The Savvy Office Manager

Cal Butera is the editor of Business Management Daily’s Office Manager Today, Manager’s Legal Bulletin, Managing People at Work and Communication Briefings newsletters. He has been with Business Management Daily since 2007 and worked 22 years for midsize daily newspapers as sports writer, news reporter, layout and design editor, copy editor and city editor.

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Seems like there are odds—strange as they are—for just about anything. But what about what you do? What are the odds? Where are the stats? Since you deal with people, and people are inherently unpredictable, it might seem difficult to pin probability on their behavior and idiosyncrasies. But we’re talking about people in a workplace, and as you might guess, patterns begin to form that curiously repeat themselves no matter where you work or who you supervise.

A résumé is a peculiar document. The writer bares his professional soul, fusses over verbs and gerunds, though he’s not sure what gerunds are. You know what you’re looking for when it comes to experience and education. But sometimes you’re fooled.

It doesn’t take much to lose the boss job you thought you could do. Here are six common things managers do that will put an end to their careers.
If your organization has some of these characteristics of a dysfunctional workplace, it’s time to reevaluate how your office operates and make some changes.
Jeff’s phone rings on his desk and the name “Stacey” appears in the little LED window. His boss is brief. “Can you come to my office please?” All his mistakes, shortcomings and Stacey’s warnings swirl in his head. “This is it,” Jeff thinks. His heart lunges, his jaw tightens and the objects in his office that once gave him a sense of purpose and comfort are now surreal and insignificant ...

Isn’t it hard enough gaining respect from your employees without a bunch of recording artists egging them on to disrespect you and the jobs you’ve given them? Next to helping their listeners navigate the choppy waters of love, loneliness and drug usage, these pop stars seem to want them to hate their jobs along with the person supervising them. That would be you. Here are the top 5 songs that put you, dear boss, on your employees’ dart boards.

A boss’s job is not complete without hearing gripes, thoughts and ideas from the rank-and-file. But weigh carefully what you hear.
So, you got what you wanted. You rose up through the ranks and achieved that lofty management position. More money, more prestige, more headaches. But are you really cut out for the job? For the most part, your gut will tell you. In case you’re getting mixed messages from within yourself, here are some signs […]

Does your breakroom coffee taste like it came out of a lumberjack’s Thermos? In case you haven’t tried it lately, ask yourself this: How many employees come to work with their hand wrapped around a $6 Caramel Macchiato—venti? Probably a lot more than the few employees who, with the taste buds of a house fly, emerge from your Café de Kitchenette wiggling a wooden stirrer in a 6-ounce white styro cup. The truth is, your coffee is bad for a lot of little reasons, all of which can be fixed.

What manager wouldn’t want a loveable, huggable, truth-spewing, bumbling, incompetent, lazy employee like Homer Simpson? In reality, Homer is in your cubicles, on your shop floor, driving your delivery trucks, waiting on customers, and yes, in the interview room. Want him or not. Homer’s a composite of the personalities of your workforce, and his words are often your employees’ thoughts.