It’s a question many of us ask ourselves on a daily basis. The world of employment is a fickle, nerve-wracking place and jobs come and go like pigeons. You might be especially worried if you work in a creative industry where your contract has a clause in it saying something like “If you annoy us, or generally don’t fit in, we can fire you without any notice, so ha!”
It’s a sad feature of 21st century living that good jobs are harder to come by than single men in their mid-thirties without baggage, mother issues or poor dental hygiene, therefore it’s vital you spot the signs you are failing at work and take immediate preemptive action. To help you, I have put together a handy quiz to assess your likelihood of being dismissed this week.
- It’s Friday. On your way into work you run into your boss in reception. She/He attempts to make small talk with you, asking “Are you looking forward to the weekend? Have you got much planned?” How do you respond?
a) “Yes I am thanks, I’m just hanging out with friends. How about you?”
b) “I guess so. The only thing is I’ve got this doctor’s appointment about this dodgy rash I’ve got on my bottom and I’m a bit worried about it. Plus I’ve got drinks with my ex tomorrow, and you know, it didn’t end well. I cheated on him. Well I say cheated but technically we hadn’t had ‘the chat’ before I went and hooked up with Martin. You know Martin? In accounts? Man has he got one hell of a body under than IT geek veneer!”
c) “That’s none of your business you nosey cow! You may think you own me at work, but weekends are my own. Now shut the hell up. I’m on me time ‘til I’m sat at my desk.”
- Your colleague Jim is chatting to you about a work matter, he rolls his chair over to your desk and unconsciously puts his feet up on your desk. How do you react?
a) You ignore it. It’s not the kind of thing you would do, but you don’t want to embarrass Jim by drawing attention to his lack of office etiquette.
b) You say “Wow, Jim! Face not feet, yes? Your toes are giving me woes, your shoes are making my news feed, your feet aren’t being discrete. Translation, get your feet off my goddamn desk.”
c) You pick up your keyboard and slam it into Jim’s face. That will teach him the lazy pig.
- It’s lunchtime and you notice that someone has eaten the sandwich you put in the communal fridge. You had specifically labeled it with a post-it note which now lies forlorn on the floor. How do you react?
a) You calmly ask the office whether anyone has moved your sandwich. If they haven’t, well its annoying but worse things happen in Syria, right?
b) You burst into tears. You’ve been working really hard and were really looking forward to that bloody sandwich. When Elaine from HR tries to comfort you, you break down in hysterics, “it’s not just about the sandwich! I think I might be vegan/transgender/lactose intolerant/depressed!” You ask to take a ‘Personal Day’ so you can get your head together.
c) Steal your sandwich will they? STEAL YOUR SANDWICH!? Rage bubbles up inside you. That afternoon, while you boss hosts a team meeting, you douse the office with petrol and throw in a match. Now none of them will have any sandwiches… or desks…. or eyebrows… Ha ha ha!
- Sandra (a really annoying girl in your office) announces she’s just been promoted – a promotion who were hoping would go to you. How do you react?
a) You congratulate Sandra while being quietly disappointed. You make a note to talk to your boss about how you could improve, and hope to be considered for promotion next time.
b) You rush into your boss’s office in tears, screaming “is it because she’s prettier than me? IS IT!!” Then you lock the door and start stapling your hair to your boss’s desk while singing ‘Mary had a Little Lamb’ in an eerie, tearful tone. You’re like a suffragette running in front of a horse… only instead of a horse, it’s a stapler, and instead of women’s rights, this is your right – to be promoted!
c) Slagface Sandra got a promotion over you? WTF? You source some ricin/cyanide over the dark web and start offering to make Sandra tea… laced with poison. HA! – That will teach her to be so bloody keen at work. Once Sandra’s ‘off sick’/dying you position yourself to take over her desk/workload/ favoured spot on the team. Genius.
You’re a normal rational person, as long as you continue to work hard, and your company avoids any major balls up (like forging emission records, or tapping into celebrity voicemails) you probably won’t be fired … this week.
Some people might consider you ‘overly emotional’, with a propensity for over-sharing. These are great quality in a 1920s Hollywood starlet but not so good in a lowly *insert job role here*. I’m sorry to tell you this, but you might well be fired this week. Your only course of action is to consider tear duct surgery (get those puppies hermetically sealed) and also to stop talking out loud.
Some people might deem you to have ‘psychotic and violent tendencies’. Unfortunately, though these qualities make you great fun at a community BBQ, they are not the qualities people look for in a co-worker. You probably will get fired this week, perhaps even arrested. My advice to you – take up a calming hobby outside of the workplace; Yachting, sea volley ball and paddle boarding are all viable options. If you don’t live near the sea, well I’m sorry but I’ afraid I can’t help you.