Why Paranoia Will Keep You From Getting Fired



Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has been missing for the past few weeks. Nobody knows where it went. How in 2014 can an airline vanish completely? It boggles our mind and makes us wonder who needs to be fired.

How can something have gone so wrong? The answer is people. And a more specific answer is people not double/triple/quadruple-checking; either their own work or others’ work.

It’s called a healthy dose of paranoia. Remember Murphy’s Law? Everything that can go wrong will go wrong.

(Healthy) paranoia is power.

10 Paranoid King

The loss of a 777 is an object lesson for employees all around the world.

Assuming things will wrong is not negativity. A healthy dose of paranoia a day keeps ridiculously absurd and unprofessional 777 disappearances away. Simple as that.

Think it slows down your schedule? Try going hands-free and relying on your autopilot systems to run the show and you’re inevitably bound to hit a snag due to human error.

Double-confirming people before a meeting, triple checking if you sent that vital email; all these things people say “uuuuughhh, again?” to—we call it the two-seconds-extra rule—is what ensures you don’t lose that 777; aka your client.

You think repeating back a client’s name and number is a waste of time? Recently our top-notch office manager had that rare fluke where he fell back on “proven” systems, and due to human error, forgot to get a working callback number from a client. Those two extra seconds potentially cost our company thousands.

This happens to everybody. Unless, of course, they have that healthy dose of paranoia.

Straight from the horse’s mouth, our office manager gives his ace guidelines on healthy paranoia:

1) Don’t assume that when you train someone, they’re going to do it correctly. For example, if you teach someone how to do filing, don’t take it for granted that they won’t make a mess. This happened with one of our interns, and when we finally checked the cabinet, it took a chunk of our time to rearrange everything.

2) Stop worrying about people not liking you. Being a pain in the ass because you’re making sure people do their jobs should not be a veritable concern when you’re managing a project. There’s a difference between being a nag and being horrible.

3) Check your equipment: monitors, printers, Skype, anything you might use during your meeting or client call.

4) Have a pen-and-paper checklist going to make sure you know what to check back on. If you rely on your memory, you’re going to forget it.

5) Have others remind you of what you need to do. Ask a co-worker to be a partner in paranoia and nag you about tasks in exchange for the same service.

Hire of the Week: Nevada Congressman Steven Horsford


What does it mean to get your hands dirty for your job?

Take congressman Hartford as an example. He worked a day as a UPS worker to get a feel for the average laborer.

Yes, we know a (sizable) motivation behind the stint was to get favorable press coverage. But now Hartford actually has substance behind his representation: he’s experienced minimum wage work while most other politicians haven’t.

The same goes for a sales rep. Trying out your client’s job–called “shadowing”–gives your pitch real substance. After all, you’ve done what they’ve done, so you must know what’s best for them.







Whatever industry you’re in, let your co-workers do their job.

OK, that sounds like pretty humdrum advice, but you wouldn’t believe how many companies stagnate because control-hungry employees won’t let their co-workers do what they specialize in.

Let’s say you’re the computer guy and you did all the tech work necessary to launch a business and attract customers. We can’t tell you how many techies told us their businesses failed because they wouldn’t let their marketing people do their job. They’d hoard responsibilities just to get some control over what they established.

This led only to ruin. This is why you have experts working alongside you: so you can focus on getting done what you do best.

Let go. The more you try to control everything, the more it slips through your fingers. AKA the more you resist, the more it persists.

Just let the experts do their job.

Sex with co-workers is OK, as long as…



Sex with Employees?

Having sex with your co-workers; it gets you all tingly just reading it.

You know you do it, you know you wanna do it and you know you’ve done it before.

We say go for it. You go girl. You go boy. Do it and have fun. It doesn’t matter, AS LONG as you’re performing at an Olympic level at your job (and hopefully in bed). It’s a release, it’s necessary and it’s healthy. When you’re working as hard as you are, a cathartic fling will keep you from crashing. There are some points to seriously consider before you get nasty, though, which we’ll list later.

The topic comes up after an influx of media coverage revolving around the hook up stories in Sochi. Gold medalist Jamie Anderson even deleted her Tinder app because it was too distracting.

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And it’s not only sex. You can freely speak your mind, be outrageous, really push the edge of a “work personality” when you’re giving you’re A-game day after day. Few can question your more “out there” actions or your free disposition when you’re working your ass off and doing amazing things.

Bottom line, if you’re the Jamie Anderson at your job, go for it. If you’re making it rain money and everybody’s lives are better because of your work M.O., do it. Maybe some little nothing may turn around and say something—don’t worry. When you’re great at what you do, their words won’t carry far.

Gearing Up Emotionally

The only office flings go wrong, even if you’re both Olympic-level employees, is when one person wants it and the other doesn’t. You have to understand there’s a cap on this game. The person that gets called out is the one who’s freaking out that they’re not getting it anymore.

That means being a mature adult and moving on when it’s over. This is VITAL if you want things to go smoothly afterwards. Keep in mind 15% of office hook ups blossom into long-term relationships. 85% don’t.

Emotionally gear up to move on fast if you’re thinking of hooking up, or don’t do it at all. Keep it on the down low and be satisfied with the good sex you had along the way and then look for your release elsewhere. Myriad office hook ups go sour because one of the employees got too emotionally hung up on the other. People might talk, they might talk, just be prepared.


Now, if your office has rules about this—yes, actual veritable rules that explicitly state “no employee relations”—you are risking your job, no matter how well you perform.

And try to avoid sleeping with managers and bosses (anyone directly above you, for that matter), or employees you’re managing yourself. It only makes the field more prone to drama.

Sex in the Office?

Now comes the more deliciously nefarious question: you have the keys to the office, you know when the boss is out… do you do it?

For some employees, such as our office manager who lives with three other roommates, bringing someone back home is not always an option. Worst comes to worst, and keeping to the fact that you’re performing at your best on the job, try it. Once. Just be slick about it. To quote Auntie Evan, “if you ain’t slick, don’t use your…”

But we don’t encourage it. Just like you don’t eat where you defecate—or worse, vice versa—you want to keep the office (and its tables) strictly for job-related tasks.


And yes, if you really want to know, our office manager has indeed done the dirty at our office. Listen to last Wednesday’s Job Talk radio show here, where he describes the experience—and hear some of our callers talk about their hot flings as well.

FYI, we are now on livestream, so you can see what we’re up to during peak hours—unfortunately, this is strictly professional, so no webcam material. Just our office manager’s handsome face.

Why Coming Out At Work is So Important


The other day on “Job Talk,” Uncle David told a story about coming out during a final job interview in the 90s during the Internet boom. The company was called Deja.com and the job was to basically be the automobile section editor. If memory serves, the site did something like rate and rank products—like Consumer Reports. Needless to say, it was a very testosterone-driven environment. Though it was based in New York City, this was still pre-partner privileges and pre-gay marriage—and boys will be boys, be it in TriBeCa, Tinseltown, or in Texas circa now.

On air, David told me how scared he was when I demanded that he go in and require domestic partner benefits—like health insurance—for me.

While I might have had right on my side, he had fear ripping through his. I never knew it at the time. Why? Because I don’t have my own “coming out at work” story. Why? Have ya met me?! At the risk of stereotyping myself, I am by all standards a little cliché—three snaps up and all.

So everywhere I ever worked, one of two things was true: You either just knew, or you were a moron. On the other hand, unless Uncle David is going on and on about Night of a Thousand Stevies or American Horror Story: Coven (both involving his beloved Welsh Witch Stevie Nicks), he can pretty much pass for straight. (He fooled his ex-girlfriend—for years, that beotch. #IWillCutHer.)

But being able to “pass” didn’t help him, his team at Deja, or later at Individual Investor magazine. I feel horrible that he was scared, but being the elegant, powerful man that he is, he looked across the radio booth at me and said “Thank you. Thank you for pushing me to come out at work, whatever the reason.” He went on to say that in that moment during the interview, everything shifted—for him. Turned out, the boss didn’t care and, in the years that followed, he would often ask David about me… just like any co-worker might ask about a wife.

What a shock! Gays are people too. And everyone needs to be able to share a little bit of the personal during the professional. After all, work and life collide. It’s just that simple. Mixing the personal and the professional makes for better teams, coworkers, and companies. It makes the bottom line better for everyone.  Even me. Uncle David got promotion after promotion, recommendation after recommendation, and went to the next job out and proud. (And he bought me a condo in Brooklyn.)

Here are some reasons why it’s so important to come out at work:

  1. Honesty is the best policy. One lie just leads to three. How long can you keep coming up with reasons not to be fixed up with the boss’s niece when you’re currently dating his nephew? How do you keep that story together? And why are you and Paul constantly hanging out on the weekends? Why did you both show up at the rodeo together—without dates? What a tangled web we weave, etc., Shakespeare quote yadayada. It’s just tiring. Isn’t your job hard enough? Do you really need to moonlight as a different person?
  2. Worry time eats up work time. If you’re worried, you can’t do your job well. As Wayne Dyer said: “…The activity of worrying keeps you immobilized.” (Who’s Wayne Dyer? I don’t know, but thank you Google.) Whoever he is, his words ring true.
  3. When you come out, everybody comes out. About everything. There will be a giant sigh of relief among your coworkers, your project team, the boss. And then everyone can get out of your business and attend to the business of doing business. That means mo’ money fo’ everyone.
  4. The life you save may not be your own. One of your coworkers is struggling with this too. It may even be your boss. Yes, just like NFL football players, bosses are gay people too. And what if your coming out meant your boss had someone he or she could talk to? Now who’s getting promoted? Jews keep it in the family, so do Asians, so do African-Americans—why not LGBTI? #sorrynotsorry

I get it. It’s not New York City everywhere—not even in NYC. And not everyone’s gonna be okay with it. You might be living in Baytown, Texas, where Uncle David grew up—and you might be a middle-school teacher in a very Christian world where being gay is something that can be “cured.” (Homophobia is far from over.) I know you’re afraid you’re going to get fired. And that’s a real concern. But that’s when bravery comes into this picture. There’s a little boy or girl in that class or in your town who needs you to be brave so that they don’t end up as the one in five teens who commit suicide because he’s gay (or has a brother who’s gay). You might have just given rise to the next Michael Sam—especially in Texas.


– Auntie Evan

Follow Auntie Evan on Twitter: @AuntieEvanSays

Hear Auntie Evan on the radio: Job Talk Daily Live 

5 Questions You Should Never Ask Your Gay Co-Worker



NFL prospect Michael Sam may be the first football player to come into the league openly gay. This ties in nicely with our theme these week: coming out of the closet at work.

Why is it so important to come out at work?

Who you are is integrated into who you love and who you spend time with outside of work. So many people say it’s not relevant whether you’re gay or not at work, but the truth is, keeping your status under the radar impedes your workflow.

It’s a constant distraction, the whole tiptoeing around the issue, the avoidance of the subject. “Is he or isn’t he” and “is she or isn’t she” and “can I talk about my same sex partner or not.”

Distraction on both ends only decreases productivity and keeps everyone from doing their best. Meaning, less chances at a promotion and poorer overall company performance.

The worry with Michael Sam is that any team that takes him will suffer the consequence of a media shitstorm. The supposed conversation is going to go something like: “Congrats, [star quarterback], how does it feel to win? Oh, and by the way, how does it feel to have a gay teammate?”

It’s going to dominate conversations, and any team that takes him on will take on his load of baggage.

At least, that’s one side of the argument. But who doesn’t bring baggage to the workplace? Who among us doesn’t have something that’s twisting us up inside?

Donte Stallworth, a retired NFL receiver, said some wise words on the subject: if, as a coach or player, you’re distracted by the fact that there is someone gay on the team, it’s over for you. The fact that you’re not good enough on the field as to be sidetracked by media scrutiny says something about your skill as a player.

It’s the same on the job. When the new gay employee comes into work and you start obsessing over the fact that they’re gay, you’ve already lost. You’re stuck in the last century, and your workflow suffers.

You want to be the amazing leader pulling people into the 21st century.

If you’re gay and afraid of coming out of the closet, a good majority of the time (we’re going to say 90%), you’re exaggerating the reactions you’re going to get. In fact, telling your boss before you’re even officially hired is ideal, rather than waiting to “prove yourself” in a straight light before coming out.

The sooner you can breathe easier, the sooner you can start working more productively.

And for those in the presence of a gay co-worker for the first time, here are five things you should never say to them after they come out (thanks to DiversityInc for the ideas):

1)  Oh, I knew you were gay!

2)  We’re not close enough for you to share that information with me.

3)  Are you the guy or the girl in bed?

4)  Has life has been difficult?

5)  Which bathroom do you use?




Executives loathe raising the minimum wage. They are going to try and scare you by saying that higher wages mean fewer jobs, and your job might be on the line if you go out there and vote for your representative in congress who wants to raise the minimum wage.

This is lie. In fact, there are statistics to back this up.

States with the lowest minimum wage are the poorest in the country. Yet, states with the highest minimum wage are having some of the strongest economies around right now.

Don’t buy into the argument that being in favor of raising the minimum wage is threatening your job—stats prove otherwise.

The receptionist at your company, the cashier at McDonalds—they work hard too, and they need to put food on their table as well. Their kids eat well, they feel great, do well in school, get great jobs and boost the economy.





If you want to be heard, you have to listen.

As one of the interviewees in fasctcompany.com’s article on what advice eight successful entrepreneurs would give their younger selves, IDEO Chief Creative Officer Paul Bennett said something that really hit home with us:

For most of my twenties I assumed that the world was more interested in me than I was in it, so I spent most of my time talking, usually in a quite uninformed way, about whatever I thought, rushing to be clever, thinking about what I was going to say to someone rather than listening to what they were saying to me.”

We all do this: being so distracted by our own thoughts that you don’t listen to the other person.

You’re plotting out your response and you don’t actually hear what the other person is saying; you’re not being open.

Nobody is going to listen to you and you’re not going to get promoted if you just sit there and have clever answers and retorts for everything. You’ll just come off as defensive, and, worse yet, a megalomaniac.




There’s that awkward moment that occurs in every office when you turn around and see your co-worker in tears.

What do you do? Do you follow up and ask what happened?

Instead of just ignoring what’s going on, take action and don’t let them sit there in pain. Ask them.

If you see it happening in your office, don’t let it float on the table—it just makes the situation worse.

If the person doesn’t want to talk about it, respect that. But by assuming that they don’t want to discuss it, you’re just creating a more awkward situation.




We’re giving a shout out to Peyton Manning today—who was absolutely pounced by the press the Monday after the Superbowl.

On Tuesday, everything turned around. Manning is known for being a big picture guy, a steady rock of leadership that provides the team’s stability and security.

As we watched him on Tuesday getting piled on by the media, Manning stayed true to himself and said he was not embarrassed by the defeat.

“We played a great team, we needed to play really well in order to win, and we didn’t come anywhere close to that.”

Our point today is, stay true to yourself and find your real source of empowerment. Your superpower, if you will. Manning didn’t lose himself by wallowing about a “destroyed” legacy because he stayed true to his level-headedness.

If you get promoted because of your exceptional micro-managing skills, don’t feel that you have to all of a sudden give that up for being a visionary who only thinks long-term.

That superpower that makes you what you really are—you have to use it or you’re going to lose it. You don’t have to become someone else entirely when you get promoted.

Utilize your superpower.

But how do you get yourself back on track if you’ve suddenly become derailed by ditching what made you rise in the first place? Here’s our three simple tips to avoid stagnation and get you back on your path:

1) The first step is just being open to yourself. If you’re deviating from your strengths, admit it and stop resisting the fact that you need to realign yourself.

2) Understand what superpowers are around you. If you’re misaligned yourself, you might take it out on your co-workers. Recognize their strengths and make sure you don’t look past their superpowers as well—otherwise you’re limiting the entire office.

3) When you get promoted because of your superpower, you need to learn to adapt it to this new position of authority. If you’re a relationship builder and you get shoved into a higher-paid position with your own office, don’t hole yourself up in thr room; continue doing what got you there in the first place.