According to a recent survey, people in the work force think people just entering the work force are poorly prepared by high schools and colleges.
Can we all pause here for a group ''duh''?
The problem, of course, is schools tend to teach the wrong stuff. Most institutions of higher yearning operate under the assumption that what you need to achieve in the real world are things such as skills, drive and ability.
While this is a thoroughly charming notion, it has absolutely nothing to do with succeeding in the suit-infested waters of corporate America.
Working for a large company is like living in an aquarium. You have your fish -- your piranha, your suckers, your blowfish, your sharks, your bottom feeders, your overpriced tuna. These inhabitants are further divided into two major groups: your big fish and your little fish. The trick to survival in this culture is to do lunch, not be lunch.
To better prepare students for entry, not entree, into the work force, it is suggested high schools and colleges add the following courses.
Schmoozing 101: The ability to schmooze is what separates the corner-office folks from the cubicle community. This course teaches you to chitchat, small-talk, lame-joke and fake-laugh with the kinds of people who can do you some good.
Sucking Up 102: Students will be schooled in the most effective flattery-will-get-you-everywhere techniques by individuals with proven track records: tenured professors.
Whining: In the workaday world, unhappiness is not a state, it is a tool, a means, an art that relies on expertise in disciplines such as bellyaching, grumbling, moaning, groaning, moaning and groaning, and effective e-mail grousing. Prerequisite, Schmoozing 101.
Taking Credit: There are two kinds of people in business world: those who do, and those who take the credit for what those who do do. Requires research paper on ''How Not To Be a Sap.''
Avoiding blame: Sometimes things go wrong, and when they do, the savvy employee looks for cover. Course seeks to instill the importance of understanding that blame flows downhill and why it is not a good career move to be sitting at the desk where it comes to a stop.
Screwing Up: From time to time, even the most conscientious employee is going to make a mistake. How one deals with this eventuality can make or break you. This course covers covering your backside through such as strategies the outraged denial, playing dumb and document-shredding. (This is an honors-level course open only to those who have demonstrated excellence in taking credit and avoiding blame.)
Screwing Up Big Time: The difference between screwing up and screwing up big time is this: When you screw up, you get in trouble. When you screw up big time, you get promoted.
Golf (Lab): All vertical career movement involves playing golf with someone who has a bigger desk than you. This course doesn't teach you how to play golf; it teaches you how not to play golf. Emphasis is on wrong-club selection, blowing easy shots, losing track of the boss' score and enthusiastically shouting, ''You da man.''
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