I know it’s coming, looming like a dull summer storm – my annual goal setting process. I rate the entire experience right up there with root canal and ingrown toenails (not the fun ones, but the pus-oozing kind).
What skills will you develop? What competencies will you improve upon? Blah blah blah. That got me thinking – what are the real-life skills and competencies that we all recognize? Here is my suggested list:
Timing a work break for when leftover food from meetings is put out for the taking.
Toggling between Facebook and work product before your manager sees what you are really doing.
Convert leadership ambiguity to tangible actions.
Getting that guy or gal that constantly late for meetings up to speed in two minutes or less.
Pretending (convincingly) to give a damn.
Ability to ignore incessant whining and grumbling from colleagues.
Writing annual goals that sound impressive but are really everyday tasks that can be documented as accomplished in the first month of the fiscal year.
Disinfecting shared workspace. Eww…
Optimizing the theft of office supplies based on value rather than need.
Laughter suppression. I hear a lot of stuff every day that is batshit fuc*ing crazy.
Apprehension of the office refrigerator thief. Bob, I don’t care if you take my food, but you touch my Diet Mountain Dew again, and they will be outlining your body on chalk in the kitchenette.
Anticipating leadership whims and changes of direction before they become full-blown crisis’s.
Staying awake in meetings that you clearly shouldn’t have been invited to.
Creating PowerPoint decks that meet company graphic standards and are still oddly useful.
Rapidly scanning a rambling, jumbled email to ascertain what is actually important.
Holding my bladder of bowels during long meetings where they don’t stop for bio-breaks..
Listening to an unqualified someone tell me how to do my job when and suppress the urge to kill them.
Suppressing audible farts in meetings or other public spaces (especially elevators).
Active anger control. There are some people that wouldn’t be with us today if I had not demonstrated this competency.
Calculating my time to retirement (days/weeks/hours/minutes)
Finding the right graphic for my PowerPoint deck.
Selecting the right category and dollar amount to avoid having my expense report audited.
Tactfully pointing out that the meeting is running long without adding, “because you can’t manage a damn meeting you moron!”
Creating the illusion that I care about feedback. Lots of head-nodding here.
Putting together a budget based on reality that still accounts for my manager’s bizarre pet projects.
Not reacting to the new “crisis” until I determine if it is, indeed, a crisis.
Shifting blame to a more guilty party than myself.
Minimal achievement of dress code.
Selecting the right charge code for my timesheet.
Not sacrificing productivity during a reorganization.
Pretending I care about my career, my current assignment, my company, etc.
Artful doodling when I should be paying attention.
Plotting the exotic deaths of annoying coworkers. I’ll bet if I push that laser printer out of the window when you leave – it will crush you.
Taking brilliant items and distilling them into meaningless (bland) bullet points on a PowerPoint slide.
Moving files to the right folder in Sharepoint. I cannot express my hatred of SharePoint enough in a mere blog post.
Putting things in Excel that should never be in Excel. Likewise working on things in Excel that should have been done in another application.
Updating my Linkedin profile so that I appear quasi-competent yet joyfully ambivalent.
Writing candid feedback for employees I barely knew, but for some reason, they requested my input. What project were we on together?
Decoding often pointless and confusing/contradictory messages from leadership.
Being responsible for my own actions. “Not only did I do it…if given the same opportunity, I’d do it again!”
Following standards that make little sense or don’t apply to me.
Attending anniversary or farewell parties for peers I don’t like or don’t care about.
Attending team building activities after hours and not show my contempt for taking away precious hours from my private life.
Dodging douchbaggery and the douchbags that spread it. Yes – I made up the word douchbaggery.
Succinctly summarizing and pointing out the obvious to people who would not recognize it if it kick them in the nutsack.
Rearranging my life around people who cannot use the calendaring function in Outlook, or who have no concept of different time zones and working hours.
Extinguishing fires that lesser people have set.
Resume’ updating because I feel my job is being threatened…again…still.
Stepping up to the plate rather than attempting to deflecting work.
Demonstrating more technical skills than the help desk when troubleshooting my problems.
Faking a positive attitude as my career is under siege.
Rubbing someone’s nose in their own mistake(s) without using the phrase, “I told you so.”
Providing professional consultation that is completely disregarded and/or ignored.
Going to mute on the first hint of a bark from my dog while working at home.
Fixing other people’s mistakes.
Coming up with funny nicknames for coworkers “Here comes Captain Kickback and Queen Clusterfu*k.”
Providing concise feedback on messages and communications that is completely disregarded or ignored.
Suppressing laughter at completely inappropriate moments.
Congratulating people on promotions that they clearly didn’t deserve or earn.
Attending training off-hours because “we’re global.”
Offering my professional experience and expertise and smiling while it is blatantly ignored.
Savoring the sweet drinking container filled with caffeine first thing in the morning.
Not demonstrating my outright revulsion our nausea when the annual promotion list is issued. “Are you out of your fu*king minds?”
Comprehending which stupid request can be ignored, and which ones have to be acted on immediately.
Advanced listening…especially when people are whining about how horrible this place can be at times.
Moving my more mundane and pointless work to others.
Use of perfectly timed profanity based on stakeholder audience.
Accepting blame for things my superiors screwed up or outright ignored my corrective suggestions about.
Diagnose and troubleshoot Skype connectivity issues during the first three minutes of every single damn conference call I’m on.
Digesting what is served in the guise of “lunch” in the cafeteria.
Suppression of laughter when the new person tells us how they are going to “fix all of our obvious problems.”
Taking complex technical solutions and breaking them down into things that are understandable by normal people.
Applying an ample dose of humor at just the right time to shatter tension.
Knowing when to apply a process, and when to toss it out the window.
Detection and acknowledgement of good sarcasm in the workplace.
Quick understanding of what is a real crisis and what is a made-up-blown-out-of-proportion-panic.
Demonstrating a lack of self-awareness while placing my career at risk over some corporate cause du jour.
Unwillingness to compromise my principles and values despite daily pressures to do so.
Perform minor miracles with decimated budgets, lack of manpower, and conflicting directions from leadership.
Ability to pile on in a conversation so that I appear more engaged.
Did I miss any?