Let’s Fire You All: Company Overhauls

workplace overhaulSenior management, or those who have seen it all- please feel free to chime in on this one. You may have read in a previous statement I made on this blog, that I am currently working with a company doing a 40% overhaul. This is one of the smaller overhaul’s I have worked with. The largest was 80%. As experienced managers know, this kind of drastic change in a company requires your full attention and you end up working close to-but not quite- around the clock. These are the primary reasons for the current overhaul at a glance:

  1. Embezzlement (yes again)
  2. Highly toxic environment
  3. No moral – poor culture
  4. Poor work performance by majority of employees
  5. Company is facing loss of continued funding
  6. New CEO and CFO

For those of you who may not be familiar, an overhaul does not necessarily refer to large degrees of change management- but rather the restoration and repair of a system, project, or department. This requires intense planning, action plans, group scenario probabilities, fiscal year projections, budget considerations and reports, avoiding legal barriers at all costs, and setting the stage for future legal repercussions. Depending on the issues that endorsed this overhaul – a complete deconstruction of departments, including but not limited to internal auditing and investigations are completed. I understand when an overhaul is announced in a company meeting, that staff hears the word “fire” and think that management has shared a party bag of uppers and is now going crazy firing everyone. I get it- because as front line employees, we’ve all been there. Truth: management has been planning this and has had it in consideration for months, if not a year. It is a delicate task, and requires a tact for restoring integrity, which not everyone – even a CEO, can do. This is why you hear of specialists being hired for this purpose alone. A company may do staff overhauls for integrity and budget reasons- these being some of the most main concerns.

What is ultimately unfortunate is that a mass lay off means many people facing lack of resources for rent and groceries. What does the family do? I am a little bit of a stickler when it comes to marking people’s dismissal papers “lay off” because I want to encourage them to apply for EI, and I want to refer them in the community to any resources that can help them with employment, networking, and maintaining their basic needs. Let’s face it, severance pay is ideal, but it’s not always feasible for the company, so it can be limiting. The newest trend for company overhauls is the IT/Social Media and PR departments. Recently Blackberry, Yahoo, and several Unions undertook this venture. They didn’t complete a staff overhaul, no doubt some people were let go, however the primary focus for them was systems. Has it worked? Well, considering it all took place over the past month, we can’t be too sure. However, an overhaul does present a fresh slate, a new chance, and with the primary goal to restore integrity I would say they are off to a good start. Overhaul’s affect everyone in every corner and nook of the company. It is a chain reaction that overtakes the daily routine, relationships, business ops, and budget. It is necessary for some, but more concerning about who is doing it- and prayer to be whispered that it isn’t for projection reasons.

Advertisements

Myths about Introverts

ImageYou may have read my previous post on the Social Bully of Retention Plans, on the discussion of introverts and extroverts at social gatherings at the office. I received some very interesting replies, including a couple personal emails from bloggers who seemed to want to tell me, “how it really is”. One of my very good friends is an extrovert, we do a lot together both in the community and at home watching movies. When we are together, it is very difficult to tell who is the introvert and who is the extrovert because of our flexible and accommodating personalities. There are myths that introverts are “missing out”, “don’t know how to have fun”, are “cold” and “antisocial”, lack creativity, are shy, don’t like people, don’t like to talk, are only “book smart”, and more…. these are simply not true. All of these traits have no preference for personality, they can belong to anyone. Discerning the difference between the two is not as simple as outgoing and shy. There are many misconceptions between these two personalities, and unfortunately, because extroverts make up 70% and more of the population, introverts have been labeled unjustly. This post is intended to clarify the personalities in a positive light, and give more background information on why introverts should be valued in the workplace, not shamed, but encouraged to be themselves- just as extroverts are.

Myth #1) Introverts are Shy. Shyness implies a fear of social interaction- introverts are not any more afraid of people than extroverts. When I worked for a large IT company, there were mass company events, or “social gatherings” rather, once a week. The Director of Events would speak in front of aproximately 2,000 people and more over the course of the day with a team moral booster speech, act as MC, and so forth… And every morning, he would put anti-anxiety pills in his coffee about 20minutes before going on. He was an extrovert, and he could barely speak in front of a crowd without his meds. Shyness is unique to the person, not the intro-extro personality.

Myth #2) Introverts don’t have fun. I would be very interested to know what group of introverts came forward with this information. Introverts go paintballing, are horse enthusiasts, do extreme sports, belong to clubs, go to concerts, and take the train to work just like anyone else. Just like extroverts, there are high energy individuals and low energy individuals. Some introverts don’t like the outdoors, but like cooking instead- others thrive when mountain climbing but don’t like books. Introverts make their fun how it meets their own needs and what is good for them. Which leads me to the next myth, that introverts can change to be like extroverts- and it would be better for them.

Myth #3) Introverts can change to be like extroverts- and it would be better for them. Introverts cannot change, just as extroverts cannot change. Depending on the field of work that each goes into- they may adopt traits that assist them in their environment. Even more so if the individual is passionate about their line of work, and has a dynamic character. In this instance a strong introvert can be an Event Planner, and a strong extrovert can be a Librarian. Although it is a tad unusual for these, as the majority  dominates the opposite personality, it is not unheard of, and will not hinder the personality’s success. If introverts are forced, coerced, or made to believe they “must be an extrovert”, it can take a severe toll on them expending more of their energy, kind of like a jaguar pretending to be a dove all day- it’s just harder. This may be why some people think introverts tire out more easily or are extra quiet- it could just be because they have used up all their energy sporting their extrovert skills.

Myth #4) Introverts make poor managers and don’t connect with employees. False. Introverts in the office are typically in the “know” for the office pulse, but tend to fly beneath the radar undetected. No doubt that extroverts make a point of their presence being noticed- however introverts as managers sport a reliable, trustworthy open door policy, as opposed to a fluttering social butterfly get around. For professionals that have worked into middle-but for sure upper and senior management, they can attest that the differences between intro-extro at these levels become very difficult to spot. This is because a good manager climbing the ranks typically has to have a dynamic personality and character to effectively manage a diverse group of individuals. A tunnel extrovert cannot manage an introvert, and a tunnel introvert cannot manage an extrovert. Either/or, the fact remains that the stats flip for management- upper management is made up of 70% introverts > this says a lot. Introverts are more sensitive to employee relations and culture which makes them valued managers. This is primarily due to the more easy going nature of introverts who enjoy exploring different types of stimulus at varying degrees as opposed to a lot of stimulus at one degree all at once.

introvertMyth #5) Introverts only want to be alone. Believe it or not, just like extroverts- there are “world class introverts” just like “world class extroverts”. There are different sub-levels and degrees of each, kind of like the difference between being outgoing and obnoxious. There are world class introverts (kind of like myself) that can go days without being in touch with the rest of the world, even without a phone or computer. Sometimes I just really enjoy reading, writing, contemplating, and being creative on my own for a bit. Usually I want to share this with someone when I’m done my time alone, and I love sharing with other introverts who do the same thing. But believe me, not all introverts like to be alone. There are a lot who enjoy talking and sharing regularly throughout their day. Typically though, introverts prefer groups of 1-3 of close friends who they have sincere, close relationships and connections with as opposed to 5-8 people (again- notice the increase in stimulus) when together at once. It’s not that they want to be alone- it’s that they require lesser stimulus overall. Introverts get lonely for company and relationships just like anyone else.

Myth #6) Introverts are not creative. A lot of this stems from the myth about introverts having their noses in books, and being quiet all the time. Introverts can be very creative, in fact, there is not a statistic that can tell you who is more creative. Each personality enjoys art, music, food, languages, culture, and everything in between. Each personality expresses their creativity differently- writing, reading, drawing, painting, playing an instrument, designing a web page, marketing, blogging, social networking, public speaking, community networking, and the lot to follow.

I hope this helps you in your journey with understanding the differences, and how to positively work with, and understand introverts. Perhaps even for some of you (30%) you recognize yourself, and can see the qualities.

Happy Office Politics.

What HR isn’t Telling You…

Image

Every Human Resources Professional has seen some quirky, crazy, and eyebrow raising things in the office. Chances are, unless you’re involved in disciplinary action, a complaint, performance review, bucking for a raise, being onboarded or prepped for exit interviews, you will never see them. But don’t be fooled. HR knows more about you than your manager, and some of your closest coworkers. Here’s a look at what they are really thinking when it comes to employee relations…

1. “The No. 1 thing in job security is your relationship with your boss. Even if he says, ‘I’m sorry I really wanted to keep you, but they made me lay you off,’ that’s almost never true. He probably made that decision.” –Cynthia Shapiro, former human resource executive

2. “If you’re accused of sexual harassment, even if you’re found to be not guilty, people will always look at you funny afterwards. It can kill your career.” –Laurie Ruettimann, HR consultant and speaker in Raleigh, N.C .

3. “Even in jobs where you test applicants and those with the top scores are supposed to get the job, I’ve seen hiring managers fix scores to get the people they like.” –HR representative in the manufacturing industry.

4. “If you have a question, come to my office. Don’t corner me in the bathroom.” –HR professional at a mid-sized firm in North Carolina

5. “Children and hobbies do not belong on a résumé. And never, ever say, ‘Now that my kids are in college, I’m ready to get back in the workforce.’ ” –HR professional at a mid-sized firm in North Carolina

6. “You’re right to be paranoid. The company is always watching you, and there’s a record of everything you do: every phone call, every text, every tweet and instant message. At most companies, they save that data forever.” –Laurie Ruettimann, HR consultant and speaker in Raleigh, N.C

7. “I was asked by one CEO to hire the long-legged girl with the long dark hair even though she didn’t have the right skills. Another time, I was instructed not to hire anyone with children because the company had too many people leaving for soccer games. That kind of thing happens all the time.” –Cynthia Shapiro

8. “I know a lot more about you when you walk in the door than you realize. I’ll search for you on the web and often use my own personal network to do a pre-interview reference check.” –Senior HR Executive in Vancouver, BC

9. “Generally speaking, you only put someone on paid leave if you’re pretty certain that they might be terminated from the company once you do your investigation.” – Jenny Gantham

10. “Never accept the job immediately. Say you need to think about it overnight. Once you sign on the dotted line there’s no room for negotiation.” –A human resources professional in Seattle, WA

11. “If you get fired, don’t just stomp out and go on with your life. The company may be willing to give you some severance, especially if you can point to someone different from you who didn’t get as severe a punishment. Just saying, ‘Well, I talked to my attorney’ (even if you don’t have an attorney) can also give you some leverage.’” –Suzanne Lucas, a former HR executive

12. “If we ask ‘What salary are you looking for?’ say you’re flexible, or say it depends on the responsibilities of the job. Try not to name a salary unless we really push you, because that gives us a leg up in the negotiating.” –A human resources professional in Victoria, BC

13. “Companies do have black lists. It’s not written down anywhere but it’s a list of people they’d be happy to get rid of if the opportunity arises. If you feel invisible, if you’re getting bad assignments, if your boss is ignoring you, or if they move your office, you’re probably on it.” –Cynthia Shapiro

14. “I may say ‘I’m terminating you because you didn’t meet performance measures.’ I’m not going to say it’s because you’re a pain in the butt and piss people off every time you interact with them.’” –HR Manager at a Loblaw

15. “One time a candidate sent – I love this – a thank you card with a professional picture of herself, which quite honestly became the running joke for weeks. The picture was blown up and posted in my office with hearts drawn around it.” –HR director at a financial services firm

16. “Don’t ever tell me that you have to have this job because you’re going to lose your house, your kids have nothing to eat, your mother has cancer. Companies aren’t a charity.” –Suzanne Lucas

17. “Networking does not mean using Facebook or Linked In. It means going to events, getting your face in front of people and setting up informational interviews.” –A human resources professional in Hamilton, Ontario

18. “We get résumés on fancy schmantzy papers. We get them with gold-pressed lettering. We get them in binders and in document protectors with ribbons. None of that sways me.” –HR Manager in St. Cloud, Minnesota

19. “98 percent of the résumés we receive when we post a position on a big jobs site like hotjobs, monster or careerbuilder are junk, people who are nowhere near qualified. We’ll get a guy who’s a bar manager applying for a director of public affairs position. Or a shoe salesman. That’s why we like posting jobs on websites that target specific industries.” –Michael Slade, HR director at Eric Mower and Associates, an integrated marketing communications agency.

20. “I had somebody list their prison time as a job. And an exotic dancer who called herself a ‘customer service representative.’ ” –Sharlyn Lauby, human resources consultant in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.

21. “Don’t stalk me.” –A human resources professional in Vancouver BC

The “Let’s Catch You” Interview

ImageI had a great learning experience last month I kept on meaning to write about. I was on the other side of the table as the “interviewee”. Not totally foreign territory, especially since I do primarily contract work in change management, system overhaul, risk assessment, and policy development, for anywhere between 2weeks-2years for a single company, nevermind the policy writing and training seminars I hold on the side. However, a lot of my work has me by recommendation so the interview process is very lax and usually involves a CAO/CSO, Director, and possibly a senior management personnel or the former HR (yes, the one who either quit or was let go), and myself having lunch or a brief meeting on what my proposal for the company is, and how we can tailor it specifically for their needs. This interview however was just stellar.

I met with the CAO, and the HR Director. Originally it appeared to be laid back, however the questions were so broad and general, and yet they sought such specific details, it kind of threw me for a loop-but in a good way. The questions were designed to see if you were telling the truth. Bravo! Questions such as, What do you think your day would look like? (as opposed to, list some of your typical tasks) How do you think managing employees would be best here? (as opposed to, what’s you’re management style) What kind of retention programs would you like to implement? (as opposed to, how do you earn the trust and build relationships to keep employees) What do you think it would be like to coach our team of Executives and Floor Manufacturers? (as opposed to, how do you build relationships with people), etc…. And then mid interview they expressed that they would give me an opportunity to ask questions now, but not at the end. Huh. Interesting….. I realized they give no room for error. How great is that! It allows basic human error, as people are supposed to have nervous reactions to stressors, however it makes it much harder to bluff your way through basic tasks and responsibilities that you should already know about. I must say, this is my new favorite interview technique! Good on them!

As it was, congratulations are present, as I was offered the job. After pulling their files on interviews, I have no idea who their former trainer and change manager was, but they were a genius! The questions and programs are a goldmine. I wish more people took this initiative in their career!

Good Morning Embezzlement!- What Will You Be Drinking Today?

The slap tickle offenses at the office take a back seat when corporate criminal charges are involved. So when I learned an office I had previously worked with through change management had the CAO and minion assistant in bed together with potential embezzlement charges, I was oddly pleased and disgusted.

ImageAfter an 80% overhaul of staff, management, policies, systems, and the monthly coffee subscription- you would have thought positive change was approaching right? No. My recommendation to put the CAO on suspension along with dirty faced said minion was because the two were power mongers, and I could smell trouble but couldn’t put my finger on it. They were too smug, smooth, and what I did find when I audited the assistant’s files, were personal information files on all the employees. No, no, not  employee files. You may have misheard- information files- as in, potential blackmail files. I recommended disciplinary action immediately and to launch an internal investigation. What was interesting, was the CEO felt she was desperate for cash, had huge amounts of compassion for her and instead offered her a few extra vacation days, time off, and benefits. Shoot me now. I do have a love for this particular CEO, as my cohort called him, “the eloquent beast”. He truly is a beast of a man, looking vicious…. sort of like you wouldn’t be surprised to find out if he ate candied hearts for breakfast. You know the sort. But after many years of being my favorite kind of crisis intervention worker, he had grown a tremendous soft spot for people who simply do not know any better. This was his first time as a CEO, and he did indeed want to be fair, diplomatic, and merciful (getting what you don’t deserve). Coupling this with his faith as a man of God- the goodness in his heart truly makes up for other people’s wrong doings. I respect this man, he is one of my mentor’s, and I understand his decision in this matter, however I do not agree with it.

I understand mercy and grace. However, I agree with limitations on it when thousands of dollars are being discovered in embezzlement. Not to mention harsh and unfair treatment of employees, blackmail, and fraud. Sounds to me that some lay off’s are in order. But that’s only because my values tell me not to associate with this kind. What happened to David’s strategies? He acted swiftly, with compassion, and had mercy for the soul of man but it did not stop him from keeping with natural consequences. I suppose I have something to learn here. I will chat more with the CEO after his txt the other day of, “I would welcome your return here!!!” I bet. The truth is, I would love to go back. It was a fabulous office, despite the problems. After doing so much change management, I have learned that every office has problems (I know a lot of you are thinking, what else is knew?). But so many of us associate problems with money, bitchy people, stupid people, office cliques, budget cuts, and so forth. My kind of usual problems are typically fraud, blackmail, embezzlement, theft, sexual harassment, labour disputes, and so forth. It’s just a matter of if you’re comfortable with the toxic tactics your opponent is using. Here, I get it. I know what the problems are, I like the people (even the stupid ones), and I enjoy working with all of them. Heck, the crazy just makes my day a little more interesting and shakes things up a bit.

Paint the Competition

Paint the Competition

Good morning Human Resources professionals and hiring panel! Did a tablespoon of racist get stirred into your coffee this morning? Today’s harrowing story is Rodriguez vs. Roberts in the office and the interview. While most of us are aware that many people accompany their morning java with a side of judgement cake and vindictive shots (“Who the hell gave Bob the right to have the corner office!?”) the racist sweetener in the coffee seems to bypass us all as invisible as the addictive qualities in Starbucks coffee. So remember the next few detailed reports and take heed in interviews and annual reviews. You are being judged by your name and appearance. Don’t act so surprised.

1) Rodriguez vs Roberts. Stats show that when sending out resumes of equally varying education, work experience, and qualifications, it takes 15+ applications to get a call back for Rodriguez while only 10 applications or less for Roberts. Now, why would that be? A lot of the stat reports say that there is a strong association between foreign names with blue collar, low income, under educated, and less ambitious applicants. Whereas names that are traditionally Anglo-saxon such as Roberts, are looked upon more favorably as successful, accomplished, educated, ambitious, and come from a higher socioeconomic standing. I have a sneaking suspicion the Gaglardi’s and Lalji family of Vancouver may differ on judging a name by cultural heritage and back it with their billion dollar worth. However, unfortunately the stats are showing today’s professionals skip the Jamal’s with a Masters degree and call back the Jane’s with a bachelor’s. My personal suspicion is the people who are taking their coffee this way are undereducated themselves and lack sociopolitical intelligence in addition to having low self esteem and other complex’s. Some of you may be reading this and be wondering, what does low self esteem have to do with this? Well, let me tell you. Some individuals who feel poorly about themselves (this is not a person who is into pity parties, or someone who is even aware they feel poorly about themselves, hell, it may only be in 3 key areas) may feel bad about how far they’ve come in life, so then they read a name of another culture, of someone who is better educated than them, or perhaps has more experience than them, and this triggers jealousy and resentment from the person reviewing the applicant. They subconsciously take it personally and make the decision that this person has no right applying for this position, or getting that promotion. Simply that they have, “Come as far as they can and ever will.” Ever wonder why your boss is a raging idiot and how the f** did they get the job??? They were most likely promoted by someone who had a huge complex and did not have education (again, I don’t care if you have a PhD, if you have not done self work through your education, it’s a piece of paper until you prove otherwise by being awesome at what you do) to foresee the problems it could cause down the road. This person didn’t see them as a threat, more likely a joke who would get hauled up later. This is why promotions are dangerous, so much is based on matching dysfunctions and complex’s. Granted not all promotions operate this way, but it takes a soapy clean agency not to. I have to be honest with you, I’m not gonna promote Ginny because she has a masters degree, even if I love her- I’m going to promote her because she won’t give me guff, can do the job, is manageable, and won’t compete with me and gun for my job. (FYI for those of you gunning for a promo, look like your accidently smart and initiative just happens to fall into your lap- that way no one takes it personally or like you’re competing with them.)

Some agencies CSO, CAO, COO, will actually take the lead themselves to ask employees to change their “work name” to fit in, be more “accommodating” and “approachable”. The Jose’s become Josh or John, the Juanita’s become Janna, Jane, or Jen, and the Rafael becomes Ray, and so forth. I am guilty of having a work name myself, I use my middle name from the Welsh side of my family rather than the other. And yes, sadly, this gets me more interviews, and less racial slurs than my other name…

2) Fat vs. Skinny. I absolutely abhor these labels. I think I fall into the fat category as a size 12. Odd, I think I’m average, however there a slew of people who read a few good books and the latest issue of GQ to disagree with me with what domesticated impoverished opinion they call “educated”. No, no, I’m sorry, I don’t care what the Oprah book club taught you, or how Dr. Oz preached about thin for good health let me educate you in the world of assessment where CSO’s, CEO’s, and CAO’s pick up on these cues compared to average management in less ambitious roles. Let’s examine them and let me encourage you- google some multi-millionaires, CEO’s, and big cheese’s and really take a good look at what they look like (Please watch the first episode of Dragon’s Den). Most are average to a bit over weight, they have good hair, good skin, a decent wardrobe (pretty corporate generally), they tend to not even whiten their teeth (check, Jimmy Pattison), and they have strong family ties and do less partying and fear the no gluten diet.

a) Weight – sizes 0-8; The Average Management: successful, ambitious, vain, smart; The CSO: insecure, competitive, ego driven, fake.

b) Weight sizes 8-14; The Average Management: lazy, unmotivated, average intelligence, will do grunt work, competitive, over compensating; The CSO: ambitious, comfortable, settled, mature, humble, hard worker, trustworthy.

c) Weight sizes 14 +; The Average Management: lazy, untrustworthy, secretive, jealous, low inteligence; The CSO: average intelligence, “too-settled”, secretive, insecure, polar personality (will either be a very hard worker, or not at all), waste company time.

These are very interesting evaluations taught in business, social work, strategy, consulting, and personality profiling. The most intriguing part of the training is only social work and some courses in personality profiling actually touch base on how to tell if some one is “faking” the skinny, for example, are they drugging, alcoholing, perhaps it was a birth defect, addictions, or are they naturally slim?- look at their wrists, neck, collar bone structure, and finger alignment. What if they are over weight? It could be from medications for health, drugging, alcoholing, addictions, trauma, or is it natural? Look at their ankles, eyes, temples, neck, belly to width ratio, and skin colour (hint, long time marijuana users have a slight grey tinge to their skin despite ethnicity). So, for example if you are on the hiring panel and interview a woman who is over weight and you just read an article in random girly magazine that battered women tend to gain weight unintentionally as it is the body’s way of protecting its organs with fatty tissue for safety- would you assume that this woman has been battered? NO! You are not qualified or have the education to determine any of that. What if I countered what you read by saying they also lose a tremendous amount of weight unintentionally as the body is preparing for flight and in addition constant stressors can burn calories as adrenaline is constantly making the body work harder. Not so sure about that first theory now huh? Well, the person interviewing you didn’t know all that. F****.

3) Glasses vs No Glasses. I wear fake glasses. Don’t judge me. With a $80k salary job and 6 weeks holiday you’d wear fake glasses too. I don’t wear them all the time, just during interviews and key meetings. Stats show that glasses are associated with “book worms” and “geeks” who have been the victim’s of media fronting them as super intelligent with high IQ’s, critical thinking techniques, an inability to get caught up in office gossip, trustworthy, reliable, and good with money. So the next time you go into an interview, sport some four eyes and win ’em over.

4) Marriage & Children. If anyone asks, you are in a long term relationship (or married), and you want children (or actually do have kids). For some reason there is a lot of discrimination against those of us who are slow to marry and do not want children. NEWS FLASH, infidelity and divorce lessen the closer to age 40 you get married. Don’t believe me?- look up the stats with StatsCanada, BCASW, and published psychology journals. This doesn’t mean to say because you got married at 18 you or your spouse will have an affair, no, not at all, it just means because your brain does not fully develop until you are 30 means you have a higher chance of choosing a more successful partner. Also, you will have settled in your personality and worked out more of your issues so you are not as likely to leave over a spat, and you will be more critical and know when to disagree and actually fight it out. I think most people see marriage and children as a milestone of happiness they would like everyone to see. My buddy thinks anal sex is happiness, but I don’t. He respects that and doesn’t think any less of me. That’s a bit of a contrast to the subject huh? Not really. Your decisions in the bedroom are as valuable as your decisions in the public eye. Why?- because each and every one of us is valuable and has the right to do what’s best for them. If you don’t want to be a parent, then you know for sure, I got your back. If being a parent is the fulfillment goal of your life, I also got your back. I’d rather you make the decision (even if you change your mind or always wonder, or never wonder) than be luke warm and undecided and never arrive at a decision. But, on that note, if you make the decision to be okay with whatever happens, more power to you. Unfortunately, the hiring panel may not see it that way. Often people who are married, or in committed relationships are seen as grounded, trustworthy, family oriented “family values”, ethical (did someone forget rapists have children too?), hard working, goal oriented, honourable and virtuous. People who keep themselves “attractive” or polished, and are single with no kids are seen as promiscuous, threatening, enjoy sexually frustrating others, need to be put in their place, care free, critical, more educated but contrasted with lesser intelligence, honest but hard edged, and so forth. It is as if single people are judged for having the wrong ambitions and goals in life. Oh well, tell me that when I’m CEO, and we’ll see ;) Oh right, those were MY ambitions, not YOURS. Case proven.

If you do not fit into any of the above criticisms, stereotypes, or discriminatory references then I greatly applaud you! Please keep doing what you’re doing! If you have been successful with your own name, please keep using it! You are building a pathway for those who cannot, and opening doors for the future. I understand that some of you may not have even heard of this before, please google it! You will see how common it is both in blogger articles and accredited articles. For the rest of you, hang in there. Work is a cactus, thorny, dry, and casting an awkward shadow over your path- but remember that shadows don’t last forever and once you cut through the thorns, there is some nectar of wisdom to be found in the cut and the strategy used to overcome the prickles of the work environment. Good night and good luck!