Office Survival

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Maybe you just got a new job and want to make sure you will be there long enough so it isn’t the “new” job still. Perhaps you have been at your job for a while and are worried about the possibility of being let go. There are some simple skills that every employee needs to know in order to survive at work.

First of all, if you work in a cubicle or an open office concept room, turn off your phone, or at least to silent. There is nothing more annoying than someone’s phone going off every 5 seconds at the loudest setting. If you do have it on vibrate and have desks that connect to each other, be sure and put your phone on something that will muffle the vibration. It’s never fun whenever you sit several desks down from someone and know they have a phone call or text message. Every 2 minutes! If you are near someone who has a habit of doing this, you might look into buying a “My Phone is Off for You” phone-chief. You can also give evil glares, cough each time their phone goes off, or be more direct and try to answer the phone when it rings and say “I’m sorry, I thought it was for me since my desk vibrated too.”

Secondly, watch out for the close talkers. Sure if you are sitting at your desk when you’re talking to them, it’s not too much of a problem. However, when you are in the break room wanting to enjoy your cup of coffee, the close talker will destroy this. Beware of the close talkers during lunch or mid-afternoon snack time, I mean, just think about if they cough or sneeze that close to you and your food. Gross. The double whammy for close talkers, are the loud close talkers. It may be hard to keep a straight face while they attempt to tell you something meant for only you two to hear, but instead it is blurted out to the whole office. In meetings with the loud close talker, try and sit as far away from them as possible, since you will probably still need your ear drums after the meeting. Along with watching out for the close talkers, look out for the coworkers with no personal hygiene, that one is kind of self explanatory.

The third thing to look for is the office borrower. These people will find just about anything and everything to borrow. If you come to work and find that someone borrowed your computer mouse or power source, looks like you need to start packing stuff up and taking it home with you in the evenings. What if the borrower is the same person with the poor hygiene? You aren’t going to want them to borrow your stuff; they will get it all germy. Also, if someone asks “can I borrow some ibprophen?” they don’t really mean borrow, same with paper, tissues, and snacks. If you break down each time someone asks to borrow something of yours, you need to watch out. These people eventually become the Super Borrowers, they will always ask you to borrow something because they know you will say yes. Guard your stuff, and even hide some of the most borrowed items such as pens, pencils, paper clips and so on.

The next thing is about office safety. Do not run with scissors, not sure where you grew up if you thought that was a good idea. But just in case you didn’t know, I am telling you now, it would be catastrophic. Don’t throw pens, paper clips, or staplers. You could poke someone’s eye out, or give them a concussion. Never pull someone’s chair out from under them. That would just be mean. Unless of course they are a Super Borrower, in that case when you do take their chair and they fall on their butt, you can say “Oh, I was just going to borrow your chair.”

If you are starting a new job, hopefully this little list will help you manage things in the corporate jungle. You have the skills to get that dream job that you have been working so hard to get and keep. Now you have the skills to survive that job, just hope that the people you work with don’t use the skills against you, then you have a whole new set of problems.

Categories: work survival