(Mt. Bierstadt, image courtesy of me)
So you just got a job pushin’ paper in an office eh? Me too. After working a variety of jobs in a variety of settings, I just landed my current job where I find myself sitting at a desk trying my best to avoid carpal tunnel syndrome. In the following words, I will do my best to impart the things I have learned this last month working at my first full-time office job.
The very first tip I have for you is good to know across all industries, but also very important in a white collar setting where you are working 40 hours in close proximity to everyone. Names. Most people I encounter are like me, great with faces, bad with names. Find a way to get over that. Learn people’s names in whatever way it takes, from pneumonic devices to just straight up having them repeat it until you get it. Nobody wants to admit they don’t know the other person’s name, and the longer you let yourself avoid using their name, the worse it will be when the day of reckoning comes when you have to come face to face with the fact you don’t know their name and you get called on it. Believe it or not, people don’t care and/or expect the new person to not know their name, so if you don’t know it, be honest and have them tell you while you still have “a pass.” If you happen to have name tags or badges at work, you may be better off in this situation. But be very sly when you break eye contact and glance down at their badge or name tag. I don’t care what your position is (or theirs,) we live in a world where we all need each other, and knowing their name is half the battle of having them do your bidding. Muahahahahaha *evil fingers*
Next up is restrooms. First and foremost, find the one closest to your main area. That is a given. However, either through a trusted source or just making the rounds, locate other bathrooms in case your main one is compromised, or you have something fierce to get rid of and you don’t want to expose your immediate co-workers. Yes everyone does it, but still….
I should almost make this section come before the restroom one, seeing as how for me at least, a good cup of coffee precedes a glorious s***. But yes, this paragraph deals with coffee. Much like the bathroom, find a trusted source, and inquire what the standard protocol is with coffee. My job has a Keurig, which I had no idea how to operate correctly. I’m still on the fence about it, but I have learned to master the machine. Not only will you need to learn the machine, but also how much you can get away without having to clean, refill, and/or restock the thing. It’s standard operating procedure at my office to leave your old k-cup in the Keurig for the next person to take out before they load their own, but your mileage may vary.
The final tip is pretty simple, learn to kick ass at your job.