The price of Happy Birthday

Everyone loves it when the people you work with remember your birthday. I mean, come on, we spend more time with these people than our friends or family, so it's nice to hear the off-key song and have a piece of cake. (And equally insulting when your birthday gets completely ignored, but that's a very bitter post I'll save for another day.)

So it's nice when your co-workers celebrate your birthday. Except when it's at the expense of the person whose wallet can least afford it. At the office I'm working right now, there was a birthday yesterday. The receptionist made an amazingly tasty cake. Really, it was awesome. But she let it slip that she had paid for it personally, there was no office fund for it. Not even one of those everyone-chips-in-a-buck so we can have cake. And she did it because without her, the only birthday that would be acknowledged would be the office manager's. I was astonished.

Honestly, receptionists are very important to a business. They work hard to support everyone's work and be the professional face and voice of the business to the general public. For all that, they probably are paid less than anyone else in the office. So if your receptionist is taking on that kind of personal expense, ask them not to. Make a point of either not celebrating birthdays, or celebrating all of them, even if you have cake once a month for that group of people. Fund it from the general budget or ask everyone to chip in every time.

Seriously, if you're the boss and your birthday is the only one that's celebrated in your office, you have a few things to learn about being a boss. Go do it. Morale depends on it.

Copyright 2009 Stapler Tales


Job Posting: Assistant Stapler


(Removed by The Black Stapler, who hasn't cashed her severance check yet.)

Company Description:

For more than 50 years, The Company has been dutifully serving customers while making little attempt to better their product or promote the ongoing value of their service. While customer attrition is frequent and no longer unexpected, minimal and ineffective efforts are made to market the company's services to new target groups. In recent years, The Company's achievements can best be described as adding nails to the coffin it will eventually inhabit after a long and inevitable decline. Coffin construction is completed on an erratic schedule but is occasionally accelerated due to lack of strong leadership, employee infighting, allowing politics rather than policies to govern company operations, and quietly stifling any employee with new and innovative ideas.

Primary Job Responsibilities:
(Removed by Black Stapler, it was just the usual boring bullet points that seem to tell everything but actually reveal nothing about what the job is actually like.)

(Note from Black Stapler: this is where the misinformation gets really thick, and Black Stapler can't help herself from adding editoral comments, which are noted in italics.)
· Extensive knowledge of Microsoft Office Suite.
(Fails to specify that the version used is Office 2000, which is inefficient and outdated. Software updates are not in the budget.)
· Self starter who can work independently under pressure.
(Really, all one needs is the ability to look busy during frequent and extended periods of little work.)
· Ability to see a project through from start to finish.
(Black Stapler supposes it is possible to finish a project at The Company, but notes that most projects during her tenure were lost in the black hole of managment dysfunction and never actually started... which means finishing them was both unncessary and logically impossible.)
· Ability to think logically in fast paced environment.
(Black Stapler notes that the only possible way The Company could be considered a fast-paced environment is in comparison with the United States Congress.)
· Team player.
(Doesn't everybody know this is HR-speak for "Your ideas will be blatently ignored and later presented by your boss as their own"? If not, you know now.)

To apply, please submit your resume and salary requirements to The Company

Copyright 2008 Stapler Tales


Not Surprised

Black Stapler found the posting for her replacement online today. She's not surprised. She assumed there might be some sort of restructure going on that she wasn't party to. What is surprising is that a company that let her go after months of not keeping her busy, managed to post a job ad for a replacement on the same day of Black Stapler's separation.

Why the rush?

Copyright 2008 Stapler Tales



When Black Stapler was let go last week, the official reason was: "Job Elimination."

Oddly, the company felt this was an important time to start paying attention to the way they present information, so the e-mail sent to employees was subject to a bit of spin:

"Black Stapler has left the company to further her career growth."

Although this happens to be true (any stapler could see there was no career growth to be had here) – what ever happened to honesty?

Copyright 2008 Stapler Tales


Don't let the door hit you on the way out

Black Stapler had an important meeting today. When all parties were present and accounted for, Black Stapler heard these words:

"I'm afraid we have some bad news. We've decided to let you go. Your position has been eliminated."

Black Stapler could pretend to be surprised, but instead will return to her office for the last time, pack up belongings (using the list she wrote yesterday just in case this ever happened,) and leave so quickly the door will have NO chance of hitting Stapler in the behind.

Copyright 2008 Stapler Tales