A few years ago I was working at a small software company in mid-Manhattan. There was this guy working there named Michael C. He was a career whiner from what I could tell. He got what and where he wanted by whining until they just gave in. Some people are like that. How they avoid getting reamed for being such whiners and not acting more professional is still a mystery to me. I must have missed that memo. So his behavior shouldn't have come as much of a surprise. And it was very successful.
Here is Michael's strategy:
All morning – every morning – when you first met him for the day and typically said something like "How's it going?" or "How are you doing today?" he would reply:
"Oh! I am so tired. I was here until 6pm/6:30/7pm/7:30(take your pick) last night working on the something-or-other project!"
The written word does not properly show the total drama and emotion Michael would put into his reply! Oscar level acting!
Truly, from the time he came in until 12noon every single person he met was told this! It grew very old very fast, at least to me. But apparently it did impress the higher ups.
Now I'm all for tooting your own horn. Sometimes if you don’t know one else will. But come on! This was pathetic! Even childish!
In all fairness I don't doubt that he actually was in the office as late as he claimed.
There were several key facts that were conveniently overlooked such as:
1) He didn't come in to work until 9:30am, 10am, 10:30am or sometimes later! So when he did stay to 6 o'clock or longer he was still just putting in the same 8-9 or so hours as everyone else.
2) He lived in Manhattan only 20 minutes away on foot. So he had no train or bus to catch, no long commute.
3) He would frequently go out for the evening directly from work. So it made no sense for him to go home. He might as well stay in the office and head straight out from there.
4) While he may have actually stayed as late as he claimed, after 6pm the office mostly emptied out. So there are a few people to confirm he really was here (and working! Not just bullshitting on the phone or surfing the web).
But, alas, all this analysis is really for naught. In the end Michael succeeded in his goals. He very quickly moved up in the company, even to the extent of other people being demoted or fired to give him their positions! No, I am absolutely sure he wasn't related to the owners.
I can't prove it but I strongly believe his success was a combination of constant whining and management afraid of him filing a suit if he didn't get what he wanted.
There are many other Michaels out there. Try to steer clear of them.
Keep your head low and watch your six.
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