The workplace is a vast sea of humour and much of it is ironic and unintentional. It floats in and out of meetings, memos and committees. It sometimes washes into the “suggestion box.” Yes, the business environment is a laugh-a-minute, when it isn't stressful and exhausting.
See if any of the following rings a familiar bell. You know how it works: someone at work comes up with a new idea and then everyone shoots it down with countless reasons why it won’t work.
For example, they’ll say, “It's impossible” —
• The union will scream.
• We don’t have the money.
• We don’t have the personnel.
• We don’t have the equipment.
• We don't have the time.
• It needs committee study.
• It’s not our problem.
• It’s not prudent at this difficult time.
• It’s a “political” decision.
• Who will take responsibility if it fails?
• We’re not ready for it.
• It would take too long to get approval.
• We can’t take the chance.
• It won’t work in this department.
• It’s good, but it’s dangerous.
• We’d lose money on it.
• Management won’t like it.
• It needs more thought.
• It won’t “grow” our business.
• It’s too visionary.
• It’s too radical a change.
• It’s been done before.
• Who’s idea was this, anyway?
“Good morning. Ferman, Farnsworth and Fraghammer. All our agents are occupied at present.Your call is important to us. Please hold the line.”
Three minutes of music and commercial announcements follow.
“Good morning. Ferman, Farnsworth and Fraghammer. Thank you for waiting. How may I direct your call?”
“May I speak with Mr. Ferman, please?”
“Certainly, sir. May I say who’s calling?”
“Mr. Hammond of Striker, Hammond and Hoganberryclanger.”
“Just a moment, sir. I’ll connect you with Mr. Ferman’s office.”
“Good morning, Mr. Ferman’s office.”
“May I speak with Mr. Ferman.”
“I’ll see if he’s in. Who’s calling, please?"
“Are you with a company, Mr. Hammond?”
“Yes, I’m with Striker, Hammond and Hoganberryclanger.”
“Mr. Ferman, Mr. Hammond of Striker, Hammond and Hoganberryclanger is on line two.”
“Okay, thank you.”
“Hi Harry. How about lunch?”
“Sure. Usual time and place?”
“Right. See you.”
How to avoid making decisions:
• Ask for a leave of absence.
• Do nothing and say nothing. Everyone may forget about it.
• Have your assistant “research” the issue. This is always a good stall.
• Form a committee to “research” it. This is an even better stall.
• Ask your immediate superiors what they think. That way, if it goes wrong, you can spread the blame.
• Feed the problem into the computer and then the computer will be to blame for a bad decision.
• Pass the problem on to another department.
• Deny that a problem even exists. Thus, no problem. No decision needed.
• Call in a specialist or consultant at company expense to help you make up your mind.
• Decide to take your long-overdue vacation.
The Coronary and Ulcer Club
See if you qualify for membership in this club, which lists the following rules:
• Your job comes first. Forget everything else.
• Saturdays, Sundays and holidays are great times to be working, as there will be no one around to bother you.
• Never say, “No,” to a request; always say, “Yes.”
• Always have your briefcase with you when you’re not at your desk. This provides an opportunity to review completely all current problems and worries.
• Accept all invitations to meetings, banquets, committees, etc.
• Never turn off your smart-phone, as you might miss a business call.
• No matter how many jobs you are currently doing, remember that you can always take on one more.