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

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Quotations about
Jobs & the Office

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NOTE:  Some of the quotes on this page were submitted to me by visitors, and not all have been verified for original source or wording. I'm working hard to confirm everything, but in the meantime please be aware of the possibility for errors.   —ღ Terri, March 2021

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]

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

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"

Accomplishing the impossible means only that the boss will add it to your regular duties. ~Doug Larson

Every day 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

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

They pretend to pay us an honest wage and we pretend to do an honest day's work. ~Hungarian joke, c.1965  (Thanks, Barry Popik!)

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

Executive ability is deciding quickly and getting somebody else to do the work. ~John G. Pollard

When people go to work, they shouldn't have to leave their hearts at home. ~Betty Bender

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

A lot of fellows nowadays have a B.A., M.D., or Ph.D. Unfortunately, they don't have a J.O.B. ~"Fats" Domino

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

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

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

Don't worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you'll have to ram them down people's throats. ~Howard Aiken

A Mission Statement is a dense slab of words that a large organization produces when it needs to establish that its workers are not just sitting around downloading Internet porn. ~Dave Barry

Nothing is really work unless you would rather be doing something else. ~James Matthew Barrie

The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play. ~Arnold Toynbee

The closest to perfection a person ever comes is when he fills out a job application form. ~Stanley J. Randall

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

I have never liked working. To me a job is an invasion of privacy. ~Danny McGoorty

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]

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

Whenever it is possible, a boy should choose some occupation which he should do even if he did not need the money. ~William Lyon Phelps

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

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

I've met a few people in my time who were enthusiastic about hard work. And it was just my luck that all of them happened to be men I was working for at the time. ~Bill Gold

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,

A baseball game is twice as much fun if you're seeing it on the company's time. ~William C. Feather

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

If a man love the labour of any trade apart from any question of success or fame, the gods have called him. ~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

Law of the Alibi: If you tell the boss you were late for work because you had a flat tire, the very next morning you will have a flat tire. ~Author Unknown

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

An expert is a man who has made all the mistakes which can be made in a very narrow field. ~Niels Bohr

Don't waste time learning the "tricks of the trade." Instead, learn the trade. ~Attributed to both James Charlton and H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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,

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

A certificate does not make you certified. Attitude, performance, commitment to self and team — these and a certificate make you certified. ~Author Unknown

Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. ~Steve Jobs

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

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

Find a job you like and you add five days to every week. ~H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

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

There's no business like show business, but there are several businesses like accounting. ~David Letterman

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

The brain is a wonderful organ. It starts working the moment you get up in the morning, and does not stop until you get into the office. ~Robert Frost

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]

The difference between a job and a career is the difference between forty and sixty hours a week. ~Robert Frost

It is not titles that honor men, but men that honor titles. ~Niccolo Machiavelli

An unfulfilled vocation drains the color from a man's entire existence. ~Honoré de Balzac, Scènes de la vie Parisienne

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

For many people a job is more than an income — it's an important part of who we are. So a career transition of any sort is one of the most unsettling experiences you can face in your life. ~Paul Clitheroe

To kill time, a committee meeting is the perfect weapon. ~Author Unknown

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

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,

More men are killed by overwork than the importance of this world justifies. ~Rudyard Kipling

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

A memorandum is written not to inform the reader but to protect the writer. ~Dean Acheson

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,

What is it that you like doing? If you don't like it, get out of it, because you'll be lousy at it. ~Lee Iacocca

One of the symptoms of an approaching nervous breakdown is the belief that one's work is terribly important. ~Bertrand Russell

What the world really needs is more love and less paper work. ~Pearl Bailey

Retired is being twice tired, I've thought
First tired of working,
Then tired of not.
~Richard Armour

Statistics indicate that, as a result of overwork, modern executives are dropping like flies on the nation's golf courses. ~Ira Wallach

I think my idea of retirement might be to one day work a 40-hour week. ~Vince McMahon

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. ~Homer Simpson, The Simpsons

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,

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

Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up because they're looking for ideas. ~Paula Poundstone

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

By working faithfully eight hours a day you may eventually get to be boss and work twelve hours a day. ~Robert Frost

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Last saved 2021 Jul 26 Mon 08:21 PDT

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