Coping with the Office
Your First Day at the Office | Coping with Office Copying | Problems with Office Paper | Office Food and Drink | Computers at the Office | Managers in the Office | Averting Telephone Problems in the Office | Email in the Office
So it's your first day in a new office. So much to see, so many people to meet and names to remember. It's going to be information overload day: you're going to have to be selective about what you remember.
Some people are key to your success in your new position and are worth noting. Here are some of the most important departments.
Facilities - These are the people who sort out your desk, lighting, heating, pens, pencils, the post and so on. They're also a major source of gossip, so it's a good move to make friends with them as soon as possible.
Reception - Another major source of gossip. These people are most likely to be the social organisers. If you want to get in on the social scene of after-work drinking sessions and parties, then this is a good place to start.
IT - You may think that these people are the undead of the office world, but the chances are that you are going to be using a computer and if you want it to work at all, then get to know this group. You will often find that they can give you a few extras such as loudspeakers for your PC, and maybe advice on your home computer.
Security - Be nice to these people. They can make your life very difficult if you cause them grief. If they keep asking for you to show your pass then be happy to show it to them. You want to get into the building, and these are the people to talk to.
Personnel - This is the 'bottom line' department. If anything goes wrong then you may well end up here. A bit of diplomacy now can go a long way.
In large buildings it may be impossible to remember how to get about without a map and a compass. However, there are some places you will definitely need to remember:
The Toilets - It is absolutely critical that you work out a route to the toilets. This will save embarrassed whispers from your colleagues later on if you have a dodgy curry. If you can, it may be worth working out where a second set of toilets is. Many office toilets are closed for cleaning during the day and getting caught short is not pleasant.
Exits - Despite it being your first day, there is always the possibility that there will be an evacuation of the building. Avoid being left behind.
Canteen - You may not want to risk the canteen yet. At least, not until you've seen how the food served there affects your new-found colleagues. However, it's still useful to know where it is, even if it's only so you can avoid it.
Smoking Area - If you're a smoker, this is your pressure release. If you're a non-smoker, then you need to know where this area is so that you can avoid it. Shouldn't be difficult to find. Just follow your nose.
The main, and possibly only, reason that you are in this office is to earn money. However the joy doesn't have to end there. Find out as much as you can about your new environment without becoming annoying. Talk to people. If you're happy, then people will be happy with you. If you are grumpy, then you're on your own. Oh by the way, a good ice breaker is the phrase, 'Does anybody want anything from the stationery cupboard?'