As a business humor writer, Bob Goldman believes that his readers should skyrocket ahead in their careers and make tons of money. What sets Bob apart is his belief that his readers should have these advantages without going to trouble of actually having to do any work. Toward this end, he provides the practical tips and attitude adjustments that guarantee laughter, if not financial success.
Born in White Plains, N.Y., Bob graduated from Colorado College. Using the writing skills he honed while not doing any schoolwork, he crafted an essay that gained him admission to the prestigious University of Chicago School of Business. Intent on proving his success-without-effort philosophy, Bob ended his first semester with four F's and one D, prompting his adviser to comment, "You obviously spent too much time on one subject." Sensing that his gifts might be better applied to the practical world of business, Bob left the ivory tower to become a successful advertising copywriter at huge multinational firms in whose bureaucratic superstructure he always found a place to hang his hat--and his hammock.
In between writing ads for detergent and computers, he found time to write articles for The New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, GQ and Rolling Stone. His column, Work Daze, is a finger in the eye for business blowhards and boardroom braggarts.
The father of three children, Bob lives near San Francisco in a newly remodeled house for which he will be paying for many happy decades to come.
If I were smarter, and more highly motivated, and just a little bit British, I'm sure I would regularly read The Economist. It would also help if they kept a copy in the waiting room of my local tattoo parlor, but you get my point.
Do you have a crazy boss? Do the masters and mistresses of your universe give you assignments that make no sense? When they doubt your competence, do you doubt their sanity? Can you imagine your supervisors sitting at their desks, drooling and babbling incoherently? And would that be a big improvement from what occurs every day in team meetings?
Once upon a time, employers tried to hire people who were already very, very smart. That wasn't easy to do, as a quick glance at your company's management team will prove.
OK, you got the job. Good on you. Enjoy the congratulations from your friends and family. Revel in the jealousy seeping from every pore of your poor comrades, since they didn't get a spanking new job and you did.
I'm not very good at my job. My judgment is horrible, and I make lots of mistakes. Most of the time, I really don't know what I'm doing.
I know you're dying to ask, so I'll tell you. This morning I woke up at 5 a.m., did a one-hour Pilates workout, drank a Kombucha shake, read 50 pages of "The Brothers Karamazov" in the original Russian, wrote 50 pages in my personal journal, also in the original Russian, meditated, chanted, did yoga, baked 200 gluten-free scones, milked the cow, the goat and the chicken, dressed head-to-toe in Spandex, also gluten-free, paddleboarded to work, and was in the office, fresh and ready, to go an hour before starting time.
It may not be every child's dream, but it was yours.
Be honest now: Has anyone at your workplace ever told management that you are the most obnoxious, most difficult, most boring employee in the entire company?
I mean it! Thank you for taking time from your busy day to read this column. Even though we both know that your day is completely unbusy, and that you have absolutely nothing better to do, and that you only started reading because you thought you were going to get some inside dirt on the big Bennifer break up, which you definitely would, except I swore to Jen I would not talk about it, I still thank you.
Do you know what it's like to be a high-potential employee?
What's Not to Like? You know what I like about you?
OK, where were you? I was ready to start this column 20 minutes ago, but because you showed up late, I've had to spend those 20 minutes twiddling my thumbs.
Instead of feeling stressed every morning when you arrive at your job and are suddenly struck with the realization that your employer expects you to actually do some work, look at the situation as a challenge.
You know it's true. If you are ever going to get out of your miserable, dead-end, deadhead job, you're going to need gumption, imagination, hard work, and a resume.
Far be it for me to argue with Neutron Jack.