1000 Ways to Get Fired

By Whitney Reed

TPC Summer 2012 program ended on Saturday, July 21

This guide may or may not exist in real life, but if there’s anything that comes close to it, it would be the Learning Work seminar course TPC students take in the summer. It’s a challenging course, and it really did teach me so many ways to not screw up my future jobs.

Throughout the course we covered tons of different themes such as sexual harassment (a big no, by the way), political correctness at work, social media and how that works in the job world, and working with your boss/co-workers. We covered many more, but I figured you would like this to be short, concise, and snappy.

You know that show, 1,000 Ways to Die? Well, they probably should have titled this class 1,000 Ways to Get Fired. Seriously, there are a lot of ways that you can screw up and some of them aren’t as obvious as you think. Sure, everyone could probably figure out that as a boss, you shouldn’t proposition your secretary. However, a less-mentioned problem is Tweeting at or about work. Or IMing people from your work computer. All of those IMs are saved somewhere and those IT folks—they can find anything you do on your work computer. Deleted things are never truly deleted, private is never really private, and everything can be found on your work computer. It’s something I never really thought about before, but after talking about it in class and learning about “computer etiquette,” I’ll never look at my keyboard the same way. There are so many implicit rules to be found in the workplace and this class helps to spell them out and help us naïve interns to maneuver around the minefields we call work.

Relationships are tricky things too—and I’m not just talking about the romantic kind. How do you interact with your boss, or someone that just got promoted over you, or your newly ex-boyfriend? How do you make sure you’re a good boss yourself one day? How do you avoid hating your co-workers/boss to the degree that it hinders your performance? All of these questions, in one way or another, have been answered by the class.

The discussions were fun and interactive. We got into some lively debates, I have to say, and really delved into the material. We didn’t simply take notes on a lecture, but incorporated our own experiences in our internships into the discussion to see it’s “real life” applications. That’s something that is so rarely in the classroom anymore, that it’s notable to mention. Here’s hoping I don’t make an appearance on 1,000 Ways to Get Fired when it makes it to the big screen!

This entry was posted in Academic Seminars by The Philadelphia Center. Bookmark the permalink.

About The Philadelphia Center

For more than 40 years, The Philadelphia Center has offered college students a semester of experiential education; a unique hands-on program geared toward professional, academic, and personal growth in an active urban environment. Students earn a full semester of academic credit from Hope College, our managing institution, for participating in the program’s three central components: 32 hours per week of work at an internship, two courses, and independent city living.

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