Today events conspired that made me want to write a post dedicated to workplace harmony. So without further ado (because who needs all that ado? ---Somewhere in Kentucky a young man raises his hand and drawls, “A’do”----)
But I’m not ready to be fired yet, so I probably shouldn’t write about it. What do you think? Should I write about it? No? Alright, you always had such good sense. What's that? I should? No. Yes? Really? Okay, I will.
So I had one of those “less-fun-than-mono” interactions with an individual I met with as a result of the fact that I need to earn a paycheck to eat and live in a heated abode and keep that heated abode stocked in boxed wine and Spam. And by “less-fun-than-mono,” I mean that I left our interaction feeling that I had just spent an hour with a creature that crawled from a pore on Satan’s butt.
For some reason, this person really took a disliking to me. And it wasn’t because I asked if she had crawled from Satan’s left cheek. I didn’t! I practically offered her a million dollars. A million chocolate-covered dollars. I complimented her hair. I asked how her weekend was. But the ice queen was having none of it. She nearly punched me out with her frostiness. If ‘unfriendliness’ became personified and developed skills, hers would be able to karate-chop the hearts of orphans in half. And it would do so with gusto.
I think we can all relate. Once in awhile, we will just have to deal with someone who was born hating us. And I am less able to be successful unless I establish a rapport with whatever individual I must work with to complete the task at hand. We don’t have to be best friends. But there has to be a basic level of trust, friendliness, and politeness. To that end, here is a helpful list of ways to make the most of a workplace relationship:
- Do not be a creature birthed in a pore on Satan’s butt.
- Do not take other calls and do not chew your lunch loudly when you have a phone conference. If your conversation partner can tell that you’re eating a Taco Bell Cheesy Tendon Melt from 75 miles away, you might consider brushing up on your etiquette skills. There are several books in the first grade library that could help with this, such as Berenstain Bears Forget Their Manners. (I was shocked that it's spelled "Berenstain," too!)
- Please refrain from complaining. I realize this is an attractive hobby, but everyone is dealing with the same BS at work. Your complaints are not new. Here’s a neat-o, keen-o idea: how about developing a sense of humor about those pesky, bothersome issues we all have to deal with? I know, it’s kind of crazy. Revolutionary, one might say. But it might make you more palatable as a human being. In general, anyway.
- Don’t be insane. This is a skill that could apply to many areas of your life beyond the worksite, as well.
- Tangents are not your friend. They may act the part, remembering your birthday and taking you shopping when you’re sad, but don’t trust them. Tangents will let you down repeatedly. They will confuse you and leave you stranded on the side of the road, and then you’ll never get a ride back to whatever your point was to begin with.
- Again, because this bears repeating: if you are a creature birthed from a pore on Satan’s butt, you might want to take a night class on phone etiquette, developing a sense of humor, maintaining good mental health, and staying on track in a conversation.
And if you must deal with such a creature in the course of your daily work, remember: you’ve got a box of wine, a can of Spam, and good people and pets at home. You’ll be alright.