SHOW DATE: AUGUST 13, 2014
Everyone knows when you lie on the job. They can practically predict everything coming out of your mouth is utter..
When we go to the car dealership, we prep ourselves for “lie time,” where Jack the car salesman will talk sales for the next few hours. What a waste of time: when Jack tells the truth, we are more apt to buy and it saves time for everybody.
It doesn’t get any simpler than that.
The other day, Auntie Evan got ready for an 8am meeting at the office with our accountant. The accountant comes in with his gold earring and slicked back hair and double tan, and on the side shadowing him is this big nameless muscle thug that he randomly invited.
Walks in, sits down, we tell him what we want done with our house. The first thing the accountant does, and we could swear his tan triple-darkened and his gold earring started to twinkle a little brighter, was jump in with a suggestion for a realtor—from whom we knew he would get a percentage from.
Not a good start.
He should have addressed us first and then truthfully acknowledged that he knew a REALLY good realtor, and despite him getting a percentage from the referral, the the guy would do wonders. It would have been more honest, less “sales-y” and more authentic.
By pretending that it was just a good referral right off the bat, it only created bad blood between us. The rest of the conversation was virtually OVER.
You do this at work and don’t even notice it: you make promises you can’t keep (you may get busy or forget), you say things to expedite a meeting and you don’t lay it down straight to your boss.
Truthful conversations get things done FASTER. Don’t even look at this from a moral perspective. Things are more efficient when they aren’t marred by bullshit. Either you’re not telling the truth, or you’re allowing somebody else to lie. The last thing we want is a culture of lies and half-truths proliferating the working world.
If you don’t know how to do something, and you pretend that you do, that’s lying. If you don’t say that you’ll be late, that’s lying by omission. I have a suggestion, and this is going to be CRAZY. If you don’t know something (ready for the insanity?): start with, “I don’t know” and… wait for it… “But let me help you. We’re going to find out how to do this together.”
THAT’s the way to go.
Pop culture example? Sure: we LOVE our summer TV guilty pleasure, Big Brother. Everybody was rooting for this guy Cody from the beginning, but he had this nagging habit of saying he’ll do something and never doing it. Now the whole fan base is against it.
After a while, you end up being the lonely guy in the dirty apartment, with a bottle in his hand… OK, maybe we’re getting sort of grim here.
Check in with yourself. Conduct a mini self-interview. Are you telling a client, co-worker, boss, lover etc. something because you want them to like you more or to avoid confrontation? Or are you telling them the truth?
Tell us the truth and you’ll have us on your side. In fact, you’ll have everything: the trust, the job, the promotion and the career.
SHOW DATE: AUGUST 6, 2014
The Israeli-Palestinian debate is one of the most polarizing issues we’ve EVER come across. And this only caps the tower of hot-button issues that have accreted and grown in the past year: gay marriage, Obamacare, abortion, and—yes, once again—contraception, along with myriad other topics.
Inevitably these create strong opinions and opinions often bleed over into work. It’s true that you should not have to forfeit your values because you’re worried it will piss off management. But how do so without submitting to the beliefs of others?
Soothe your nerves… Auntie Evan and Uncle David are here to explain all.
It all start with Auntie Evan at the fledgling age of 23, teaching his first aerobics lesson.
This is NOT an accurate representation of Auntie Evan at 23.
There he was instructing his class in a Beverly Hills club. Five Jewish women across from him started discussing the situation in the Middle East (yeah, there was one back then as well).
Auntie Evan will never forget this. One of the women turned around and said: “The only good Palestinian is a dead Palestinian.”
Auntie Evan FREAKED OUT (in his mind). He retorted: “What are you talking about? Palestinians deserve the same rights as everybody!”
The Beverly Hills aerobics student replied: “Either you’re out of this club, or I’m out of this club.” It was five to one. Auntie Evan was fired from his job at the club for standing up for his values.
Was that a smart move on his part? Probably not. But here is how he got a PROMOTION right after. That same woman later called up Auntie Evan, apologized, and hired him back as a private trainer. (She didn’t change her mind by the way.)
Now that we have a nice running start into the topic, let’s dive in and get PRACTICAL. This is how to manage the WAR in your office.
The BIGGEST problem you have when you’re expressing your views is the blatant “dueling” stance you take every time you get passionate, angry, whatever at another employee or higher-up.
What happens when you keep your mouth shut? Uncle David had a client, a republican politician, running for office. This guy opposed to gay marriage, something Uncle David was passionate about. Guess what? Had to do everything in his power to get the politician elected. It was DIFFICULT. In the end, David kept the job, but he did feel bad about it.
How can you keep your values and beliefs without turning the office into a WARZONE?
Swallow your ego. Let go of wanting to make the other person wrong. If your goal is just to right? Do you want to be right or do you want to be EFFECTIVE.
Take the first step. That’s what LEADERS do. If both of you are in the “right,” apologize first. If they’re raging, explain it rationally to them FIRST.
Put a day in between what happened and your response. Tom says something absurd. You’re raging. Wait a day and cool down and see how it plays out then. You’re not the REASON for this war (it takes two), but don’t let your emotions get all carpe diem and make them a catalyst.
Get behind your apology and MEAN IT. Even if they say “F*ck off” and hang up on you. Put yourself on the line.
Call your crew off. We know you’ve got supporters. But back them off before they start up the war again.
There you have it.
Dear Job Talk Daily Readers,
I read that stupid blog Auntie Evan wrote about quitting gracefully. Whatever.
In case you do want the door to hit you in the ass on your way out, below are a few exit lines I have compiled for you, organized by various scenarios. And trust me, I’ve used a few of these on Auntie Evan. No, seriously—I’ve quit like four times. Now, understand, if you do this you need to have all of your sh-t boxed up and you have to be ready to go—and never come back. Not everyone is as forgiving as my dear Auntie.
Be warned: What you’re about to read gets increasingly offensive depending upon how hard you want that door to slam shut.
- For when everyone in the office is meeting you for drinks later: “PEACE OUT, BITCHEZ!” (with three snaps up).
- What everyone wishes they could say to their boss, and your coworkers are buying your drinks later: “It’s a good thing you can’t have any more children.”
- To make sure that everyone actually gets to the bar later, to hear the story: “By the way, I slept with the boss’s husband (or wife).”
- No one knew you were gay, and you want to find out who else is gay at the going-away party later: “By the way, Boss, your husband’s gay. I know. I sleep with him.”
- You just really hate your boss, and you want everyone else to hate him too: “You know this is sexual harassment!” (delivered so even the mailroom hears you)
- If you wanna be escorted out by security and your coworkers are not going to the bar with you later: “I KILL YOU!!”
- If you want the police called (and you are okay with being behind bars): “I KILL YOU!” (with weapon in hand—#FloridaStyle.)
- And as an absolute last resort—one that you can never come back from and you will simply lose all of your friends at the office (and never get your last check): “Damn Hebrews!”
In closing, I leave you with the woman who is now my “Quitting Idol!”
A few weeks ago, Harry—an eight-year member of the Forster-Thomas team and one of our lead consultants who we depended on to run so much and guide so many subordinates—quit with no warning. So why do we still love him? Why is the door always open for him to return? Why would we always give him a great reference?
It’s the way he did it that counts: with complete authenticity, grace, and appreciation.
He made sure to send a resignation letter that explained his struggle openly—a desire to go after a career change and take an offer that utilized skills he felt he had but could never be applied to in his role at our company. In his heart, he’s a filmmaker. Truth is, he’s a damn good one, and we always knew that. He was also open about the fact that he wanted to take a risk and go after an opportunity to really be one. Can you blame a guy for that? Nope. Opportunity knocked. Do I think it was a mistake financially? Yup. But life is not always about a paycheck. And that’s what he basically said in his resignation letter, plus the fact that he loved working with us and gave us eight, count ’em eight, great years!
And to make matters better, he made sure to complete all of his work before he left. He met with my partner and me in person, went over what was done, what was unfinished—and how and when he’d be available even after he left to answer any questions.
So you’re definitely quitting? And they haven’t made you an offer you can’t refuse? Here’s what you can do to make sure the door doesn’t hit you on the ass on your way out:
*Spill it! Be honest when you take a job—especially one that pays well and requires training. Let them know after you get the offer, up front (that means before you formally accept), that you have this “other thing” you’ve always wanted to do and that you’re doing it on the side. Then it’s really no big shock if the side gig becomes your day job and you do leave down the line. Ah…honesty. Works every time.
*Were you raised by wolves?! You know your mother taught you to say thank you. Don’t be like our former employee Katie. Hopefully you grew in that job you’re leaving and it helped you get the next gig. Let your bosses know in that exit interview, letter, or before your last day, what you learned. Skills you didn’t have before. And let your boss or supervisor know how she helped you grow—even if he or she was an ass (always take the higher ground). Be specific. Make your growth something big picture like you learned how to manage during a deadline and include something on-the-ground like how you were given an opportunity to master Windows 8 or taught to value a property.
*Pour some sugar on me. Even if it wasn’t the best place to work or your boss wasn’t that lovely, always take the high road and make it a personal thanks. Stop by, handwrite a note or, at the very least, send an email from your personal account and let them know how difficult the decision was to leave him or her. Supervisors and bosses are people too. Doesn’t matter if they don’t respond the way you want them to. Remember, you represent you. It’s just who you are.
*Clean your room and put away your toys. That means make every attempt to finish what you started before you leave. A client meeting. A filing system. A report. Make sure you let your coworkers and your boss know where everything is, what you’ve completed, and what’s ongoing. Leave them with the tools to get it done and make it easy for the next guy or gal to come in and hit the ground running.
After all, its what your Auntie Evan always says: leave people and things better than you found them. That’s how you don’t burn bridges.
Follow me on Twitter: @AuntieEvanSays
The following is a completely true story.
So I walked out of CBS after a great Job Talk radio show and hailed a taxi to Grand Central. After I got in, the driver asked, “You want I take sixty-five street over the Central Park?”
To Grand Central? Now, if you know NYC geography, you get that we’re on 10th and 57th. So, why would he head uptown to go down to 42nd & Vanderbilt? “Why wouldn’t we just go across 57th and take a right on Broadway?” He looks at me like I’m crazy and I realize he’s right—it’s 1pm, and traffic will be insane on 57th.
So I do something you’ll never believe your Auntie Evan did: I let go of my inner control freak. “You’re the professional here, you go the way you want to,” I say as my phone lights up with texts—everyone knows I’m out of our radio show now.
So, off we go. Cabbie driving. Auntie Evan texting.
Ten minutes later I look up and there’s no trees, there’s no Tavern on the Green, there’s just a billboard for some musical that everybody from LA wants to see called “If/Then,” and a lot of white people in sweatpants and Ohio State jerseys. So I’m confused. Why are we on Broadway? I told him to go the way he wanted! Did I get the one taxi driver in New York City actually afraid to disagree with me? But what’s done is done.
Then Arif casually makes a left onto 46th. And a baaaaaaaad feeling descends upon me. You know what I’m talking about if you live here. It’s illegal to turn left onto 46th from practically anywhere midtown–midday!
And there he is. A handsome NYC cop (ah, uniforms) pulls us over. Oh crap. It is 1pm on a Wednesday in Times Square and I am with a Muslim man who has just broken the law—I am never making the train. So I calmly tell Arif I need to pay and walk the rest of the way.
Then Officer Handsome knocks on my window. I roll it down and he asks me what time my train’s at. (Apparently Arif had told him we were headed to Grand Central). I tell the officer, and ask “I’m not making that train, am I?”
“Probably not,” he replies.
So, with a blank look, I calmly say to Officer Handsome, “He’s getting a ticket, right?”
We were all calm, and in the ensuing silence, Arif and I knew what Officer Handsome knew: He was going to run the cabbie’s license, something like an unpaid parking ticket would set off an umber flag, the closest precinct is going to be somewhere not near 46th Street, and Handsome is going to be responsible for taking Arif there.
So I have to ask—while what is probably the entire Big Ten fanbase races past toward Jersey Boys–“For real, Officer? Do you really want to go through all of this?”
Something in my doe eyes must have gotten through, because Handsome returns to Arif, points his license at him and says, “Your passenger just got you out of a ticket. I’m giving you a warning.”
Arif begins to explain himself to the cop, and I reach through the partition and gently place my hand on his shoulder. “No,” I stage whisper. “Don’t speak.” Officer Handsome giggles, and I announce, “We are going to leave now, and this young man is going to take me to Grand Central….” Arif looks at me, and I finish my sentence: “for free.”
I glance at both men and ask “Are we good, boys?”
Officer Handsome looks at Arif and says, “It would be a good time for you to leave.”
Arif is the happiest cabbie in New York City. “How do you want me to go to Grand Central?” he asks.
“It’s all up to you!” I say—making damn sure he heard me this time. “You’re the expert.”
Moral of the story:
Always listen to the professional, be he a cabbie, a tragically not-yet-famous radio show host, a lawyer–or anyone who has or does spend more time than you doing something, anything you rarely, if ever, do. If you hire an adviser or a consultant, if you are a numbers guy and you find yourself working with the PR department, or if you are a parent hiring a college admissions consultant, shut the f*ck up and let the expert do his job! And if you get in his way, it is your responsibility to get him out of a jam.
And also, at the risk of using an overused phrase that originated with people who we shook off like dandruff across the pond in 1776, “Keep calm and carry on.”
Because today, I went from 46th Street and Broadway to Grand Central for free.
SHOW DATE: JULY 25, 2014
You’re being taken advantage of, and you don’t even know it.
One out of three workers in America is a contracted worker, or freelancer—meaning they get a 1099 instead of a W2. Or they get paid under the table.
HUGE problem: most of these freelancers walk through the door saying, “please use me ANY way you please. I’ll do EVERYTHING you want me to do.” Basically, they act like they haven’t gotten their freelance cherry popped yet.
How you begin your relationship with a client or company determines whether the gig is going to fall through or thrive. Will there be insanity along the way? Or will the seas be calm and steady?
Before you even breathe, there’s that split-second where the client (or prospect, or employer) knows, unconsciously or otherwise, whether she can miss a few scheduled meetings, not pay on time, and basically hold you by the balls.
The dirty truth? You get taken advantage of because you want to be liked, and this absolutely DESTROYS you and your dignity in the long run.
In fact, a worthy employer or client can tell how submissive a contractor will be from the cover letter.
We’re using a combined 50 years of work experience to compile a list of absolutely VITAL advice that will help prevent you from bending over backwards (or forwards) for your client or employer.
1) NO EFFORT and NO CREATIVITY spells DEATH: STOP transcribing your resume onto your cover letter. It’s redundant, annoying and shows no creative thought process. You don’t have to list where you’ve worked when it’s clearly displayed in greater detail on your resume.
2) Tell a STORY: Can you paint a picture of who you are as a hire by describing ONE moment where you excelled at what you do in an unconventional and exceptional way? There ya go, you’ve got the start of a GREAT cover letter.
3) Focusing on ME ME ME: Yeah, we get it. You’re hot shit. But what about us, as clients, or employers? What will you do for US? This is where you fall through the cracks to join the heaps of rotting bodies of unemployed 1099ers. Start expressing what you can do for OTHERS, not just yourself.
4) Puppydogs don’t get jobs: Calm yourself. If you’re hyperventilating from happiness or nervousness that someone actually CHOSE you, start cultivating a less reactive, more authoritative personality. Fake it till you make it if you have to; desensitization comes naturally with time and MANY interviews and sales pitches.
5) If you’re promising me the MOON, I’ll know you’ll give me the CHEESE: And by cheese we mean crap work based on bullshit claims. Get realistic and don’t offer everything on your plate and then some if you’re not sure you can provide at least half of what you’re claiming.
6) Look AMAZING: Self-explanatory. People like to pay people who keep up hygiene and look their best. End of story.
7) Always leave a paper trail: Have a contract and some kind of schedule to keep track of your time that you can show the client. This brings you respect, shows that you’re organized and fronts you as the lion in the relationship, not the gazelle.
8) Watch the clock: For those who have clients coming in late on a consistent basis, make sure they know from the get-go that if they’re ten minutes late, they lose ten minutes from their time.
9) Scraping the bottom of the barrel: This one should get you VERY excited. If your prices are low, hike those suckers up. A moderate-to-high price shows that you respect yourself, that you take yourself seriously, and that you’re willing to take the time to put in the effort instead of doing a bait-and-switch and pawning your responsibilities off overseas. Imagine you’re on old 42nd street in New York City, and you have your standard selection of, um… hookers. How would you react is Candy offered you a quickie for $10? Exactly.
10) GET PAID IN ADVANCE: You’re terrified to ask for money in advance. But if they’re struggling to pay for even an HOUR in advance and take their chances, WALK OUT. Fish in bigger ponds and don’t undermine yourself by grunting away regretfully for someone who can’t even drop a few bills for your skills.
Be powerful. People stop their nonsense and listen to you when you’re able to stand up for yourself and value your time and your money. Trying to be liked will only get you ONE place: broke, sobbing and alone.