Wednesday, July 30, 2008

A Perilous Time to Be a PITA

Thanks to author Laurence Shatkin for his guest post today:

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

The PITAs Made Him Do It

Today more light was shed on the situation of that San Francisco IT guy who was jailed because he wouldn't give anyone the passwords to the city's network. Why did he do it? He says he was "surrounded by incompetents and supervised by a manager who he felt was undermining his work."

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

Jerks at Work

Nancy Germond writes on AllBusiness about the hidden costs of employing jerks (read the article here). The jerks described in this article (which quotes heavily from Robert Sutton's No Asshole Rule) are of the Crusty variety.

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

Listen to the PITA Podcast

You can hear authors Bob Orndorff and Dulin Clark discussing The PITA Principle in their Book Expo podcast. I was eavesdropping outside the booth as they recorded it and I thought they did a great job!

Monday, July 14, 2008

PITA Now Available at Amazon

The PITA Principle is now available online from (see here). It shipped from the printer a little earlier than expected. You will be able to find it at major bookstores in August.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Obama's Emphasis on Personal Responsibility serves as a major underpinning of The PITA Principle

The Reverend Jesse Jackson’s crude remarks about Barack Obama undoubtedly resembled crusty behavior; the real story in this current saga, however, is the emphasis on responsible personal behavior – a topic which serves as the foundation and underpinning of The PITA Principle. While Senator Obama’s discourse on personal responsibility predominately resides in the context of fathering, personal responsibility serves as the springboard for success in the workplace as well. The purpose of The PITA Principle is to encourage and empower professionals to take personal responsibility for managing relationships with difficult coworkers (Pain In The Ass coworkers) and for minimizing their potential to become a PITA coworker themselves.

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

PITAs in the News: Jesse Jackson

This week the Reverend Jesse Jackson was caught muttering nasty sentiments about Barack Obama when he thought his mic was turned off. What a PITA he became for not only his son and Mr. Obama, but also the entire Democratic party!

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

PITA On-Sale Date

The PITA Principle will be available in retail stores on August 26, the official on-sale date for the book. Listen for national radio interviews with the authors around that date. We'll let you know when we have specific times and stations!

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

BOOKVIEWS Gives PITA the Thumbs Up!

BOOOKVIEWS is an online book review site from veteran reviewer Alan Caruba. We got a nice surprise today when he posted his practically glowing review of The PITA Principle as one of his picks of the month.

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."