Whether you’re a recent graduate searching for that first job or someone who has been out of the workforce for a while and finally decided to get back in the trenches, it’s a good idea to be aware of some of the landmines that await you. We’ll concentrate one just one of those creatons here. You probably know him by his more common name: The Ass Kisser. The politically correct term however is The Captain of the Caboose. Let’s put a name on him and call him Brad.
If you’re an office veteran, you know Brad. He’s the one who, when the tedium of a long conference room meeting is getting ready to wrap up, introduces a new, totally out of left field topic, thus elongating the proceedings for at least another hour. And his sole purpose of doing so is to pucker up to the big guy’s buttocks. He knows exactly what he’s doing and you hate him for it…and you should.
The Brad’s of the world are among the most scornful of co-workers. Short on talent and long on bravado, he can bring an entire office to its knees if he so chooses. Sure, you have an MBA from Harvard Business School and your ability to negotiate the travails of the treacherous financial landscape is beyond reproach, but Brad seems to be advancing faster and that’s puzzling to you. How can someone whose only venture into the business world has been making change for a pack of rolling papers on the overnight shift at 7/11 be making more strides than you?
Okay, let’s go way back and see how a true Captain of the Caboose plies his trade, shall we?
Don’t be fooled. Some of these miscreants, like Brad, are smart, very smart. They play the game well and the good ones begin even before the interview process. Make no mistake. They’ll find out the most minute things including how the boss likes his coffee, the names of his children and what country club he belongs to and they’ll use every bit of that to their advantage in the job interview process, as noted below.
Boss: Welcome Brad, have a seat.
Brad: Thank you very much, sir. I brought you some coffee, cream, no sugar, right?
Boss: Why, yes, that’s right. How did you know?
Brad: (wry smile and a wink)
Boss: Brad, this position requires an extremely tech savvy person, one who can predict trends long before they’re on the horizon. We’re looking for someone who breathes, eats and sleeps research. Why do believe you’re qualified for such a highly sought after and demanding position?
Brad: While it’s true that I still use AOL and rely pretty much on social media platforms like Fark and Facebook for my news and information, I am probably the quickest learner you’ve ever run across.
(allow me to interrupt for just a moment)
Well, it doesn’t appear that ‘ol Brad is doing very well so far, does it? One question in and he’s already on the ropes, dizzy and befuddled. He knows that he needs to get his wits about him and do it right now or the death knell awaits. It’s time for Brad to break out his ace in the hole. Okay, back to the interview.
Brad: Excuse me, sir, but I’m hearing a noise in the parking lot.
Boss: (turning to look) What the… There’s a group of people detailing my car.
Brad: Seriously sir, we can’t have a man of your stature pulling into Briarwood Country Club with anything less than an immaculate vehicle, can we?
Boss: How did you know I belonged to Briar…Oh, you are good, Brad. Very good. I think you have more than proven your impeccable research skills to me. Well, I’m convinced you are the man for job. Congratulations. Now, let’s see what we can do about getting you that corner office shall we?
So, Brad managed to land the job that he was woefully unqualified for, leaving his now co-workers numb from disbelief. Have no fear for Brad will get his comeuppance soon as most Captains of the Caboose eventually do. Yes, one day in the very near future, all of his co-workers will gather outside his corner office door and invite him to happy hour. Surprised, Brad will lean back in his leather chair (complete with full body massage button) and happily accept their invitation as he is now convinced that he has finally won their love and admiration. When the first round of drinks arrives, however, they will all give each other that little wink, toast Brad, then take great delight in grabbing their swizzle sticks and poking his eyeballs out.
Don’t be a Brad!