Avoiding the Office Urinal Cake … and other career tips

Urinal Cake

Once upon a time I worked as a Barista at a ski resort alongside a rowdy snowboarder crowd. My colleagues enjoyed the odd Friday afternoon adult beverage, and although I was not of legal drinking age, they’d occasionally invite me to join them.

Now, I’m not one to shy away from a margarita, but shooting tequila wasn’t exactly my 19 year-old strength – though now I can hang if needed.  But, on one particular Friday the rowdy crown invited me to partake, and though I probably should have declined for a number of personal and professional reasons, I said okay.

I took the shot, and the second shot that followed an hour later, and the third shot that came around 4:00 when at the same time, my good sense and my gag reflex intersected. My belly revolted, and I knew a hurl was coming. I ran for the nearest toilet, mouth-watering, chin quivering, and I realized my closest option was the men’s room. I made it just in time to unload my brown-bagged lunch all over the urinal.

When you find yourself staring at a urinal cake covered in your own vomit, you might want to reconsider your career choices, and other things I’ve learned from the corporate world through trial and error.

  1. Conflict should always be resolved voice to voice, not via email.
  2. Never order a meatball sub at a business lunch.
  3. If you’re frustrated when writing an email, put it in your inbox and let it rest for an hour.
  4. Never order that third margarita at a business dinner.
  5. If you have to cry, do it in private.
  6. Don’t put your hands behind your head when wearing a tight shirt in a hot room.
  7. Hurt feelings shouldn’t dictate business decisions.
  8. Don’t hesitate to apologize first so you can move on to important business.
  9. Sometimes, you just need to shut your mouth and wear beige.
  10. Own one really perfect pair of black shoes.
  11. Invest in a professional laptop carrying case.
  12. Attend every social event hosted by your employer, even if only for a moment.
  13. Never limit your perception of responsibility to what is written in your job description.
  14. Volunteer, volunteer, volunteer – take on any opportunity that comes up.
  15. Don’t group CC to castigate someone, do it quietly and privately.
  16. Share your concerns with your boss, but when the decision is made, get on board.
  17. If it’s important, write, edit, proof, let it rest, print it out, then proof read it again.
  18. Make friends with the IT team.
  19. Use your PTO, it’s an important piece for rebooting your mental systems.
  20. It’s not personal, it’s business.

Published by La Belle Valise

I work, I travel, and as often as possible, I make the two intersect.

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