Three weeks ago I started my new job. After 18 months of unemployment, and moving from the medical field to a tech company, there has been a fair amount of culture shock. More than anything, it has been strange to spend my days not only working with people my own age, but working with a bunch of men.
Honestly, I’ve always been more of a guy’s girl. I was a basketball-obsessed tomboy as I transitioned from childhood to adolescence. I know about makes and models of cars. I understand the importance of red meat. I grew up with a brother who hyperactively rough-housed with me. All of this background has helped me assimilate into my new workplace.
So with further ado…here are some tips I’ve compiled to survive working in an office full of men (and I say this with all the love in my heart) —
•The secret weapon, both in Ugly Sweater contests and working in a male-centric office, is glitter. If they’re teasing you, and you want to be left alone, pull out the glitter. It’s more effective than tear gas.
•Edible bribery works wonders. Especially if it’s homemade.
•Expect to be pelted with Nerf Balls, and practice throwing so you can hit them back. I sit next to a boy who is under perpetual crosshairs, and missed throws usually hit me. At least that’s what my boss said on my first day when I got a direct hit, square in my chest.
•Take compliments with grace. They will try to apologize with flattery, and if they can tell you accept their compliment as an apology, they will not act mopey with guilt the rest of the day.
•Say “thank you” when they open doors for you, allow you to walk ahead first in a tight hallway, or pay for your #PDR. It ups your chance of them acting like a gentleman and treating you like a lady.
•Expect to hear every iteration of curse words, except for the curse word itself. Apparently the boys in my office use a Filthy Filter.
•Don’t tease the “BroMances.” They will always tell you that they are “just friends.”
•Never, under any circumstance, leave your workstation unlocked when leaving your desk. You never know when your screen will be punk’d with an embarrassing wallpaper, or secret settings will render your mouse unusable.
So far the #1 perk for working in a male-centric office has been bathroom stall access. It took nearly 3 weeks before I walked into the restroom and had to wait for a stall. The day I had to wait an extra two minutes, I came back to my desk and the guys asked to make sure I was okay. I also know so much more about video games and sports scores!
They may tease me incessantly, but I know they care.