The Office

Memba Ben By Memba Ben, 7th Nov 2016 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL
Posted in Wikinut>Humour>Off Beat

An introduction to an office job and what you can expect.

An FAQ on office life

Hi Reader!
Welcome to the corporate world where the hours are long and the pay is terrible.
For those who are new to the office life, I (a former entry level office worker) have decided to write down a FAQ for both informative and comedic purposes.
I hope you enjoy it as much as I enjoyed writing it…

What is an office job like?

An office job is like any other job, it has its good and bad. Should you be coming from a retail and sales background, you’d probably find it to be the best thing since sliced bread whereas should you be coming from college/university, you will find it underwhelming. Personally speaking, I found the guaranteed pay and medical provision fund worth it to stay where I worked. The only thing that might bother some people would be its repetitive and tedious nature (you would also find it annoying to file paperwork for approx. 3-4 hours a day) but as I said, it is a walk in the park to stocktaking a warehouse full of goods.

How does a normal day play out?

From my experience and observation, a normal day plays out in one of two manners:

“I am happy to be here and will work hard”

 On the day before you go in for work, your mind will already be tuned into the work mentality. That, in turn, will have an effect as to how much you will enjoy yourself the day before and what time you will go to bed. You may try to block out work because it's an off day, but something will be lingering at the back of your mind such as an incomplete project, an e-mail you need to send, upcoming deadline, things of that nature.
 On the day, you will wake up before the alarm clock rings, shower and get on your work clothes as you need to abide to the company’s dress code. You will leave the house early to accommodate for the morning commute although if past behavior is the predictor for the future, you'll be sitting in some sort of traffic. You will make it a point to stop at a semi decent coffee shop if the coffee at your workplace is atrocious.
 You get to your desk. Greet your coworkers (an important thing if you want your time at the office to go smooth) and get down to work. Usually, your work will be a task assigned to you and only you (no outsourcing). Your job is usually a puzzle piece of a larger job that the company does as a whole. In most cases, you won’t see immediate results of your work. In some cases, if someone leaves the company, the company divides the work that person did amongst the remaining staffers to save money or until they find the perfect replacement. If you have people reporting to you, you might get paid more but it just means more work. Your performance is based on some criteria set by the company. You might get a (small) yearly increase if you're lucky.
 You will have meetings to attend. The problem with these meetings is that they are only mildly productive (usually there's about 12 minutes of valuable content per hour or you would find that the meeting could be summarized in an email).
 At lunch hour, you will have to choose between going out for lunch or eating at the coffee room. Sometimes you'll go out with some colleagues. Buying lunch everyday can be expensive so you may want to bring your own and eat that (at some point during your stay at a company, someone will eat something that doesn't belong to them out of the work fridge and there will be e-mails and notes on the fridge about it). There will be days whereby you may be so busy that you will have to skip lunch. You don't get to leave early or anything. It's just what you do to get your job done.
 At the end of business day, you say goodbye to your colleagues, and prepare to go home but you will most likely find yourself stuck in traffic and do it all again the following day until you retire, are retrenched or pass on.

Alternatively, you could choose to do your job in a manner I call the:
“I’m just here for the paycheck”

 Show up to work roughly half an hour late.
 Get your first cup of coffee.
 Give greetings to people and talk about the weather and traffic.
 Open Google Chrome and open up 3 tabs. 2 work related tabs, 1 Facebook.
 Browse Facebook – if your boss or a coworker walks into office, click to the other tab and look interested.
 Eeeeeease into the day.
 Check emails and get another cup of coffee.
 Prepare for noon and afternoon meetings.
 Fill out your timesheet with planned tasks for the day.
 Go on Facebook.
 Look over some spreadsheets and decide what you want to work on today.
 Do just enough work to say that you did something.
 Check Facebook and see if anyone replied to your comments before noon meeting.
 Make a quick lunch.
 Prepare for the meeting at noon.
 Sit through said meeting (hopefully it ends early).
 Go on YouTube. If anyone asks, just say you're taking a late lunch because of the previous meeting.
 Grab a drink or some snacks for the afternoon meeting.
 Get things organized for the afternoon meeting you organized.
 Sit through meeting.
 After the meeting, talk with your team on some project related issues.
 Take a bathroom break.
 Check Facebook.
 Do a bit of work you had planned for the day.
 Make note on your timesheet or send out an email on what you were working on to keep people updated.
 Clean up your email inbox.
 Have a few spreadsheets open to look busy.
 Check online articles.
 Go on Facebook.
 Go home.
In reality it's from 8 am to 5:15pm. Sometimes, you might get an hour for lunch but on most days, lunch is from 11:45 to 12:00.

Any tips?

 The commute will add anywhere from 5-15 hours a week to time spent away from home. Make sure you plan accordingly.
 Unless you are running the meetings or responsible for taking minutes, you can doze off. Just remember to occasionally say buzzwords like "Metrics" "Project Management" "Deliverables" "Status".
 Make sure that your work is up to date. If you screw up, you’ll have several people breathing down your neck.
 Managers like to see things in PowerPoint but most of your work will be done in Excel. You will be expected to have a Doctorate in PowerPoint.
 Be prepared to deal with the “once a week manufactured emergency” which will require you to stay past time or work on a weekend.
 If you don't get good at sucking up, you will most likely never get promoted. There will be days where you will have to go to the bathroom after a particularly grueling ass kissing and look at yourself in the mirror to remind yourself this is just means to an end.

With that said, there is only so much I can help you with. The best teacher is experience, so go out there and work accordingly. And by the way…


Nothing kills a career faster than “dipping your pen into company ink”…


Guide, Humour, Workplace Joke

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author avatar Memba Ben
A fan's view on the business of football.

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