After my last failed attempt to hold down an office job and the subsequent introspection (possibly rumination) that followed, I have deduced that the "Dumbing Down of America" must have started briefly after my graduation from high school. That was in 1981.
I’m not saying that because I’m bitter.
Before this era of Ritalin, tutors, Google, study centers, SAT prep and helicopter moms, the only option was to sit your ass down and concentrate. Or suffer the consequences. By spending hours with information--be that memorizing for regurgitation or truly trying to understand the subject matter--it forced us to make our brains useful.
At least some of us.
Little did I know, my persistence (okay, stubbornness) with earning straight A’s, would make me an outcast in the modern paradigm of business. And I see, since I left the workforce about 25 years ago, that the phenomenon of office politics has only escalated.
I’m saying that because I’m bitter.
With every passing experience, the reasons I don’t “fit in” to modern organizations continue to grow. Even though the Google generation prefers that I put a “Top 10…” or other number sequence in my title, I’ve chosen not to. That’s because I hate pointless rules. Keep in mind that if I had filled a Folgers can with mementos and predictions some 30 years ago, I would never have conceived that a list like this should have made the cut.
Now, had I put Mentos and Coke in that can, who knows where I'd be right now.
Here goes. The reasons why you shouldn’t hire me:
1. I execute. As efficiently as possible, I’ll get my mind around the required task, ascertain the resources needed (those we have, those I can learn and those we’ll have to find) and provide input. I’ll even go find them, if necessary.
2. From what I’ve witnessed, #1 makes me a weirdo.
3. I strive to be different but I’ve been called much worse.
4. I don’t do office politics. I don’t do “Don’t talk to him before he has coffee,” nor do I patronize some asshole who doesn’t want to work. As Dolly Parton once said, “I step around them.”
5. I never need a cigarette break. This has been known to decrease the exercise I get during the day. To compensate, I take the stairs. Because I don’t smoke, they’re relatively easy.
6. Lunch is not an event. It’s just lunch.
7. I love my projects. I show up early and work late if necessary because when I’m involved in a project, my mind becomes obsessed with it. This is the only way I know how to work.
8. When writing content, I ask a lot of questions. It might be annoying but if I don’t understand the nuances of the information I’m representing, readers won’t either.
9. I love input. An extra set of eyes is a blessing to any writer. I don’t require this but I greatly appreciate someone who gives a crap.
10. I don’t adhere to my job description. I’m here to help. Let’s do this.
11. When applicable, I will use the word “pussies.”
12. I’ll work as a “we” or a “me.” But the “we” better be motivated or I’ll be “me.”
13. Attention to detail is everything. I realize no one is perfect but if a team member hands me his/her contribution, says, “I threw this together in 20 minutes,” and truly, madly, deeply believes this is acceptable, I’ll go ape shit.
14. If it’s new and we have to learn it, I’m in.
15. I am never bored. Ever. There is always something to do.
16. I learned how to make OCD my friend.
17. I’m predominantly optimistic. Until I’m undermined.
18. I’m Irish. It will take me longer to make my point but in the end, it will be a good one. This is why you should continue reading.
19. If content will help solve a problem, I’ll write it.
20. I Google everything. And I'm often shocked by what comes up in the most of innocent of searches.
21. I hate worthless meetings. If I go in one and emerge with no actionable item, I’ll want my money back.
22. My desk is always a mess. I have an article that claims this has some correlation to intelligence but I can’t find it.
23. If someone likes to call meetings simply to fart epiphanies, he/she better also like to roll up their sleeves and help execute.
24. I’ve been sober for a decade so when I feel the need to drink, I pick up my laptop.
25. You’re currently reading my glass of wine.
26. If I find out I’ve been "thrown from the car" on items/projects with no further information, I will take it personally. All it takes is a little communication.
27. I once heard a smart startup CEO say, “People will perform in the future exactly as they have in the past.”
28. I love smart people.
29. If you’re really smart, I’ll be obsessed with you. FYI, I prefer “shadow” to “stalker.”
30. If I don’t prefer someone’s work, someone will have to tell me how to relay this so in the end, that someone knows I don’t prefer it. My experience has been that the “everyone gets a trophy” generation accounts for 98% of people alive today.
31. I think the job application process, as much as a hundred ways exist to profit on people looking for work, is a poor indicator of performance.
32. I have never lived in a box nor do I think inside one. My cat, however, prefers them.
33. I volunteer, I advocate, I vote. Even striving for that elusive quality called “balance,” I find that most of my time is spent keeping the bills paid and slipping in time to hang with my family.
34. Nepotism sucks.
35. I won’t do everything perfectly but it won’t be for lack of effort.
36. I don’t mind covering my ass. I prefer it to watching my back.
37. I heard Snoop Dogg and Martha Stewart have a new cooking show. I will never miss a deadline because I’m streaming it.
38. I was voted “Most Likely to Succeed.” It even surprised me.
My child said to stop there. He’s of the Vine video generation so I’m surprised he made it into the double-digits. Then again, Vine no longer exists.
FYI: Most people moved beyond a six-second attention span in the womb.
If you’re also a motivated workforce outcast and care to help enhance this list, please feel free to comment. All feedback will be considered. That means if I don’t like what you wrote, I’ll delete it. That’s because “You’re not the boss of me.” And if you think I’m an asshole, you might be right but I expect you to find a creative way to say it.
And remember, those red squiggly lines under words mean they are grammatically wrong, genius.