I was clicking around through the NY corner of Blogland this morning, following links to NY blogs, marveling anew at how boring and fucked up so many twenty-something blogger types are and the painfully boring lives of people who blog in general when I finally came across a great site. As with so many cultural insights, I owe thanks to Roy. I noticed a link to Alicublog in this person’s blogroll which made me think it might be worth checking out some of the other listed sites.
So I found Rabbit Blog. Rabbit Blog is the site of Heather Havrilesky, an oft-published magazine writer, where she runs an advice column along the lines of Dear Abbey only much, much better. Her correspondents are interesting, her advice very well-written and sound.
This advice to a guy who was unsure about his position in the corporate world is priceless.
I want you to clear you head and focus on one very basic truth about the workplace, any workplace in the world: It's no fucking fair.
It's very, very important to remember this, no matter what industry you work in, no matter what kind of a job you have. Offices are poorly managed. Almost across the board. In fact, let's make a list of ten things to keep in mind, every single day, before you arrive at your job, whatever job it is.
Rabbit's Eternal Truths of the Workplace
1. Most offices are horribly managed.
2. Most managers can't, technically, "manage" worth a shit.
3. Most coworkers are out for themselves and no one else.
4. Most people -- bosses, colleagues, underlings, whatever -- don't know how to communicate clearly with each other.
5. Most people do work that ranges from mediocre to absolutely shoddy.
6. When you do good work, most people won't notice or if they do notice, they won't reward you for it.
7. Most bosses don't know how to clearly communicate their expectations to you, and are likely to sprinkle in personal insults, inappropriate comparisons to your coworkers, condescending asides, and other disturbingly unprofessional digressions when they speak with you.
8. When you communicate your goals and objectives clearly, most people will misunderstand you or assume that you're being overly aggressive or nitpicky or trying to steal their jobs.
9. The culture of most work settings is ineffectual, passive aggressive, wildly dysfunctional, dorky, and almost willfully chumpy, and often rewards mediocrity, troublemaking, pouting, and juvenile behavior.
10. If you attempt to be yourself or express your true feelings in most office settings, you will inevitably offend someone, step on someone's toes, piss someone off, or get slapped with a sexual harassment suit.