Thursday, October 16, 2008
Today is boss's day. How do you make the boss happy? Take her out to lunch? Give him a card? Those things are nice, but the best way to please the boss is to not be a PITA. It's really not hard--show up on time, do good work, and stay on top of your projects. Nothing makes me happier than someone who takes initiative and gets things done.
My 85-year-old father, an electrician for 35 years, talks about being complimented by his boss for good work. Dad eschewed the praise by saying, "You're paying me to do a job."
In these days of layoffs, salary freezes, and, yes, PITA bosses, it's hard to expect employees to show complete love and loyalty toward their employer. But if you're getting paid to do a job, do it. And save the pitas for that boss's day lunch.
Monday, September 29, 2008
On Rosh Hashanah, there is a ceremony called tashlich. Jews traditionally go to the ocean or a stream or river to pray and throw bread crumbs into the water. Symbolically, the fish devour their sins. A few years back some wag came up with suggestions for breads most appropriate for specific sins and misbehaviors. Although most Jews with e-mail have seen this list at least once, it may be new to a lot of your readers. Anyway, here's the list:
- For ordinary sins: White bread
- For complex sins: Multigrain
- For twisted sins: Pretzels
- For sins of indecision: Waffles
- For sins committed in haste: Matzah
- For sins of chutzpah: Fresh bread
- For substance abuse: Stoned wheat
- For use of heavy drugs: Poppy seed
- For committing auto theft: Caraway
- For tasteless sins: Rice cakes
- For ill-temperedness: Sourdough
- For silliness and eccentricity: Nut bread
- For not giving full value: Shortbread
- For excessive irony: Rye bread
- For particularly dark sins: Pumpernickel
- For dressing immodestly: Tarts
- For causing injury to others: Tortes
- For being holier than thou: Bagels
- For dropping in without notice: Popovers
- For overeating: Stuffing
- For raising your voice too often: Challah
- For pride and egotism: Puff pastry
- For sycophancy: Brownies
- For laziness: Any long loaf
- For trashing the environment: Dumplings
- For telling bad jokes/puns: Corn bread
Friday, September 12, 2008
I once was required to report to a supervisor who was known throughout the company as a vicious incompetent who would sell her own mother in the street if it meant her next promotion. This person had so little grasp of workplace ethics that she called me [offensive epithet] behind my back, and was so poorly educated that when I asked her if a new company policy was a fait accompli, she flew into a rage and angrily demanded that I not speak French to her.
You make the call: What kind of PITA was this boss? How would you have dealt with her? If you said "Talk to HR," that's good. But that's what Bill did and nothing happened. He ended up having to leave the company to get away from her.
Friday, September 5, 2008
Meanwhile, an anonymous contributor to BusinessWeek has some great suggestions for managing a particular Crusty/Rigid Combo PITA. Read all about it here.
Thursday, September 4, 2008
Friday, August 29, 2008
Monday, August 25, 2008
Friday, August 22, 2008
Wednesday, August 20, 2008
Monday, August 18, 2008
- Anyone can get along with hardworking, good-natured co-workers, but a true professional has decent relationships even with sullen, disorganized or self-centered colleagues.
- Emotional intelligence––a solid self-awareness of thoughts, feelings and behaviors as well as how one's actions affect others––is the basis for effectiveness in the workplace and particularly as a supervisor.
- Different work styles are suited for different job functions. "There are salesmen and bean-counters, those who plan the party and those who are the life of the party."
- It's not the job of the supervisor or co-worker to diagnose how the PITA came to be a PITA, only to develop a strategy for dealing with that person.
- Successful managers stay calm and confident under stress, take responsibility for errors and are able to get along with different types of people.
Friday, August 15, 2008
McKinney also includes our self-assessment for determining your own PITA type and tendencies.
You can buy the book from LeadershipNow's LeaderShop, as well as all local and online retailers.
Tuesday, August 12, 2008
Thanks for the shout-out, Victoria!
Friday, August 8, 2008
The authors will also be in New York City on August 29 for an appearance on Weekend Today in New York, as well as The Joey Reynolds Show. Be sure to tune in!
Monday, August 4, 2008
The PITA Principle: How to Work with and Avoid Becoming a PAIN IN THE ASS
Robert Orndorff and Dulin Clark. JIST Works, $22.95 (224p) 9781593575519
Despite some self-help jargon and overuse of quotation marks, this book will educate readers about personality types and how to work with them. The authors work the PITA acronym (Pain In The Ass) in seemingly every way imaginable, for example designating people Sealed (closed-off), Crusty (grouchy) or Overstuffed (self-important) PITAs. Happily, these metaphors work, describing accurately and simply common defense reactions and how to manage. Psychologist Clark and long-time educator and consultant Orndorff are gentle in their approach, encouraging readers not to attack or dismiss difficult coworkers: “[It] helps to understand that defense reactions are to a degree shared by everyone. No one is exempt from feeling defensive.” Most surprising is the authors’ emphasis on self-reflection and accountability in their readers, offering easy-to-understand methods to change your own PITA qualities. This traditional, considerate and well-organized handbook should prove valuable for people struggling to spend their work days more peacefully. (Aug.)
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
According to the BLS, June was the sixth straight month in which employers trimmed their payrolls. The loss of 62,000 jobs marked the worst four weeks of job losses since 2003. As of the end of June, the blizzard of pink slips that began in January had piled up 438,000 deep. July is not expected to turn this trend around.
In a book that will be coming out in October, 150 Best Recession-Proof Jobs (JIST), I offer some pointers about how to recession-proof your career. For example, I recommend focusing on the core mission of the business rather than playing a peripheral role. I talk about the need for high productivity, visibility, and mentoring.
And I also point out the importance of being pleasant--in other words, not being a PITA. Being a PITA in a time of economic downturn can cost you your job. If I’m an employer who needs to lay off a worker, I’m going to lay off the PITA rather than a comparably skilled worker who is easy to get along with.
Then there’s the problem of finding that next job when openings are scarce. We’d like to think that a good resume will work wonders. But wrapping a soggy PITA, a crusty PITA, or any other kind of PITA in fancy paper doesn’t make it any more appetizing to employers--at least, once they’ve checked your references and found out that you don’t fit in well with co-workers.
Wednesday, July 23, 2008
So, the question becomes this: Are Mr. Childs' coworkers a bunch of Sloppy PITAs, and his boss is an Overstuffed PITA? Or is Mr. Childs just a Sealed and/or Crusty PITA?
The story goes on to explain that there is a lot of sympathy for him among his coworkers because he is under pressure because his department had suffered cuts and was demoralized.
See the full story here.
Friday, July 18, 2008
Costs associated with allowing jerks free reign in the workplace are the risk of losing other valuable employees, alienating customers, and downgrading everyone's productivity.
Although this type of PITA is the most visible, everyone knows that the workplace is filled with many other types of PITAs who can run off good employees and drag down the entire operation. They might not be throwing tantrums, but they are every bit as counterproductive as those who are.
Thursday, July 17, 2008
Monday, July 14, 2008
Friday, July 11, 2008
So, in addition to offering success stories for working with crusty coworkers, let us know what you think about the importance of personal responsibility in the workplace. I'm glad it's getting the attention that it is, for it reinforces the reason why we wanted to write this book in the first place!
Thursday, July 10, 2008
My instant reaction was that this is classic Crusty behavior: "negative, cynical, mean-spirited, grouchy, and pessimistic." I chatted with Bob Orndorff just now and he added that this is also Sloppy behavior because he wasn't thinking through the consequences of his actions. So he might really be a Combo Crusty/Sloppy PITA.
Does anyone have any suggestions for how to deal with a Crusty/Sloppy PITA? And what tips do you have for Jesse to try and avoid being so Crusty and Sloppy in the future?
Tuesday, July 8, 2008
Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Says Alan: "I would suggest, if you’re just entering the workplace or have encountered a lot of interpersonal problems in the workplace, you better get in line to buy this excellent book."
Friday, June 27, 2008
I just wanted to say that I finally came across the PITA blog by way of Booksquare and it looks totally hip. I look forward to the book coming out . . . the school has an ever-rotating list of management type books for us to read so this is going to by my suggestion to add to it!
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
- The Moldy PITA: That coworker who is resistant to change, hiding out in his or her office doing the same old, same old.
- The Cheesy PITA: Those person who makes your stomach turn by constantly using all the cheesy, catch-phrase-of-the-year words like “synergy” or “seamless transition.”
- The Hot-n-Spicy PITA: The coworker who is overly dramatic and highly emotional. Everything’s a major moment and a big deal.
- The Loaded PITA: Involved in everything and can’t say “no” to anything.
- The To-Go PITA: Similar to the Loaded PITA, the To-Go PITA is constantly on the run. The difference, however, is that the To-Go PITA isn’t on the run because he took on too much; he's on the run because he was born this way and knows only one speed: high gear.
- The Porta-PITA: Just like a porta-potty, the Porta-PITA is full of crap. Porta-PITAs exaggerate points, embellish stories, and make lame excuses.
- The BLT PITA: Part of the Cheesy PITA family. But instead of using annoying catch phrases, the BLT PITA annoys people by overusing acronyms, making everything sound like alphabet soup.
- The Overcooked PITA: Belabors points, beats things into the ground, and overanalyzes everything. Due to their long-winded responses, you start to avoid asking Overcooked PITAs questions because you know it’s going to be 15 minutes before you’ll be able to get back to work.
- The Mushroom PITA: Just as mushrooms grow best and flourish in the dark, Mushroom PITAs like to keep their coworkers “in the dark” on many topics. They do this out of insecurity and the need for power, since as you know, information is power.
- The Edgy PITA: Frequently says things that are on the verge of being inappropriate or politically incorrect. Edgy PITAs like to push the envelope on controversial issues and delicate topics such as sex, race, and politics, making you feel uncomfortable being in their company.
Friday, June 6, 2008
- The Sealed PITA: A Closed-off Coworker Who Doesn’t Want Your Feedback
- The Crusty PITA: A Negative, Grouchy Coworker
- The Overstuffed PITA: A Full-of-Himself Glory Hound
- The Soggy PITA: A Needy Whiner
- The Sloppy PITA: Disorganized and Oblivious
- The Make-Your-Own (Rigid) PITA: Picky and Inflexible
- The Royal PITA: A Pampered Prima Donna
Of course, there's always the possibility that your particular PITA is a combination of the preceding types, so we also devote a chapter to the Combo PITA. We end with a chapter of Honorable-Mention PITAs that serves as a bite-sized appetizer menu. (Please feel free to e-mail us at email@example.com if you have suggestions for new PITA types.)
The PITA Principle gives coping strategies for working effectively with each PITA type--and tips for overcoming these tendencies in yourself.
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
- To introduce additional PITA types: This is your chance to be creative in introducing completely new and different PITA types and descriptions not already included in The PITA Principle.
- To share readers’ coping strategies: Although we’ve offered many strategies for working with difficult people, other people no doubt have additional ideas. We want to hear about any strategies you have found to be effective when working with specific personality types.
- To share self-improvement success stories: It’s just as important to identify your own PITA behaviors and how you manage them. If you have been successful in curbing your PITA tendencies, how have you done so? We’d love to hear.
- To participate in the general discussion: We’ll talk about the importance of self-awareness (an accurate understanding of your strengths, weaknesses, and motivations) to having constructive workplace relationships.
E-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your suggested new PITA types, coping strategies, success stories, and general discussion topics.