Friday, December 14

5 Tips to Loving your Job (and scoring bday cake in the process)


... but I'll put them in my own words, so just bear with my spin on this.

1. Stay away from negative people. Word. Seriously, it's so easy to get caught up into bitching about something, but sometimes without even noticing, the getting-stuff-off-your-chest can morph into general moaning & groaning about the company, other co-workers, life in general. It can be quite a drag! And next thing you know, you're hatin' the job, the boss, and the UPS guy!!
Here's what Toni Ryans Says... Negative People at work are like poison. I know, it sounds drastic, but it's true. Even when you're feeling crappy one day, a negative person can really just inadvertently spoil that temporary feeling of job-ickiness. At all costs, I say, watch who you vent to, especially if you're just venting and not trying to instigate a workplace coup.

2. Send out the compliment boomerang. And for heaven's sake, don't be coy about it! Y'know for the longest time, I used to do my best patting other people on the back as often as possible, even for nonsense. ("Oh, what a marvelous job you did sharpening all those pencils!") . But then I'd be so frustrated because I knew how hard I was working, and how late I'd be staying, and all without any acknowledgement from The Boss. And I'd be like, WTF! Can't someone mention about how terrible I look with the bags under my eyes today because of how late I stayed the night before?! Sometimes the compliment boomerang pays off, and it comes right back at you. But let's pretend the compliment boomerang is occasionally faulty, so don't count on it.
Toot your own horn. Yeah, I know, it's weird, probably feels impossible to do, but let's face it, if management doesn't know how you're doing it, it's nobody else's responsibility to let them know, it's all on you. And I'm not talking about an itemized blow-by-blow detailed account of your day, but if someone says, "Wow, that looks like it was a lot of work," don't try to diffuse it with a humble, "Nah, it was no biggie." Just honestly say, "Yes, actually it was a lot of work, but I'm really proud of my work." (And if this doesn't come easily to you, no worries. Eleven years out of college, and I'm still trying to stop acting like some unworthy intern)

3. Make friends. 2000 hours a year, that's about how many you spend at the office. If you haven't made any friends, than you truly are some anti-social SOB. Haa, kidding. I'm not talking about finding the yin to your yang or some magical soul mate. I mean, make your mama proud and be friendly, polite, and courteous. Somewhere in all that innocuous daily chit-chat, you'll find that you have people you count as "friends".
The upshot is when you've got pals at work, ever notice the day goes faster? Plus it's MUCH easier making small talk with friends than it is with people you're trying hard to not get close to. If you've got some grievance about work you just want to air, it's easier to talk it off with a friend, and in the long run, getting stuff off your chest is much more than letting it fester ('coz then you'll turn into a Negative Person, and you don't wanna be that person!!!)

4. Give gifts. OK, I'll be honest with you. I don't know what this means. They say little trinkets to other co-workers. I guess as little suck-up gifts instead of becoming actual friends with a person (as directed in the previous item). I really don't get this one.
Let me put it this way, spare the gift. Only give it if you're certain the gift boommerang is comin' back atcha. (What? It's not mean! Really! I don't get this one!)

5. Be nice to other people. So this is just basically an extention of Rules 1-4, I guess to cover everyone else who isn't already your friend, receives compliments from you without reciprocating, someone you suck up to with desk garbage, or the meanest person at work. Be nice to everyone else, is what this should really say. If you can't figure out why, then you clearly didn't watch enough After-School specials as a kid.
And since I'm on a boomerang-analogy kick, let's just call this one the niceness boomerang. Wait, Boomerang of Nice sounds much better. When you're nice to people, they're gonna be nice back to you (or at least the normal people and the heavily medicated will be nice to you). When you're an a-hole, I find people are less likely to be nice to you off the bat.

And see, it all comes down to this, my litmus test for liking your job: Birthday Cake. When your birthday rolls around, are you gonna get any? And it's not about liking birthday cake, or liking being the center of attention, it's about whether or not other people will bother. And seriously, nobody will if they think you're a jerk, or worse, a jerk who hates their job.

Of course, expecting Birthday Cake, or having a celebration for you, as always requires a little bit of campaigning on your part. Don't expect Birthday Cake to appear if you've been so secretive about when your birthday is. You gotta let people know! And that's a piece of cake (yes, intended pun) when you've got friends in the office (#3), or when you give random gifts (#4), or when you are generally nice to others (#5). People naturally wanna do something nice right back (yes, like a boomerang) and sometimes the easiest way to do that is by making sure they remember ... say it with me... your birthday!

So there it is. If you get Birthday Cake, chances are your job likes you, and likewise, you like your job.

Now make a wish damnit!

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