Don't worry: I didn't put a picture on this blog article!

A few weeks ago, a dear friend posed a metaphorical question: How much douche could a douchebag douche if a douchebag could douche douche? And I texted her immediately, asking if she was responding to an email from our prior head honcho.

So...I posed the question to my loyal facebook fans: How do you know your manager is a "big fizzy douche" (to coin a musical number in Chuck Lorre's ingenious and always entertaining show, "Two and a Half Men"? The response was overwhelming, and emails are still coming in.

So, with no further ado, are you, or do you have, a DOUCHE BOSS? Here is a Top 10 Get Hired and Beyond Exclusive List!

10. You take no accountability for your team, point fingers, and blame others for your disinterest and inadequacy.
9. You treat your employees as objects, rather than humans. This is especially true and especially disgusting at termination time. 
8. You lie or make false promises, including (but not limited to): promises of raises and promotions which the company cannot back up (and you are well aware of the carrot you dangle.)
7. Instead of focusing on employee accomplishments, you nitpick the 3 minutes someone is late because they are stuck in traffic, commuting half an hour or more, to get to your stress-filled crap zone of despair. (Ok, maybe that's one of my personal contributions.)
6. You speak to your subordinates as though they were minions. Or small, stupid children. Or small, stupid minions. Being demeaning and demoralizing is a very douche way to talk to individuals you personally hired for skill and expertise.
5. You don't delegate work appropriate for the staff you hired because nobody will do it as well as you do, thereby making very intelligent people fixate on mediocre crap.
4. You devalue anything in your employees' lives besides work and expect them at your beck and call, at minimum wage, around the clock. (Right, Boss from #7?)
3. You are too self absorbed to notice that morale has gone down the toilet, faster than your team can say "Douche!"
2. You rule through a culture of intimidation, rather than a culture of respect. Yeah, that sucks on the receiving end!
1. You ask a minimum wage employee for a personal loan, then threaten to penalize the person since they did not provide you with said loan. (I actually heard that from someone this week, and think that takes the KING DOUCHE CROWN!)

Sorry to have offended anyone with the repeated usage of the word "douche'. Please feel free to take creative license when sharing with others, and change to ass-hat, crap-nozzle, jerkoff, or any other term that truly encompasses the ultimate douche-ness of a prior (or current) boss. 

Feel free to share in comments or privately how your boss has been a huge douche to you! Your anonymous quote may make it into an upcoming blog!

I shall now go burst into the musical number made famous by Walden Schmidt and Alan Harper! And...I can't sing!
 
 
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Many of you may be wondering: what’s the deal with Sulley, the job search bulldog? Let me explain his back story, as well as why he is so relevant to job searching. His expertise and will resonate with many, and he already seems to be developing quite the fan club, wiggling his way into the hearts of many, as he did with our family.

We had recently lost my beloved pug, Cheechee, who I adopted at 5. He was 13, kicked cancer twice, and passed away of a variety of health complications, coupled with old age. Our house seemed very quiet without the old guy around, even though we have a few other animals. So, we began looking online to see who was available for adoption, and even started looking at breeders.

My heart was set on another pug (of course), and my husband wanted another bulldog to keep our elderly bully company. So, we looked and looked… and out of the blue found an ad for “This Dog” at Animal Control. They could have branded him better, making up any name as many shelters do, and chose not to. The photo was blurry and sad. The brief summary had explained that he was picked up as a stray, and gave no information about his personality or health condition.

Off we endeavor, on an hour journey, to meet this nameless English Bulldog. When we get to Animal Control, we find a sweet, loving bully, in quarantine for multiple health issues. His ears have terrible red wounds, the fur on his back is balding, he has an eye infection, and is on 2 antibiotics! This poor dog was wandering the streets, but was licking my husband and son through the jail cell, while I was on a line to prequalify to adopt him.

The guys fell in love right away, and I didn’t want another puppy, so he seemed like a good compromise. I agreed, and we were told that if nobody claimed him in 3 days, he was ours. I was cautiously excited, and ran down there again when I got the call that he was ready to come home. This mangy bulldog nearly bowled me over, never mind hugging my son. He was so happy to have owners again and couldn’t stop hugging us.      

We bought him a new collar with a bow tie on it and he was very proud, prancing in circles. When we brought him to the lobby, he hugged every single person there! (The lady in white slacks was the only one not pleased to formally meet him.) He jumped in the car, demanded pets, and kissed me the entire hour home! My son was cracking up, and by the time we got home, I was head over heels in love with this fat, farting dog!

Since he has been a member of the family, we found out he knows “sit” and “paw”. We feel terrible for the family who clearly lost this beautiful dog. After quite a bit of ointments, eye drops, and other medicines, his fur has grown in beautifully, and he is show dog quality! All for $20 and a lifetime commitment to the little guy. He is eternally grateful, and gives hugs and kisses all day. We affectionately call Sulley our shadow, since he follows us everywhere!

How many times has a manager looked over a resume because it was missing a minute detail, instead of seeing the incredible potential a candidate has, if “groomed” a little? How many candidates have passed on sending a resume because they didn’t have one little detail in the job description?

We have a lot to learn from Sulley, the bulldog with the worst presentation at the pound, but with the best attitude out there! Sulley will be sharing tips on Get Hired and Beyond’s facebook page regularly at www.facebook.com/gethiredandbeyond. He may even help me guest blog from time to time.

The moral of the story: there’s a home for every dog and a dog for every home! Don’t get down if you haven’t found the right next career move for yourself. It’s out there! Don’t think of yourself as the dog no one wants because then you really won’t find a home!!!

 
 
Managers, keep your employees satisfied! If it's as simple as moving them to a spot with a window, because the person likes taking a moment to look at nature, or whether it is allowing coffee at someone's desk, this may be the difference between retaining excellent staff and having them get frustrated with pettiness and identify a new opportunity.

The costs of hiring a replacement employee involve searching, recruiting, training, identifying if the person is going to fit in with current staff, a ramp-up period, potential termination costs for your prior employee, and time the seat will be empty, leading to a  less productive department.

Is it really worth pettiness? Think about the little things you are able to do to keep your employees satisfied. Then do them!
 
 
Put yourself in the shoes of your employees. Instead of assuming that a $10/hour employee is as invested in the bottom line of the company as you are (making a management salary), see what incentivizes your employees. Many of them are working multiple jobs to make sure they have gas in their car and food on their table. They may not care about the long term effects of the business forecast plan.

A great way to motivate is to see what the "hot buttons" are for your employees who work diligently each day and want to achieve more, whether they are enrolled in school or working towards a promotion.

Please treat them with the respect they deserve! They, in turn, will want to give you more!
 
 
The 4th of July has people blowing up stuff. In honor of that, let’s blow up some myths that many managers still hold near and dear! 

Myth #1: It is productive to encourage employees by downplaying their accomplishments.

Everyone likes to hear that they are doing something right. Rather than motivating by downplaying what they have yet to accomplish, share some positive encouragement of what the team is doing well. They will be more invested and happier with the management style and more enthusiastic about reaching their outcomes.

Myth #2: Employees don’t need praise or raises. They should be grateful they have a job.

I heard this recently, and my first thought was: “I am employable!” Why the hell would you ever say this to someone, especially someone you want to keep on your team?

Myth #3: Conference calls are great ways to bring our team together from various locations.

Conference calls should be a 10 minute get-to-the-point way of notifying your team of a few key pieces of information. Otherwise, your team is making shopping lists or checking out new bags on Coach’s website. Just saying…

Myth #4: Everyone loves a PTO commando!

I earned my PTO. And I am going to take my PTO, or a sick day if I am sick. Being a PTO commando is like telling someone that they cannot use their health insurance or 401K.

Myth #5: Micromanagement keeps employees focused.

Micromanagement is only necessary for your weakest employees (those who are in training and those who are dead weight and really should be replaced.) Competent employees will be proud to share their latest accomplishments with you as a manager, and do not need to be ridden like a horse! Let them do their job and they will happily complete their tasks well.

 
 
The basic interview questions have become stale. Sure, you want to know the candidate’s strengths, weaknesses, etc. But digging deeper will provide you with a great deal more insight into how a candidate will handle stress, pressure, technology, and the daily demands of the job at hand.

Here are some questions that will help you drill down on whether a candidate is a good fit for you. Many of these are behavioral interviewing strategies.

1.     Tell me about a time when you did not meet a deadline for a project.  This will show how well a person can explain a situation under pressure. It has happened to all of us. Would the candidate be able to best maintain composure, while being honest, in a high stress situation?

2.     Tell me about what types of projects you handled on (name of) software. This question will identify how much or little a person knows about the software, as well as how diversified he/she is. Some organizations require a specialized knowledge of one area, while others expect a more wide range of reporting, administration, or application. Many times, a candidate will write that they know the software, and you want to know the level of familiarity.

3.     Name an example of when you made an unpopular business decision. This shows how well a person works with a team, as well as their skills surrounding diplomacy and communication, all of which are required in positions today.