Between childhood summer jobs and my time as a working stiff, I’ve been in or around offices for the better part of three decades. Some unsolicited tips that I’ve found to be useful:

  • Have an issue with someone? Engage with them directly first before widening your rage net.
  • Never whine about the quality of a free lunch.
  • Don’t talk about how busy you are. Nobody’s impressed.
  • If Bob introduces you to Sally over email, immediately move Bob to BCC when replying.
  • Speaking of email, you should actually respond to emails. Even if the answer is that you don’t yet have an answer (or your reply is delayed), extend the courtesy of an acknowledgement. “Just making sure you received this” notes should make you feel bad.
  • When you do reply to an email, take the extra few seconds to respond coherently. A clear, jargon-free response will save immeasurably more time anyway. A “Sent from my phone, excuse the typos!” email signature should be a federal crime.
  • Stop being so serious. When others are out there literally saving lives (and sharing gallows humor), I have a hard time keeping a straight face as you panic over a downturn in your daily Facebook likes.