# The first guy who talks to you is desperate for friends. Don't be his ally.
Ouch, that's harsh ;-) Besides, try avoiding any alliances whatsoever in the beginning, and preferably in the long run as well. Company politics is a good thing to keep tabs on, but unless you're a real shaker and a mover it's generally better to just stay out of it altogether from my experience.
Well, I've been fired for using sarcasm .. but it was the manager who was following the advice in the articles. (specifically the 3rd article, which is about how to mismanage).
Oh...and from my grandfather's notes, he originally wanted to name the series 'Surival Manual for Incompetent Executives'
It's also not quite obvious from the selections of the first article, that the whole thing is a joke ... the first article starts off by explaining ...
We will start by adopting one of the cardinal principles of the business world: The attention to be given to any decision is inversely proportional to its importance. The decision to enter the industrial world, rather than teaching, academic research or government service must be considered a major one, so plunge right in without analyzing your prospects for success or happiness. If you find later on that this is a critical mistake, you can adopt another common practice; criticize the system, cry foul, and insist that you were mislead.
The next decision to be carefully avoided is that of seeking the proper company. As with people, each company has a special personality, with its own atmosphere, mores, and criteria for success and failure. The principle to be noted here is that alternatives in any decision situation are problems, not opportunities; careful analysis of multiple-alternative decisions leads only to confusion.
I have to pipe up on that "first guy" bit. As I've said before, I'm often the first guy to talk to the new hire. I'm not desperate for friends or looking for an ally. I'm being paid to bring junior members up to speed quickly ;-)
And in the same meditation, the second point is communication: I'm looking to feel out the new guy to see how well he will perform (the first point in that meditation), to see how willing he is to get help when he needs it, without overburdening his reporting structure.
(And the only reason I keep using "he" here is because our new student is a male - I used the same strategy when bringing women on board as men.)
I have to speak up on the "first guy to talk to you" rule.
I'm generally one of the first guys to talk to new hires. That's because by an accident I've developed a reputation for knowing everyone, and I have to work to keep that reputation up. (The irony of it is that I'm really quite terrible with names.)