As an O.G., it’s natural for me to want to keep it real (or as the millennials like to say, one hundred); however, I am
somewhat very certain I could’ve avoided a lot of issues if I was fake. If I would’ve remained quiet or minded my business instead of telling coworkers and management they were incompetent, should consult subject-matter experts, or take courses to become more familiar with their jobs. If as an intern, I would’ve checked emails, opened mailed and made copies instead of telling the women I worked with that I did not go to undergrad and acquire student loans to become a secretary. That upon graduation, I was going to secure a job paying six figures. Note: A lot of them were secretaries that were not college-educated, with little to no chance of advancement and salaries that barely paid a living wage.
Show of hands, are you surprised a lot of people hated me? Anyone? Anyone? Fun fact: the hate came with a host of awesome rumors. My favorite is the one where I screwed my way into an entry-level job (that had an embarrassingly low salary). But if I could do it all again, what advice would I give myself? I, am glad you asked.
Tip #1: Engage in small talk, learn small facts about coworkers (family and hobbies), and “bond.”
Tip #2: Be a “team player.” Have bland lunch with coworkers, celebrate their birthdays and other accomplishments. Buy them cheap gifts.
Tip #3: Don’t say it, think it. You can still call your coworker a punk-ass bitch, just do it in your head. Not out loud.
Tip #4: Hold doors open. Break room, conference room, and elevator doors. Apparently, it’s polite.
Tip #5: Smile. It disarms people and makes them think you are nice. Once, someone told me I had kind eyes. My family and I laughed about that for days.
A “director” introduced me as one who could insult people in a way they wouldn’t know they were insulted until days later. It’s still one of the most memorable descriptions of me.
I wonder if he is still acting like he’s qualified to be director of anything besides a used-car dealership with an inventory of only 4 cars.
Just remember, you’re only at work because they pay you to be there. If you’re really having a tough time, throw a tantrum in the nearest bathroom stall or cry in your car then get back to work and slap that award-winning fake smile on your face. You’re welcome.