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More Tales from the Home Office...

Free Info on our recommended Medical Transcription Program leading to an exciting home based medical transcription career

Take this job...

It's only two hours into the day and I am already suffering from white knuckles, heart palpitations, lower back pain and shortness of breath. And that just describes the drive in to work.

Once I trudge into the office and sit down at my desk all hell breaks loose. I am deluged with meaningless paperwork and endless reports. My company seems to take great pride in operating in perpetual crisis mode. Everything is due "yesterday" and everything is an emergency. Of course, in the end, no decisions of any consequence are made because nothing is ever brought to closure - we're too busy chasing our tails.

Case in point:  on a recent occasion, pandemonium swept through the office because a certain pointy headed senior executive had another one of his impulsive, Napoleonic fantasies about market domination. In his irrational exuberance, he requested a comprehensive analysis of all plausible options complete with graphs, charts, and a host of sensitivities. He indicated that he wanted to see it "first thing in the morning".

And while any lesser mind would have taken one look at the inane request and laughed out loud, I felt that this could be a real career maker if I could just somehow pull it off. I glanced at my watch… It looked to be another all-nighter.

Upon cursory examination, the project seemed doomed to failure, but I decided to keep an open mind. However, as I dug deeper into the analysis, it quickly became evident that the idea was every bit as hair-brained as the executive who had requested it. It was no more financially viable than a random spin of the roulette wheel. My hamster could have dreamed up a more elegant solution to our business problems than this so called "seasoned" executive. Undeterred, I plowed forward, certain that the career payoff would ultimately overshadow the obvious futility of the exercise.

Even though the project was laughable, through significant personal sacrifice and a healthy dose of creative license, I was able to pull together a presentation that made my peers green with envy. The result was nothing short of heroic - and everyone knew it. The logical next step was a personal and permanent invitation to the executive suite. I seemed destined for the fast track.

Early the next morning, with no small amount of anticipation, I made my way up to the ivory tower where I found my man lazily perusing the morning paper over a cup of coffee.

I announced proudly that I was there to deliver the proposal that he had so urgently requested.

He seemed caught off guard and temporarily disoriented.

"Proposal? Oh yes, thank you, just set it right there."

"Don't you want to go through it while I'm here in case you have any questions?" I asked hesitantly.

He let out a deep sigh, and begrudgingly picked up the proposal and began to thumb through it.

I watched and listened intently for the slightest hint of an approving expression.

"Hmm." He said thoughtfully.

Something had obviously struck a chord with him - probably my astute observation about the possibility of a 20-year bond issue to finance a proposed leveraged buyout.

"Nice graphs" , he said. "I really like that color combination."

"O.K., well, if there's nothing else, I'll have my secretary add this to the file. Thanks for dropping it by."

And with that he turned his attention back to his newspaper.

Add it to the file?!  That's it?!  After the fire drill I just went through I would have expected an immediate announcement of a hostile takeover - or at least a major presentation to the board of directors. I mean, under the circumstances, having his secretary "add it to the file" just didn't cut it. Wasn't there something more to be said? Where was the recognition for all of my hard work and creativity?

I was overcome by a wave of depression and self-pity. Then, just as I was turning to leave, he spoke again.

"This is really great!"

My heart skipped a beat. "You mean the proposal?" I asked hopefully.

"No, this Dilbert cartoon. It's just too funny. It's about this pin-headed boss who is always making these absurd requests."

"Yes I think I see the resemblance." I muttered under my breath.

"What's that?" he asked.

"Er, ah, yes, I am familiar with Dilbert - very funny indeed."

"Boy" , he continued, "can you imagine having a guy like that around?"

"Yes. Yes, I think I can..."

Leaving him to his cartoons, I wandered off to nurse my wounds.

That night I had a dream where my boss gave me just one too many mindless projects. As he attempted to convey the importance and urgency of this particular project, he began to expound on the virtues of multi-tasking. I told him that multi-tasking was for computers and monkeys.

He went cross-eyed for a full ten seconds. At the same time his complexion alternated between varying shades of red, purple and gray.

I woke up in a cold sweat and resolved that working from home was worth it - even if it meant living on Top Ramen and tuna fish for awhile.

Customer avoidance techniques for the socially challenged

Index: Tales From the Home Office

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