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July 11, 2007

Staff Picks: 45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 1:15 PM – Filed under: Personal Development & Human Behavior

Recently I paged through 45 Things You Do That Drive Your Boss Crazy: And How to Avoid Them by Anita Bruzzese, author of the column "On the Job." Most of the items in this book were common sense: Telling Dirty Jokes and Cussing on the Job; Having Poor Writing and Spelling Skills; Wearing the Wrong Thing to Work; Gossiping; Failing to Learn from Mistakes.
Here are a few I wasn't expecting:
17. Losing Sleep
"While the National Sleep Foundation (NSF) recommends seven to nine hours of sleep a night, their survey found that American adults average seven hours on weeknights, down about two hours a night over the last fifty years. Some twenty to thirty million adults experience occasional sleep problems, but forty million others suffer from one of the eighty-four identified sleep disorders.
The chronic lack of sleep is taking a toll on our bodies and our minds. The NSF has found sleep problems can make daily life more stressful and cause you to be less productive. It weakens your ability to concentrate to the point that accomplishing tasks becomes more difficult and you are more easily irritated. Overal, sleep loss has been found to affect tasks requiring memory, learning and logical reasoning.
...So it all comes down to this: If you're not getting enough sleep, you will be cranky, forgetful, less productive, more likely to call in sick and run the risk of having a wreck on the way to or from work. See why the boss cares if you're getting enough shut-eye?"

36. Lacking Knowledge of Current Events
In today's fast-paced marketplace, bosses depend greatly on an employee's ability to grow and to change as needed, and part of this ability comes from understanding the bigger picture. If an employee can't grasp important world events and stay current on developments, the boss will worry the employee simply has limited learning capacity.
...In 1964, 81 percent of Americans read a daily newspaper while only 54 percent do today. Millions of people surf the Internet every day but the sites they visit may have absolutely nothing to do with current events--only 11 percent of young people say it's a major source of news. The three nightly news programs have seen their ratings plunge 44 percent since 1980.
Corporate leaders also are concerned about the image of "the ugly American"--the person who is ignorant of world events and has little or no interest in what goes on outside of the United States. Since many employers do business globally--or at least make money from international visitors to this country--providing an image of being educated and aware of the world is important.
...That's why when you can demonstrate to your boss that you not only know who is the chief justice of the United States but can speak intelligently about the city council's next election, then you've just risen a notch in the boss's eyes.

I'm not sure this is the type of book a company would buy for each of its employees (would you be just slightly offended by the title?), but it is the type of book that would fit nicely into a package for the new young professional. Here are a few other titles we've written about that could be included:
My Reality Check Bounced! The Twentysomething's Guide to Cashing in on Your Real-World Dreams by Jason Ryan Dorsey
Blog post: http://800ceoread.com/blog/archives/006758.html

From New Recruit to High Flyer: Non-nonsense Advice on How to Fast Track Your Career by Hugh Karseras
Blog post: http://800ceoread.com/blog/archives/006698.html

StrengthsFinder 2.0: A New and Upgraded Edition of the Online Test from Gallup's Now, Discover Your Strengths by Tom Rath
Jack Covert Selects: http://800ceoread.com/blog/archives/006898.html
Blog post: http://800ceoread.com/blog/archives/006917.html
Blog post: http://800ceoread.com/blog/archives/006827.html

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.