer paper you took home to print out your roommate’s wedding invitations.
- Your work cell phone, iPad, computer and car is for you, for work. I can’t tell you the number of times I have seen someone in trouble at work because their child or friend broke their employer’s equipment, had an accident in a company car. This is the face I make when I hear that.
Seriously, what the hell are you thinking? Why was your kid playing with your company phone that she could drop it in the toilet? Why did you let your friend drive a car that did not belong to you?
4. Your mom shouldn’t be coming to your work place on a regular basis. The only exception I can imagine is if you work in a coffee shop and she comes there for coffee every morning. Otherwise, see face above.
Basically, get this straight, your work place is not your home and your office is not your living room. Wear pants. Wear shoes. Brush your teeth and bathe before you get there and don’t invite in your friends and family or share the place and the stuff in it with them. Let me explain why, because sometimes when I say this to people they think I am being mean, and they try to tell me that they are the only one of their social circle to have a job, have access to these nice things and what is wrong with sharing the wealth.
I will tell you what is wrong – generally, your employer budgets enough money for space, supplies, equipment to meet the needs of the people employed. A few times a year, when I submit budget justifications for granting agencies or investors, I include our estimated costs. Those extra people you are bringing in with you, whether it is space or flash drives they are taking, were not in the budget and as a result, there is not comfortably enough for the people who work here. This in itself may not be enough to get your sorry ass fired, but if your behavior in the workplace is annoying enough, you will find yourself the first one up against the wall when the revolution comes.