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Monday, 18 August 2008

Management For Arsehole Bosses

Arsehole bosses: we all have them at some point in our working lives (the bosses, not the arseholes). Articles and books abound on the subject dealing with toxic bosses, but who merely wants to *deal* with them? You want to crush them underfoot! You want to deflate their pathetic power-tripping egos like a cruise missile puncturing a circus tent! You want to make them as miserable as they make you....

I'm not advocating murder or grievous bodily harm, as a criminal record looks worse for your career than a bad performance review. Also, I do not encourage technological or psychological sabotage. Deleting precious files on purpose, 'misplacing' and "forgetting" to write an urgent report, circulating details of various porn sites your boss browses during lunch hour or general counter-backstabbing will only temporarily satiate you. Arsehole bosses also come with a posse of yes-men, hangers-on and toadies. Let's not have the possibility of getting caught hanging over you like the Sword of Damocles.

The Greek legend of the Sword of Damocles symbolizes the imminent and ever-present peril faced by those in positions of power (look it up, if you're unfamiliar with the tale...)

You too can be inspired this legend!Begin by displaying the following quote somewhere on your desk/workstation, 'METUS EST PLENA TYRANNIS' (The tyrant is filled with fear), where you can easily see it. Don't fret, unless your boss learnt Latin during his days at some top-notch public school, besides if he did, he wouldn't be sitting where he is now....

Repeating the quote to yourself can make you feel better, but remember: The fear or nowadays, stress/pressure might explain your boss' behaviour, but it doesn't JUSTIFY it. It is never acceptable to abuse your sub-ordinates. On your part, it is perfectly acceptable to engage in behaviour that plays on your boss' fears and insecurities as solely defensive strategy.

Arsehole bosses fall into the following types:

1) The Bundle of Nerves (BONs)

This type is more volatile than a packet of Semtex rattling around in a butane cannister. You cannot change their explosive natures, but you can harness them to your advantage. During the next meeting, feign an annoying but common physical tic or habit: blocked sinuses, use of asthma-inhalers, sneezing, complain about the air-conditioning every 2 minutes. Yes, BONs blow up but allow them to. They never quite recover their loss of face and credibilty.

2) Condescending, Utilitarian, Nay-Saying Types (CUNTs)

You may be familiar with this type- everything they say, do and throw at you is, *gasp* for "your own good". Any ideas or proposals you put forward are received with superficial praise, followed by systematic rubbishing and garnished with condescension: "Yes, you have raised some important points, as someone of your qualifications should, but however...". Do unto them as they have done unto you: Preface future ideas and proposals with, "Before I say anything, I'd like to hear your valuable insight into this..." and keep nodding, smiling and shaking your head in slow exaggerated gestures: "That's absolutely right except...". CUNTs tend to be smarter than the average BON, and should get the message after your sly parody of their behaviour.

3) Shameless Sonofabitch (SSOB)

Some bosses don't care for basic social etiquette, they flout workplace rules while their motto is 'Do As I Order You Not To Do, Not Do As I Myself Am Allowed to Get Away With.". The less harmful SSOBs got their jobs by way of string-pulling and connections, whereas the extreme ones engage in verbal and sexual harrassment while playing solitaire on their PCs. In dealing with SSOBs, I quote the Dalai Lama in encouraging, "A necessary display of force". Show your SSOB not to f**k with you, or he/she will be verrrrry sorry. Specifically, 'secretly planted laxatives-in-morning-coffee' sorry.

4) Surveillance Freaks (SFs)

Where did you go during lunch? Why did your take an extra 15-minutes of lunch hour? How come you didn't come back to the office after meeting clients? SFs ask too many questions, hence react by providing too many answers of the unplesant kind. Any combination of the following words should suffice: 'Proctologist", "Emergency" "check-up" "re-curring", "diarrhoea", "gynaecological", "piles", "internal bleeding" and "vomiting".

Recommended Reading List: (Good enough for army generals- great for disgruntled subordinates)

1) 'The Art Of War', Sun Tzu
2) 'The Prince', Niccolo Machiavelli
3)'Seven Pillars of Wisdom'- T.E Lawrence
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Friday, 8 August 2008

"Memory Man"- Aqualung

For the uninitiated, 'Aqualung' is the stage name of English singer-songwriter, Matt Hales. He is usually lumped together with Coldplay. Comparisons that are rather puzzling, for the resemblance is only in passing; the frail but winning vocals, tinkling piano-playing and enigmatic, plaintive ballads.

Commercial sucess eludes Aqualung, even after scoring hits with 'Strange And Beautiful', soundtracking a Volkswagen Beetle advert in 2002, and 'Brighter Than Sunshine' in 2003. Perhaps a move to Columbia Records, USA will change Matt Hales' fortunes for the better. But for now, look to his 2007 album, 'Memory Man' for gorgeous,swirling, wistful music that could fill up a stadium as well as a concert-hall, in atmospherics, if not in audience. He also broke out the hard, rawkin' guitar, feedback, vocoders and breakbeats, so *take that* to all those knee-jerk Coldplay comparisions.
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