Home Grown Tales

A thought by Robie

to simplify the english language a bit,

why don't we combine the words

she, he, and it

into just plain shit.

And another thought and advice by Robie

Thoughts on succeeding in a white-collar working career

Work hard at your studies, get good results, and learn how to study effectively.

If possible, specialize in a new thing that's about to take off.  Stay at the cutting edge of your specialty until you advance into management, then become a generalist.

When applying for work, learn all you can about the organization and figure out how you could contribute to its success.  Understand what you're good at and apply only for jobs that seem exciting to you.  Make your job application a sales pitch to show why you're the best candidate for the job.  Deliver your application in person if it's physically possible; show yourself at your very best; and ask for another meeting, preferably with the person you'd be working for, to learn more about the position advertised.  Remember that competence is the most important quality a prospective employer looks for.

Be thorough and results-oriented, courageous and audacious.  Be respectful and polite to everyone.  Never make jokes at anybody's expense.  Never discuss politics or religion at work.  Listen, don't talk.  Learn to remember names and faces.  Show an interest in your colleagues, superiors, and business contacts as human beings, and remember what you learn about them, so you can follow up on things later.

Be clean and presentable.  To be taken seriously by your elders, dress, groom, and behave like they do without trying to go beyond your station.  Unkempt persons never make it above the grunt level.  Don't smoke: smokers put in 10 per cent fewer hours than non-smokers during the same working day, and employers know this.  Smokers also fall ill during middle age and become a liability to their employers.

Cultivate kindness to animals: a lack of it generates an unpleasant attitude that will do you harm at work.

Both when applying for work and while working for an employer, make it evident, without saying so, that your highest priority is the success of your boss.  His/her interests are your primary motivator and you have no designs on his/her job.  Once your boss realizes this and begins to trust you completely, nothing can stop you.

Write clearly and concisely.  Use short words, sentences, and paragraphs.  Study creative writing as if you were planning to write novels.  Popularize difficult matters.  Date and keep a copy of everything you write.  Double-check your facts and document them.  Learn to design and use relational databases to make fast and accurate use of large amounts of data.  Speak loudly and clearly when addressing an audience.  Use the best available audiovisuals.  Be entertaining so nobody goes to sleep.

If you become a manager and get staff, remember that to your staff, you represent the company or organization, but to your boss, you represent your staff.  Nothing motivates those working for you like the knowledge that you care about them and their interests when dealing with the employer.  Don't be preoccupied with rising in the organization: if you follow the advice offered here, you'll be given all the responsibility you can handle.

Keep promises.  Make only realistic plans and budgets.  Warn of delays as soon as you know for certain.  Never speculate: if you don't know, find out and get back to the person who made an inquiry.  Learn to deal with short attention spans: bosses will stand over you and demand quick wins.  Give them milestones and interim results as needed, and use the resultant goodwill to get necessary resources.  Never fear telling your boss unpleasant truths in private: a good boss will respect you for it.

Keep the time spent on maintaining your work computer to a minimum.  Make use of calendaring and scheduling applications.  Learn to use project management systems: they actually work.  Keep a business diary so you know what you've done when and what you've promised to whom.  Learn from Dale Carnegie: the best thing he said was that to get someone to do what you want them to do, show them that it's in their own best interest to do it.  If reminders are needed, give them politely and in private.

Never stop learning.  Question existing practices and find out about the future of the business your employer is in.  Trust only good futurologists and use many different sources.  If change is needed, make a convincing case to your superiors.  If you see the ship sinking, do as the rats do and get off in time.

TRIGGER POINTS Imagine being hounded half-ways around the world by your own government for speaking the truth...


I am set in my ways. I have a Master of Science degree in electronics and electrical engineering. I adore my children. I am married to a wonderful woman, who keeps me on the strait and narrow.