The X FactorWelcome to Neverland, Part 2. Today we talk about a few more things you should never do in a business environment.

NEVER catch someone else’s ball if it’s not your job. There are loads of indolent co-workers out there who won’t hesitate to pile their own work onto your desk to lighten their load. The preferred term for such people is “lazy shitbags.” Don’t play their little game. Also, one notorious ploy of corporate downsizers is to randomly fire someone from an office or workgroup and completely eliminate the position, reducing the payroll by one salary. The work load of the vanished employee is then unceremoniously dumped atop the remaining co-workers. Whoever steps up to make sure the fired worker’s job gets done winds up saddled with the new duties, forever. End result? Everyone’s work load increases, the company saves money, and pretty soon the downsizers start sniffing around for another position to eliminate. Do yourself a favor— never volunteer to do someone else’s job. It seldom ends well. To any who think they can brown-nose their way up the corporate ladder by doing so… uh, good luck with that. There’s no pot of gold at the end of that rainbow, just endless gratuitous work.

NEVER wait around for things to get better. If you are dissatisfied, start looking for a new employment opportunity. Life is too short to sit around hoping things will change. Do what you can to remedy your current situation— but if that doesn’t work, find something better and move on.

Some may counter with arguments about “paying your dues,” or “company loyalty.” For the record: company loyalty is something that must be EARNED by the company. If they don’t earn it, don’t show them any. IF THEY CAN’T PAY YOU A FAIR WAGE, TECHNICALLY THEY AREN’T A SUCCESSFUL BUSINESS. If they can’t, they need to eliminate jobs until they CAN pay their staff correctly. If, after they have done so, they still cannot continue to successfully function as a business, they have failed. Sure, a fair wage is dictated by what the market will bear, and there is some wiggle room for give-and-take in such situations… but for anyone to complain “if only labor was nearly free and I didn’t have to provide a decent wage to my workers and wasn’t compelled by regulations NOT to abuse and neglect my employees, THEN I could make this work!” is absolutely ridiculous. If that is the case, then they can’t make it work because they suck. Corporate Darwinism decrees they probably shouldn’t remain in business, because they are unfit to do so. Sorry, but sometimes your business plan simply doesn’t work and you need to come up with another one, or else shut down and find some other way to make money, hopefully without taking unfair advantage of others. But don’t demand the right to abuse and swindle your employees in order to line your own pockets. That’s just pathetic.

Just because a company might be more profitable if allowed to exploit and mistreat their employees (or illegally squeeze their labor force off the books, or export their labor beyond the reach of fair wage laws, or violate legal regulations of some sort) doesn’t mean they should automatically be allowed to be. Even if they manage to keep their numbers in the black, it doesn’t mean those companies are successful. Rather, it means they are so unsuccessful that they have to cheat.

I have very little respect for companies that can only stay in business by taking unfair advantage of their customers. But I have ZERO RESPECT for companies that can only survive by taking unfair advantage of their own employees.

While there’s no need to get this list of “nevers” tattooed on your forehead, it might be a good idea to keep it in mind should the aforementioned abuses pop up on your personal radar screen. Because yes, sometimes the business world serves you up a shit sandwich and gives you no other option except to open up and take a bite. But next time— if you are smart enough to have learned your lesson— you won’t be anywhere NEAR the line that serves those sandwiches.