Friday, June 27, 2008

Mark Long Joins the PITA Fan Club

Mark Long is the Publisher at TSTC Publishing at Texas State Technical College in Waco. We've become cyber-friends through our blogs, and today he was kind enough to drop me a line about PITA:

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!

Thanks, Mark!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Blogger Loves PITA

Blogger Bill Bradley loves The PITA Principle--and he hasn't even read it yet! See what he had to say here.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Take the PITA Quiz

Want to find out what your PITA tendencies are? Take our quiz!

Monday, June 23, 2008

PITA Gets a Mention at Joe Wikert's Publishing 2020 Blog

Joe Wikert, VP and Executive Publisher for Wiley's Professional/Trade Division, has a very popular blog about the business of book publishing. He's fast becoming the voice of authority when it comes to talking about the intersection where books and technology meet. Occasionally he reviews a book there, as well. Last week I sent him an advance copy of The PITA Principle for him to possibly review, and already he's mentioning that he got it and is eager to read it (see here).

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

PITA Authors a Big Hit at Book Expo

The PITA Principle authors Bob Orndorff and Dulin Clark made one of their first public appearances connected to the book a few weeks ago at Book Expo in Los Angeles. They were on hand to sign copies of the book for a receptive stream of booksellers and librarians. Many of them commented along the lines of "I need 25 copies, please--my whole office is a bunch of PITAs." One brave soul even proclaimed proudly: "I am a PITA!" You go, girl!

Here are some photos of Bob and Dulin at the event, including the one in which they met up with other famous author Jamie Lee Curtis!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The PITA-with-Chips

Thanks to our Pita blog friend, dyvingduck, we have a new PITA Type to talk about: The PITA-with-Chips: that coworker who over-uses technology as THE answer to everything. As I mentioned in an earlier comment, I believe that many professionals move too quickly to incorporate technology as the solution just because they CAN, without asking and thoroughly assessing if they SHOULD. One very common, daily example of this is using email to "discuss" important issues that need resolved. Email is a wonderful thing, but it's not always the best means of communication for each and every work situation. Sending numerous emails back and forth when trying to work out a disagreement with a coworker, for example, might be a more COMFORTABLE means of expressing oneself, but I argue it's not the most EFFECTIVE means. There's no substitute for face-to-face communication when resolving conflicts if approached in a tactful and respectable manner. You're able to pick up on non-verbal cues and read your coworker's mood when communicating in person.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

The Sampler Platter of Honorable-Mention PITAs

In addition to the seven primary PITA types, we've identified a bunch of other annoying PITAs you might work with. They are the following:

  • 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 Seven PITA Types

The PITA Principle presents seven primary types of PITAs:
  • 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 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

The Purpose of This Blog

  • 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 with your suggested new PITA types, coping strategies, success stories, and general discussion topics.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Welcome to the PITA Blog!

Do you work with a pain in the ass?
That person you work with, the one who’s always complaining about something, taking credit for your work, or constantly bragging about himself. You’ve tried to be nice and give him the benefit of the doubt. But come on: He’s being a pain in the ass and he’s making your life at work miserable. Short of gluing down all of his desk accessories or tattling to the boss, how will you cope?
Through entertaining stories and real-life work situations, The PITA Principle describes the different kinds of PITAs (Pains in the Ass) you might encounter at work—from the Crusty PITA, who hurls negativity in all directions; to the Royal PITA, who thinks he or she is entitled to special treatment. Then Drs. Orndorff and Clark expose possible motives for your coworker’s annoying ways, offer practical strategies for understanding each type of difficult coworker, and share ways to get along with them—and better yet, get the most out of every PITA.
You’ll chuckle when you realize how many of your colleagues actually match up with the PITA menu. And you’ll begin to see that maybe even you—yes, you—can be a PITA at certain times. After assessing your own challenges, you will master the tools to get along and get ahead that will lead to more success—and perhaps a little more sanity—in your career.
Ultimately, you’ll join the ranks of a different kind of PITA: Professionals Increasing Their Awareness—people who are courageous enough to look at themselves honestly, realize that no one is perfect, and be open to exploring ways to address their interpersonal and communicative deficits.