Sunday, September 17, 2017

Mr. Anthony Scaramucci Esq.’s Guide to Workplace Etiquette

Anthony Scaramucci, the new White House communications director, speaking to reporters. On Wednesday, he made a profanity-laced phone call to a New Yorker writer complaining about his colleagues.CreditTom Brenner/The New York Times
To paraphrase Tolstoy, all happy workplaces are alike, but each unhappy workplace is uniquely unhappy. (Whither the Russian masters and their earthy, poetic wisdom?) As such, I, Anthony Scaramucci, a veteran of numerous offices, have deigned to jot down a few thoughts I have compiled over the years on how one should comport oneself in a workplace setting in order to maximize professionalism, courtesy and morale:
• Speak always in a calm, leisurely manner befitting that of a genteel employee who has carefully thought through his ideas. And remember, when a provocative new notion strikes at 11 p.m., it may be better to sleep on it rather than drinking five Red Bulls and “riffing.”
• Frequently refer to oneself in the third person, preferably with a nickname that connotes collegiality or suggests you often borrow money from others.
• When forced to criticize others, do so constructively, perhaps with suggestions for how they might improve their spinal flexibility, an integral function of lumbar health.
• To motivate colleagues, devise a felicitous ecological term for your rivals, such as “the marsh,” “the bog” or “the heath on a particularly dreary afternoon.”
• Profess your love for your employer six or seven times a day, and rattle off a succession of his varied athletic feats as if you are an 11-year-old boy discussing his favorite modern or ancient pentathlete.
• Employ modern technology to get the best out of your team. For instance, if you are spearheading a group project, “tag” another staff member with his Twitter “handle” as a friendly reminder that he is a truly crucial part of the project.
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• Draw upon biblical allusions when discussing other staff members to heighten the importance of their mission. Perhaps one is like Moses, a heroic, inspirational leader; or Noah, prudently prepared in times of crisis; or possibly Judas, that back-stabbing quisling. Why, have you ever noticed how traitors’ names are often disyllabic and end with an “s”? Interesting.
• The time must sadly come when a superior will be required to let go of an underling. Typically this time is within six days of accepting the position. Always do so in a dignified manner, either behind closed doors or during a live CNN interview.
• Lastly, if ever you must deal with the media concerning the nature of your office, consult first with your workplace’s communications director. He will be experienced enough to remind you to state beforehand that your comments are off the record unless otherwise indicated.
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