Archives for posts with tag: coworker

Every so often, my company does something for its employees to give us a bit of a break in our hectic schedules. Today was ice cream day; a local ice cream shop brings a cart by and we all get free ice cream and time to hang out and enjoy it. As I was waiting in line to get my delectable cup of salted chocolate ice cream, I stood talking to my coworker and friend. We talked a little bit about work, but we quickly moved on to talking about what’s going on in both of our lives. I felt (and still feel, hours later) calm and capable after that mid-day break.

I’m sure I’ve said this before in some way, but I really appreciate this company. They go out of their way to organize events like ice cream day which may seem small to some people, but it is a nice thing for employees. The company doesn’t have to go and spend money on ice cream or a party (2 a year in fact–a Christmas party and a Spring picnic), but they do. Sometimes, those seemingly small gestures go a long way, in my estimation, to creating a comfortable work environment. I forgot all about ice cream day today until the little reminder popped up in my Outlook. I forced myself to look away from article proofs, stretch my arms and legs, and get up and go downstairs to stand around, eat, and talk.

My friend and I had a lovely afternoon conversation and I got to enjoy some of the best ice cream I’ve ever had (honestly). I’ll take that over an hour of answering email correspondence any day :).

Do any of your employers or schools go out of their way to do things for their employees/students?



Heidi’s great post about networking last week really made me think about whether I’m being proactive in connecting with people professionally (spoiler alert: I could do better). These thoughts culminated last Friday at my office had their annual Christmas party and I found myself talking to a few people that I hadn’t spent much time with before. I’m so glad I did!

I work in a large office, but my group is fairly small. Each one of us may not know everyone in the department enough to say hi and chat on a daily basis, but at the bare minimum we know who we all are by name and face. It felt great to sit at a table for dinner with several co-workers and get to know them in a more relaxed setting. It reminded me of this informative article from Forbes, which discusses the best way to network at a holiday office party. I think one of the best parts about talking to co-workers at an office party is that it is already a less stressful situation. I tend to overthink social situations because I’m naturally a shy person, but if I’m comfortably surrounded by familiar faces in a fun atmosphere, I’m much more likely to strike up a conversation with someone and be confident about it.

I know it’s a little early for New Year’s resolutions, but I think I’d like to try to be more aggressive about networking. I want to get my name out there and let people know that I’m here, I’m smart, I’m capable, so let’s chat!

What about you? What are some recent networking events you’ve attended?


I came across this post while browsing some blogs and news sites last week: What to Do When Your Boss Tells You to Smile, and I spent some time thinking about previous posts I’ve written about maintaining a professional image in the workplace. When I’m working and I frown or squint, am I giving an unprofessional impression? Am I leading people to believe that, because of what I like to call my “unintentional meanface,” that I’m miserable at my job? I had to read the article two or three times before I formed a coherent opinion about the this. First, I had to remind myself that I know I’m not miserable at my job and I treat my bosses and coworkers with friendliness and respect. Second, I do not have to make excuses for why I am making a certain expression (as long as I’m not being rude to someone). I actually don’t have experience with a boss or coworker telling me to smile; I do have experience with it outside of the office, though.
I’ve been approached by people (and by people, I mean men. Sorry, guys!) telling me to smile when I’m walking down the street. I think my reaction depends on the tone the person uses when he tells me to smile; if a man says, for example, “Hey, beautiful–why don’t you smile for me?” (this is a true encounter, by the way), then I’m going to be uncomfortable. If a person (man or woman) says, “You look sad and I want to see you smile!” (also a true encounter), I’m not offended. In fact, I think it’s nice that this person took a second out of their busy day and noticed that I looked stressed or upset. Maybe the person isn’t that nice and I’m giving him or her too much credit, but I’d like to give people the benefit of the doubt. (I’ve written about this idea of always being kind and respectful to others here and here–it’s a huge sticking point for me.) In short, it’s all about the delivery–are you hitting on me and you want attention? Then forget it. Are you trying to be nice and funny to make me laugh? Okay–your heart is probably in the right place.
The person who wrote in to Corporette said that coworkers tell her she looks angry when she’s working and she says, “I do furrow my eyebrows when I concentrate, and often am reading very tiny print, which makes me squint a bit.” I can relate to that–I work in publishing and more often than not, I’m editing a Word or PDF document and to keep my eyes from falling out my head from exhaustion, I have to squint. In a situation like this in a workplace, my first question to the writer is where is the person asking you to smile coming from? Do they sound snarky? Caring? Sarcastic? Maybe they’re concerned about you. Maybe what you think of as your b****face is what they think of as a frustrated expression. I know I’m a happy, friendly person and I typically smile and nod or say hi to people in the office. But I’d hate people to think that I’m not very happy with my job because I look angry while I’m working. I understand the frustration that people (especially women) feel when they are told to smile; it’s like we are being told to perform a certain way in order to be considered acceptable as women and as human beings. I also think it’s important to take a step back and to think about what the intention of the other person might have been–it could just be their way of expressing concern. In my opinion, if being told to smile bothers you, then tell your boss or coworker in a respectful way. Most people will appreciate your honesty and back off.
Alright, let’s hear it, readers: have any of you, men and women, been told to “Smile!” at work? What about somewhere else? I want to hear about it!
Check out more about this topic:
1. The Professional Implications of a “Naturally Frowny Face”
2. The Chronic Bitchface Is Still Here
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