Retro Relapse: Business Assholes, Volume 2: Respect My Lack of Respect

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

This is a follow up to my previous post, Business Assholes, Volume 1: Chronic Interrupters. I need to make this an ongoing series, as there are several different topics I want to talk about in regards to business, business relationships, leadership, work ethic, etc. This post deals with respect.

Pulling from my own experiences, I am often times in business environments where respect is demanded but it is never given. I’m not just talking management, I am talking everywhere. From the highest ranking officer down to the lowest ranking intern. Too many people are way too entitled and feel that they are deserving of the highest level of respect.

Let me start by saying that respect is important and it helps build relationships and camaraderie amongst co-workers, employees, employers, customers and everyday people. The thing is, respect needs to be mutual. What you have, or what I experience on the regular, is a slew of people that don’t really seem to understand the dynamics of respect. Respect is like love, as it is a two-way street.

Before I get into further generalizing, I should state that I do deal with the issues I am going to discuss here, within my own company. I know that others are in a much better work environment situation. However, I also know that most of my friends who I talk to, have similar experiences to mine, so this is pretty common – at least in my area.

Moving on, one example I am confronted with on a daily basis is the lack of respect shown by superiors. They have no respect for anything. Whether it is your opinion on a project, suggestions on how to improve things, your two cents in a meeting, your schedule, your needs, concerns over other office relationships or your personal life and issues. They just don’t care. They tell you they care and may say things like “We’re all family here.” Well, I was raised in a family where we showed respect and genuine concern and compassion for one another.

The problem is, they demand respect. They don’t understand the concept of what it is but they expect it. If they say jump… well, you know the rest. The point is, the old school boys’ club mentality is dying a pretty stark death in business but many can’t adjust to this, despite countless lawsuits or good people quitting on them.

They don’t understand how to build people up and why that is important. Sure, sometimes someone needs to be taken down a level but beating a horse until it’s nearly dead only to ease up long enough for it to recover a bit before beating on it some more is a pretty counterproductive way to run your company. Yet they demand respect. Why? Because they’re the big shit in charge and that’s just how the world is in their eyes.

Then there are the “you must respect me” co-workers, the ones who have a holier than thou attitude. Some either have a close connection to one of the bosses or they think by exhibiting the bad behavior they see employed by management, that they’ll move up the ladder. In many cases, they’re probably just miserable assholes.

These people are usually just caught up in their own crap and if you have to work on a shared project or approach them with a question, they cop an attitude and treat you like you’re less than shit. Of course, like the bosses mentioned above, you had better respect them or else. People like this are cancerous to a company. The problem is, management doesn’t squash their bullshit because they too have that same behavior.

In addition to these two types of respect-deficient office people, there is also the low level shithead with a god complex. Most of the time these are interns or newer employees who haven’t paid any sort of dues but think that they’re entitled to the perks and benefits of long-standing employees. They also show little-to-no respect for pretty much everyone above them. These people haven’t been in the workforce long enough to know anything. I blame their shitty professors, shitty parents and in some cases, the apparent lack of real management and leadership in the companies where they are able to continue their bullshit.

The point of running through all these examples is to show the bad behavior, bad attitudes and general misunderstanding of what respect is in many office environments. A company can’t expect to succeed at its highest level if these types of shenanigans are the norm. Reason being, you can’t get the best out of your employees if they aren’t happy.

Happiness in your job is a hell of a motivator and generally people aren’t happy if you beat them down and mistreat them. The “cogs in a machine” business mentality has always been one of destruction and failure. It can only sustain itself so long and the world is changing despite the iron fist of old school business ruling for so long. The most successful companies in the world right now are the ones that were formed as the antithesis to the old outdated way.

If a business owner wants their business to be as successful as it can possibly be, they need to understand that it starts with creating a good environment for your employees. Happiness is key and that comes from paying people fairly, paying attention to what they are doing for the company, making them feel like part of the team, treating them as a valuable asset and building them up. All these things I just mentioned are a part of respect. Without it on both sides, a business will never be what it can be.

Vids I Dig 175: Filmento: How One Movie Became Bullied by the Internet

From Filmento’s YouTube description: Video game movie Doom: Annihilation rose out of nowhere to become this year’s cinematic punching bag, getting dunked on by not only fans but also the owners of franchise itself. And it’s not difficult to see why — laughable CGI, cheap aesthetic, no connection to the source material, the list goes on. But even more so, perhaps the biggest reason for all the negative attention is the fact that the film doesn’t know how not to commit the most basic moviemaking sins. In today’s PG family friendly episode of Anatomy of a Failure, let’s see what movie-storytelling sins Doom: Annihilation commits and how to avoid them.

Retro Relapse: 30 Christmas Gifts for the Grizzly Man

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2015.

Christmas rules December like Hulk Hogan ruled the ring in the ’80s! It is the best holiday there ever was!

That being said, we all love getting presents and those of us who aren’t jerks, love giving presents. ‘Tis the season for giving and all that jazz.

So what should you get a manly grizzly man? If you are not sure, I have compiled a list of stuff. And there are things here that fit all price ranges and types of men.

Sure, it may be a little late but if you haven’t started shopping yet, get out there because this stuff may sell out, if it hasn’t already.

Anyway, enough rambling. Here is the list!

1. A fine cut of premium meat
2. A bottle of good scotch or bourbon
3. Cast iron cooking stuff
4. A stellar axe to cut firewood
5. A spacious tent
6. A sweet rifle
7. A good quality survival knife
8. A nice bow with arrows
9. A solid tomahawk made for throwing
10. A reliable fishing pole
11. Visually alluring flannel shirts
12. Attractive wood for crafting into manly furniture
13. Much needed tools
14. Stylish suspenders
15. A personalized baseball bat or hockey stick
16. A thoughtful item that you crafted by hand
17. A hefty meat carving board
18. Great literature such as books by Jack London or Louis L’Amour
19. A framed poster from a Clint Eastwood movie signed by Clint Eastwood
20. A top notch gas lantern
21. A box of premium cigars
22. Home brewing equipment
23. A big bag of beautiful coffee beans
24. An impressive array of cheeses
25. A pair of satisfactory hiking boots
26. A shiny new waffle maker
27. Exercise equipment or weights they may need
28. A well-kept collection of old baseball cards or stag mags
29. A manly cookbook
30. A musical instrument

Retro Relapse: Business Assholes, Volume 1: Chronic Interrupters

RETRO RELAPSE is a series of older articles from various places where I used to write before Talking Pulp.

*Written in 2014.

I thought I’d start a new series of articles called Business Assholes.

Why?

Well, I deal with plenty on a regular basis and felt that there is too much to discuss in just one nice-sized write-up. There are various topics I want to talk about, so I’ll write them as I feel the need.

Today, I’m writing about chronic interrupters, which seems to be a problem I’ve been dealing with a lot in the company I work for. Now this isn’t just related to business, it is related to life. Pretty much everyone I deal with that harbors this bullshit behavior in business, also harbors it in their daily lives.

To start, have you ever been talking to a business colleague about an important project, going through the fine details, and then some asshole cuts in to bitch and complain about their vacation time or how rude their superior is or whatever – completely fucking up your important conversation? Or have you ever been in a meeting and everyone in the room continues to shout over one another, competing for air time, not paying attention to what anyone else is actually saying and only waiting for their moment to butt in? Or have you been furiously cranking away on a project that requires your full attention and someone constantly has to hover over your monitor to talk to you about things like hair dye, True Blood or their boyfriend’s inability to fry chicken? Maybe you’ve experienced the shared office situation, where a small group of boisterous buffoons constantly makes a racket because they are oblivious to the fact that they aren’t the center of the universe? This shit happens to me multiple times per day and I’m sure it happens to others just as frequently.

The point is, all this is bad for business. The chronic interrupter butting in to bitch about things out of their control and not giving a shit that you and a colleague are working on something vital for the company, is a knife stabbed into the back of productivity. The distraction takes your mind away from the details and sabotages your ability to be thorough. If this happens regularly, mistakes will happen. Additionally, the constant stream of negative bitching just ruins everyone else’s day and stifles morale. While I feel that all of this is common sense, apparently 95 percent of my office mates haven’t yet come to this pretty easy conclusion in their long and storied careers. Plus, to the chronic interrupter who thrives on bitching, you’re a fucking downer and no one likes a fucking downer. We already know that you hate everyone and everything, we don’t need an hourly reminder.

Moving on to meetings full of chronic interrupters, this sort of situation is the harbinger of doom for many companies. Speaking from my personal experience, I find myself in daily meetings where everyone is shouting, arguing and competing for the spotlight. No one pays attention and even if one tried, there is so much shit being thrown up on the wall by multiple people with conflicting ideas, that one’s brain might explode trying to decipher the supernova-like clusterfuck. I’ve tried to take notes, there is no point. You’d have just as much solid information to walk away with by drawing doodles of fez-wearing stegosauruses eating pineapple upside-down cake. In many of my situations, nothing gets accomplished in these meetings except more confusion, more uncertainty and the need to have follow up meetings because no one is really ever on the same page. And with each meeting comes more frustration and disorientation. It’s like riding on a turbulent airplane and having to set down in every town, never reaching your actual destination because you’re burning through all of your fuel.

Meetings like the ones described above, lead to people playing the blame game and pointing fingers. Nothing is accomplished, at least not to its full capacity and usually the boss man is pissed off and ready to put the whole company on the chopping block. Moving forward, these chronic interrupters don’t learn from their disorganized egomaniacal chaos and continue down the same path, always befuddled as to why nothing ever gets done exactingly and speedily. They even resent the idea that they might be part of the problem because if everyone would’ve just listened to them in the first place, their wouldn’t have been any issues or snags to begin with. Now imagine a half dozen people passionately thinking and believing that same thing.

Then there are the people who constantly bother you throughout the day. They rarely do any work and find themselves wandering around the office looking for conversation. There is an innate neediness that these people cling to and unfortunately for those of us just trying to do our job and get through the day, we are often times forced to be the audience of their irritating circus. Apparently wearing a mask that explicitly says “fuck off” isn’t enough of a defense against these self-absorbed time wasters and productivity killers. Flatly stating “I’m really busy” doesn’t seem to thwart them either. They will continue to hover until there is that split second opening where they can spill out their soul on a variety of topics that have nothing to do with anything. Well, maybe they do but I don’t pay attention, as I intently stare at my monitor until the twenty minutes of weasel chatter has concluded for that hour.

This brings me to the example of obnoxious coteries and posses in a shared office space. They tend to exist in their little group and anything outside of it doesn’t matter to them. They think they’re the life of the party, the official workplace fun crew and want to push their party hard philosophy on everyone else within earshot. I like having fun, I like being able to pay my bills more. I’m not saying to not have fun at the work place but a 24/7 frat party when there is a lot to do is disruptive as hell to those who are trying to keep things running smoothly, while picking up the slack of the party clique. Like the other types of chronic interrupters discussed above, this shit kills productivity and somewhere someone has to keep the ball moving forward. Unfortunately, the person picking up the slack is the one being interrupted by the slack.

All these behaviors mentioned are the qualities of rude self-absorbed people. I’m not saying that they are bad people but they have bad behaviors. Maybe I’m a hypocritical asshole for pointing this stuff out because I have some bad behaviors myself. However, I rarely, if ever, do anything to disrupt the workflow of other people. Sure, we all need to bitch about something, or passionately state our ideas in a room full of people but there is a time and a place for it. In an organized, respectful environment, everyone gets their turn and everyone should have their turn. In return, people should shut the fuck up and listen: respectfully.

Moving beyond the workplace, most of these people that behave this way while on the clock, do the same thing when they’re out in the world. In my personal life, I have no tolerance for it. Then again, in my personal life, I can tell people to “fuck off” and I don’t have to frolic around in public with them. I can’t choose my work mates but I can choose my friends. When happy hour rolls around after work, I can ditch the simple minded idiots and slam whiskey with my respectable and righteous brethren.

Do I have advice for the chronic interrupters on how to improve themselves? Yes, don’t do all the shit I just talked about. The problem is, most of these people are oblivious in regards to their condition. We live in a “now!” and a “me! me! me!” society. A lot of shit’s broken. None of it will probably be fixed. I’m not trying to be a pessimistic bitch but this is the way it is, especially when in most cases, leadership is to blame.

As for me, I’ll continue to go about my day in a respectable manner, dealing with this epidemic that probably won’t go away.