Candace pops in a coffee pod in the single-cup coffee maker. While waiting for her coffee, she looks around and sees two co-workers talking and laughing. Snatches of their conversation float her way, with the words “donuts” and “reception area” catching her attention. It’s customary at work for leftover food from a meeting to be set out by the lobby for anyone to partake. She thinks how timely to grab some donuts to drink along with her freshly brewed beverage. She ventures over to the waiting area and greets Inez, the receptionist, with a smile.
“Ooh, I see a big box of donuts,” Candace says, as she walks toward the food and lifts open the donut box. She picks the only Boston Creme donut in the bunch, bites into it and places it on a paper plate. She decides to take two more donuts, a glazed one and a coconut-flaked beauty. As she polishes off one of them and starts on another, she sees a group of senior buyers filing in the reception area with Lauren, a marketing executive, speaking loudly, “Welcome to our office. I’m glad you enjoyed the quick tour. We have breakfast for you here . . .”
While swallowing, Candace realizes the donuts were not officially leftovers yet. Her eagerness to dunk a donut in her coffee had blinded her from noticing the overall untouched state of the spread. Suddenly, she wishes she would disappear like the donuts she just downed.
The meeting adjourned and the people started getting up to leave the Boardroom. As Sarah rounded the table, heading toward the door, she saw the CEO, who had just gotten up from the table, walk toward her.
“What do you think of the new way to approach our target market?” The CEO asked as he neared her. Sarah walked back toward the table as he moved in closer, extending his right arm. At first anticipating a handshake, which never appeared, as Sarah drew closer to the CEO she then figured he intended to hug her. Not really knowing what to do and hoping to avoid any personal display of office emotion, she reached out first to deflect his extended arm, wrapping her left arm around the CEO’s waist in the process. Then she lightly patted his back. Suddenly she saw from her peripheral vision that he had been reaching over to push the chair that was near her back under the table. So much for the hug.
Subtly stepping back from the CEO, Sarah enthusiastically voiced her thoughts about the meeting. Then she asked some questions, hoping he would fail to notice, or forget, that she had nearly embraced him. Toward finishing their brief conversation, Sarah reiterated her excitement about the business strategic changes, as she subconsciously weighed the importance of making some changes of her own–like being more aware of her blind spots.
Touch not your fellow co-workers,
Serve well both internal and external stakeholders.
Shred all confidential information,
Lock your computer when going to the john.
Stifle your yawn at meetings,
Imbibe lightly during business gatherings,
Be discreet if you must ask,
“Has anyone seen my flask?”
Maintain a paper-free environment and don’t be dour,
Avoid socializing and merriment until after hours.
Be polite when you ask,
“May I please go home when I finish this task?”
Mike steps outside of his glass-walled office to retrieve his report from the printer, which is located across from his enclosure. As he heads back to his door, he glances to the right and sees Lindsay, his office crush, talking to one of the new Account Managers. He becomes jealous, gets distracted and crashes into the transparent doorway. He staggers back, dazed. When he opens his eyes, he sees his crush and the new guy staring at him, seeming concerned.
Like a beetle knocked down on its back,
With its reedy legs fluttering up in the air,
Us drones, minions, working stiffs
Flounder about in our tedious routines–
Crunching numbers, pushing papers,
While the bigwigs think of ways
To stretch our time and pay
So thinly, so third quarter results
Can outperform prior year’s figures.
Tickle us pink, why don’t you?
Better than a pink slip . . . I think?
©2015 Karina Pinella