The Great Ravenna Boulevard Sinkhole, 1957. Seattle Municipal Archives (CC BY 2.0)

SUCBAR With All Your Might! How to Screw Up your Career Beyond All Recognition

E. Forrest Christian Careers 2 Comments

Are you a young, high-potential? Do your coworkers roll their eyes when you try to talk about something you see as a risk down the road? Do you tell yourself “Sometimes you have to do things that you don’t want to do” to justify staying in your position? Does your job bore you silly?

Then you might already be well on your way to Screwing Up your Career Beyond All Recognition!

But some of you may not quite be there yet. You may still be young and impressionable, still successful at what you do even though it bores you. And you’re thinking, “Boy, I should want to make sure I SUCBAR before I get too old! How can I do it?”

Great question! Here’s how!

Right Belief

The best way to start SUCBAR-ing is to believe that everyone is just like you. Or, alternatively, that you are just like everyone else. Take this in and believe it with all your heart. When people don’t listen to you, it’s not because they can’t understand what you want to say anway, it’s that they aren’t listening. Talk louder. Assume that they want to know the same things that interest you. Make sure that you believe that they think just like you do. If they don’t understand you, call them “morons” and roll your eyes.

From this start, we can move onto more advanced SUCBAR activities.

Work For Someone Your Own Size

Most people know that humans come in different work sizes. It’s what we mean when we say “Oh, she’s not in my league.” We mean that she cannot do as much work or as complex work as we can, regardless of how hard she tries. If you want to SUCBAR, you can use this knowledge to take your career to places where it can never recover!

To SUCBAR like a pro, work for a manager who is just like you. If your boss is your size, then he will never be able to appreciate what you do. He will see you as a threat and trying to usurp his authority. Because it’s the way bosses are, he will hire the rest of the team to be one size smaller than he is so that he can effectively manage them. This will leave you too big for everyone else, a great way to SUCBAR that we look at later on.

For even more effective SUCBARing, work for boss who is one “smaller” than you. This makes it impossible for her to even see the full scope of what you have to offer and will never show any appreciation for the extra work you do. It’s a great way to SUCBAR almost immediately because you will have no chance of gaining the attention of anyone for promotion.

Take On a Role That’s Too Small

Most of us know how to take on roles that are too small but we don’t understand how this can help us SUCBAR. You would think that doing something that you are overqualified for would let you do the job that much better, leading to the exact opposite of good SUCBAR. Not true! Bad fitting roles are a great way to SUCBAR, something that you can see by examining your friends who SUCBAR best.

When you take on a role that’s too small, they think you’re great for about six months as you learn the job. Everyone loves you. So far, so bad. But luckily after you learn the job everything goes to hell in a shopping cart! Your coworkers will start thinking of you as arrogant and overbearing. Your boss will start giving you regular team-building lectures. At your performance reviews, he will say that it look like you do your work, but he’s going to have to mark you down because you “bring down the team” and “there’s a perception that your performance is bad”. When you press, he’ll not be able to come to any specifics, which means that there is nothing that you can do to improve the rating. This is excellent SUCBAR.

The Goal of All SUCBARing

In all these things, your goal is to get so far down the organization chart from where you would be working if you were working at your real work level that there is no chance to get out. Your boss will hate you. Your coworkers will hate you. Your spouse will get upset at your moping. You will think of yourself as a hopeless loser. You will definitely SUCBAR-ed!

What If I Don’t Want to SUCBAR?

You don’t want to SUCBAR? That’s crazy talk! Still, we would be amiss if we didn’t talk about avoiding SUCBAR, and how to not SUCBAR when you have already achieved all SUCBAR-ity.

I guess you can learn about Naturally Working, the Work Swan Paradox and the Law of the Real Boss. But beware! That way lies success and leaving loserhood behind!

Image Credit: The Great Ravenna Boulevard Sinkhole, 1957. Seattle Municipal Archives (CC BY 2.0)

About the Author

Forrest Christian

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E. Forrest Christian is a consultant, coach, author, trainer and speaker at The Manasclerk Company who helps managers and experts find insight and solutions to what seem like insolvable problems. Cited for his "unique ability and insight" by his clients, Forrest has worked with people from almost every background, from artists to programmers to executives to global consultants. Forrest lives and works plain view of North Carolina's Mount Baker.  [contact]

Comments 2

  1. Some well conceived observations. If any additional information is required let me know. I have mastered “SUCBARRING”! The underpinning science is one that has its relationship with physics.

    When responding to a request for feedback recently in an open and honest manner, considerate of ensuring respectful communication and participating fully, the feedback returned was what was provided seemed “intellectually arrogant” and as a result disrespectful. If you’re hearing this you’re succeeding at SUCBARRING.

    Similarly if you find yourself managing your boss’ sensitivity at being overpowered providing him or her full credit for your work because he or she otherwise is feeling upstaged you’ve again succeeded at SUCBARRING.

    If you wish to excel at SUCBARRING find a boss who is one or preferably two sizes smaller than you are and the velocity at which SUCBARRING occurs will astound you. Not only will he or she be put off but his or her boss will too when they see you engaged and connecting in conversation with your M2R.

    With all the unused, surplus mental complexity available to the SUCBAR one would think he or she would quickly succeed at moving themselves out of their position of under-employment and into one where he or she is adequately employed. It would be interesting to understand the complexity of this problem and in particular the opposing forces where those feeling threatened by the SUCBAR value fencing the SUCBAR out and the SUCBAR herself does not sufficiently value the organization given its propensity for misplacing the SUCBAR that he or she will not value the need for applying the force required to move the object in the opposite direction. Newton’s three laws of motion all apply and the mass opposing the SUCBAR is one which will win despite the initial acceleration of the SUCBAR and as a result there is insufficient force to move the object.

    Consider finally that the boss who might be led to feel inadequate in interaction with the subordinate SUCBAR does not wish to see said SUCBAR equal or surpass said boss recognizing that he or she might be concerned that the SUCBAR will view the boss who has now become the peer or subordinate as incompetent even though said boss was in the right place in the first instance. The SUCBAR had better learn the art of deference whether right or wrong in order to leverage sufficent critical mass in moving the object. The SUCBAR must tune in to the need for mechanical advantage in moving the mass.

  2. Post

    I, of course, SUCBAR with the best of them.

    Tomorrow, I will talk about Al, whom I couldn’t convince to SUCBAR any longer and had to go out and triple his income using a revolutionary’s take on Elliott Jaques’s Requisite Organization / Stratified Systems Theory principles. It’s a sad case, but one that I feel needs to be told.

Tell Forrest how wrong he is: