No Jerks Allowed

Jerk Story – The Complainer

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Reader Submission by Kaylin.

While I was in college I worked as a waitress at a local restaurant. I dealt with jerks often. In particular this one jerk named Joe. He came into the restaurant every Wednesday at 10:30 p.m. (mind you the restaurant closed at 11 p.m.) Now I am not saying that he shouldn’t have come in because it was close to closing time but if you’re going to come in at a late our at least have the decency to be polite. Nope, Joe did not poses such decency. If I had to pick what category of jerk he was I would have to say “the complainer.”

I always had the pleasure of serving Joe because I just didn’t care if he wanted to have a bad attitude, send food back or complain about the service. That was his choice. I would ask myself, if you hate our food and our service so much why do you come back every Wednesday? Well I never did get that answer but Joe being the jerk he was did teach me some valuable lessons. He taught me the importance of a positive attitude (he also gave me the patience of a saint) So I say thanks Joe, thanks for being a jerk, thanks for teaching me how never to act like you do. I’m joining the No Jerks Allowed movement to help rid the world of people like Joe!

p.s. Joe still goes to my old restaurant every Wednesday at 10:30 p.m.

Celebrating Top Workplaces 2014

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Party to celebrate being named as one of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch Top Workplaces for 2014.

“The true value of any employee is not tangible; rather, it’s the culture and environment that indicates a company as a Top Workplace. Thus, we’re delighted to be recognized with this award,” noted Rich Waidmann, Connectria President and CEO. “This designation is particularly meaningful since it is based solely on our employees’ anonymous feedback. At Connectria, we take great pride in our ‘No Jerks Allowed’ culture. To be recognized as a Top Workplace by the St. Louis Post-Dispatch for the second time demonstrates that we have a culture our employee’s embrace and appreciate.”

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The 5 Absolute Worst Kinds of Bosses

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Source: TIME
The 5 Absolute Worst Kinds of Bosses
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Which kind do you have?

The characters of fictional Dunder Mifflin in The Office have to work under Steve Carell’s socially-inept Michael Scott. (Or they did for the first few seasons.) Dilbert has an obtuse, pointed-haired drone of a boss. But what’s funny on TV or in comic strips can be miserable if you’re actually living it.

According to career site Glassdoor.com, one in five employees have had their careers hurt by a boss. Often, this is because bad bosses lead to bad performance, experts say, and the effect can linger for years. “An employee with a bad manager compared to an employee with a good [manager] performs at a level that is 20% lower,” says Brian Kropp, managing director at CEB. “The impact from having a bad manager can actually drive down employee performance for up to five years.”

So, which bosses are the worst? HR pros and academics who study workforce management say there are a few that stand out.

The “crooked politician:

“Politically skilled leaders are perceived to be more ethical than politically unskilled leaders,” writes Paul Harvey, a management professor at the University of New Hampshire, in a research paper published in this month’s issue of the Journal of Leadership & Organizational Studies. This is true even when a glad-handing master of small talk is less ethical than a boss who lacks in that kind of social finesse, because the people who work for them are fooled by their charisma into thinking that they must be good people

“The boss often sets the tone for what is considered acceptable but employees aren’t always as skilled in pulling off deviant behaviors so sometimes they’re the ones who get caught and face the penalties,” Harvey says. Even if your own ethics don’t lapse, your motivation probably will, he adds. “Less severe examples are employees becoming disillusioned and losing their passion for their work when they draw the conclusion that their bosses cheated their way to their positions.”

The bully:

The only thing worse than another kid stealing your lunch money is working for one of those bullies — they might have grown up, but in the adult environment of the workplace, bullies can be even worse because they’ve refined their techniques over the years.

Unlike the stereotype of a bully as a ham-fisted thug, bully bosses have sufficient social skills to figure out who and how they need to coerce to get ahead on the job — which many do, writes Darren Treadway, an associate professor in the school of management at the University at Buffalo , State University of New York. Bullies crave power, Treadway says, and they have no compunctions about behaving aggressively to get it. In their drive to the top, they don’t care who they run over.

Even if you’re not the bully’s target, your work is likely to suffer, Harvey wrote in another research paper, this one published last year in the Journal of Social Psychology. “Although the effects of abusive supervision may not be as physically harmful as other types of dysfunctional behavior, such as workplace violence or aggression, the actions are likely to leave longer-lasting wounds, in part, because abusive supervision can continue for a long time,” he writes.

The micromanager:

What drives many micromanaging bosses is a desire for control, so much so that they may insist on being cc’d on your email correspondence or make you wait while they put their own touches on your latest client proposal. “You really do want to be in control of everything and you want everything to be perfect,” says Seth Spain, assistant professor of management at University at Binghamton, State University of New York. “Making yourself the bottleneck that work goes through is a way of maintaining that sort of control.”

Unlike the unethical schemer or the bully, this kind of bad boss isn’t necessarily trying to ruin your life, he says. Ironically, good workers can turn into micromanaging bosses when they rise through the ranks. Once in a management role, they’re no longer doing the job they were good at, but they think they still know best — sometimes even as their own technical skills slip away. “Maybe they have anxieties or insecurities about their own position, or maybe they just miss the job itself,” Spain says, so they cope is by getting way too involved in your day-to-day work.

The workaholic:

With recent headlines of bank interns dropping dead after working long hours or napping on the toilet, it shouldn’t surprise anyone that working under a supervisor who’s never heard of the term “work-life balance” is bad for you. HR software company BambooHR says 39% of employees work more than 40 hours a week, and that we’re working an average of 11 hours a week more than we did back in the 1970s.

A close cousin of the workaholic boss is the technophile, the one who emails you at 10 pm. on a Sunday night and expects an answer back immediately — or who will email, then follow up almost immediately with an instant message to see if you’ve checked your email yet.

“Employees who are expected to give and give to their jobs, during all hours of the day and night, will burn out quickly,” says Ben Peterson, co-founder and CEO of BambooHR. A study in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine last summer found that people who work demanding jobs with 60-plus hour workweeks are a whopping 15 times more likely to show signs of depression up to three years later.

The BFF:

This kind of toxic boss can be tough to recognize at first, but once you’re sucked into their orbit, that seemingly friendly relationship can turn into a downward spiral. The BFF boss has no concept of boundaries, Spain says, which means their bad day can become your bad day, or their flagging career can suddenly become your problem.

Spain says this behavior hints at neurotic and histrionic — aka “diva-like” — tendencies, both of which studies show contribute to job-related meltdowns. “They would certainly be unburdening themselves to you in inappropriate ways, and in a way that would make it difficult for you to manage their own career as theirs is crumbling,” he says. Instead of learning from them, you become their sounding-board-slash-therapist, and just the emotional energy of dealing with their drama can distract you from your work, he says. “From the subordinate’s perspective, it takes a lot of resources from you to manage their emotions.”

Jerk Story – Office Bullying

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Reader Submission by Kristin.

Several years ago — before I knew what to look for when interviewing with a company — I ended up working with a lot of jerks. One of the worst examples is the time a group of colleagues sent company-wide emails making fun of another colleague’s shoes. Unfortunately, this was just one of many #jerk stories.

The Bridge

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Connectria is known for its award-winning managed and cloud hosting services, but what some may NOT know is our commitment to our local St. Louis community, including a special place in our hearts, The Bridge (www.bridgestl.org).

TheBridge is a wonderful non-profit organization which provides a sanctuary for homeless and at-risk persons in St. Louis. Meals and support services for basic human needs are offered by a staff intent on eradicating homelessness by guiding guests on a path to self-sufficiency. Guests are provided not only food but other essentials such as clothing, shelter and computers with internet access.

Connectria employees volunteer at dinner services month after month and have been doing so for years. This includes preparing and serving food as well helping with cleanup and other tasks around the kitchen. But this is only the tip of the iceberg though.

Connectria donates its hosting services for the Bridge’s website as well as an essential health information database. Every person seeking help at the shelter is given an ID that contains their health information. If they are ever found in an unfortunate situation, their ID can be scanned for instant access to their health information including allergies, current medications, medical conditions and etc. Needless to say, this ID and the back-end database it is connected to can potentially save a person’s life.

In more recent news, Connectria’s CEO, Rich Waidmann, raised enough money to provide all Bridge employees with health insurance. While 50% was pledged by Connectria, the other 50% was almost single handedly collected by Rich at a Bridge fundraising event last November. This was such an emotional moment that people around the room were brought to tears. See a few photos from the event here.

So although we spend a lot of time talking about managed hosting and cloud hosting, we always leave a spot in our hearts (and time of course) to dedicate to local organizations helping our local St. Louis community such as the Bridge.

We challenge other local St. Louis businesses to join the No Jerks Allowed movement and donate their time and money to the Bridge as well. For those outside St. Louis, help out those less fortunate and eradicate homelessness beginning with shelters in your own town.

Have an inspirational story you would like share of people helping those less fortunate in your community? Join the No Jerks Allowed movement and become a NinJA. Share your story today.

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7 Signs a Colleague Is a Jerk

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Source: INC
7 Signs a Colleague Is a Jerk

If you identify the jerks quickly, you won’t waste your time trying to work with them.

In today’s hectic business world, you must decide quickly whether you want to hire, sell to, or buy from somebody. Unless you enjoy being miserable, it’s useful to spot the jerks quickly, before you commit. Here are the seven “red flag” behaviors:

1. Badmouthing

Only a jerk–and an insecure jerk, at that–would attempt to make himself (or herself) look better by disparaging others.

2. Littering

Anybody who throws something on the ground and expects somebody else to bend down and pick it up is automatically a jerk.

3. Rudeness

Curtness to underlings and anyone else who “doesn’t matter” is always a sign of deep-seated jerkitude.

4. Undertipping

In the U.S., waiters and waitresses make $2.13 an hour. Any customer who doesn’t tip at least 15 percent (regardless of service) lacks either a heart or a brain. Either way… jerk!

5. Ostentation

Jerks think showy watches, fancy cars, and expensive office furniture set them above the hoi-polloi.  In fact, pricey accoutrements simply scream “jerk!”

6. Profanity

The occasional expletive is forgivable but repeated use of the F-bomb reveals anger at the world and fundamental disrespect to everyone listening.

7. Aggressive driving

People who risk other people’s lives simply to shave a few seconds off their own schedule are inconsiderate jerks.  And dangerous ones, at that.

 

 

No Jerks Allowed at the Lake of the Ozarks

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Wrigley the dog spreading the No Jerks Allowed message at the Lake of the Ozarks. Does your pet abide by the No Jerks Allowed philosophy? Let us know!

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Jerk Story – Hit & Run

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Reader Submission by Zoe.

My car was parked by my apartment and was involved in a hit and run at 2 AM. Karma kicked in though because the jerk driving the car was arrested that morning for driving drunk and attempting to flee the scene. The cops found him because he had parked his then ruined car in front of his nearby apartment (a few blocks from my parked car) and witnesses were able to identify his Mercedes

Volunteering at The Bridge

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The top 10 benefits of volunteering at The Bridge . . .

10. Opportunity to sport the latest in lunch lady attire.

9. Opportunity to bond with co-workers and friends.

8. Opportunity to make fun of your co-workers and friends in their lunch lady attire.

7. Opportunity to improve your culinary skills.

6. Opportunity to cut out of work early with pay.

5. Makes you feel good.

4. Opportunity to help out the hard working and much deserving employees of The Bridge.

3. Opportunity to learn a new skill in the event careers in information technology turn out to be passé.

2. Opportunity to gain a fresh perspective.

1. Opportunity to make a difference in another person’s life!

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12 Irritating Co-Worker Types To Avoid

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Source: CIO
By Tom Kaneshige, CIO
Jul 9, 2014

Every tech pro encounters his fair share of annoying co-workers, but they come in many shapes and forms. To help you quickly identify who you’re dealing with, CIO.com highlights these 12 office personality types so you can avoid awkward and annoying situations.

Co-Workers and Their Bad Habits

stay-out-or-else-fullTech companies want to cram employees in open workspaces to promote better collaboration, but is this really a good idea? There is such a thing as spending too much time with co-workers. Bouncing ideas off each other can lead to personality clashes. A co-worker’s annoying quirks will no doubt get on your nerves.

How should you deal with them? Geoffrey James, author of Business Without the Bullsh*t: 49 Secrets and Shortcuts You Need to Know, offers some sound advice: “Ultimately, the best way to look at irritating co-workers is with a sense of humor, especially since your co-workers probably think you’re pretty irritating sometimes, too.”

Here are a dozen types of co-workers and their bad habits.

The Workaholic

When a co-worker doesn’t play foosball, everyone suffers. The lonely foosball table just sits there. No one wants to go near it lest their manager thinks they’re lazy. In fact, the entire game room has become a trap to catch unproductive workers. So the next time your workaholic co-worker declines a game of foosball, just shake your head derisively.

‘I’m Not Sick!’

Another crappy characteristic of the workaholic co-worker is that they apparently never get sick — even if they are. They come into work congested and feverish because they just have to get some work done, often explaining that it’s just “allergies.” Never mind they risk getting everyone else sick. Ever catch the flu from this kind of co-worker? Their behavior should be outlawed. Go home!

The Genius

We all know co-workers who think highly of themselves, as if they’re the smartest person in the room. There’s only one way to deal with these self-described geniuses: Undermine them. “These are legends in their own minds who talk and talk about their accomplishments but never seem to get anything done,” says James. “To work with them, lay out frequent (even daily) milestones, and complain loudly to the genius’s boss when deadlines are missed.”

Drama Queen

There’s a reason soap operas are so popular. Everyone loves drama in their lives, even a lousy one. But over-the-top dramatist co-workers can be a problem. Best to avoid them at all costs. “Dramatists draw energy from the drama they create because it makes them the center of attention,” James says. “Unfortunately, giving them attention only increases their appetite, so your best bet is to ignore the histrionics until they run out of steam.”

Sock King

As everyone works more closely together in open space, it’s more important than ever to practice good hygiene. This means no taking off shoes and forcing others to toil in a polluted air space. Unfortunately, there’s always one in the crowd. Smelly socks, body odor and other rank scents won’t win over any co-workers.

Frenemy

The frenemy is much worse than simply being annoying — they can hurt your career. This type of co-worker pretends to be your biggest cheerleader but subtly sabotages everything you do, says James. They tend to be ultra-competitive workers who see everything as a zero-sum game; in order for them to win, someone has to lose. If you have one in your midst, good luck.

The Health Nut

Fitness apps are all the rage today. Healthy eating and daily exercise can be addictive and lead to a shapely body and a big ego. These healthy co-workers tend to throw their love of good health in the face of others, especially those that aren’t so athletically inclined. They might think they’re helping to inspire people to better health, but really they’re just boasting. Nobody likes a braggart.

Volcanic Eruption

One moment, they are as calm and serene as a mountain. The next, they’re erupting, yelling and stomping uncontrollably. It’s the volcanic co-worker! “Volcanoes appear calm and cool but under the veneer is a roiling cauldron of anger and bitterness, which will eventually explode,” James says. “Your best strategy: Be elsewhere when the volcano blows.”

Glum

The Hanna-Barbera 1968 television cartoon The Adventures of Gulliver had a character named Glum who was famous for uttering the words, “It’ll never work,” in every situation. Well, there’s usually a Glum in every workplace. These pessimistic co-workers suck the energy out of a room or project. It’s best to just dismiss their negativity and move on, says James.

Cube Squatter

Have you ever had that eery feeling that you’re being watched? You are! Turn around, and you’ll see the cube squatter. It’s the co-worker that you had a conversation with 10 minutes ago but never left. Now this person wants to chat you up about their big weekend plans or how their significant other doesn’t spend much time with them. Don’t they have work to do?

Can You Hear Me?

Some co-workers just don’t know how to use their quiet voice. Whether they’re talking over a speaker phone, belting out ’80s tunes on a Friday, or just expressing their opinion, it seems they’re constantly talking through a megaphone. Maybe shouting makes them feel their words carry more meaning. Maybe they came from a loud family. Maybe it’s time they learned to speak softly.

The Blood-Sucking Parasite

Don’t you just hate the co-worker who is always trying to take the credit? Doesn’t matter if you or the team came up with a great idea, the parasite co-worker jumps in front to receive the accolades. “Parasites wait to see what ideas become popular and then position themselves as the brains behind them,” says James. “To thwart them, always keep an “audit trail”of your contributions to a project in the form of regular status reports.”

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