Murphy’s Commerce Laws


Murphy’s Commerce Laws

  • The first 90% of a project takes 90% of the time, the last 10% takes the other 90% of the time.
  • If you can’t get your work done in the first 24 hours, work nights.
  • A pat on the back is only a few inches from a kick in the pants.
  • Don’t be irreplaceable, if you can’t be replaced, you can’t be promoted.
  • It doesn’t matter what you do, it only matters what you say you’ve done and what you say you’re going to do.
  • After any salary raise, you will have less money at the end of the month than you did before.
  • The more crap you put up with, the more crap you are going to get.
  • You can go anywhere you want if you look serious and carry a clipboard.
  • Eat one live toad first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.
  • Never ask two questions in a business letter. The reply will discuss the one you are least interested in, and say nothing about the other.
  • When the bosses talk about improving productivity, they are never talking about themselves.
  • If at first you don’t succeed, try again. Then quit. No use being a damn fool about it.
  • There will always be beer cans rolling on the floor of your car when the boss asks for a ride home from the office.
  • The boss is always right.
  • Mother said there would be days like this, but she never said there would be so many.
  • Keep your boss’s boss off your boss’s back.
  • Everything can be filed under “miscellaneous”.
  • Never delay the ending of a meeting or the beginning of a cocktail hour.
  • To err is human, to forgive is not company policy.
  • In case of an atomic bomb attack, work rules will be temporarily suspended.
  • Anyone can do any amount of work provided it isn’t the work he is supposed to be doing.
  • Important letters that contain no errors will develop errors in the mail.
  • The last person that quit or was fired will be the one held responsible for everything that goes wrong – until the next person quits or is fired.
  • There is never enough time to do it right the first time, but there is always enough time to do it over.
  • The more pretentious a corporate name, the smaller the organization.
  • If you are good, you will be assigned all the work. If you are really good, you will get out of it.
  • You are always doing something marginal when the boss drops by your desk.
  • If someone says he will do something “without fail”, he won’t.
  • People who go to conferences are the ones who shouldn’t.
  • People are always available for work in the past tense.
  • People don’t make the same mistake twice, they make it three, four, or five times.
  • If it wasn’t for the last minute, nothing would get done.
  • At work, the authority of a person is inversely proportional to the number of pens that person is carrying.
  • When you don’t know what to do, walk fast and look worried.
  • You will always get the greatest recognition for the job you least like.
  • No one gets sick on Wednesdays.
  • Getting the job done is no excuse for not following the rules.
  • Following the rules will not get the job done.
  • When confronted by a difficult problem you can solve it more easily by reducing it to the question, “How would the Lone Ranger handle this?”.


  • No matter how much you do, you never do enough.
  • The longer the title, the less important the job.
  • Machines that have broken down will work perfectly when the repairman arrives.
  • Progress is only made on alternate Tuesdays.
  • An “acceptable” level of employment means that the government economist to whom it is acceptable still has a job.
  • Once a job is fouled up, anything done to improve it only makes it worse.
  • The employee who has performed his duties faithfully and without fault for 5 years will be given an increase of five cents per day in his pay – provided the profits allow it.
  • All vacations and holidays create problems, except for one’s own.
  • Success is a matter of luck, just ask any failure.
  • The value of any job task is inversely proportional to its deadline.

  • When you see an item in the flyer, by the time you get to the store its either sold out or the price has doubled.

  • The person at the meeting or discussion who is right will be the person who is not listened and will later be blamed for coming up with the bad idea.
  • Just when you have no cash, you are in great pain and got to the bank to find the bank computers offline.

  • Bills travel through the mail at twice as fast as checks.
  • No man is an island, until it comes to paying the bills

  • If you have a little extra money to blow, something will break, and cost more than that little extra.

  • If you don’t want it, there is plenty of it; If you really need it, they’re all out of it.
    The more you like a product, the more likely it will be discontinued.
    Sent by Barry Nord
  • If you are shopping to find a certain thing, no matter how simple it may be, no matter where you go, you will find every conceivable thing except that which you are looking for.

  • The one time you didn’t make a copy of your 1040, that’s the one the IRS did not receive.

  • I’m as good as my Employer

  • Slog all day and no-one notices, take a 5 minute breather to play Window’s Solitaire and the boss silently appears behind you.
  • All urgent and critical reports are handed out on Friday evening and are due first thing Monday morning.
  • Zain’s Nutcracker Law
    The best time to ask for a raise is when everything has gone wrong and your boss is in a panic mode.
    Corollary 1:
    Never ask for a raise after you have successfully completed a project.
    Corollary 2:
    If you do it right the first time, you will not be asked to resolve the problem and therefore will not be in a position to ask for a raise.
    The last three laws were sent by Zain.
  • Expenses rise to exceed income.

  • Just In Time inventory isn’t

  • In a line the biggest order is in the front, and the customer has coupons and wants to write a check.
  • in a 24 hour store, there are 5 customers in the store and they always come to the register at the same time. (and again the customer with the largest order is the first one in line)

  • What you don’t know, will cost you a lot of money.

  • It is no disgrace to be poor, but it is awfully inconvenient.

  • When in trouble change the subject. However, this may lead the subject to another one of your offenses.
  • When in trouble do what you can. If that fails try what you can’t. If that fails give yourself an A for effort and run like hell with pride!

  • You pay peanuts and you get monkeys. In some organizations you pay doughnuts and you still get monkeys.

  • The Customer is always unhappy about your product and service.

  • Little things make a lot more of a difference; but the little things don’t get as much recognition.
    Sent by Simion
  • The pressure of responsibility taking a difficult decision is the result of a division between its importance and the number of participant persons.
  • Excess of analysis causes paralysis

  • The quality of workmanship of any given object is inversely proportional to how useful it is.
  • The quality of workmanship of any given object is inversely proportional to how well it works

  • Eldredge’s Aphorism:
    Procedures should not be used as a substitute for thought.
  • law of activity:
    One’s willingness to do something is inversely proportional to:
    A) the need for it to be done.
    B) the number of people who are relying on that person to do it.

  • Ament’s First Law of Corporate Survival:
    When you see the shit is about to hit the fan, shut your mouth.
  • Ament’s Second Law of Corporate Survival: Duck.

  • Inverse Rule of Contracts:
    The smaller the dollar amount of a contract the longer it will take to negotiate.

  • Somers’ Law of Management:
    One learns at least as much about management from poor managers as from good ones.

  • The more complicated the job is the less time and useful information you will be given.
  • If the salesperson says, “All you have to do is…” you know you’re in trouble.
  • When a customer says, “It’s perfect except…” you know it will be necessary to rebuild the whole piece.
    The last three laws were sent by Robert Nicholson
  • Assaf’s Laws of Lines
    • The number of open service windows at banks, post offices, airline counters, etc… always equals [n/2 – m], n being the total number of windows and m being a random number between 1 and the total number of windows minus 1.
    • The simpler and quicker your transaction, the more complex and time-consuming the transaction of the person immediately ahead of you in the line.

  • When you stand at your counter for hours on end and then go to break, that’s when the customer comes and rings the bell for help.

  • Any item that you want to purchase from a catalog will always be out of stock at the time you want to buy it.

  • If your Check-Book and Bank-Balance Sheet agree… Re-Do-It… You Goofed Up
    This is from my own experience over the past 50+ years!
  • “Billing Statements do not provide ‘Actual Posting Dates’ They reflect ‘Accurate Posting Dates'”
    This was contained within a reply from a Retail Credit Account Analyst of a major Banking Establishment

  • The severity of a sales problem is inversely proportional to the distance from nearest support office

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