My Favorite Turd

Question:
What do I do when my manager puts himself down in front of me? He does a lot, like he’s angling for some reaction.

Answer:
This is a classic double-bind. If you agree, you’re essentially saying he’s an idiot. If you disagree, that’s insubordination. I’d deflect the remark with some clever non-sequitur like “Did you know cats can vomit at will?” and wait a beat. Then look away and say, “So, about the project plan…”

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Skating on the Edge

Question:
So I joined this great new company and promptly got a huge crush on the head boss. I really like working there. He helped me out during a life emergency, too. We danced around the whole professionalism thing and hooked up for a minute, kind of while he had a live-in girlfriend. And yet, if I had to ask myself “Would you rather have him come over for a booty call, or should he finish that damn permit submittal?” I’d of course say get the fucking permit.

– Feeling Like a Side Dish

Dear Side,

You already know the answer to this one: DTMFA. Your guy is essentially married to his business, which is actually how it should be. There’s this clip from an old Charlie Chaplin movie where he’s roller-skating on the edge of a balcony, blindfolded, backwards, looks like he’s going to fall any second but somehow he escapes at the last possible moment, over and over.

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Self Driving Cars

self driving cars500

Question: Are self-driving cars really safe? Or should we just quit driving and enjoy the inevitable?

Answer:
A tool is only as good as the user and in this case the “user” controlling them is some corporate entity far away from the action. Consider, however, the amount of automation already in our lives, one example being “the grid” or our electrical infrastructure. It just… works, right? Most of the time, anyways.

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Opaquification

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Question: People keep asking me for my honest opinion, but I’m pretty sure that candor will just get me shouted at – again.

Answer:
Present an opaque yet plausible reason that appears factual but, upon closer examination, contains no actual information – or which, upon later examination, could be taken either way. This process is called “opaquifying” and it’s like liquefying, but cloudier.

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Gilded Cage

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Question: I’m feeling stuck and burnt out, but the pay is really good and I’m afraid that if I leave I’ll end up regretting my freewheeling ways.
Answer:
You’re in a gilded cage, and there’s no easy answer here. It’s really your choice, that’s what freedom means… right? To stick with what’s safe and prudent, or to take a leap into the unknown and risk a train wreck. Also note gilding is not solid gold, so you could be clinging to something that’s not even worth much in the end.

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Existing Content

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Question: Why can’t companies call me in BEFORE their content becomes a hot mess?

Answer:
You can’t make content plans with nothing there to work with. It’s like organizing your sock drawer when you’ve never even worn shoes. Maybe you are from the Barefoot Island where no one has ever heard of socks. Suddenly, the Island is underwater due to climate change and all the indigenous folks have to go live in Chicago with those bone-chilling winters.

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Parrot Revenge

parrot revenge500

Question: How can I use innocent gadgets to needle people in my open office without getting caught?

Answer:
My original idea was to get a live parrot, and just train it to insult people by name in a large open office. This will be traced back to you pretty quickly, though, so add stealth to your strategy. There are many devices, and probably apps as well, which can record conversations for later playback, possibly remotely, when your target walks past your empty desk.

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