That's What She Said

Green Thumb, Brown Nose

“The Garden Party” episode was light on employment litigation but heavy on workplace psychology. Poor Gabe. His capacity for humiliation knows no limits. I wasn’t sure he could sink lower than his public dumping at the hands of Erin last season, but then we witnessed his repeated sycophantic toasts of Robert California. Sad, right?

Maybe not. Before we feel pity for Gabe, what if he’s on to something? Does brown-nosing in the workplace work? Some research suggests that, yes, it does. A 2004 study in the Journal of Applied Psychology concluded that “ingratiation” (read: sucking up) by job interview candidates had a positive impact on the interviewer’s perceived fit, while self-promotion had a nonsignificant impact.

In other words, job-seekers, consider paying more attention to the pictures on the interviewer’s wall than the accomplishments on your resume.

Kissing the boss’s rear, however, is not without risk. Last year, a British travel agency fired an employee who lashed out on Facebook against a co-worker. The post: “I swear I will smack the brown-nosing cow in the face before the end of my shift!”

Yikes. Sounds like someone needs a burger and a beer with the Nard-Dog. That’s what we say. What do you say? Let us know.


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