For some reason, I generally get stuck in a middle seat close to the bathroom every time I go on a business trip. It’s probably because I leave so little time between take off and check-in that I usually end up screwed!
The worst is when you’re just about to fall asleep and you get nudged by your neighbor for hogging the arm rest. Come on neighbor, I’m stuck in the middle, the arm rest is mine! The second worst thing is inhaling the lovely toilet aromas every time someone walks in and out. Finally, add a crying baby next to you, and air travel is just lovely.
Despite my constant bad fortune on airplanes, the one thing I do recommend is sitting close to the bathroom at work. We discussed strategic seating in business school one day, and if you think about it, sitting closest to the bathroom, whether you have a cubicle or office is the absolute best place to be. No matter how senior or junior someone is, they must go to the bathroom and walk by your desk at least a couple times a day!
Unlike the mysterious guy sitting in the corner who everybody thinks is surfing the internet all day, you get a constant stream of opportunities to develop relationships with your colleagues and bosses if you sit near the loo.
“Hey Jim, how about Mark Sanchez of The Jets the other day huh?”
“Hey Pete, so sorry Colt got injured against Alabama. You still owe me lunch sucker!”
“Nancy, I just love your new hairstyle! Where you get it done?”
“Susan, want to grab a coffee this afternoon? I have something to share.”
“Christine, any tax consultant suggestions? I can’t for the life of me figure these numbers out!”
BINGO! All easy lines to develop your relationships internally.
The biggest risk for employees during recessions and promotion season is to be out of sight, and therefore out of mind. By sitting near the bathroom, you are unavoidable and everyone must acknowledge your presence. Just don’t stop folks who have visible pains on their faces!
Readers, how is your work environment set up and can you think of any other strategic, no effort office strategies to keep up your profile?
Sam Samurai – “Slicing Through Money’s Mysteries”
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