1. Talk to the “dick” or “bitch” of the office. They are generally nicer than you think and their reputation is primarily hearsay. Or they are, in fact, that shitty person you should probably avoid. Either way, you should know firsthand.
2. Hold off on that first cup of coffee. You will crash and have a second. And a third. And a fourth. You’ll get used to a taste in your mouth that just shouldn’t be there. You’ll get irritable and frustrated. I know it’s infuriating when someone doesn’t make a new pot, but PLEASE don’t be that person that goes off on somebody about the coffee. And what if they run out of coffee? You’ll turn into Bubbles from The Wire. It’s just not a good look. Try to hit it at, say, 11 a.m. Ease into it.
3. Guys: Do not stare at the hot girl of the office for longer than two seconds. She KNOWS that she is attractive. She will catch you. She will discuss it with your female co-workers. They will label, gossip about, and avoid you. You will not get invited to lunch or after-work activities. At the Christmas party, you will sit alone. There are glances and there are stares. Learn the difference.
4. Actively talk to upper management. Learn their names. Use their last names, until they tell you to use their first names. Maybe you’re not at your dream job, yet. Maybe you’re not even in the field you want to be in. However, you never know who’s going to remember you, who they know, and what they can do for you. Don’t kiss ass. Give opinions. Ask business and personal questions. Be affable.
5. Put up Post-Its. Post-its make people think you know what’s going on. I’d say 60% of mine are actual things I need to remember. The other 40% are just numbers and lines. I currently have one that reads, “Give Til Friday.” I don’t know what it means, but it gives off the impression that I’ve got something pertinent happening at the end of the week. Every week.
6. The office is very much like high school. It’s sad, but true. There are the posh girls, the jocks, the dorks, the freaks, the cool kids, the outcasts, and the seniors. Get in where you fit in and find some people you can tolerate until the bell rings.
7. Please repeat these words: Live. Out. Tha. Bag. If you bring a bag to work, live out of that bitch. I have a yellow North Face bag. Is it cool? No. Is it essential? Absolutely. At all times, I carry the following: electric toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, deodorant, a brush, hair sheen, work phone, work phone charger, an iphone charger, three different types of chapstick, gym clothes, gym sneakers, a towel, a plastic bag, sunglasses, headphones, backup headphones, vitamins, and a book. I could hit work, the gym, a date, or happy hour and never have to go home. Cause once you’re in after work, you’re usually in for the night. Stay ready, so you never have to get ready.
8. I can’t stress this one enough: Befriend the folks that give you food. On the top floor of my office, there’s a grocery store. A few co-workers and I hit this grocery store almost every morning. There are about 4-5 women that work there with an average age of 55. I shop there every day, typically buying the same items, and I’ve noticed my total price getting lower and lower. I’m talking two bananas, a Fuji apple, a bagel with cream cheese, large coffee, and breath mints. $1.65. That’s not a typo. All because of a smile, a little conversation, and frequent visits. After a while, I noticed I had a new name, too: Honey.
9. Coin phrases. This is possibly my favorite thing to do at work. To “get caught stealing boxes” or simply just “stealing boxes” at my office means you were fired. (See: Friday.) Inside jokes at the office make the time just a tad more bearable. Try it.
10. Don’t get caught stealing boxes.