10
   

How to be professional on the job

 
 
jespah
 
  3  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 12:13 pm
@Fil Albuquerque,
I'm not advocating any of it. I find it as idiotic as you apparently do.

But management has the $$. And if you work at a job which is not in demand and, in particular, where the employees are seen as interchangeable parts (think retail), then management will do what it wants.
ossobuco
 
  2  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 02:30 pm
@jespah,
I see most posters' points.

Me - years as a lab worker, usually supervisor, in the manner of head person you can ask a question, not in the managerial sense. My first lab, I was the only person, including being the person to move the refrigerator (I was always interested in space planning, didn't know it then.) I refused the primo managerial role in a later company I worked for a few years that became rather large. I preferred the research/lab aspects, we're all different. Actually, I left because that all got claustrophobic and I was then into art studies after work.

We all wore lab coats some lot of the time, including docs.
In that last place, the Office Manager finally had a talk with a fellow not that long from a pacific island about the matter of body odor. I sort of liked him, since I've a very reduced sense of smell.

Next
I got interested via art in landscape design, and signed up for what turned out to be four years of courses and a couple of years of internship, and what was then national boards. I passed. I'll never regret this, my view of the world expanded in bursts. Never great for the wallet, but wonderful in what I learned, expanding interests, vision, and so on. Also, some of those views changing, but that was now part of the fun.
A regret - geology, I should have gone there back in college.


But, work mode - we wore what we needed to. One place where I interned, a famous name at the time female designer wore high heeled boots to job sites - but I know those were not muddathons. She dressed for success, then meetings. I think of her as a mentor, short time, but even back then I had long ago stopped with those heels, I need balance.

In later years, wherever I worked past thirteen days (another story) was casual.
Shoes mattered. Mud happens.
Later, in business with my last business partner who was also a contractor, we both wore clean jeans and shoes that could deal with a given property.

Oh, and we did wear dresses - but usually that was not smart for walking a site.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 03:07 pm
Well, my musings are way off for any usefulness for Angel.

Still, if you are reading, Angel, these are things we talk about.
0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 09:03 pm
@jespah,
When you are with peers, you should fit in with this culture. If someone came to our office and didn't join in our freewheeling lunch conversation (which includes everything including religion and politics) it would be a bit off-putting. This is just what we do.

This was true even when I was working for a big soulless corporation a few years back. Some faceless lawyer had sexual harassment training on his checklist and so every single employee had to complete a ridiculous class including a computerized test. No one took it seriously, in fact this is where I picked up the nick-name "sweetheart".

Interaction between co-workers should be the same as interactions with any other adults. Obviously you pay attention to what bothers other people, but there is no set rule. I have had a problem a couple of times. Each time it is easy to work out with respect. I stop doing something that bothers a co-worker once I know about it, but making everyone walk on eggshells is not a solution. I spend 50 hours a week with these people, I am going to be comfortable being myself there.

I don't think this is unique to engineering. Swearing with peers is common in many professions. I know sales people who swear quite a bit even when they are dressed very expensively. I think part of this is that it makes them relateable which is important in that profession.


0 Replies
 
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Thu 29 Nov, 2012 09:06 pm
My advice to Angel is to follow the company culture.

Hopefully you are able to choose a company with a culture that fits you. If people go to lunch and talk about politics, then you should be comfortable joining in. If people are reserved than staying away from politics would probably be a good idea. It is the same thing with Dress codes and work hours. Each work environment is different and it is best to adapt to the place you find yourself.

0 Replies
 
FBM
 
  4  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2012 06:19 am
OP, what helps me survive living in Korea is carefully observing what the people around me do. If they don't do it first, I don't do it. If they dress modestly, I dress modestly, etc. As much as possible, I don't assume anything. It's not my living room, and they're not my family. Hope that helps. Best of luck.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2012 10:59 am
@FBM,
I am curious FBM, does your example work both ways?

If everyone around you is dressing immodestly, do you dress immodestly?
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2012 11:03 am
@FBM,
If I were the CEO of a company, I would hate this. Assuming I am looking for people who think independently, are creative and wildly innovative, I wouldn't want to hire people who just take cues from the people around them.

FBM
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2012 05:33 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

I am curious FBM, does your example work both ways?

If everyone around you is dressing immodestly, do you dress immodestly?


Good point. No, but I'd feel free to dress casually.
0 Replies
 
FBM
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2012 05:34 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

If I were the CEO of a company, I would hate this. Assuming I am looking for people who think independently, are creative and wildly innovative, I wouldn't want to hire people who just take cues from the people around them.




I'm not talking about work behavior. I'm talking about social behavior.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2012 06:53 pm
@FBM,
There is no reason to restrict people's social behavior at work beyond what is necessary to make employees productive and happy.

In my experience, people who are creative socially are often creative in their work. Some of the most influential productive and valuable people I have worked with had social quirks. Interestingly enough, in my last job there was a guy who showed up every day in a business suit while the rest of us were in jeans and tshirts. I respected him as much as I respect anyone who challenges social norms.
FBM
 
  2  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2012 07:03 pm
@maxdancona,
maxdancona wrote:

There is no reason to restrict people's social behavior at work.

In my experience, people who are creative socially are often creative in their work.
Some of the most influential productive and valuable people I have worked with had social quirks.


Yeah. I want workers who feel free to do anything they like to whomever they like, regardless of how the other person feels about or responds to it. No need for social skills. Sling poo, grab body parts, fart in the elevator, everything goes!

I wouldn't want to work in a place like that, either. I quit my last job because I got stuck in an office with an obnoxious and overbearing know-it-all who lived on caffeine and cigarettes, and would take even your slightest moment's pause in work as a sign that he could hover over you and hammer his imbecile opinions into your ear at max volume. He wasn't my boss and when we discussed it (I found a tactful way to bring it up), he said he was aware how unpleasant his behavior was, but never tried to curb it. He said, "Hey, think about it this way. You get to go home at the end of the day. I have to live with me all the time."

I wouldn't want to work with or for that guy, nor would I want him working for me, increasing my employee turnover rate.
maxdancona
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2012 10:04 pm
@FBM,
That's funny. I would also have a problem with a co-worker who flung poo. But you are missing the point.

My objection is to arbitrary rules, not to common courtesy. You don't need ten commandments of "professional behavior". You just need decent people who know how to work together and work out any problems like adults. I have been lucky in most of my jobs to work with people I naturally get along with. It makes things a lot nicer when the people you spend 8-10 hours a day with are people you actually like.

I object to arbitrary rules.

If someone says "Thou shalt not discuss religion or politics at work", I have a problem with that, particularly in my lunch time or breaks.

I have worked in many jobs, including my current job, where we enjoy talking about religion and politics (as well as philosophy, literature, sports and everything else). It brings us together as co-workers and lets us express ourselves in something not related to work. I can't imagine not talking to co-workers about politics during the election.

If someone ever had a problem with that, they could tell me and I would be sensitive to what they were feeling. There are all kinds of ways to work that out. After all, the people I work with are adults.

There was one job where someone had a problem with the fact I was walking around the office without shoes on. They simply told me that it bothered them. I had no problem wearing shoes after that, and it wasn't a problem. Most adults know how to communicate.

I not opposed to civility and I am not opposed to courtesy. I am opposed to hard and fast rules mandating what people can and can't do that have no basis in the actual workplace and people involved.



FBM
 
  1  
Reply Mon 3 Dec, 2012 10:56 pm
@maxdancona,
Cool. Understood, max. I didn't propose any hard-and-fast rules, just a little worldly wisdom on how to get along.
Angel23
 
  1  
Reply Mon 17 Jun, 2013 02:53 pm
@FBM,
Gr8 freakin thread. Just thought I need a little prayer. Praying to god that I can sustain my pattern of not being angry and negative all the time. Had enough of it. Also, praying that I don't screw around too much and think everything is a joke. Real life is not That 70's Show.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

Dispatches from the Startup Front - Discussion by jespah
Bullying Dominating Coworker - Question by blueskies
Co worker being caught looking at you - Question by lisa1471
Work Place Romance - Discussion by Dino12
Does your office do Christmas? - Discussion by tsarstepan
Question about this really rude girl at work? - Question by riverstyx0128
Does she like me? - Question by jct573
Does my coworker like me? - Question by riverstyx0128
Maintenance training - Question by apjones37643
Personal questions - Discussion by Angel23
Making friends/networking at work - Question by egrizzly
 
Copyright © 2020 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.04 seconds on 09/30/2020 at 05:08:40