I was wasting time on Pinterest the other day when I saw a pin which gave this advice:
“Do your job slowly, but convince everyone that’s exactly how long it takes.”
After chuckling at that I realized it’s not actually bad advice. You won’t see it in any self-help book, and you probably aren’t going to hear it from your grandparets and sound life advice, but it’s still pretty good advice.
What other pieces of unconventional (but still good) advice do you have? I’m not talking about “save your money” or “seize the day” or things like that, I want some outside-the-box ideas.
Well, he didn’t quite phrase it like that, but my grandfather, who worked as a carpenter his whole life, often remarked that “You could tell that guy was being paid by the hour”, the implication being, he was taking his time to run up his paycheck.
Related to the above, grandpa told me one time how there was a difference of opinion about whether workers should be paid for the time they spent sharpening their tools, and other such maintenance. So, on some jobs they were paid, and on others they weren’t. So, any time he got paid for this part of the job, he made a point of sharpening every tool he had, whether they needed it or not.
As a good employee, you may think it’s important to be honest and point out flaws in company policies or manager behavior. You think that by giving constructive criticism, the company will take the advice to heart and make required changes. HA! That’s not the case. That will often backfire in may ways. First, the survey may not be totally anonymous or the manager may be able to identify you from comments you make on the survey. Second, bad reviews puts mangers in a bad mood, and they take it out on the employees. Just say positive and glowing things, especially about your manager. No matter what you say, nothing will change in the workplace, but if you say positive things, it can work out better for you.
Here’s one I heard recently that I’ve been thinking about:
Don’t persevere - be a quitter.
Rather than sticking with an activity or endeavor and working really hard at it, try a lot of things until you hit on one for which you have talent. This is contrary to what I’ve always believed, but I wonder if there might be something to it.
When my dad was teaching me to drive back in the 70’s, he said “Watch out for guys who drive with their hats on.” Back then, they were all in their 80’s and learned to drive back when 35 mph was burning up the road. Nowadays, all the guys I notice with hats on are driving like total douches.
I can testify to that. I was somewhat negative on the annual employee survey a few years ago, and then after I got called out on the carpet for something, my lead/manager mentioned that i was perceived as “negative” based on the supposedly anonymous survey. So I stopped completing the annual employee survey after that.
Your first day at a new job should match your work ethic. If you’re lazy then don’t work too hard otherwise they’ll expect that every day. If you’re ambitious do everything you can keep the expectations high.
If you finish everything on your to-do list every day then you don’t have enough to do.
This one is kind of dated in the modern paperless world:
If something lands on your desk throw it away. If it’s important it will come back to you.
The best advice:
Listen carefully to the advice of others, then ignore it.