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(:= Cthulhu's Corner

Know Your Boss

Bow down to the Great One, oh worthless thingy.

Your boss can be an intimidating figure. He has power to hire and fire people in your position and is responsible for determining your workload. He runs the meetings, sets the agenda, calls the shots. He's the boss of you. And that can be scary.

But fear is born of the unknown. If you get to know your boss a little better, you're sure to fear him less. With less fear, there is less of a sense of powerlessness. Just make sure you get to know your boss completely, not just in a workplace context.

One of the best things you can do is put a tail on him. If you can't afford a private investigator of your own, you'll have to take some time from your busy schedule to learn more about him. Even if you can afford the investigator, it can be very satisfying to dig up the dirt on your own.

"Keep a Camera Handy"

Follow him around after hours, especially on weekends, and see what he gets up to. Be sure to keep a camera handy if he should go anyplace interesting. If, after a good month or so of staking him out, you don't have the feeling like you know him well enough to fear him no more, consider another great way of getting to learn about people: a network sniffer.

If you can get a machine on his network segment, you can learn a lot by tracking where he goes on the Internet. Network sniffers are pretty easy to set up and there are quite a few demo sniffers out there for tracking web traffic. Just latch on to traffic heading to port 80 on his machine and watch the fun! If he's got an office with a door, you're sure to find a lot of great stuff in the capture of his traffic!

"Humans Are Frail, Weak, Error-Prone Creatures"

A little historical research can pay off big. Find out where he came from and what he did there. Talk to former employees of his and his former peers and see what they have to say about him. They might have some leads for you to follow, or perhaps some great information of their own. If he's been through a number of places recently, check with those. Maybe the guy's leaving a trail of destruction and "we'll give a good reference if you just resign" statements behind him.

I'm sure you've got the idea by now. Don't let your boss be an unknown. Take charge and dig up the dirt on him. Humans are frail, weak, error-prone creatures. Find his frailties, weaknesses, and errors and he'll be a human to you, not some looming power over you.

Heck, if you have a knack for this sort of thing it could be a possible side career for you. I'm always looking for clever minions...


Great Cthulhu Jones
CEO, R'lyeh Consulting

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