In elementary school, your birthday usually meant cupcakes and a rousing round of “Happy Birthday” sung just for you. In college, it meant an epic bar crawl with shots galore that only cost you an epic hangover the next day. But now that you’re in the nine to five world, birthdays don’t seem to matter as much. You’ll still get slammed with work, get yelled at by your boss, and may even have to stay late—even if all your friends are planning to meet you for post work drinks. In short? It’s never gonna be a celebration. But here’s how you can make the day a little more festive: More
Author Archives: JL Scott
Forget about the “hang in there” poster featuring an adorable chimpanzee dangling from a tree branch. Here’s how to ooze sophistication in the office—and show your cubemates that you’re very busy and important off the clock.
Make friends in high places. Preferably one on another floor, in a department that everyone knows is important. By becoming pals with the CEO’s assistant, for example, not only do you have a place to escape when you need to get away from your desk, but your boss will think twice the next time she bitches you out, if every time you saunter back and say you were up on the executive suite. More
When you began your job, the muted grays of the cube surrounding you seemed kinda cozy. Now, they’re straight-up claustrophobic and you are ready for the next leap. So you brush off your resume, send some network-y e-mails, and land an interview. Score! But you still have to sneak out of the office for an hour or two. Here, what to say to get out gracefully (plus, even if you’re not going for a gig, you can always use these excuses to escape the office for a much needed mental break). More
So, I was sitting in a meeting doing a few of the things I do when a meeting has gone on far too long: Doodling my name on my notebook, thinking about lunch (the eternal salad versus GoodBurger debate, which, btw, never ends virtuously), wondering why a neon pink pedicure never lasted as long as red… the usual things you think about when you’re Not Paying Attention, when I felt a tap on my arm.
“Do you have anything else to contribute?” My boss asked, smiling.
I looked at her, looked around the table and panicked, before mumbling something about needing to find my notes. But after all that frantic paper shuffling, followed by whatever lame idea I choked out, I realized there are way better ways for dealing with being put on the spot. Here’s how to get out while looking good: More
In high school, I was voted most dramatic in the senior class — and it wasn’t because of any acting aspirations. I was the type of girl who’d announce that she was having a nervous breakdown in gym class, would freak out over a physics test, and wouldn’t think anything of crying if I was upset. Unfortunately, in the workplace, a breakdown is not as simply solved as being excused to take a nap during the nurse’s office. And one time, after a cryfest at my cube turned into my boss asking me if I needed to “take time off” to “deal with my emotions” (like, in a mental-health facility) I realized that sometimes, holding back can equal getting ahead. So, the tried-and-tested rules of breaking down—without your boss getting upset. More
Confession: Back when I was an intern, I spilled red wine on a white carpet, lost my boss’s cell phone, and once almost wiped out an entire database (which was fixed after a whole lot of tear-filled convos with IT). But despite that, all my supervisors helped me land gigs after graduation. More
The first time I got drunk in front of a boss, I was 20. It was the box office celebration party for an arts festival I’d been working at, and somewhere between 4 p.m. and way too many amaretto sours, I told my boss the following things: That I was seriously considering getting my nipples pierced, that I was wearing a green thong but I preferred boy shorts, and that I really, really wanted to hook up with our waiter. More
An office pal brought donuts to work. I ate half of a Boston cream, then remembered my commitment to eating healthy. I threw the rest in my trashcan. A few hours later, I got slammed with work. I got cranky. And I needed carbs. I saw the half of the donut sitting there, on top of an abandoned Us Weekly magazine, and I dove in and grabbed it – right before I realized that my super blonde, super skinny, super pulled together boss saw me. More