Monday, February 19, 2007


Happy Monday Morning

On the lighter side, here is a little advice column called "Monday Morning Manager", which may or may not be a regular thing at Canada's It encourages workers beleaguered by their bosses, telling them, "bad bosses are inevitably jealous of their more talented staff and the best way to get even is by showing them they can't take away from you those qualities that they envy." So the bottom line is that you should be better than your boss, more popular with your co-workers, let your boss's abuse roll off your back, document everything you do and, above all, be happy. "Nothing irks a bad boss as much as seeing other people genuinely happy. Always be polite, courteous and co-operative." Yeah... This is sound advice when taken at face value, but it is oddly ironic that the behavior you are counseled to adopt is indistinguishable from the sort of behavior that would meet the expectations of any boss, good or bad. Do your work, don't make waves, and smile, baby, smile... In other words, you are counseled not to give bad bosses the negative feedback they deserve, without which their colleagues and superiors would never be able to identify their badness. Ah, well... The order of the day is CYA.

Other bits of advice include the basic structure of a business email. Provide information. Request information. Request action (or your next command from above). Convey basic information in the subject line. Pretty much comparable to all the things that you might learn in an entry level journalism class. Again, sound advice. But obvious advice, too.

The column peters out into a trail of business world bromides and other telegraphic inanities gleaned from self-help books, corporate newsletters, and the utterances of various entrepreneurs. Stuff like "Don't fear failure" and "Everyone is a genius on a bull" or "Don't focus on flaws". I have no idea how many such renditions of homespun corporate wisdom are out there in cyberspace, but there are certainly enough to make me believe that Reader's Digest should be reinvented as an online business magazine.

"Monday Morning Manager" from Globe And Mail

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