What a day this has been, what a rare mood I’m in; why it’s almost like being in love.

Almost, but not quite.

There are a few things in the way, and they are preventing me from feeling all warm and fuzzy. (The office air-con’s sub-zero temperature is as culpable as a Singapore-based graffiti artist, but that’s another story.)



Misery loves company

Why, I was still reeling in shock with regards to Ken’s newfound identity in Toy Story 3 - I nary had time to take in the splendour of the new urban male’s walk-in closet and he starts to walk out of it the very next minute - when I got hit fast and hard by a second heartbreak: flash floods on Orchard Road. If I had known earlier, I wouldn’t have spent my money on a new set of wheels (which turned out to be half as useful as a pram in an F1 race). I should have invested in a sampan instead.

As if that’s not bad enough, the office idiot had to further ruin my day just as how the referee had to ruin Frank Lampard’s when the latter lost his ball, I mean goal-den opportunity, during one of the World Cup qualifying matches.

Speaking of the World Cup, I’m inspired to come up with my own set of football tactics to deal with said irritant(s) at work. From the way I look at it, I believe I can do a much better job than Fabio “All-bark-no-bite” Capello and Raymond “Pardon-my-French” Domenech.

How to deal with jerks at the workplace

* The actor

Like Cristiano Ronaldo, this theatrical character is a sly one. He will use sleek moves to cosy up to you and make you feel right at home. Before you know it, you’re already screaming in pain from a rough tackle of his that even Kim Jong-Il would disapprove of. You barely had time to glare at the player (how could he toy with your feelings?) and find yourself getting a yellow card faster than you can take a bite off a Portuguese egg tart.

The solution: Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. Use the Golden Rule to deal with the Golden Boy. Don’t let him steal the show. Follow suit. For example, if he uses the vuvuzela on you, snatch it away from him and aim straight for his ear. That should make him feel right at home. A hearing- impaired home.

* The unprofessional

While I have not come across any particularly unprofessional soccer player in this World Cup (they are all unprofessional – and unscrupulous, maybe - when it comes to arguing with the referee and trying to arm-wrestle their way to an advantage), FIFA may have shortlisted a couple of referees who are jeered based on their not-so-pro decisions. (Missed goal. Check. Unrealised offside. Check.) But hey, this is soccer, and people usually just complain and then get on with the next match.

The solution: But when it comes to the corporate world, those who produce sloppy work should be fired. I’m kidding. They should really be fired at. While people are usually forgiving the first few times a similar mistake is made, they get less tolerant when history starts to repeat itself; especially if an employee has been counseled on more than a few occasions before. It’s worse if he tries to cook up some crazy excuses for the errors. Do yourself a favour: if you can’t deliver, apologise and promise to improve. If you can’t handle something, don’t act as if you can or put the blame on others. Honesty is the best policy. Once the red card is up, you’re out.

* The slacker

While those on the field are dying to stay in the game and play their guts out (check out their agony whenever they get sent off – it’s almost like they’ve been issued with an exile order to North Korea), it’s not quite the same in the workplace where people will do anything to stay at home and fake their guts out for an MC.  The same applies to those who consider taking urgent leave as their right rather than a privilege; overindulge in online social activities; come in late and leave early…the list goes on.

The solution: If tender loving consultation doesn’t work, beat the pulp out of these folks until they start seeing stars, I mean the light. Jokes aside, perhaps the management can look at a reward system (those with higher productivity can reap deserving returns), place checkpoints to warn workers of potential fouls or have quotas created for self-regulation.

* The aggressor

The higher the stake, the more seriously people tend to take matters. Those who can’t contain their emotions will let known their feelings by blowing their top (at targeted victims or innocent scapegoats; footballers do this all the time), cursing and swearing (usually harmless and cathartic – at least for the acid-tongued – but a pain for those who is forced to bear the brunt of it; Wayne Rooney’s recent outburst after being booed by his fans is one example), or being sarcastic.

The solution: While you can’t issue these people with a yellow or red card at work, these folks should nonetheless be continuously counseled and warned. It is one thing to be direct, but quite another to be blunt and uncivilised. We’re not saying repression is good, but anger can be better managed. Zinedine Zidane’s infamous “head-butt” is something you should avoid doing to colleagues when you find yourself transforming into an Incredible Hulk (the Marvel cartoon character, not after looking into the mirror).

* The sycophant

There are many boot flickers on the pitch as there are bootlickers in the office. The latter are minions who try to impress and flatter - usually under the guise of incompetence.

The solution: Don’t allow yourself to be deceived by their sweet nothings! While it sure feels good to be worshipped and praised, these good-for-nothings do not accomplish much in actuality and are leeches in the company. Consider transferring them to a customer service position, so they can put their gift of the gab to good use.    

That’s all, folks

Mull over these while I go catch some beauty sleep after all that late-night soccer vigils. If you don’t see more of my articles any time soon, I’m either nursing a World Cup fever at home or busy scooping up Hermes scarves along Orchard “Canal” Road from my convertible. (Read: The sampan I converted from my car.)