IT’S A JUNGLE OUT THERE: THE RULES OF WORKING IN AN OFFICE
WORDS BY SIMON E. SMITH
September might be back to school for the kids, but it’s also the same in the corporate world. The MDs and CEOs are back off their summer holidays so now is the time to step up. Whether you’re a fresh-faced grad or the office newbie here are a few survival tips on how to live in the jungle.
BE OVERLY FRIENDLY
There isn’t anything more attractive as an employee than pretending to know the ins and outs of everyone in the office. This attitude screams popularity and confidence.
When you’re at the photocopier shout to people deep in the corners of the rooms. “John, you animal, how’s the headache you dog?” Even if a John doesn’t work there, you’ll gain the respect of those who don’t know and wish they knew as much as you do about “John.”
If you accidentally call someone the right name, pretend you didn’t hear their answer, mutter, then scuttle off…exactly like McLovin here.
LOOK CONSTANTLY BUSY
Even if you haven’t got anything to do never look idle. That’s a rookie mistake. The busier you look, the less hassle you’ll get from your supervisor. A key tip is to walk a lot. Make sure, however, that you walk fast and carry wads of paper and files. Say “excuse me” when you pass someone even if you’re nowhere near them.
To really commit to the act, walk with your head down and occasionally let out a “Remember to fax Jim in the New York office.” There probably won’t be a New York office. But remember, people thinking that isn’t a bad thing.
AN EXPERT AT WAFFLING
If you want to stand out from the rest of the team, use sentences that on the surface sound impressive but in reality are completely useless. Say them quick and as casually as ordering a skinny latte at Starbucks.
“Can you jump the email about the LGC project? I need to bend the text to draw out the right tone for the potentials.”
If you’re ever questioned about what you’re on about, keep the front up by providing detailed definitions of what each phrase meant. Scream your explanations.
TALK ABOUT THE FUTURE
These days it seems everything is a cause for celebration…with that in mind talk about events that don’t actually concern you.
Your supervisor may be confused as to why you’re attending Shelia from HR’s birthday meal, especially when she’s based in a different office. However, it’ll make you sound in the loop.
“Gary, Tom, fancy going Alchemist before Shelia’s bash? Sink a few cheeky ones.”
Even if Gary has never spoken to you before and Tom is a visitor, they’ll be too polite to call you out.