10 ways to get yourself fired

Julius Malema's apology doesn't strike me as being particularly heartfelt, but his conduct could serve as a basis for a course called Getting Yourself Fired 101, says Susan Erasmus.

An apology is an interesting thing. If it is delivered merely because the transgressor has a gun to his head, or is threatened with having his entertainment allowance curtailed, it sort of loses its chance of having much of an impact.

"Justice delayed is justice denied" the saying goes. It is certainly true in this case. When family members of murdered people comment after the murderer has been sent to prison for 30 years, they often say, "It won't bring back my family member, though." In this case the verdict in the Malema case has followed the opposite route: it won't make him go away.

The R10 000 fine he won't feel, as he lives on 'handouts' anyway. But the anger management classes he has to attend probably have p*ssed him off big time.

But I nevertheless feel that he has done all working people, and all people who ever hope to work, a favour by showing exactly how not to behave unless you want to get the lowest score possible on all your key performance appraisals.

Here goes:

Criticise your boss for having a go at you. This should preferably happen in public and on camera. Have a real go. This will endear you so much to the person who has to decide about your future.

Compare your boss unfavourably with his predecessor. Forget that you're on record having said that you'll kill for the person who is your boss now. Say that the predecessor you helped to remove was a better boss.

Have a go at other decision-makers in your organisation. Especially if they're strong players, in the pound seats and on the up and up. Say nasty and personal things, such as criticising someone's appearance, age or accent.

Openly go against company policy. If your company or party says 'A', you say 'B' and look smug about it. Pally up to money-grabbing dictators who have blood on their hands.

Wear yellow jackets in public. Sorry, darling, but that particular shade of yellow is no one's colour. The only thing it reminds me of is a pathology lab.

Publicise your supposed poverty. There is no more direct way of criticising your employer than by implying that they don't pay you enough. Saying that you live on handouts should do that. Especially if 90% of your supporters probably live merrily on 10% or less of what you earn.

Have a temper tantrum in public. Press conferences are good for this as the videos of such an outburst will get a second life on YouTube. Be rude, and swear, especially if you cannot answer the question. Insult the person who asked it. And once you're no longer sticking to the script that someone else has carefully prepared for you, the true state of your English will become obvious.

Lie and cheat. Pretend not to remember your Matric results and be vague about companies to which you have ties. In other words, be a good tenderpreneur.

Do it again. Wait a day or two after you've been reprimanded for doing something and put in a repeat performance. This is the kind of behaviour for which two-year-olds get a smack from overburdened parents.

Disobey direct orders. If you are asked to attend meetings, hearings etc. take your time to decide whether you've been asked nicely enough before you grace them with your presence.

Play the race card. Nothing to do with the Durban July, unfortunately. Use your public platform to alienate a good percentage of the taxpayers who fund your salary.

Now under normal circumstances these 10 things would be enough to get anyone from the pound seats into the gutter. But our circumstances are not normal. Best we never forget that.

The best we can hope for is that the person who runs this anger management class is of the 'we-take-no-prisoners' kind who used to be the fitness instructor at Kamp Staaldraad. Of the "You will smile, and you will like it" school of mental readjustment.

Right Julius. Now for your key performance appraisal of the year.

(Susan Erasmus, Health24, May 2010)

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