As a graduate, you quickly learn the dos and don’ts of your office workplace. While most of the rules are laid out before you in the form of orientation or signed agreements, one might argue the most important rules to abide by are the unspoken ones. There are certain behaviors you want to stay away from in order to be taken seriously, but more importantly, to keep from pissing off everyone around you. I’ve seen some really, really bad looks this summer, so I said fuck it, might as well write a column on the ones I despise the most. Without further ado, here are the four most despicable workplace bad looks that I would advise each and every one of you to avoid while starting your new jobs this fall.
Look, I understand there are varying schools of thought when it comes to leaving work. Some abide by the 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. boundaries no matter what. Other, more dutiful employees, live by the code of never leaving work before their immediate superior, no matter the time of day. Then there is the special breed of desk jockey who has no qualms whatsoever with casually dipping out of the office at 4:51. I understand the fact that I’m not the only person who would rather be anywhere other than my cube when running out the clock, but that just makes you look awful. You really have somewhere so important to be that it couldn’t wait until 5:15? C’mon, now. At least pretend to clean up your inbox and organize your desktop for the last few minutes of the day like the rest of us.
Posting Up on Everything
We all know this guy. His boss calls him into his office, so he immediately leans up against the door frame with one leg tucked behind the other. You call him over to ask him something? He sits on the corner of your desk right next to your favorite mug. What does this guy think? He’s slick or something? He’s a smooth operator who actually makes money for the company? Sitting at his desk for 8 hours a day is so hard on his legs that he has to take the load off anytime he’s actually supposed to stand for a change? People like this are insufferable. They need to be told to stand up, straighten up their shirt, and figure it out. Nobody likes the douchebag who has to lean up on everything or sit where they were never invited to sit. Don’t be this guy.
The Fake/Loud Phone Voice
Nothing screams “I don’t really serve a purpose here” like being that guy on a mission to turn every routine phone call into a grandiose exhibition of noise and drawn out bullshitting. It is so incredibly easy to conduct yourself on the phone amongst colleagues in a civil and monotone voice to respect the personal space of the people you work with. But if all you do is sit at your desk to refresh your email feed and watch YouTube mini-series all week, I guess you do whatever it takes to make your presence felt when the opportunity presents itself. Unfortunately for those people, it’s painfully obvious to everyone around them that the only reason they are still shouting into the receiver and irritating the living hell out of their fellow employees is because they know the minute they hang up, they are back to square one, having no responsibilities for the rest of the day and living with the fact that they are utterly useless to the company.
Commenting on People’s Clothes…Every Single Day
Similar to the obnoxiously loud phone presence, complimenting people’s wardrobe on the daily is another desperate way to compensate for the fact that you have no actual responsibilities at work. Saying “Tom I like your shirt” to Tom each day of the week isn’t going to convey to Tom that you actually like his shirt. Tom’s going to think you’re either really annoying or really strange for always finding it necessary to start his day off with the same compliment. Best case: you’re a friendly guy in a weird kind of way. Worst case: you’re a hopeless kiss ass who feels his voice must be heard, and everyone knows it. If you must say something, a simple “good morning” should do the trick.
And yes, you guessed it, all of these behaviors describe the same single person I’ve been lucky enough to sit across from all summer. It’s tested my patience, endurance, and driven me dangerously close to full-blown office rage. For whatever reason, I was able to channel my frustration and turn it into something of value. If any of this counsel can help just one of you, I’ve done my job. Good luck out there, and in one last parting piece of advice, always remember: Early is on time, and on time is late..
Image via Shutterstock