Rex Huppke writes a twice-weekly humor(ish) column along with a workplace column called “I Just Work Here” that runs every ...

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Rex Huppke

Rex Huppke

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Someday, a robot could be your boss

October 9, 2015

I peered into the future of the workplace, my friends, and came away with both bad and good news.

  • Yes, women are underrepresented at work. There are ways to fix it.

    October 2, 2015

    Workplaces are awash in statistics. Surveys and studies pop up weekly on every issue imaginable — diversity, health, engagement and job satisfaction, to name a few.

  • Think on this: Meditation apps are not good enough

    September 25, 2015

    If you're like me, you love the idea of meditation but don't have time to do it because it would cut into your TV time.

  • ICYMI can add to workplace stress

    September 18, 2015

    To: Reader

  • Greedy sea turtles eating oceans' plastic

    September 16, 2015

    As a regular reader of the scientific journal Global Change Biology — I subscribe mainly for the illustrations of erotic biodiversity — I was shocked to learn that sea turtles and seabirds have developed a taste for the plastic debris we humans generously donate to the world's oceans.

  • Pumpkin spice latte and workplace productivity

    September 14, 2015

    Nothing costs companies more in lost productivity each year than studies claiming that something costs companies money in lost productivity.

  • Examining why we work can make our work lives better

    September 4, 2015

    Barry Schwartz is a professor of psychology at Swarthmore College and a deep and sensible surveyor of the things that make our workplaces tick.

  • What if your boss paid you to have life experiences for 3 months?

    August 31, 2015

    Just outside my cubicle lies the Pit of Atrociousness. It's a cavernous chasm into which I toss the inane press releases and insipid workplace-related books that cross my desk each day.

  • Be Happier at Work With Rex Huppke's 5 Easy Steps

    August 14, 2015

    I was perusing the Interwebs recently and came across an article titled "7 Morning Habits to Be Happier at Work."

  • Why is everyone criticizing Netflix's paid parental leave plan?

    August 8, 2015

    If there were a common protest chant in workplaces across America it would go something like this:

  • A review of employee reviews: Listen more, feedback less

    August 2, 2015

    At the end of last week's column, I brought up the overall worthlessness of annual work reviews and introduced a more optimistic feedback approach called "feedforward."

  • How to handle too much feedback

    July 26, 2015

    We live in a world of endless feedback.

  • Survey shows millennials want to lead, they just need a hand

    July 19, 2015

    It's a well-known fact in workplace circles that if you stand on a street corner and shout "Millennials!" five times, an agent from a publishing company will run up and offer you a lucrative book deal.

  • 'The Comedians' — a fine show about work

    July 10, 2015

    You're about to read a workplace column that delves into the workplace behind a television show about a workplace.

  • Workers can still lose jobs for being gay

    July 2, 2015

    One of the first things I thought about after the U.S. Supreme Court declared same-sex marriage legal across the country was this: How horrible would it be to finally marry the person you love and then lose your job because the boss found out you're gay.

  • I'm heading to the office, wherever that is

    June 26, 2015

    Let's break down the two words that make up "workplace." (For those of you who aren't sure, it's "work" and "place," not "workp" and "lace.")

  • Four years of I Just Work Here

    June 12, 2015

    This month marks the fourth anniversary of this column, and I'd like to express my heartfelt thanks for the wonderful anniversary gifts all of you have failed to send.

  • Good ways to break bad habits at work

    June 5, 2015

    Of all the tools at our disposal, the one we tend to use least — in life and in the workplace — is stored inside our skull, more or less between the ears.

  • Retirement planning is about more than money

    May 29, 2015

    In a recent column, I wrote about how workers handle the departure of a colleague, looking largely at the psychological impact of losing a friend at work.

  • Why we struggle to understand each other at work

    May 22, 2015

    Social psychologist Heidi Grant Halvorson wants you to find someone at work who has known you for a long time and ask them to complete the following sentence: "If I didn't know you better, I'd think that you were … ."

  • How to withstand the departure of co-workers

    May 15, 2015

    We live in an age of workplace churn.

  • Hiring only digital natives? Bad idea.

    May 8, 2015

    I come to you this week with three things: a warning, a lecture and an idea.

  • Be yourself when you give a work presentation

    May 4, 2015

    A couple years ago I was asked to speak at a conference in Chicago. I prepared, in traditional journalistic fashion, by doing everything at the last minute and then walked into the event expecting a relatively low-key affair.

  • Popping drugs for workplace productivity a terrible idea

    April 24, 2015

    One does not become America's most-beloved workplace advice columnist without learning to function under extreme pressure.

  • 'Engagement' is a buzzword worth making noise about

    April 17, 2015

    I'm no fan of buzzwords. I dislike them so much I created my own buzzword to describe the fight against overused workplace gibberish: dynamic jargon disruption.

  • Chicago company employs only veterans, shows how work is a mission

    April 11, 2015

    Mark Doyle saw a problem that made him mad.

  • Never be afraid to say 'I don't know' at work

    April 2, 2015

    Being America's most-beloved workplace advice columnist comes with a staggering array of responsibilities: write a column each week; routinely remind readers that I'm America's most-beloved workplace advice columnist so they believe it to be true; and ...

  • Mentoring programs can make an office feel like home

    March 27, 2015

    For my money (of which I have none), a mentoring program is one of the best ways to promote strong human connections at work.

  • Self-awareness at work leads to greater efficiency, better teamwork

    March 20, 2015

    There is nobody in the working world more qualified than me to talk about self-awareness. I am the best at it — it's not up for discussion — and I will gladly share with you less-self-aware-than-me people the knowledge I have gained from years of being staggeringly aware of myself.

  • Let's talk — really talk — about workplace email

    March 13, 2015

    Let's talk about workplace communication. You go first.

  • Minding your work mindset

    March 6, 2015

    "You know when you're sitting on a chair and you lean back so you're just on two legs and you lean too far so you almost fall over but at the last second you catch yourself? I feel like that all the time." — Steven Wright, comedian

  • Trust is key in the workplace, just ask a dog

    March 2, 2015

    Unlike people, dogs are good at letting you know where you stand.

  • Don't be a Kanye at work

    February 23, 2015

    There are so many important things we can learn from famous people. For example, the key to being called "brave" is allowing yourself to be photographed without makeup. And better health is easily obtained by eating foods no one has ever heard of prepared by chefs no one can afford.

  • More balanced life can help you work better

    February 16, 2015

    Most of us consider ourselves excellent multitaskers. And then we occasionally find ourselves Xeroxing a sandwich while eating the report we meant to copy.

  • Wise workplace advice from a reader I never met

    February 6, 2015

    The email arrived Jan. 19 carrying the subject line "sudden loss."

  • Stand up to abusive bosses — you'll be a better employee for it

    February 1, 2015

    I think we can all agree that the best way to deal with abusive bosses and managers is to round them up and ship them to a small island in the Pacific Ocean, preferably one populated by an unusually large number of hungry tigers.

  • Stop overcomplicating job interviews — just be yourself

    January 25, 2015

    The workplace made its way on to Twitter the other day as users went creatively crazy with the hashtag #FiveWordsToRuinAJobInterview.

  • Simple, thoughtful ideas can transform workplaces

    January 18, 2015

    I have several resolutions for this column in 2015:

  • 'Weather' to work from home — something employers should think about

    January 16, 2015

    If there's one thing my years of meteorological study have taught me, it's that weather exists. (For more insight like that, check out my new book, "Stuff: There It Is.")

  • Start the new year focusing on sincere relationships at work

    January 2, 2015

    A funny thing about people is they seem to respond best when you treat them like people.

  • Smart people offer workplace advice for 2015

    December 26, 2014

    As another year comes to a close, I once again turn the reins of I Just Work Here over to some of the kind and quite-a-bit-smarter-than-me folks who appeared in this year's columns.

  • Why office secret Santas are the worst idea ever

    December 12, 2014

    The list of Terrible Workplace Ideas is long and storied and includes a wide array of soul-devouring activities, from team-building exercises and lunch-and-learns to Hawaiian shirt Friday and Bring Your Ferret to Work Day. (I may have made that last one up.)

  • Fancy management systems aren't going to fix bad managers

    December 8, 2014

      In violation of my long-standing "only watch TV" rule, I read an article recently about how Zappos is adopting a management structure known as holacracy.

  • We should do better for pregnant workers

    December 5, 2014

    If Facebook is any indication, we're a nation that celebrates pregnancies. We click like on ultrasound images, send messages of congratulations and type "OMG! So adorbs!" on photos of newborns.

  • Worker ants, rise up against fake office blessings!

    November 21, 2014

    A recent survey I conducted found that the No. 1 thing people should be thankful for this Thanksgiving is that they have an extremely wise workplace advice columnist to guide them through life.

  • How 'together' can motivate us at work

    November 14, 2014

    If there's one thing we human beings are good at, it's finding extremely complicated and wildly ineffective ways of addressing problems that really aren't that hard to solve.

  • Top workplaces fight hard to keep top talent

    November 13, 2014

    I believe it was me who once said, "The best workplace advice utilizes at least one made-up word."

  • We're still a long way from solving minimum-wage issue

    November 9, 2014

    If there's one thing I've learned from writing about whether the minimum wage should be raised, it's that writing about whether the minimum wage should be raised is a tricky business.

  • Why don't men talk openly about work-life balance?

    November 2, 2014

    I'm quite good at balancing things. Plates on my head, scoops of ice cream on a cone, a child in one arm and several bags of groceries in the other while trying to open a door.

  • Are book clubs the wave of the future at work?

    October 24, 2014

    Turns out, reading at work can be good for employees and the workplace.

  • Here's a tip: Stop giving your workers holiday behavior tips

    October 10, 2014

    From now until the end of the year, other dispensers of workplace advice will bombard you with monumentally stupid tips on how to behave at work during the holidays.

  • Keep your edge at work with 'rookie smarts'

    October 3, 2014

    Great news for people who have no idea what they're doing at work: Your cluelessness may be giving you a competitive advantage.

  • Income equality? Check your facts

    September 28, 2014

    We live in a world of perceived absolutes.

  • Taking a look at 2 weeks notice

    September 22, 2014

    If I ever decide to move to a different job — perhaps to pursue my dream of becoming a member of the rap collective Wu-Tang Clan — I have a detailed exit strategy prepared.

  • Workers should help design workplace

    September 12, 2014

    When I envision the workplace of the future, it looks a lot like my couch, only with several soft-serve ice-cream machines attached and a rather handsome (though not more handsome than I am) robot doing my work.

  • Companies can learn from the NFL's new domestic violence rules

    September 5, 2014

    The National Football League has enormous power in this country, and it's good to see the season starting with that power pushing in a positive direction.

  • Finding your inner work identity

    August 29, 2014

    Even if you're off, Labor Day seems an appropriate time to think about work. Not so much the stresses and drags of it all, but the actual things we do as working people.

  • Don't vent your work hate on anonymous sites

    August 25, 2014

    When I first heard about a website that lets people send anonymous email messages to friends, bosses or co-workers, I thought: Well, there's an idea that's not going to end well.

  • Taking a moment to unplug, focus on happiness

    August 18, 2014

    I went to Mexico and read a book by a Canadian author that made me think about work in America.

  • Attack of the killer office chairs

    August 4, 2014

    I'm sitting down while writing this column. That's a pretty daring move on my part.

  • Still a long way to go with workplace discrimination

    July 28, 2014

    Most Americans believe workplace discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people is illegal under federal law.

  • The roots of workplace gender bias

    July 7, 2014

    I may wear a tight-fitting Superman outfit to work each day, but that doesn't make me the Man of Steel. (It does, however, make me a frequent visitor to the human resources department — something about "inappropriate work attire.")

  • Helping parents is good business

    June 30, 2014

    The term "work/life balance" has become ubiquitous, yet most American workers remain decidedly unbalanced.

  • Be on ball during -- and after -- the interview

    June 23, 2014

    We are all — like it or not — job searchers.

  • Your bad: The power to admit your workplace goofs

    June 16, 2014

    Hillary Clinton recently told Diane Sawyer of ABC News that when she and her husband left the White House in 2001, they were “dead broke.”

  • Happy 3rd anniversary to all decent human beings

    June 9, 2014

    June marks the three-year anniversary of this column, so if you'll indulge me, I'd like to take this week to reflect on the sum of all these scribblings, and on the most important player in the I Just Work Here game — you.

  • Conformity vs. authenticity in the office

    June 2, 2014

    If I could command every working person in America to do one thing, it would be: “Give me the rest of that doughnut.”

  • Job-seeking millennials need to tell their stories

    May 26, 2014

    As a big-time player in the workplace writing game, I learned long ago to give the people what they want.

  • Don't mock incompetent managers

    May 19, 2014

    Most workplaces have at least a few people who seem to have risen up the company ranks solely on the power of their own incompetence.

  • Respecting ideology in the workplace

    May 5, 2014

    Donald Sterling — the for-now owner of the Los Angeles Clippers — has set the bar for awful bosses at a height where the air gets thin.

  • How social media might make you more efficient at the office

    April 28, 2014

    I JUST WORK HERE: How social media might enhance our work flow and make us more efficient

  • 10 forbidden work behaviors for managers

    April 21, 2014

    Communist Party leaders in a county in southwestern China recently received an interesting list of "10 Forbidden Behaviors."

  • I, robot employee

    April 14, 2014

    I JUST WORK HERE: The robotic co-worker may be roaming the hallways sooner than you think

  • Here's a thought -- think about work

    April 7, 2014

    I'm on record as being opposed to thinking. I find it distracts from the important things in life, like watching television or staring mindlessly at small flecks of dust drifting through the air.

  • Looking ahead to wearable tech in the workplace

    March 24, 2014

    The past four columns have been more serious than consumers of my worldly workplace wisdom have come to expect. Perhaps it's a sign of maturity, or maybe an indication that I've begun viewing the working world with greater reverence.

  • In minimum wage debate, both sides make valid points

    March 17, 2014

    After two weeks of detailing the arguments for and against raising the federal minimum wage — interviewing economists and policy experts, poring over a flood of emails from workers and business owners, reading scads of papers pro and con — I've reached an important conclusion: This issue is really complicated.

  • The argument against raising minimum wage

    March 10, 2014

    I JUST WORK HERE: The argument against raising the federal minimum wage.

  • The argument for increasing minimum wage

    March 3, 2014

    Hi everybody, America's most-beloved workplace advice columnist here. As promised last week, this column will focus on the argument in favor of raising the federal minimum wage. Next week's column will focus on the opposing argument. So please don't send mean emails saying I'm a dirtbag for only telling one side of the story. My feelings are easily hurt.

  • Pros and cons of raising the minimum wage

    February 24, 2014

    Like most Americans, I love nothing more than curling up in my favorite chair with a warm cup of coffee and a copy of the latest Congressional Budget Office report.

  • Don't filter out the bad feedback

    February 17, 2014

    Here's something a reader might say to me: "Rex, I really enjoyed your last column, but I felt you missed a few important points and might have tried too hard to be funny."

  • Some disabled workers making pennies per hour

    February 10, 2014

    President Barack Obama's recent promise to use an executive order to raise the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors was met with two rather different reactions.

  • How to navigate annual Girl Scout office invasion

    January 27, 2014

    I begin this column with a controversial declaration: I, Rex Huppke, America's most-beloved workplace advice columnist, am unabashedly pro-cookie.

  • Don't be afraid of love in the workplace

    January 20, 2014

    Mention love at the office and minds go to tawdry affairs, lines crossed and calls to human resources.

  • LGBT ally groups can improve an office

    January 13, 2014

    As human beings, we are at our best when we can be ourselves, when we live without fear of judgment or the pressures of putting on airs.

  • Writing your work narrative

    January 6, 2014

    It's important to start each year with a carefully thought out list of pragmatic resolutions. My list includes:

  • Workers, get ready for 2014

    December 30, 2013

    As has become tradition at I Just Work Here Inc., I'm going to end the year and start a new one by turning this space over to some of the fine workplace experts I interviewed in 2013, allowing them to share advice for the months to come.

  • A sincere message for the jobless among us

    December 14, 2013

    It appears that on Dec. 28, barring unexpected political action that would amount to a true Christmas miracle, 1.3 million jobless Americans will stop receiving unemployment benefits.

  • Some no-duh office party advice

    December 9, 2013

    It's the holiday season and, as a dues-paying member of the Guild of Workplace Advice Dispensaries, I am legally required to weigh in on the greatest threat facing American workers: the holiday office party.

  • Dream big, work hard

    December 2, 2013

    I hate it when someone who isn't me dispenses good career advice. Sadly, it happens from time to time, and it has happened in a big way with the publication of a new book by Josh Shipp.

  • A pro-gratitude attitude

    November 25, 2013

    Gratitude may be the most underused feeling in the American workplace.

  • What's more fair than fairness at work?

    November 18, 2013

    Most of us walk around with an unfairness detector in our heads, and we're at our happiest when that detector is not going: Bleep! Bleep! Bleep!

  • Top Workplaces winners find ways to incorporate gravy

    November 12, 2013

    I love gravy.

  • A game plan to combat office bullying

    November 11, 2013

    Bullying is rarely simple.

  • Lessons in leadership from Pope Francis

    November 4, 2013

    America has an ample number of leaders, in the workplace and in politics. But unfortunately, what many of these leaders are actually doing is "leadIng."

  • There's nothing to F.E.A.R.

    October 28, 2013

    It dawned on me recently that I've never provided my treasured readers with a concise dose of workplace advice that can be clipped out, laminated and hung on a cubicle wall.

  • Trimming the stupid from your management plans

    October 21, 2013

    Companies across this great land regularly implement policies that leaders claim will "foster greater collaboration" or "build synergy" or "incentivize innovation."

  • Connect the dots to better engage workers

    October 14, 2013

    I enjoy power tools that go "VRRRROOMMMMM!!!" and hitting things with hammers, but that doesn't make me a handyman.

  • At the tone, please stop leaving messages

    October 7, 2013

    This is the process I go through when I receive a voice mail:

  • Help! We're drowning in workplace advice

    September 30, 2013

    It's pretty clear that if you have a job and don't write a book of workplace wisdom, your life is essentially worthless and will be forgotten the moment your carcass is laid to rest.

  • Benefit of downtime a real no-brainer

    September 23, 2013

    You're sitting in front of a computer screen, trying desperately to write the greatest workplace advice column in the history of the world and it's just not coming to you.

  • Targeting jobless is out of line

    September 2, 2013

    All of us have had times when we've needed help. Maybe we were hobbled by a broken leg or laid up after surgery. Maybe it was just a lousy flu, something that knocked us out and made us ask another to lend a hand.

  • Diversity fades as you move up the corporate ladder

    August 26, 2013

    People in the working world love to pat themselves on the back for a job well done, even if it turns out the job isn't finished. It's a part of the workplace mindset — we see a problem, we address the problem, we say "hooray!" and we move on, often prematurely.

  • Honesty should be the only policy at work

    August 20, 2013

    Many of our virtues are having a rough go of it these days. Patience has been battered by the Internet's lightning-quick pace, and reality television and Facebook have largely eviscerated humility.

  • Why don't men wear shorts to work?

    August 12, 2013

    I hate pants.

  • The cost of millennials job hopping

    August 5, 2013

    A perpetual motion machine is, theoretically, a device that functions indefinitely without energy from an external source.

  • Is your career a work of art?

    July 29, 2013

    In 1971 — the year I was born — Bob Dylan wrote the lyrics to a song that would one day become an inspiration for me, in the workplace and in life.

  • Workers build charity to help one another

    July 22, 2013

    I spend most of my days toiling in the fields of workplace discontent, hoisting the yoke of America's office imbroglios, looking up fancy words and praying I don't run out of hyperbolic ways to describe my job.

  • Words of wisdom for graduates

    July 15, 2013

    I didn't give any college commencement addresses this year. Administrators probably assumed I had already been scooped up by the biggies — Harvard, Yale, The Iowa School for the Perpetually Perplexed — and didn't bother to ask.

  • Motivational office music from Groupon founder? Hardly

    July 8, 2013

    I've been saying for some time that what's missing from rock music are hip workplace references such as "shareholder value," "culture of transparency" and "metrics."

  • Congratulations! It's now much easier to be harassed at work

    July 1, 2013

    When I daydream, I envision a workplace where people are nice to one another and everyone gets along.

  • We're drowning in studies about the workplace

    June 24, 2013

    A new study has found that an employee's efficiency increases by more than 200 percent when that person is given the option of sitting in a chair made of milk chocolate.

  • Liar liar, officepants on fire

    June 17, 2013

    That's a good point! (No it isn't.)

  • Work assignment: Just be human

    June 10, 2013

    As regular readers of this column know, my last vacation involved a cactus and the unfortunate perforation of my buttocks. (Thank you for all the sympathy cards.)

  • Unleash your inner Buffy on office vampires

    June 3, 2013

    Good news. The vampires are back!

  • Job 'tours of duty' growing shorter

    May 27, 2013

    So, job candidate, where do you see yourself in five years?

  • Buzzwords are evil and must be stopped

    May 20, 2013

    I was dynamically engaging one of my fellow content marketers in the company brainstorming arena the other day, when I came up with a win-win value proposition for in-house onboarding of new talent to help us velocitize our organic campaigns. It's really a multichannel game-changer!

  • In trust we trust

    May 13, 2013

    Imagine me walking into a corporate executive's office.

  • Analyzing your quitting fantasies

    May 6, 2013

    Hi there, readers. I'd like to talk about your fantasies.

  • Is the Working Families Flexibility Act really flexible?

    April 22, 2013

    If we lived in a perfect world, doughnuts would be vegetables, Matthew McConaughey would have my abs and I would have his, and work would be a high-paying activity that involved naps.

  • What makes a happy worker happy?

    April 15, 2013

    The workplace advice columnist has only one natural enemy: the happy worker (Laborius contentus).

  • Overcoming obstacles: Or, what I learned from a cactus

    April 8, 2013

    I was climbing a gorgeous rock formation in Arizona the other day, holding my 6-year-old's hand, when my foot slipped and my butt made acquaintance with a cactus.

  • Is your workplace ageist?

    March 25, 2013

    Suppose I'm a business — and what a handsome business I'd be! — that's interviewing people for a job opening. There are two finalists, one 27 years old, the other 52.

  • Weighing employee wellness programs

    March 18, 2013

    As a couch enthusiast of some renown, I'm generally opposed to any form of mandated physical exertion.

  • Making sure your job suits you

    March 11, 2013

    Because I am predominantly flawless, I have little need for introspection.

  • Drop the manager-speak and just be human

    March 4, 2013

    When I first received a copy of "The Manager's Phrase Book," I laughed.

  • Reality show does a number on unemployed

    February 18, 2013

    (Editor's note: The CBS reality series "The Job" was canceled after this column had already gone to press. We are certain it was a coincidence. And that's all we have to say about that.)

  • A field guide to spotting office jerks

    February 11, 2013

    Imagine the workplace as a forest. (Or as an office full of cubicles if you're a park ranger.)

  • How to connect with your employees

    February 4, 2013

    When I see a companywide email from the boss, I, like most employees, assume it's an announcement of a promotion —me to senior vice president of awesomeness.

  • Psst: Be more flexible. Pass it on

    January 28, 2013

    I've read about how important it is to be agile in today's workplace.

  • Stand by your brand

    January 21, 2013

    I expect that doctors in the delivery room will soon hoist up newborns and proclaim, "Congratulations! It's a brand!"

  • Do emotions have a place in the office?

    January 14, 2013

    If everyone was just like me, the entire office would be made of Belgian chocolate and we'd watch movies all day, stopping only occasionally to nibble on the walls.

  • New year, new boss -- same old fear

    January 7, 2013

    The workplace is a lot like football. I say that not because it's true, but because it's a handy way to justify the hours I spend watching football. Also, it allows me to write off nachos as a business expense.

  • More doughnuts, and other 2013 office resolutions

    December 31, 2012

    The good news is, the Mayans were wrong, and we get to start a brand new year. The bad news is, we will have to spend most of that year working. (Thanks for nothing, Mayans.)

  • Panic at the office party

    December 17, 2012

    It's holiday office party season, that magical time of year when co-workers spend time together having forced conversations over festive snacks that aren't as good as they were before the economy tanked.

  • Don't be afraid to hire people with disabilities

    December 10, 2012

    One of the best experiences of my life was watching Jamie Smith, a young man with autism, leave his routine in Chicago, travel to the Special Olympics World Games in the chaotic Chinese city of Shanghai — and succeed.

  • Men, it's in the bag

    December 3, 2012

    Because I'm a very important man, I carry very important things, including: a smartphone, an iPad, gum (fresh breath is critical when you're important), a huge wad of cash that indicates importance, a slingshot (to ward off unimportant people) and a card inscribed with the quote: "Humility is a virtue."

  • Gratitude in the workplace

    November 26, 2012

    As is tradition in my family, I sat back after a fine Thanksgiving meal, submerged my feet in a bucket of warm gravy and reflected on life.

  • Millennials struggle with confrontation at work

    November 19, 2012

    I have some bad news for young people entering the workforce: You're all a bunch of weenies, and we don't like you.

  • Culture is key, but key to culture comes through hiring

    November 13, 2012

    When I was young and naive (approximately 16 months ago), I believed all it took to create a happy workplace were big salaries and free doughnuts.

  • Office snack season: Time to loosen those belts

    November 12, 2012

    The problem with the bags of treats and trays of cookies that appear around the office this time of year is that if you don't eat them you get sent to prison. At least, that's what I told myself several years and several thousand Snickers ago.

  • A learning experience over coffee

    November 4, 2012

    The "I Just Work Here" Internship Program — should such a thing ever exist — would be the gold standard of temporary employment.

  • Nothing worse than office peppiness

    October 22, 2012

    Every office has a person who has taken a few too many drags on the pep pipe. A manager or co-worker whose sunny disposition can cloud an otherwise delightfully pessimistic day.

  • Smartphone addicts at work

    October 15, 2012

    Like most well-adjusted Americans, I check my smartphone every 5 to 10 seconds. If I don't, my hands sweat and I feel guilty for depriving the world of all the interesting things I have to say or text or tweet.

  • When it comes to your job, don't hate -- investigate

    October 8, 2012

    I feel sorry for jobs.

  • The corporate ladder: It's not an escalator

    October 1, 2012

    While watching television, the remote control occasionally gets knocked off the couch, presenting an epic quandary.

  • Working women learn to swim with sharks

    September 24, 2012

    A workplace discussion of the differences between men and women can be squirm-inducing.

  • The subtle art of self-promotion

    September 17, 2012

    I'm excited for my bosses to read this so they can see what an awesome job I'm doing at column writing and at being handsome and great.

  • Students need skills to pay the bills

    September 3, 2012

    Parents are often told — by magazines, television news shows and Oprah — that they are doing things wrong.

  • Whatever happened to workplace accountability?

    August 20, 2012

    DISCLAIMER: I am in no way responsible for the content of this column. Any errors, overstatements or outright fabrications are entirely the fault of editors, saboteurs or readers.

  • Making a point in business email

    July 30, 2012

    Hello! I want you to know that I'm SUPER excited about this week's column!! It's about exclamation points!!!!

  • Vacation time: Use it if you've got it

    July 9, 2012

    Good news, everyone. I'm ordering you to go on vacation.

  • Sometimes the best advice is simple: Be nice

    June 24, 2012

    This month marks the one-year anniversary of this column, and it is with great humility that I take credit for single-handedly transforming American workplaces into centers of happiness and bliss with my intelligent advice and charming prose and handsomeness.

  • Eldercare fast becoming an issue in workplace

    June 17, 2012

    In college I would often spout off — with great indignation — about issues that annoyed me. That earned me the not-so-complimentary nickname, Righteous Rex.

  • How to discuss politics at work (without getting into a fight)

    June 10, 2012

    The real problem with talking about politics in the office is that I'm right and you're wrong and I hate you.

  • Avoid a dressing-down: Update your wardrobe

    June 3, 2012

    Listening to a presentation by an expert on workplace wardrobes, I realized my closet is so replete with fashion violations it should be burned to the ground, covered with concrete and then burned again for good measure.

  • Job or calling?

    May 27, 2012

    Introspection is kind of a drag. It requires unpleasant acts like "thinking" and "talking about emotions," and it can rarely be done while watching TV.

  • Bosses, think before you speak

    May 20, 2012

    Dear Bosses:

  • How to find a job that suits you

    May 13, 2012

    It's the time of year when spirited young women and men graduate from the joyous, beer-soaked, afternoon-napping-allowed world of college and enter the soul-crushing, coffee-soaked, afternoon-napping-frowned-upon world of work.

  • Let's get on board with paid leave

    May 6, 2012

    We are living in the Golden Age of hypocrisy.

  • Calling time out on work interruptions, distractions

    April 29, 2012

    For most, the modern workday is one long series of interruptions punctuated by brief bursts of productivity.

  • Complainers, contain yourselves

    April 22, 2012

    Most of us do not work in a lounge chair on a white sand beach with attentive talking parrot servants to refresh our tropical drinks and sing us show tunes.

  • Do job titles mean anything anymore?

    April 15, 2012

    There was a time when job titles were simple. You were either "the boss" or "not the boss."

  • Beware the office vampires

    April 8, 2012

    Every workplace is required by federal law to employ at least one individual who is spectacularly irritating. That's an incontrovertible (made-up) fact.

  • Yes, it is a jungle out there: Email and gorilla warfare

    April 1, 2012

    So you spent part of the morning crafting a long, thoughtful email to your boss, updating her on your project.

  • First rule of work email: Don't email

    March 25, 2012

    Sometimes I don't think we deserve e-mail.

  • March Madness at work: We don't need no stinkin' brackets

    March 18, 2012

    There are three things that annoy me about March Madness:

  • The clothes make the worker

    March 11, 2012

    A professor at Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management has coined a new term that I believe will soon be on the lips of employees in every workplace in America.

  • Reward the office superstars

    March 4, 2012

    Not long after this column launched, I declared myself America's most beloved workplace-advice columnist. While that wasn't based on anything concrete — like facts — it has yet to be disputed, so I assume it's true.

  • Bridging the insurance gap

    February 26, 2012

    So I was sitting around the office the other day tinkering with my upcoming book of poetry, "Composting: A Love Story," when I realized it's awfully hard to find a word that rhymes with "composting."

  • Facebook and job performance

    February 19, 2012

    There's a perception among job seekers that material posted on Facebook and other social networking sites can only hinder their chances of employment. A dumb comment that can never be erased. That photo of you — bleary-eyed — building a beeramid with other naked people.

  • The pitfalls of office romances

    February 12, 2012

    Love is in the air.

  • Is it OK to quit without a new job lined up?

    February 5, 2012

    In 1978, a country music singer named David Allan Coe took every worker's darkest fantasy and captured it in a song that would become a soundtrack for days of office angst. A burly man — he looks like Hank Williams Jr. eating Willie Nelson — Coe sang:

  • The many faces of business-casual

    January 29, 2012

    Good news for facial-hair enthusiasts. After six decades of flagrant beardscrimination, Walt Disney Co. has lifted its ban on employee goatees and other face fuzz.

  • Germ warfare at work

    January 22, 2012

    Have you heard about the highly contagious Koala flu that turns people into horrifying, albeit adorable, zombie marsupials who subsist only on human thigh meat and eucalyptus leaves?

  • Meetings: A necessary evil?

    January 15, 2012

    If the workplace were a person, meetings would be the unidentifiable, gooey stuff stuck to that person's shoe.

  • What are the laws on working OT?

    January 8, 2012

    Listen, I really don't want you guys to feel bad about forgetting my birthday. Just because I'm sitting here writing this column on my birthday, doing my best to preserve the integrity of the American workplace, doesn't mean I expect anything in return.

  • Balancing a criminal record and a resume

    December 25, 2011

    My New Year's resolution is to go from being simply "America's most beloved workplace-advice columnist" to "World's most beloved workplace-advice columnist."

  • A holiday wish list for the workplace

    December 18, 2011

    I've been working on my Christmas list, even though I know the big day will come and, as always, I'll end up disappointed. (To be honest, my wife's "but there are no unicorns" excuse is getting a bit tiresome.)

  • Networking's gender gap

    December 12, 2011

    I recently received an advance copy of a book that has the word "SEX" in the title in big, red capital letters and, because I'm a sucker and a guy, I opened it and started looking for pictures.

  • Just say 'no' to office holiday obligations

    December 4, 2011

    This is the time of year when you get that call from Aunt Vivian saying: "Hello dear, I just wanted to make sure I have your address right. I'll be sending my fruitcake!"

  • More (f)or less, being overworked, underdpaid isn't uncommon

    November 27, 2011

    Now that everyone has recovered from the gravy-gargling and cranberry sauce transfusions of Thanksgiving, it's time to focus on what's really important to American workers: holiday shopping.

  • Holiday parties: Mind your drinking

    November 20, 2011

    The holidays have always been an ideal time to get intoxicated and do embarrassing things that cause irreparable harm to important relationships.

  • Keep up the good work

    November 15, 2011

    I want to live in a world where every workplace is on a list of "best workplaces." I also want a jet pack, but I'm guessing neither of those things will happen anytime soon.

  • References, and how to avoid giving them

    November 13, 2011

    Not long after becoming America's most beloved workplace-advice columnist (self-proclaimed), I learned that our nation's economy is based largely on companies that generate surveys about workplace issues.

  • Down with pants, up with telecommuting

    November 6, 2011

    I hate wearing pants. They’re uncomfortable and restrictive, the waist too snug, the legs too itchy. And they deny people their inalienable right to see my calves, which I consider two of my best features.

  • Face-to-face praise is so low-tech

    October 29, 2011

    So I got a press release the other day about a new app that lets bosses and workers praise a colleague — without having to go through the un-fun process of face-to-face communication!

  • Toxic co-workers and the boss double-cross

    October 23, 2011

    Warning: This column contains references to flatulence and 14th century poetry. Steel yourself.

  • Psst: It's OK to cheat on your employer

    October 9, 2011

    Brace yourselves. I'm about to come out in favor of infidelity.

  • Are you ready for National Boss Day?

    October 2, 2011

    Like most Americans, I've started preparing for one of the year's most festive holidays: National Boss Day.

  • How to dodge office politics

    September 25, 2011

    Let's talk briefly about a term that's sweeping the nation: "class warfare."

  • Bullies bad for bottom line

    September 18, 2011

    As a species, it seems we're doomed to interact with jerks.

  • Credit endangering job prospects

    September 11, 2011

    FACT: Speaker phones were invented to make untalented people sound important.

  • 'Unemployed need not apply' a disturbing trend

    September 4, 2011

    I recently found an array of online job postings that greet seekers with these encouraging words: "MUST BE CURRENTLY EMPLOYED, NO EXCEPTIONS."

  • Tackling the office tattler

    August 29, 2011

    Attention fishermen and fisherwomen, loggers, aircraft pilots and farmers. Your jobs are very dangerous.

  • Living through layoffs

    August 22, 2011

    We're a country where careers are often part of our identity, and you don't suddenly yank that part of a person out without ripping up the rest.

  • Whatever happened to 9 to 5?

    August 14, 2011

    "Workin' nine to five

  • Try a little humility

    August 7, 2011

    I believe it was Gandhi who once said, "Can't you people just mix in a little humility?" (I didn't actually Google that quote, but I'm pretty sure it's right.)

  • I Just Work Here: Handling the office stinker

    August 1, 2011

    Did anyone consider just painting the debt ceiling the same color as the walls? It really would make the whole room look bigger.

  • Don't be so evil: A guide for bosses

    July 25, 2011

    A long time ago, a caveman went up to another caveman and said: "I'll give you some of my woolly mammoth meat if you move these rocks for me."

  • The big question: Raises

    July 18, 2011

    So I hear about this guy named Mike Michalowicz, who has this idea that companies should institute "library hours," a chunk of time each day when everyone in the office shuts up, unplugs from the Internet and focuses on work.

  • Stall tactics: Tips on office bathrooms

    July 11, 2011

    Every office has a bathroom, every non-robot worker has to use the bathroom and sharing a bathroom with co-workers seems to be an almost universally unpleasant experience.

  • One person's meeting is another's lunchtime

    July 4, 2011

    I would like to preface this week's column with a few unrelated statements, the significance of which will become clear later:

  • Co-worker friending and cubicle dancing

    June 27, 2011

    If you're mad it's Monday, remember: Tuesday is just a Monday that has had an extra day to practice.