Thursday, September 3, 2009

How to behave in a Senior VP's office

Or rather, how NOT to behave. I flew up to Oakland for 2 days of meetings, for work, and although I'm back safely in San Diego, I really wish those 2 days just never happened.

I will preface my actions below by saying that I was up at 4:30am, on a plane by 6:45am, and working non-stop since the plane landed in Oakland at 8:00am.

By the time I reached my Sr VP's office for our 3pm meeting, I was exhausted. I don't know about you, but when I am tired, I get weird. Or, my weirdness starts to show itself. As soon as I sat down in the last open chair (4 other higher-ups in the room with us), I kind of just slumped down in relief and then put my forehead on the edge of the table. WHO does this, you ask?! THIS clown. In my state of sleep depravity, I had totally forgotten where I was. My Sr VP lightly pats me on the shoulder (like a puppy dog), in sympathy I am sure, and says something to the affect that we've all been there. Small, sweet gesture that only made it worse! AAHHH I couldn't believe what I had done!! Completely mortified.

By 430pm I was already looking at a 12 hour work day, so I decide to vent to my friend A-Lu. I was looking for understanding in the fact that I most likely just ruined my 6 year career in a swift and murderous blow in the form of 1 hour with my superiors. Instead, she finds it hilarious and insists that I tell the world. After much thought, I decide she's right. Yes, my mistakes are funny when you're on the outside looking in (and slightly funnier to me now, 24 hours later). But in all seriousness, there are certain things that just aren't done in the corporate setting. Not if you want to keep your good reputation, pride, and paycheck, that is.

So here's the start of my list of things NOT to do in the office:
  • Do not attempt sleep on your boss' desk. Or any other desk for that matter.
  • Do not attempt to make jokes/quips like 'lights on but nobody's home'. Not only are they rude and not appropriate for the work place, they're not funny. Don't try to be funny if you're not. If you're not sure if you're funny, you're not.
  • Do not slouch in your seat and sling your arm over the chair when talking to superiors. This is not appropriate body language for that setting. Remember that you are the inferior.
  • Do everything you can to avoid being tired at the office. It usually doesn't go well.
  • Do not personally insult the work ethic (or lack thereof) of Directors who are not even in the room. The office is a rumor mill in which you should not participate or perpetuate.

Today is 'Day 1 After The Incident' and I am happy to report that at this time, I still am employed.

1 comment:

Phoebe said...

Hahaha! I am sure they found it quirky and charming. You will probably get a raise soon for being so genuine. :)

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