Welcome To The Working Week10:30 AM
Wait, what. It is Friday! It is the END of the week. I was listening to Elvis Costello on the way into work this morning, and my brain cannot really think of anything witty to go along with that just yet. Anywho! Work, yes. I have had a few different jobs so far in my life, and I am sure to have a few more if anyone out there loves me. I started young with babysitting, paper routes, and even a brief stint at a daycare center where I was WAY too young to really be working, but I was forced to entertain small children for a few hours a day, so I call it work.
Anyway, it was a bit of a rough week for me, but I managed. I thought I would give some tips on how to get along at work. Mostly because I sometimes need a reminding myself, and also because I wish that someone would have done this for me when I was first embarking out into the workforce.
Personalize your space: I totally took full advantage of that. My desk at work has a close resemblance to my old locker in high school, but instead of pictures of Seth Green, X-Files, and Backstreet Boys, I have photos of Kyle and Louie. And lots of Doctor Who stuff. If you do not have a desk, try personalizing what you have. When I was a cashier at Best Buy, I had a pic of Weezer on the inside of the door. When I worked at Mc Donalds', I would wear different pins everyday (my pieces of flair, if you will), the most popular being the Yoda one. When I worked at a resale clothing shop, we had our own lanyards with our names on them that we decorated. It sounds silly, but sometimes looking at things that make you smile can make the day the tiniest bit better.
Look nice: It can be hard to focus on your appearance when you have so many other things going on, especially if you are not overly fond of your place of employment, but making sure you look decent can make a world of a difference. Obviously I am one who likes clothes, so I kind of look forward to creating outfits for work. But we all have days when we feel like crap, that is fine. You can still wear a comfy sweater or whatever makes you feel better, just make sure that it is clean. Seriously, you don't have to get fancy, just make sure that you shower, brush your teeth, comb your hair, and wear clean clothes. Especially if you work somewhere that requires a uniform.If you show up to work in a wrinkled, stinky shirt while everyone else has the same exact one only clean, they will notice.
Be punctual: Okay so I have major issues with this one and I am still working on it, so don't be me. I can get away with being a little late if I stay late, so if that is an option for you, make sure you get all of those hours. However, of you are late for your shift, you might be forcing someone else to stay later to cover for you and that is not cool. Actually if you can, show up 15 minutes early or so. I used to do that at Best Buy, and it was nice to hangout in the crew room and watch TV with everyone before starting my shift, which made me relax a little more.
Don't be lazy: I know what it is like to scrub down a hot grill, after working 9 hours, being all sweaty and gross, and then being asked to clean out the bathrooms and take out the trash. It really, really sucks. But, it has to be done. When I was hired in at the clothing store, the woman who hired me specifically did so because I had worked in fast-food. She told me: "I hire people with that experience, because they are always the hardest workers". There are days when everything sucks, but slacking on the things you are supposed to do will only cause you more work later. True story bro.
Make friends: In my own experience, when I worked at a crappy job (Mc Donalds', Best Buy), I HATED the actual job, but I loved my co-workers. Now that I have a "good" office job, I like most of my co-workers, but I don't really hangout with any of them. I think what made that bond with people at the less desirable jobs so good is that we were all miserable together. So, hey, we made it through the day, lets all go bowling! At my current job, I asked one of my co-workers if he wanted to grab a beer after work, now he is attached at Kyle's hip. Having someone, or a few people, to laugh with makes the job a little easier to get through.
Take breaks: This was something I NEVER did. Ever. I thought I was so badass by just plowing through my shift, maybe pausing to eat something, but then just getting back to work. Don't do that. Well it is okay once in awhile, but if you get breaks, use them. Take time to sit down and eat your food, check your messages on your phone, read a book, etc. The small distraction will help you recharge for the rest of the day. I never used to use my two 15 minute breaks, but now I pop on my headphones and read. I used to think that it made me look like a slacker, or that I did not work hard enough. But the truth is, taking breaks made me calm down and work better throughout the day.
Go out! Go out for lunch once in awhile! Or to a happy hour after work. I like to get breakfast with Kyle and our friends once a week before work. Or if time and money are an issue, then maybe treat yourself to a coffee or an ice cream or something once in awhile after work. I look forward to those breakfasts, and I am usually in a really good mood for the rest of the day.
Remember to Breathe: Working in the service industry: customers will yell and scream at you, they will be rude. They will even call you names (not all, but some, because assholes). You are expected to just sit there and smile because the customer is always right. Babysitting kids: They might not want to eat their dinners, or will run around when it is time to go to bed. When you work in an office: Someone did not do what they were supposed to do, and you are stuck doing it. The copy machine is broken. Your co-worker emails you in light-pink, cursive font that hurts your eyes. Whatever. Take a minute to breathe. I have sat in the bathroom crying because of how stressful days have gone, there will probably be more days like that. It is okay to take a second to close your eyes, take a deep breath, and calm yourself down. If all else fails, get yourself some chocolate after work. Because chocolate.