Friday I began a countdown of the top ten things rookies should avoid saying to not be labeled “that guy.” It is never easy to be a rookie. It is also not easy to deal with a rookie who always seems to be in your way as a veteran. These are the mistakes every rookie should make an effort to avoid in order to prolong the patience of the veterans on the staff. This is a list of very easily dodged potential landmines in a new working environment.
The first items on this list were more related to things “that guy” does to annoy his coworkers. This section of the list represents the things that are done to offend your coworkers. Being annoying is significantly more forgivable than being offensive. The first six items on this list could be considered minor infractions. The top four features ways to permanently annoy your coworkers. Any of these violations could result in you being labeled “that guy” forever.
Here are the top four infractions that could make you “that guy.
4) “Want to go out to dinner?”: I have previously discussed why I think it is a bad idea to date coworkers. This was also refuted. I think we can all agree that it is incredibly dangerous to date a coworker before you know a little bit about the workplace drama. You didn’t know the hostess you asked out was the scheduling manager’s ex-girlfriend who the head bartender has been in love with for years? That excuse won’t cut it while spending the next year waiting for mimosas while opening the Sunday brunch every week. Maybe you should have waited until you knew better.
3): “Did you hear about…”: Most rookies, who are not clearly “that guy”, can avoid the previous offense. Far more fall prey to this temptation. It is never a good idea to gossip. It is a horrible idea to gossip when you are new to a restaurant. You may be quite certain you have a juicy tidbit, but you have no idea the background of the person you are sharing it with. Your perception of the person you are talking about may be completely different than the opinion of the person you are talking to. Avoid this at all costs. No one wants to be labeled a gossip.
2): “You can put that in my trunk.” As a server you hear the same jokes over and over. It grows tiresome and annoying. Yet with all the overused restaurant jokes we have to hear, we are still far luckier than the beer/liquor delivery guy. I cannot even imagine their annoyance. Every time they make a delivery they have to deal with “that guy.” Every restaurant has at least one. You can always spot “that guy” when the beer man comes because he cannot resist making the joke. “You can just put that in my trunk.” If you make this joke, you might as well just stand on a table and announce that you have no problems being the least funny and most obnoxious person in the room.
1): “When I get my real job…”: At the beginning of this list, I admitted that I have been “that guy” before. I have violated this rule. It was in 1995 to a coworker named Cassie. I got to know Cassie pretty well over the next decade and we are still facebook friends. 15 years later she has a degree in radiology and I am still serving. Let this be a precautionary tale. What I have learned since is that this is my real job. I enjoy it. I am pretty good at it. Whether this is what you want to do for the rest of your life or not, you will not walk into my restaurant and insult what I do. Just because you do not take it seriously does not make it a less legitimate career choice.
The basic principle behind all of the items on the list is that we are all a team. When you go in the weeds the veterans will be there to help. Their primary objective is to get you to a point where you will be able to return the favor. Over the course of the time you have this job, you will be spending a fair amount of time together. You might even run into each other socially outside of work. There is no point in making a bad first impression. As a rookie you will automatically require more work for the veterans on the staff. There is no debt owed to the veterans for this help except to avoid being “that guy.”