The Worst Seat On An Airplane Is The Best Seat In The Office


GTGTTBR (Got To Go To....)

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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Sam started Financial Samurai in 2009 during the depths of the financial crisis as a way to make sense of chaos. After 13 years working on Wall Street, Sam decided to retire in 2012 to utilize everything he learned in business school to focus on online entrepreneurship. Sam focuses on helping readers build more income in real estate, investing, entrepreneurship, and alternative investments in order to achieve financial independence sooner, rather than later.

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  1. Lovingkind says

    You probably can’t choose where you want to sit in the office, but you can choose where you want to sit on an airplane if book early. My husband always asks for isle seats. If we both travel, he asks for two isle seats.

    I like the conveniece of sitting next to the bathroom at work, but never thought about building good relationship. Good suggestion!

    • says

      Lovingkind – You are a smart and patient traveler then! I swear, every time I get to the airport earlier, my flight is delayed. And every time I’m rushing to the airport, it’s on time. Doh. That’s funny you guys both ask for the isle seat. You guys don’t want to hang on each other? :)

      Thanks for stopping by. FS

  2. Lovingkind says

    We travel overseas often. Even when we travel domestic, it’s still coast to coast or (Pacific) island to coast. Still long. So it’s good to get that extra space for comfort. Of course, if we were still in our 20’s or 30’s, I would like to sit next to my husband and choose to have one isle seat to get that extra space for comfort. :O)

  3. Gen Y Investor says

    Really great post! It was very unique and brought up something that no one has ever talked about. It’s always important to gain exposure in the workplace and this is just another way of doing that!

    • says

      Hey Gen Y! Good to hear from you man. Where you been?! I thought you dropped off the face of this earth! Glad to see you are back! Cheers, FS

  4. Charlie says

    another ingenious post!! Even though I am very territorial of my current seat which allows me to see the entire office without anyone sneaking up on me I would probably be working harder if I was in a more exposed seat. And I think you make such a good point about getting that exposure to everyone in the office and making more connections with coworkers even if they are quick hellos.

    • says

      Welcome back GYI. It’s good to be on vacation! :)

      And by the way, I’m surprised everybody got what GTGTTBR stands for! For those who don’t, it stands for: Got To Go To The Bathroom!


    • says

      FB – So long as you are in relatively close proximity, in the path towards it you’re all good! Our office has double door bathrooms to lock in the wonderful odors.

      Thought you were self employed and living the dream? FS

  5. Broke M.B.A. says

    LOL. Your post reminded me of my negotiations professor who said the same thing. He described how he would stand by the restrooms at parties and work functions so that he would have an opportunity to catch all of his “key contacts” originally listed before the event began. He even went a step further and described how he used his wife to network. He said he refused to speak to her at any social event because his and her time were better spent networking.

    • says

      Broke – Wow, your professor was a real go-getter! My negotiation professor was quite hilarious himself. He talked about his negotiation strategy with his neighbor’s tree for encroaching on his property. Of all the things. Hope all is well, and hope to see you around more often! FS

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