Wonderful article in the Career section of the Metro US today with some tips from on our new book, Please Hug Me–I’m an Office Monkey: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need to Survive Life in a Cubicle. Thanks to Lakshimi Gandhi for the great interview!
November 9, 2014
The life of an office monkey has become fodder for the highly anticipated sequel from author and creator of the Please Hug Me Series, Jeff Michaels.
Monkeys are odd creatures. They spend their entire lives in the jungle, hopping from branch to branch in search of a tasty bunch of bananas, and the moment they find one, they are just as likely to fling their feces at another monkey so they can’t have the bananas as they are to enjoy the reward. At least that’s what author Jeff Michaels discovered of the monkeys in corporate America while doing on-the-job research for his new book, Please Hug Me—I’m an Office Monkey: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need to Survive Life in a Cubicle.
Michaels’s first book in his Please Hug Me Series, Please Hug Me—I’ve Been Delayed: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need to Survive the Not-so-Friendly Skies (Greenleaf Book Group) was a featured title at Hudson News and Pacific Gateway airport retailers, and has been featured on NPR’s Weekend Edition, Chicago Tribune, Boston Sunday Globe, and was voted a Top 12 Book to Chill Out To by MORE Magazine for Women (#6!). Throughout the course of four years Michaels has helped thousands of air travelers worldwide combat the monotony of delayed flights, discover the best way to book the lowest airfare possible, and cure their fear of flying with anxiety-relieving tips and handy info, like Aircraft Noises That Don’t Indicate Immediate Death. Now, Michaels takes a look at another group he feels could benefit from a morale boost: the lonely cubicle worker.
Please Hug Me—I’m an Office Monkey follows the format of Been Delayed, providing useful tips mixed in with less-helpful but hilarious ways to make the 9-5 more bearable. This includes tips on Working From Home (AKA Watching Full House), Advanced Work Avoidance Techniques, ways to keep your job during tough economic times (think tacking up baby pictures to appeal to upper management), and a variety of games to hold your attention during those dreaded company meetings—or suggestions for avoiding meetings all together, like Going Home Early with the Creative Use of Tree Sap.
Michaels leaves no stapler unturned in his diagnosis of what’s wrong with the modern office culture, from coworkers who try to meet with you while you are on the toilette, to workers who refuse to step aside to let you pass in the hallway—behaviors he feels are a direct relation to how monkeys operate in the real jungle.
From Scott Adam’s famed Dilbert comic, to the long-running TV series The Office, one might thing the office humor genre is overdone. Yet, Michaels has managed to carve out a unique niche, creating a whole cast of office characters to whom we can all certainly relate, such as The Follow-Up Voicemailer (“I’m just called to see if you got my email…”), The Cubicle Leaner who carries on full conversations while you’re trying to concentrate, and Jim T. Johnson, the employee extraordinaire at the fictitious Global MegaPowersoft, whose lunchtime conversation will bore you into contemplating suicide.
Originally titled, Please Hug Me—My Cubicle Smells Like Curry, Michaels didn’t want readers to think he was making fun of any specific demographic of office workers in his new book; instead he wanted to shine the light on the sometimes horrific way people treat one other within the working environment, like heating up leftovers in a tiny break room microwave that he claims, “already smells like a gas station bathroom”.
Robert H. Thompson, executive coach and author of The Offsite: A Leadership Challenge Fable, states that Michaels “does an excellent job of showing the many areas where things have gone awry, while potentially leading the masses to some sense of salvation.”
Salvation is perhaps the word Michaels likes best when he thinks about what he most hopes for readers of his new book. Being stuck in a job you hate is something he knows far too much about. While building up his career as a musician and writer he professes to have worked at every temporary job known to man, including the shortest temp assignment on record: four hours. (Two of which he fully admits to falling asleep on the job.) Michaels’s resume reads like a telephone book, with assignments in virtually every industry from high tech to biotech to the low-tech offices of his college mail room where he got his start sorting mail, before being promoted to the more challenging university deliveries of dirty magazines and live crickets to the animal science department.
“I’ve seen the demoralizing environment an office can be, and the devastation it can do to someone’s psyche. Luckily, I was able to escape, and want to help others do the same.”
Michaels hopes readers will benefit from the combination of good-natured humor and advice in Please Hug Me—I’m an Office Monkey. And while they might never look forward to Monday mornings, he hopes after getting a chuckle from his book they might approach the work week with a little less dread.
Please Hug Me—I’m an Office Monkey is available on Amazon.com, and for immediate download at www.pleasehugmeseries.com.
Full media kit: http://www.pleasehugmeseries.com/media-kit
Friends. Romans. Countrymen (and women). Lend me your ears. After 4 long years of reading your worn and tattered copy of Please Hug Me–I’ve Been Delayed while stuck in airport terminals worldwide, your wait is over! We are EXTREMELY EXCITED to announce the launch of the 2nd book in our series…
Please Hug Me–I’m an Office Monkey: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need to Survive Life in a Cubicle.
This was nearly a decade in the making, and the product of more blood, sweat, tears.. well, you get it. It’s a TON of work. And we’d like you to join us in the launch of what is sure to become the greatest book on the office ever written.
Now, of course, you might not work in an office, and might not be subject to a constant barrage of emails, and voicemails, and meetings, and Outlook invites, and more annoying monkeys than anyone should ever have to encounter. However, you might know someone who does, and might appreciate the book–and we’ve love you to share it with them.
We are a 100% independent venture, and rely on word of mouth to spread the news about our books. So hopefully you will join us in the launch, and share this with anyone you know who works with a bunch of monkeys!
[av_button label=’Join the Exclusive Virtual Launch Party!’ link=’manually,https://www.facebook.com/events/510254712448915/’ link_target=’_blank’ size=’medium’ position=’center’ icon_select=’yes’ icon=’ue8dd’ font=’entypo-fontello’ color=’theme-color’ custom_bg=’#444444′ custom_font=’#ffffff’]
Thanks so much, and here’s to happier 9-5’s for all!
Author, and Head Chimp of the Please Hug Me Series
As a little welcome from your author, I thought I’d share with you the reason I wrote Please Hug Me–I’m an Office Monkey. After all, if you are considering purchasing this book (you should!), you might want to know why it exists.
A long time ago I was born, as were we all. A short time after that I decided I was going to follow in the footsteps of Larry Bird and become the next star forward on the Boston Celtics. Yet, after scoring only six points in three years on the Junior Varsity basketball team, I decided another career choice was in order. Music caught my fancy, and off I went into the wild world of songwriting, learning everything there was to learn about chord progressions and rock ‘n roll. Yet, I couldn’t quite bring myself to major in music. Instead, I opted to earn a business degree while gigging at night. I also took up my first day job in an office to pay for college—two decisions I once questioned, but which have made all the difference.
You see, several years later the music industry underwent a major upheaval. It seemed that given the choice, people much preferred to download music for free rather than purchase it. (Pro basketball continued on strong, but hey, good for the athletically gifted.) I watched many of my artist friends suffer from bouts of unemployment, unable to make a living doing what they loved. I, too, was laid off several times due to failed startups (see “Dot-com’s Brought Down by Dogs” in the Appendix), and struggled to earn money playing music. However, the skills I learned in business school and on the job kept me alive, and led to eventually forming my own business, utilizing my passion in both music and writing.
Unfortunately, this still required years of working in demoralizing office after demoralizing office in order to keep that paycheck coming… at times it seemed there was no way out.
It wasn’t until the movie Office Space debuted in 1999 that I thought anyone truly recognized the soul-sucking environment in which I found myself on a day-to-day basis. I don’t believe I’ve ever laughed so hard in a movie theater—not just because the movie was hilarious, but because someone finally understood my plight. Beating up the company printer in an empty field to a gangster rap soundtrack was perhaps the greatest scene ever filmed in the history of motion pictures. I took it to heart. Someone finally understood what I was going through.
Several years later I published my first book, Please Hug Me—I’ve Been Delayed: The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need to Survive the Not-so-Friendly Skies. I learned a lot through that process, and decided that after helping stranded airport passengers worldwide with my years of traveling experience, I needed to write about something I understood equally as well: the plight of the office worker.
I am very proud of this second book in the Please Hug Me Series. Beyond merely poking fun at the monkey population within the confines of a typical office—God knows they can be a pain in the neck and certainly deserve the ridicule, I hope this provides inspiration for anyone who wishes to see past the endless fields of gray cubicles that may lay before you. Past the constant barrage of emails and conference calls and never-ending spreadsheets, to seek out a better life… in essence, to help you find your way through the jungle.
At times you might be startled by what you read—especially if you discover you happen to be one of the chronic office offenders I describe in Chapter 4. That’s okay! It’s all in good fun. Just know that my intent is to shine a light through those heavy jungle leaves overhead, so that you can discover your own path to fulfillment… sometimes that light simply calls for a healthy dose of comedy.
Okay. Enough explanation of why this book exists. It does, and I hope you choose to read it. I also hope you choose to listen to that little voice that pops up at certain chapters and tells you this might be exactly what you need right now to make a change in your life. The jungle can be a scary place. Don’t be afraid to laugh, and let go.
Now, let’s get a move on. We’ve got much to accomplish before your first day!
Head Chimp, Please Hug Me Series
Yes, it’s true. I realized it was exactly a YEAR ago I began proclaiming my new book would be ready for your viewing pleasure on November 12th… turns out, I was only off by a day, and a YEAR!
Gosh. Where did a YEAR go? Well, mine went to spending endless hours working on several new projects, performing more shows than I have in the past 3 years combined, writing up a storm, oh and getting engaged! (Yeah, I don’t really sleep…)
At any rate, I am THRILLED to finally ANNOUNCE the second book in the Please Hug Me Series will be released on Tuesday November 11th, (that’s 2014–I promise!) PLEASE HUG ME–I’M AN OFFICE MONKEY: (The Only Guide You’ll Ever Need to Survive the Life in a Cubicle.)
This book was nearly a decade in the making. Packed with tips, tricks, techniques, and all the helpful advice that I could possibly fit into 220-page guide to making your 9-5 a lot more bearable… all from my experience working in office environments that were filled with more monkeys than anyone should have to handle.
Oh, and it’s funny… hopefully as funny as our original book, Please Hug Me–I’ve Been Delayed!
- Reorganize your cubical for maximum comfort and minimal work
- Convert the handicapped stall into a cozy studio apartment
- Claim your rightful Jewish holidays
- Go home early with the creative use of tree sap
- Never again do an ounce of real work
Follow the real-time case study and learn the horrors of getting a P.O. number assigned in a major corporation. Discover the best in corporate ice breakers. Gain tips on how to dominate your team in Departmental Dodge Ball. Learn how to date your coworkers with minimal Next Morning Awkwardness (NMA). Play along with Corporate Buzzword Bingo…. and much more!
So why the extra year?
Well, I’ll tell you. Writing a book is NOT an easy undertaking. I’ve also decided to release the next few titles without the help of a publisher and work the indie-author route, which added a ton of sleepless nights to my already sleepless schedule… but it’s all for the best!
I’ve met some wonderful new people who are helping the Please Hug Me Series grow, like Lisa Romero, the uber-talented illustrator of our new monkey cover, and many others working behind the scenes to help us expand our audience.
By the way–this is where YOU come in.
You see, I am faced with quite an enormous task. That is, telling the entire world I have a new book. And, this proves slightly more difficult because this Hug Me book has a specific audience–the weary office worker.
As a fan of our first book Please Hug Me–I’ve Been Delayed, I’m hoping you will check out our new book. (In fact, you can check out a sample right here.) However, if you recently wed a Kardashian, or don’t happen to work in an office, I realize this title might not benefit you. If that’s the case, I’m hoping you could tell just ONE other person you know who works in an office about this fabulous monkey book. I know they will benefit from the wealth of material I’ve included, and certainly get a chuckle that will brighten their working day.
PLEASE HUG ME–I’M AN OFFICE MONKEY will be released on Kindle Tuesday November 11th. You can Pre-Order right here!
Not on Kindle? No problem. You can also download the ebook in PDF form at www.pleasehugmeseries.com.
Well, again sorry for the long delay. I really hope you check out this new book and as always, I enjoy hearing your comments and questions.
Thank you so much for your continued support!
Head Chimp, Please Hug Me Series