Workplace Best and Worst: Bad Advice

I once heard a speaker tell the following story:

A man is walking down a hall where he sees a young boy digging in a pile of manure. The man asks, "What are you doing?"

The boy responds, "With all this manure, I figured there must be a pony in here somewhere."

I'll be the first to admit it is a terrible story. But it is the best way I know to sum up the challenge of getting advice at work. Much of it is manure, but you have to pay attention to all of it because you never know when you'll come across the "pony."

So for every dud like "Plastics" (the advice that Dustin Hoffman got in the movie "The Graduate"), there are always a few gems that you might miss if you're not listening. A lot of very wealthy people bought eBay stock early on in the company's history because of good advice they received.

In future columns we'll ask you for the best advice you've ever received. But this time we'll focus on the worst.

E-mail the worst advice that you've ever received to We'll be back next time with our best responses and with the results of our online ballot about how people would describe the advice they've heard during their careers.

Workplace Best & Worst is a Wednesday feature at Each week we'll ask a question -- What is the worst workplace prank? What is the best advice? Who was your worst boss? And then in week two we'll run the best responses.

Bob Rosner is a best-selling author, award-winning journalist, popular speaker and a guy who has been given a lot of terrible advice during the course of his career. You can e-mail Bob at