Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Day 244: How to orbit a giant hairball

A corporate fool's guide to surviving with grace.

In between researching stock quotes, I've been flipping through Orbiting the Giant Hairball: A corporate fool's guide to surviving with grace by Gordon MacKenzie. I have a love hate relationship with corporations. I love the money and the chiropractic health benefits. I loathe with the white hot heat of a thousand burning suns the policies, politics, time sheets, accrued vacation days, feeling stuck 9-6 M-F in an office, frienemies and a few other things, too. But... oh how I love the cash.

A few years ago I pulled a few tips from MacKenzie's book and threw in a few of my own tidbits. Then I wrote them all on post-it notes and posted them in my office. My office looked a bit like A Beautiful Mind.

The post-its helped. Now though, I feel I need something stronger.
But if you, like me, can't think and drink, use these cheat notes to successfully survive corporate life with grace... at least while you're in the office. Then drink later.

16 ways to orbit the giant hairball and survive corporate life with grace:
  1. Do have rest periods. Smokers take them. Why can't you?

  2. Make the company's job of feeding all the employees easier by being good at your own job.

  3. Do strive to make your performance at work bulletproof so no one has a reason to complain about you.

  4. Remember that people will complain about you anyway. Strive to turn complaints into compliments. And remember that most of what they complain about is probably based on their own projections anyway.

  5. Do save money and live beneath your means so you are never worried about the gig suddenly ending. Remember that ultimately, every job is a freelance gig anyway.

  6. Do try to assume that your bosses job is to help you get better at your job. It's a form of service and opportunity for mastery. (This one can be tough sometimes.)

  7. Do not try to get away with anything. It won't work and it will just make you paranoid.

  8. Do trust that your job can include fun, laughter, love, creativity, talent, achievement, success and even enlightenment.

  9. Do know that you are at this job as a training ground for greatness.

  10. Do play well with coworkers. They are under the gun to come up with a great product, too.

  11. Do remember that there is a balance between product and people. We aren't paid to hang out.

  12. Do stay in a state of gratitude for every day you have this job.

  13. Do remember that whatever happens will happy for the highest good of all concerned.

  14. Do remember that communicating is part of your job here. The very fact that you are having this conversation means the other person is important.

  15. Convince yourself that the worst case scenario can actually be awesome.

  16. And when you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot, hang on and swing.
And if none of that works...


  1. I love that you said "whatev"

    ~ my new fav word :)

  2. I think #12 can be the hardest, but also the best, to implement.


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