Tuesday, September 25, 2007

October 1, 2007


The following is an excerpt from my new book, "MORPHING INTO THE REAL WORLD - A Handbook for Entering the Work Force" which is a survival guide for young people as they transition into adult life. The book offers considerable advice regarding how to manage our personal and professional lives. As a part of this, I found it necessary to discuss how to behave at company parties.

Company Parties

During your employment, you will undoubtedly have to attend some company sponsored parties, be it a year-end party or simply going out for a drink with the boss. Your attendance is important as the company is trying to relieve some stress and promote camaraderie among the workers. If you are married, bring your spouse (if they are invited) as companies tend to like to create a family-like environment. If the spouse refuses to attend, it will send a negative message. But assuming they are going to attend, be sure to brief your spouse prior to the function on any pertinent politics so he/she will not accidentally say something inappropriate thus causing an embarrassing situation to make you look bad.

Yes, it is time to relax and unwind, but it is also time to be on your toes. Alcohol tends to loosen the tongue so do not imbibe to the point of drunkenness. Now is not the time to tell off your boss or coworker. Do not say something you will live to regret, such as revealing a dark chapter of your past or how you screwed something up at work, which is how rumors are started. Keep cool and collected. If you are leery of alcohol, order something that looks like a regular drink, such as club soda and lime (which could pass as a gin or vodka tonic) or apple juice (which easily passes for whiskey). This leads people to believe you are a social drinker, yet allows you to maintain control over your faculties.

Aside from this, company parties tend to loosen up inhibitions and allows you to get to know your fellow workers and boss on a more personal level. Also observe protocol in regards to smoking. Some people enjoy a good smoke, others vehemently dislike it. Do what is suitable for the occasion.

If you are ever put in charge of coordinating a company party, make sure it is a success and accommodates everyone, especially if it is the year-end holiday party. Companies take such parties seriously and you are often measured by how successful the party is executed. For example, I have a friend who served at IBM in New York years ago, and was saddled with the company holiday party where families were invited to attend. He quickly found this to be a big responsibility. Nonetheless, he put on a great party where everyone enjoyed themselves. He even had a Santa Claus there to deliver a present for every child in attendance. And best of all, he delivered the party under budgeted costs. In fact, the party went off so well, that his career at IBM took off immediately thereafter.

If you would like to discuss this with me in more depth, please do not hesitate to send me an e-mail.

OUR BRYCE'S LAW OF THE WEEK therefore is... "Do not underestimate the power of the company party."


Friends, as mentioned, we have just published a new book entitled, "MORPHING INTO THE REAL WORLD - A Handbook for Entering the Work Force" which is a survival guide for young people as they transition into adult life. Reviewer Bill Petrey praised it by saying, "Every young person entering the workplace for the first time should be given a copy of this book." The book includes chapters to describe how a young person should organize themselves, how to adapt to the corporate culture, develop their career, and improve themselves professionally and socially. Basically, its 208 pages of good sound advice to jump start the young person into the work force. Corporate Human Resource departments will also find this book useful for setting new hires on the right track in their career. It not only reinforces the many formal rules as contained in corporate policy manuals, but also includes the subtle unwritten rules we must all observe while working with others. The book lists for $25 and can be ordered online through MBA or your local book store. Complementing the book is a one day seminar of the same name which can be purchased separately for $4,000.00 (U.S.) plus instructor travel expenses. For more information on both the book and the seminar, visit our corporate web site at:
ISBN: 978-0-9786182-5-4

LIKE TO WIN AN AUTOGRAPHED COPY OF MY NEW BOOK? Be the first one to e-mail me a message with your name and shipping address. In the SUBJECT or BODY of the e-mail, be sure to write "Morphing Book 100107". E-mail it to me at Only one free book per person. I'll announce the winner on next week's broadcast.


Not long ago Budweiser put out a funny TV ad about their fictitious Bud Lite Institute who had invented the "Fake Cup of Coffee 3000" which a person could program to steam at any given time thereby giving the illusion the person was hard at work somewhere in the office when, in reality, he was slacking off somewhere. Maybe you've seen it as it was very funny.

I have met quite a few labor fakers in my day. Most dress the part quite well with sleeves rolled up, ties undone, or shirts pulled out of their pants, anything to look like they're hard at work. They also like to keep their desks cluttered and always carry a lot of paperwork to meetings. Maybe you haven't noticed but it's the same papers they've been carrying around for weeks and are of no material significance. As the Bud Lite ad indicates, labor fakers like to arrive early but make themselves scarce to find.

Labor fakers believe its the time they put in during the day that is most important, not what they produce. I'm sorry but it's just the opposite. Managers really don't care how much time you put in during the day, it's what you produce that concerns them most. If they believe otherwise, then they are as incompetent as the labor faker.

I'm also seeing a lot of young people pick up on the habits of the labor faker, particularly the disorganized look in the office. Let me ask you something; Since when can a slob outperform someone who has got his or her act together? Frankly, I would rather see people clean up their personal appearance and desk. This would tell me they are at least organized and disciplined, and not trying to hide something.

Yes, appearances are important, but being able to produce quality goods and services on time and within budget should be considered of paramount importance.

Such is my Pet Peeve of the Week.


Folks, a couple of years ago I started to include my "Pet Peeve of the Week" in these "Management Visions" podcasts. They have become so popular that I now syndicate them through the Internet and they are available for republication in other media. To this end, I have created a separate web page for my writings which you can find at Look for the section, "The Bryce is Right!" Hope you enjoy them.


I received quite a few comments regarding my "Pet Peeve" on "Panaceas":

A T.C. in Deerfield Beach, FL wrote:

"You might be interested to know that the field of education is among the worst offenders in terms of looking to technology as a panacea. We seem to jump on every new technological innovation as if it is the long lost panacea we have been searching for. The result is that a lot of valuable time is wasted in education learning technologies that are soon discarded. Furthermore, technological razzle-dazzle too often supplants quality teaching. So goes my rant..."

A T.S.S. of Dallas, TX wrote:

"I would have to agree that most people are looking for the shortcuts in life. I truly believe that it is in the "crisis'" we experience in life that we truly find our truest meaning. Although I guess the shortcuts could potentially end in more crisis. Hehe.

I work as an information architect/UX designer and I spend most of my days collaborating with clients on their system needs, expectations, and how my team can create/manipulate systems that will actually help make the user's work life easier. It is very fulfilling to see a client's eyes light up when we discover that it is not just their systems that need updating but their business processes as well.

I look forward to reading other posts by you and plan on visiting your site."

I also received an interesting e-mail regarding the piece I wrote on "Common Courtesy" not long ago.

An M.M. in Pennsylvania wrote:

"Great observations. In particular I found the common courtesy missing in my last job. People did not respond to good morning or much else. I no longer work there."

Thanks for your comments.

Keep those cards and letters coming.

MBA is an international management consulting firm specializing in Information Resource Management. We offer training, consulting, and writing services in the areas of Enterprise Engineering, Systems Engineering, Data Base Engineering, Project Management, Methodologies and Repositories. For information, call us at 727/786-4567. For a complete listing of my essays, see the "PRIDE" Special Subject Bulletins section of our corporate web site.

Our corporate web page is at:

Management Visions is a presentation of M. Bryce & Associates, a division of M&JB Investment Company of Palm Harbor, Florida, USA. The program is produced on a weekly basis and updated on Sundays. It is available in versions for RealPlayer, Microsoft Media Player, and MP3 suitable for Podcasting. See our web site for details. You'll find our broadcast listed in several Podcast and Internet Search engines, as well as Apples' iTunes.

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Copyright © 2007 by M&JB Investment Company of Palm Harbor, Florida, USA. All rights reserved. "PRIDE" is the registered trademark of M&JB Investment Company.

This is Tim Bryce reporting.

Since 1971: "Software for the finest computer - the Mind."


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