Ask Jack: Boss Hates Me, Chair Coveters, and Job of the Week

the big boss

Can you feel the excitement?!? It is JOBS WEEK here at AOL Jobs. There's a live Twitter chat on Thursday, a sweepstakes for great prizes -- including a personal session with a career expert, and a very special edition of ASK JACK. Uh-oh, wait, that's me, I better get started!

Renee has a simple but very common question:

How can I get my boss to like me?

Renee, I hate to be the one to say this, but NOBODY likes you. No, no, I'm kidding, you are a wonderful and charming individual which I can totally tell from your delightful keystrokes. Bosses are tricky creatures; in the past we discussed why execs are often cold. But how can you turn the tide? You could always become a "suck up" but, maybe self-respect is important to you. So I'll go out on a limb with some zany advice: Be yourself and do a good job. Meet deadlines. Be thorough. Suggest ideas. Be dependable. And treat everybody with respect. It's no guarantee that the boss will become your BFF, but she or he should realize that you're a valuable employee... and I think that's much more important.

Clarence is well-liked by his boss, but has a very different problem:

I am so annoyed. I went away on vacation and when I came back, noticed that someone stole my %#@$*^& office chair! Who does that?! And what can I do.

Oh people are terrible. We talked about office fridge thefts but if those are misdemeanors, then swiping office furniture is a felony. The modern, downsized office has become a post-apocalyptic landscape of ruthless scavengers. Before the laid-off body is cold, they swoop in for the stapler, tape dispenser, three-hole punch... anything that isn't nailed down. And someone with a crappy chair is just sitting (uncomfortably) and waiting. And if no one is fired or retired, a vacationer becomes the next victim.

Unless you want to give up and try a treadmill desk, prevent these chair thefts like I suggested with lunches: Personalize them. A cushion or a sweater hanging off the back presents the thief with a moment of self-reflection: "Wait, what am I doing here?" As an extra step, put a small, brightly colored sticker (maybe with your initials, real small) in a semi-inconspicuous spot in the mechanism behind the chair. (Is it just me, or do office chairs seem needlessly complicated these days?) Then if your chair does vanish, bide your time. Calmly walk around, looking for that sticker. Car thieves know to strip down vehicles, but chair robbers are usually not that clever. After you spot your old chair, stay a little late one night... and steal it back. All's fair in love and chairs.

Last week's Ask Jack questions

Do you have a work-related question for Jack? Write it in the comments below (better answers to this week's questions are also welcome!) or tweet it @AOLJobs with the hashtag #AskJack.

Jack's Job of the Week

The Jobs Week Job of the Week is not for the weak! If you have at least three years "behind the chair" (and no one stole it), you could become a professional barber, cosmetologist, or esthetician for Paul Mitchell in Modesto, California! This is clearly a cut above other openings. (Groan.) No matter where you are or what your skills, you can find a great career by searching on AOL Jobs. Come on, do it now, before Jobs Week is over (and National School Lunch Week begins).

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