As an office manager (of some sorts) and a person*, I feel I am in a position to give advice on the inner workings of the office environment. I also like to think that I am succeeding at being a likeable human being, for the most part. I have not heard any accounts to the contrary, maybe that’s because the ones who do not like me, are scared of me. I jest… kinda!
Anyway, to the matter at hand. I have seen and heard way too many accounts of office politics and I have to say, surely we should have left our hair-pulling, shin-kicking and gossiping ways on the PRIMARY (for the ‘Murican readers – Elementary School) school playground? Surely, if you work in an office you should have the ability to talk things out as a grown up, take the emotional punches as a grown up and you know, carry on with life without a grudge AS. A. GROWN. UP?
Here are some pointers that I would give, mahala, to anyone who is entering into the world of boring cubicles and crabby people. If, however you feel that you want to carry on with your childish behaviour, then please take your negative ass away from my blog and complain about the “vibe at the coffee machine” to someone else.
1. If you are wrong, OWN THE EFF UP TO IT!!!
A lot of times in a working environment the tensions are high and something goes wrong. Someone made a boo-boo and someone has to take the blame. If that is you, the one who made a boo-boo and who consequently has to take the blame [JUSTICE IS SERVED], then please for the love of sausages and mash, zip your howling screamer* and take the blame. If you messed up, take the punch like a man, or woman. A lot of times the managers are trying to figure out HOW the mess was made, to try and reverse it, or trace the steps, rather than WHY it was made. You, trying to bullshit your way out of it is in many cases stalling the inevitable and making yourself look way more incompetent than you might be. Spare everyone and just take it. Rub some dirt on it, be a man!* If you made a mistake, please don’t let someone else take the fall for it! Miss Karma knows where the heck you live!
2. At all times, know EVERYTHING about your contract of employment, and what your country’s laws of employment are.
There are too many people who do not know the terms of their contract, or even if they HAVE a contract. Shockingly there are even more people who don’t know the laws of the land regarding employment. Knowledge is the potential of power. [I know that’s not the actual quote but I like that one more]. Also, don’t sign a contract that you have not read thoroughly and do not understand. Don’t be a sheep!! Technically sheep can’t read or sign a contract, but you get what I’m saying.
This little hint might save you some heartache or tension in the future. Things like how many hours of work a week is legal as opposed to what your contract states. Also, if you find out that you signed for something in your contract that differs from the law of the land, then you can’t always dispute it. READ!! That’s why you went to school!
3. Have the ability to separate work relationships from personal relationships.
A lot of times we start building friendships around the office, it’s understandable. We spend a crap load of time at work. You need to be able to separate your beer drinking relationship from the report sending relationship that you have. Don’t let the way your manager treated you because you didn’t hand in the report on time, even though you both have a hangover from the previous night of drinking beers together, influence the way you feel about or act towards them at the next beer drinking night. Unless you already don’t like them then, FUEL THE FIRE!! I joke, don’t do that.
I don’t know why I even have to put this one in here as a tip for better office whatnots. This is Foundational Human Behavioural Tips 101 [Book to be released soon]. Communicate! If you are going to be late for work due to Godzilla ripping up the bridge, let your boss know, take a photo and snapchat that baby, get rich and retire. If you are feeling ill, had an accident of the vehicle variety [or the soiled pants variety, you never know] then let the relevant people know that you are either not going to be able to come in or request to go home. This is so basic, always keep an open line of communication with your colleagues [I ALWAYS have to spell check that dang word]. If you have a problem at work with someone, then talk about it with them. On that note…
5. Do not gossip XOXO
PEOPLE, for the love of Deadpool [sidenote: GO SEE THE MOVIE!!] please do not gossip about your, friends, colleagues [Again with the spell check… one day I will spell this word without having to spell check] especially bosses at or away from the office with a fellow colleague [Hmf, so close]. Do not entertain it, do not get involved in it, it’s like that booger sugar [Cocaine according to Kevin Hart] thing, one sniff and you are hooked. I know you totally want to know what the heck the idiot down in accounts did now, but DON’T! If you have beef with someone, don’t gossip about them. Even if you don’t have beef with someone, gossiping about them, or even being around people who are gossiping about them, is sure to bring a whole cow right to your cubicle!
6. Ask and ye shall receiveth.
Again on the note of communicationI know you can probably figure the excel formula out yourself, well done Sparky. But in figuring it out yourself you might have wasted precious time. Same thing if you were listening to instructions being yammered off by a manager with auctioneer abilities and you just couldn’t completely make out what was being said. Or the instructions are clear but you are struggling with the actual work. Ask for help, ask a fellow colleague [NAILED IT] ask your manager. If your manager is a tyrant, then make sure that you asked everyone or tried everything you could, EVEN GOOGLE [surely, you know by now that Google is the friend you don’t deserve], before you go into your manager’s office with your tail between your legs, and if you find yourself in there, DON’T MUMBLE! Your manager was once where you are now (no, not the bathroom in your house, unless the beer drinking happened there) and hopefully they remember what it was like in the pit!
7. Keep things clean.
Listen up, you are not a 5-year-old anymore. Clean up around yourself, keep your working space tidy! Don’t think that because the company pays for a cleaning service, you can now just leave your desk looking like a crime scene. If you dirtied a mug, WASH IT! If you tried to be Shaq and shoot a balled up paper into the bin from 3m away and it missed, don’t just leave it lying on the floor. [Get yo’ ass up, pick the paper up and try again! Don’t give up that quickly!] If you are able to function in controlled chaos without the murder, well done. Just remember your manager, or if you are the manager, your appy, must be able to walk to your desk and find whatever they need if you happen to be absent or whatnot. Same goes for your emails… keep it clean and professional. This is not Facebook or Twitter or whatever where you punctuate every sentence with a ;). And PHU-LEASE, dnt typ a emale 2 ur #peeps lik dis! Grow up!
8. If you are in a managerial position, then be a MANAGER not a
n asshole tyrant!!
This is a very serious one to me, I can’t tell you how often I see managers who in fact, cannot MANAGE people. It starts with managing yourself, I think. Being a manager is a privilege, not a right! You need strong inter-personal skills, emotional intelligence, leadership skills and a big set of balls (yes ladies, you too) to manage people. If you don’t have either of these then you need a military grade safety belt, cos it’s gonna be a flippen bumpy ride. Do some kind of people managing course, go to a leaders seminar, find a course that helps you deal with your social anxiety, freakin deal with your personal crap or the crap you are getting from YOUR managers BEFORE you deal with the sheep you shepherd. So many people complain about their working environment not because of office politics, but because their boss is a %#@*. If your boss was a %#@* when you first started out, that doesn’t mean you should follow suit.
9. Go through the ranks.
Something happened with a fellow work colleague [♪♫Ain’t no stopping me now♫♪] at work that you feel uncomfortable with, or you have beef with someone and you have tried sorting it out with them physically face-to-face but the situation is not improving. Don’t escalate the matter all the way to the CEO of the group. Ain’t nobody got time fo dat! Speak to that person’s direct superior, if that person is unavailable and the matter is of the AMBER kind then go to the next level manager. Don’t go over someone’s head unless you have tried without avail to communicate with the relevant person.
10. Have a positive mindset… or quit!
If you hate your job and no amount of anti-depressants and/or happy pills are making you feel less stabby, and you have also tried all the communication and whatever else you could to make it better, then change your attitude or GTFO!! Honestly, your negativity is not making your working situation any better. If you tried the attitude change for a good amount of time (not just a day) and things didn’t improve then it’s time to pack your things and fly into the sunset. Please don’t quit your job before you have a new one lined up, and don’t start slacking at your current job after you have resigned. Always try and keep things on good terms, you never know when you might need to deal with your ex-colleagues [I am the master now] again.
It’s been real! Tell me what you have learnt in your office experience and think I should have on my list.
Kind regards [END YOUR WORK EMAILS LIKE THIS!!!]
Your friendly neighbourhood office colleague [I had to]!
[Jokey me talking, the *’s are quotes… see if you know from where]