I Just Work Here

There's nothing to F.E.A.R.

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 F.E.A.R. -- don't be afraid of it

F.E.A.R. -- don't be afraid of it (Spauln, Getty Images / October 25, 2013)

(Technically the last letter of the acronym should have been a "B" for "Be," I suppose, but then it would've read: F.E.A.B. And that's a lot less memorable than F.E.A.R., so I stand by my acronymization.)

Almost every workplace problem I've come across has its roots in one person being unthoughtful or unkind. But for that one action, the problem would not exist.

The "R" is the glue that holds F.E.A.R. together. Cooperation, respect and smooth interactions are the goal, and if Figuring, Examining and Altering don't get you there, Remembering the mantra will.

I joke around a fair amount, but don't doubt my sincere belief in F.E.A.R., an intentionally silly acronym that I hope makes a point. It's a simple concept, but it has the power to make a huge difference in our work lives. (It's kind of like the Yoda of slogans.)

So here's the part you can clip out, laminate or just hang or have professionally framed or whatever:

Embrace F.E.A.R.!

Figure. Examine. Alter. Remember.

(to be a decent human being!)

If you're reading this online, remove the portion of your screen it's on with some form of glass cutter. I'm pretty sure that will work.

On second thought, you might want to apply the steps of F.E.A.R. to that idea. Your IT department will likely thank you.

TALK TO REX: Ask workplace questions — anonymously or by name — and share stories with Rex Huppke at ijustworkhere@tribune.com, like Rex on Facebook at facebook.com/rexworkshere and find more at chicagotribune.com/ijustworkhere.

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