Thursday, May 22, 2008

How to Be Nice to People on the Job

  • When the temperature dips, offer your mail carrier or the teenager shoveling your walk a fresh cup of coffee or hot chocolate. Buy lidded disposable cups so they can have it “to go.”
  • If someone goes beyond her job description to help you, call or send an e-mail to her supervisor praising her. The employee will get a small career boost, and the boss will probably be thrilled to hear something other than complaints.
  • Avery Horzewski, a communications consultant in San Jose, California, likes to give chocolates or Starbucks gift cards to grocery clerks, delivery people, and others who are especially friendly or helpful.
  • Bring in a box of doughnuts for your building’s maintenance staff. Just don’t consume all the jelly-filled ones before you pull into the company parking lot.
  • When you make an in-person donation to a nonprofit organization (such as an animal shelter), also drop off something to brighten the day of the people working in the trenches.
  • Lindsey Schocke, an administrative assistant in Atlanta, knows how stressful starting a new job can be. So whenever her company hires somebody, she makes a point of extending a lunch invitation. “I can answer some questions for them,” she says, “and then they have a friendly face to say hello to until they get to know everybody.”
  • Overtip your breakfast waiter. He probably put forth just as much effort as someone on the evening shift would, but his take-home pay is probably lower.

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