Friday, June 11, 2004

Ways to become the most popular person in the office

1. Bring doughnuts. If you bring food into work and leave it in the break room, you instantly become the "thoughtful" person in the office. The one potential pitfall is if no one sees you leaving the box there. If no one sees you, you don't get the credit and you gesture was a waste.

2. Be able to help some of the "older" employees figure out their excel spreadsheet. Often this only requires you showing them how to highlight an entire column at once.

3. Find out what people like to talk about. Typically this is about them. People love to talk about themselves, or something that interests them. Not very often will people be like "enough about me and what I am interested in, lets talk about you." Usually this one topic will last for months, if you explore well. For example, I met the one guy and he loves to talk about his son's little league sports teams. We've been talking about that for 2 years now. Feigning interest has become a special skill of mine.

4. Know when to be cynical and when to be supportive. Usually when you are surrounded in the break room by peers, you are cynical. When you are in a meeting with your lead, you are supportive. Some people have been working for 10 years and still have not caught on to this. Sad, but true.

5. Even if you are REALLY busy, there is always time to go to lunch. Period.

6. Get a candy dish. 90% of the world is filled with people whose affections can be purchased with a mini snickers bar.

Caveat Emptor: Following these rules may not lead to much upward mobility within the company, but they sure will make coming into work a more pleasant daily experience.

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