Girl Talk Career Blog

May 12, 2010

What Family Guy Can Teach You About Gaffes and Gains in Your Career Path

Filed under: career worthy — lisalahey @ 7:23 am
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Peter Griffin is hardly a mentor to anyone in the work force yet now and then he actually succeeds in making a good impression on his immediate supervisor and HR.  If you’ve seen any Family Guy episodes that include Peter and his…questionable….work performance you may remember a few of these gems when Peter actually got it right:

  1. Peter established a goal for himself.  Peter broke his heart every time Opie, his developmentally challenged co-worker, achieved Employee of the Month and Peter was overlooked. He set his mind on acquiring that status. It became his mission.  
    That said he went about pursuing his goal in the worst possible manner: rather than improve his work performance he tried kissing up to his immediate supervisor.  So much for that completely misguided attempt.
    Then Peter began to figure it out and he went about pursuing his goal in a much saner manner: he cleaned up his physical appearance, wore a suit to work and improved his work performance significantly.  Needless to say he not only achieved Employee of the Month he was offered a promotion.
  2. Peter blew his promotion entirely.  He had lied on his resume about graduating high school when, as it turned out he hadn’t even finished the third grade. His continued employment depended upon completing his education asap.
    Wisely, Peter returned to school, completed his education (yes, the third grade) and managed to secure his employment at Happy-Go-Lucky Toys Inc
  3. Peter allowed his personal life to interfere with work. No, not the sensible boundary between work and family. Never.  Peter went out drinking on a week night and showed up at work utterly hung over. After getting caught falling asleep on the job and many other dreadful work gaffes he was fired.
    Peter managed to re-gain employment however and drinking on a week night became a distant memory… well at least until the next episode. 
  4. Peter got caught in other lies at work. He called in dead then ran into his boss at a baseball game.  Surprise! He was fired.  However all was not lost.  Peter was called back in under utterly desperate circumstances and he didn’t take a minute to swallow his pride. Mind you he didn’t think about re-negotiating his work terms, such as a salary increase but hey, he got his job back.
  5. Peter needed his job. He didn’t care for it much but he had a family to support, a mortgage to pay and a beer habit to nurture. Overall his attendence was quite good, his job performance was acceptable and he got along well with most of his co-workers. Except Opie of course. Opie always got Employee of the Month.

Do Peter’s gaffes and gains sound a little over the top for real life?  Yes and no.  All of the above situations could apply to any one of us and although Peter’s mistakes might seem a tad exaggerated consider some of the unbelievably foolish things people have done to lose their jobs via social media:

  1. Blogging about how much they hate their job, boss or co-workers.
  2. Calling in sick then having photographs of themselves at a party on that “sick day” released onto the internet.
  3. Announcing a job transfer to a new company when it hasn’t even gone through yet….the list goes on. 

Girlfriend, these people aren’t even cartoon characters, they merely act like it. However it’s very sensible to suggest you don’t even consider Peter Griffin as any kind of professional mentor. He, unlike you and me, is just a cartoon character after all.


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