Loopy job advice from `Cube Monkeys,' and wild pitches

ON THE JOB

Your Money

September 26, 2007|By HANAH CHO

If I read every single unsolicited "must-have" business or management book that gets sent to me, reading would be my full-time job.

Bookstores have always had titles such as finding the right parachute or how to win and influence friends and colleagues. But now they're joined by penguins and the latest business executive dishing out advice on bettering your career.

So I was pretty amused when I got a news release about a parody on "must-have" office handbooks called Cube Monkeys: A Handbook for Surviving the Office Jungle by editors of CareerBuilder.com and Second City Communications, the corporate arm of the comedy theater group.

(Tribune Co., the parent of The Sun, partly owns CareerBuilder.com.)

Ever wonder what your boss really means by what he's saying? The book offers several translations.

Great job on the report: I'm taking credit for your work.

This came down from the top: I have no real power.

I'll be out of the office for a couple of hours with senior management, but you can reach me on my cell: I'm playing golf.

If you're looking for more excuses to call in sick, the book offers some unique ones, including:

I have disco fever. I just can't stop dancing.

I have a computer virus. Did I ever mention I was bionic?

I've got one of those 24-hour things. What's it called ... oh yeah, a day off.

Workplace tidbit: During job interviews, applicants should be selling themselves. But then there are pitches that turn strange.

Staffing firm Accountemps asked 150 senior executives in human resources, marketing and finance departments from the nation's 1,000 largest companies to describe the oddest pitches they've received from potential hires.

Here are some of their responses:

One person brought his mother to the job interview and let her do all the talking.

A candidate sang all of her responses to interview questions.

One candidate said that we should hire him because he would be a great addition to our softball team.

An applicant drafted a news release announcing that we had hired him.

One job seeker said he should get the job because he had already applied three times and felt that it was now his turn.

Send your stories, tips and questions to working@baltsun.com. Please include your first name and your city. On the Job is published Monday at www.baltimoresun.com

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