I’ve always enjoyed those tongue in cheek posts about obvious things NOT to do with your life. I enjoy them so much that it’s time to write one of my own. Why relegate the first day of April only for talking about blatantly wrong and funny things? This one is based on the ever popular book How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. This book came out way back in the 1930’s but is still read by many today. I have heard that you learn new insights every time you read this book so I’m due a second reading since I have only read it once. This book can teach you how to effectively network and connect with people to form meaningful relationships, in both your personal and business interactions.
But this post is not about all that syrupy good stuff. This post is about the exact opposite. I will share some ways that you can make sure you stay unhappy and stuck in your dead end job for a very long time, or even lose your job altogether. It outlines the steps you need to take to ensure that you can effectively alienate both your family and friends while being scorned by co-workers at the same time. It’s a fine line to be able to lose friends AND scare away people, but I’ll show you how it’s done. (I realize most people can take a joke and understand sarcasm, but I also know that some can’t. I have included what you actually should be doing regarding each step in order to dispel any confusion.):
1. Be late. For everything. It is said that time stops for no one. It’s time to prove them wrong. There are many places and people that expect you to be on time. Your boss and your clients. Mom and dad. Your husband or wife. Even your kids may expect you to be on time so they’re not stranded for hours in a wide open soccer field on a crisp fall night. What gives them the right? Take your time wherever you go and in whatever you do. Deadlines and panicked phone calls from your children can wait. You have more important things to do. Time is a limited resource, so keep as much of it for yourself as you can. (Pick your kids up if needed. Don’t make your wife wait. Ever.)
2. Networking is for dweebs. Who has time to network when there are so many shows to watch on Netflix? You love your current job, but not that much, so talking to others in your field and keeping current on your skills should be the last thing on your mind. Besides, who wants to be one of those guys that’s always shaking hands with people and smiling? Not this guy. (Yes you should make sincere and strong relationships with those people in your industry who make more than you or know more than you.)
3. ALWAYS pass the buck. Don’t be the “go to” guy in your workplace. People will be asking you to do all kinds of stuff that you frankly don’t feel like doing. If a client asks you to do an urgent project, first try to convince them that it’s not really that urgent, and if that doesn’t work, ask them to give the project to what’s his name down the hall. (Try to be indispensable to your clients and supervisors. They’ll greatly appreciate it because they’ll have to do less work.)
4. Read a lot less. There is this perception out there that successful people read a lot. While this may be true, it certainly doesn’t sound fun. Reading hundreds of pages of material relevant to your field will take the excitement out of everything. If you know so much about your area of expertise, where are you going to get the rush of possibly making a bad decision? Leave the reading to the librarians. (Keep current on your field by reading relevant blogs or journals. You’ll at least know when your field will become obsolete.)
5. React to EVERYTHING. All those people you work with and those clients you serve are out to get you. Whether it’s your bobbleheads, awesome desk chair or even your red Swingline stapler, the world wants to see you pay and take your things. This is why it is very important to react to every little thing. And react HARD. Throw objects, swear loudly, storm out of the room and, ideally, all three at the same time. Every little sideways glance and convoluted comment that could be about you needs to be addressed. These people will not stop until you’re out on the street. (People don’t have time to worry about you so don’t go crazy about everything. They’re too busy worrying about themselves.)
These are my top 5 ways of being an anti-Dale Carnegie. I’m sure there are many, many other methods to lead you down the path of the social pariah, but all this typing is hurting my ears. So if you would like to share your own ways of losing friends and scaring away people, please feel free to share in the comments.