The Quote Garden
 “I dig old books.”
 Est. 1998




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Quotations about
Jobs & the Office



Kind words may be more than coronets, but they never seem quite so large as an increase in salary. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


As a job seeker, remember this: You only lack experience if they want it done the same old way. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


If you have a job without any aggravations, you don't have a job. ~Malcolm S. Forbes


The day came slow, till five o'clock,
Then sprang before the hills
Like hindered rubies, or the light
A sudden musket spills...
~Emily Dickinson  [Workin' 9 to 5! —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


Every morning I get up and look through the Forbes list of the richest people in America. If I'm not there, I go to work. ~Robert Orben, as quoted by The Reader's Digest, 1987


If a trainstation is where the train stops, what's a workstation? ~Author unknown


The number one sign you have nothing to do at work: The 4th Division of Paperclips has overrun the Pushpin Infantry and General White-Out has called for a new skirmish. ~Fred Barling, "Humorscope," unverified


Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. ~John Garland Pollard (1871–1937)


Although I myself, due doubtless to defective skill, have to work pretty hard, I do not believe in too hard work... A life spent in constant labor is a life wasted, save a man be such a fool as to regard a fulsome obituary notice as ample reward. ~George Jean Nathan


Office picnic:  When the boss goes on vacation. ~Arnold H. Glasow (1905–1999)


The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when he fills out a job application form. ~20,000 Quips & Quotes, Evan Esar, 1968


Time is an illusion, lunchtime doubly so. ~Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (radio), 1978


Look, if I'm gonna sneak out of work in the middle of the day, it better involve a margarita or a Cinnabon. ~The Middle, "A Tough Pill to Swallow," 2016, written by Rich Dahm  [S8, E2, Frankie to Brick –tg]


Accomplishing the impossible means only that the boss will add it to your regular duties. ~Doug Larson, United Feature Syndicate, as quoted by The Reader's Digest, 1991


Self-raising flour is very good, so far as it goes, but what this world needs is self-raising salaries. ~Mary Wilson Little, Reveries of a Paragrapher, 1897


Many people quit looking for work when they find a job. ~Author unknown


Researchers at Harvard say that taking a power nap for an hour in the afternoon can totally refresh you. They say by the time you wake up you'll feel so good, you'll be able to start looking for a new job. ~Jay Leno


I'm quitting to pursue my dream of not working here. ~Author unknown


If you had to identify, in one word, the reason why the human race has not achieved, and never will achieve, its full potential, that word would be:  "meetings." ~Dave Barry, "25 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years," Dave Barry Turns 50, 1998, davebarry.com


It is said that the world is run by those willing to sit until the end of meetings. ~Hugh Park, in Atlanta Journal, as quoted by The Reader's Digest, 1974


A baseball game is twice as much fun if you're seeing it on the company's time. ~William Feather, The Business of Life, 1949


...if a man love the labor of any trade, apart from any question of success or fame, the gods have called him... If you recognize in yourself some such decisive taste, there is no room for hesitation: follow your bent.... soon your every thought will be engrossed in that beloved occupation. ~Robert Louis Stevenson


My greatest ambition is to have a career without becoming a career woman. ~Audrey Hepburn (1929–1993)


Shapiro's Law of Reward:  The one who does the least work will get the most credit. ~The Complete Murphy's Law: A Definitive Collection, Arthur Bloch, 1990


If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the next morning you will have a flat tire. ~Cannon's Cogent Comment, in John Peers, 1,001 Logical Laws..., 1979


The clerk who has to get out of a warm bed on a cold winter morning is thoroughly imbued with the idea that the office should seek the man. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1906, George Horace Lorimer, editor


It used to be difficult to get a good day's pay for a good day's work. Now the problem is to get a good day's work for a good day's pay. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, 1903, George Horace Lorimer, editor


You're no good unless you are a good assistant; and if you are, you're too good to be an assistant. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)


Corporations no longer try to fit square pegs into round holes; they just fit them into square cubicles. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


They pretend to pay us an honest wage and we pretend to do an honest day's work. ~Hungarian joke, c.1965  [barrypopik.com —tg]


Ferguson sat at his rolltop desk, breathing semi-defiance and cigarette smoke at Cynthia. Every two seconds he broke off to hurl curses at some interrupter who knocked upon the door. Every half minute the telephone bell rang pitilessly. "Doesn't a job like mine make hell look silly?" he burst out. ~F. E. Baily, Dolf, 1921  [a little altered —tg]


If you say your job is something you "don't plan on doing forever," then why are you doing it now? ~Simon Sinek, Together is Better, 2016


Labor is saving, but drudgery has damned my soul, the task without the illumination. It eats at life. It devours the vitals. It leaves one insensate, save to weariness.... My hands are hard, but my soul is still in bondage.... I will be about my real task, that work that is a privilege, not an infliction, not a penance, — the work that I love, and the work that loves me! ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "A Soul's Faring: XIII," A Soul's Faring, 1921


The Tao that is seen
Is not the true Tao, until
You bring fresh toner.
~Bill Torcaso, 1998, honorable mention in the Haiku Error Messages 21st Challenge by Charlie Varon and Jim Rosenau, sponsored by Salon.com


There are no menial jobs, only menial attitudes. ~William J. Bennett, The Book of Virtues, 1993


Oh, you hate your job? Why didn't you say so? There's a support group for that. It's called everybody, and they meet at the bar. ~Drew Carey


The economists call what you want to do, play; what you have to do, work. On that basis I've worked few days. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)


Find something you love to do and you'll never have to work a day in your life. ~Author unknown


It is well for the clerk to remember that the boss also used the old excuses when he was young. ~"Poor Richard Junior's Philosophy," The Saturday Evening Post, George Horace Lorimer, editor, as reprinted in Poor Richard Jr's Almanack, 1906


Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again, expecting a raise. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Commuter — one who spends his life
In riding to and from his wife;
A man who shaves and takes a train,
And then rides back to shave again.
~E. B. White, "The Commuter," 1925


In our day... The employer paid as little as he could, and the worker got as much. It was not a pretty system ethically, I admit... ~Edward Bellamy, Looking Backward: 2000–1887, 1888  ["Our day" was 1887, but by Bellamy's utopian year 2000 the minimum wage and living wage issues were fully resolved. —tg]


Eventually the person who tries to fix the problem will be blamed for causing it. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


To kill time, a committee meeting is the perfect weapon. ~Fred Allen


In any given meeting
When all is said and done;
90% will be said—
10% will be done.
~Robert Orben, 2400 Jokes to Brighten Your Speeches, 1984


This meeting could have been an e-mail. ~Author unknown


A motion to adjourn is always in order. ~Robert A. Heinlein (1907–1988)


If you are the boss it's wise to remember that there are lots of things you don't know and lots of people who hope you won't find out. ~Michael Josephson, whatwillmatter.com


Heatherlegh is the dearest doctor that ever was... He says that more men are killed by overwork than the importance of the world justifies. ~Rudyard Kipling


Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion. ~C. Northcote Parkinson, 1958


Thank you paper clips, for being like staples that can't commit. ~Jimmy Fallon


Coffice:  a café that a customer uses as a place in which to conduct business. ~Author unknown


Today's Parenting Tip: Treat a difficult child the way you would your boss at work. Praise his achievements, ignore his tantrums and resist the urge to sit him down and explain to him how his brain is not yet fully developed. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


One of the symptoms of approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important and that to take a holiday would bring all kinds of disaster. If I were a medical man, I should prescribe a holiday to any patient who considered his work important. ~Bertrand Russell, "Causes of Unhappiness: Fatigue," The Conquest of Happiness, 1930


...if you don't like your job, you don't strike. You just go in every day and do it really half-assed. That's the American way. ~The Simpsons, "The PTA Disbands," 1995, written by Jennifer Crittenden and Richard Appel  [S6, E21, Homer]


The three little sentences that will get you through life — Number one: "Cover for me." Number two: "Oh, good idea, Boss!" Number three: "It was like that when I got here." ~The Simpsons, "One Fish, Two Fish, Blowfish, Blue Fish," 1991, written by Nell Scovell  [S2, E11, Homer]


I've used up all my sick days so I'm calling in dead. ~Author unknown


Evening, and home I go, commuting from a world that won't listen to a world that has heard it a thousand times. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


He had to spend his evenings bruising two fingers on a typewriter, making out reports in duplicate, triplicate, infinity, and confusion. ~Federal Works Agency Work Projects Administration, Montana: A State Guide Book


I hate you.
I hate this place.
See you tomorrow.
~Author unknown, as seen on a cubicle sign


The best time to start thinking about your retirement is before the boss does. ~Author unknown





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