Back in college, you wish you could take back that drunken text you sent to your ex after a night of too much partying. Now in the corporate working world, you wish you could take back that email you accidentally sent to your boss about your weekend of too much partying, and other fun stuff. Such a tragic moment when you press Send and your heart stops, wondering what compelled you to do that and counting the seconds until your boss shouts your name and demands to see you in his office. Gmail, one of the most popular email services used by businesses, hears our plea for help and has offered a nifty hidden secret that allows us to unsend our regrettable emails! Go to the right-hand corner and click on the Cog icon (It’s that circular, mechanical-looking thing with petals). Scroll down and click on Settings. On the top row, click on Labs. Scroll down towards the button until you see the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow: Undo Send. Click Enable and then Save Changes at the button of the page. Now, whenever you have composed an angry venting email, or a TMI email to a co-worker and you accidentally press send, you have 10 seconds to press the Undo button at the very top of your inbox….the button sent from the Gmail gods that will save you your job!! After you click on Unsend, which I have very subtly highlighted for you, your email will appear in the drafting stage again, so you can fix some typos, change the recipients, or just delete that entire NSFW email that you shouldn’t even be composing at work, genius! You’re welcome.
Why does it seem like more coffee spills and accidents happen in the office on Monday mornings than any other day? Because Monday. Inconveniently, offices don’t usually provide a whole laundry room and detergent for everyone to wash their clothes. But there are some things you can find in the communal kitchen that could help! If you are able to, immediately run to the bathroom and run cold water behind the stain, underneath the fabric. If the spill is still fresh, the cold water may be able to just flush the liquid out. Do not run the cold water in front of the shirt where the stain is or else it will just spread. If the stain is already starting to set, just quickly dab at the spot with a paper towel or napkin. Never harshly rub at it; you will only make it set into the fabric faster. When all the moisture is gone, you need something absorbent to soak up the spill. Ideally, you can blot it with a white towel, but few offices have the luxury of providing employees with fancy white towels. So a slice of white bread is the next best thing. Most likely, one of your co-workers brought in a sandwich of some kind for lunch and left it in the fridge. Now it’s never nice to steal someone one’s lunch, but in this case, it is not to eat it; it is to save your designer pure cotton twill blouse! Grab one slice of bread from the sandwich (hopefully it’s dry and not covered in another stain-inducing ingredient like mustard), put the lunch bag back in the fridge in its original position, and zoom back to your cubicle so no one catches you. Tear off the doughy center and place it on the stain until it is drawn out. Work quickly before the stain sets. If there are no sandwiches in the office today, some table salt could also do the trick to absorb the stain. Pour a generous amount of salt to cover the stain. You may have to adjust in an awkward position to keep the salt upright, but what else can you do? Once the stain is absorbed into the salt, lightly brush the salt away. The same methods apply for if you accidentally spilled coffee or juice on your desk as well. Just choose between dabbing and then white bread, or dabbing and then table salt. Another typical mess in the office is if you are eating your breakfast bagel and you’re left with a bunch of crumbs scattered on your keyboard. Instead of making a ruckus by unplugging your keyboard and turning it upside down to shake out them all out, just grab a Post-in and run sticky side along the keys to collect the crumbs. Easy peasy!
Isn’t that something that we always tell ourselves through gritted teeth each time a customer is being especially demanding or difficult? As an employee, it is our job to make them happy (and prevent them from coming back and complaining again). There are just some people that get a kick out of coming back into your store or office and creating a mountain out of a molehill. What is even worse is when there are other customers around to watch and observe the fiasco; and the last thing you want while getting attacked by a customer is having an audience too. First things first, keep your cool. As much as you want to lunge at the customer with your claws out, that will instantly scare off all your customers from ever stepping foot in your store again, and you’ll gain nothing but a lawsuit. So calm down! Never raise your voice to their level, or use the same angry or sarcastic tone, which will only fuel the flames. Instead of seeing them as an angry adult, imagine yourself talking to a child throwing a tantrum (but don’t tell them that, of course!). This angry customer is just a fussy child that wants you to listen and take care of them. In most cases, the angers stems from the frustration of not being heard. This should change your mindset from “Ugh, this person is nuts!” to “Aww, he is upset. What can I do to help?” Even if they shout mean and ugly things to you, don’t take it personally. When you are angry, you kind of lose all logic and exaggerate things; so just let the insults just bounce off you. It is important to let the customer know that you are here to help. Just saying that can lessen their stress by 90%. So show them you care. If possible, try to get them away from other people and tell them that you two can speak in private in a corner, or in a separate room. Reassure them with: I’m sorry you are feeling this way. What I can do to help you? I completely understand your situation. We are doing our best to fix it for you. Thank you for your patience. We will try to resolve this for you as quickly as possible. Give them a chance to vent. Even jot down some notes so that you can remember the facts clearly and show them that you are taking this problem seriously. At the end, repeat the situation back to them, saying “So the issue right now is that…is this correct?” At this point, try not to focus on defending your company even if it wasn’t your fault. You don’t want to restart the fire again. Your customer doesn’t really care. He just wants the problem fixed. So reassure him that you or your manager will look into the problem right away. Be as detailed as you possibly can. Tell them who are the people that will be involved, what the procedure is, how long will it approximately take to be fixed. Ideally, this can resolve the issue right then and there. However, there will be some irrationally angry people that are not willing to talk in a private room and would rather let it all out in the middle of the store. Here, you are going to have to professionally handle it in front of other people. Don’t look around at other people’s reactions. This will only make you feel even more helpless, or the customer will feel your weakness and step up their anger even more. Place yourself in a confident stance: back straight and chin up. Even if you are just a regular or a new employee, think of yourself in a higher management position. Not so you can self-righteously tell the customer to beat it, but so you can naturally exude more professionalism and confidence. That renewed mindset will guide you with what to say and do with the customer. Then, pray that everything will be smooth sailing from there. If not, you can always call security. Good luck!
It’s like something out of a movie: you are slouched in your chair with your arms folded across your chest, and your head hanging low with your mouth slightly agape. All of a sudden, you head pops up and you see ten other associates sitting around you at the conference table, all looking at you and waiting to hear your answer as to why profits failed to exceed expectations from the campaign. Falling asleep during a class, church, or a movie tends to be a regular occurrence, but it is almost detrimental to be caught snoring away at your office desk, or worse, right in the middle of a meeting with your superiors and clients. If your heart was telling you to finish the first season of House of Cards at 2 in the morning, you are going to have to deal with the sleep deprivation the next day. Luckily, there are some tips that can help you stay up and alert at your desk: Stretch and twist your body in our chair, and roll your neck to improve blood circulation Drink cold water Take a break and step outside to get some sun Listen to upbeat music Graze on some light protein snacks every 30 minutes or an hour that require chewing (apples, nuts, whole grain crackers) Do some small chat with your cubicle neighbor for a minute Break up monotonous work and switch over to a new task Chew mint gum Crank up the AC Now, in situations where you are stuck in a meeting or surrounded by co-workers, it wouldn’t be a good idea to be chewing gum and what not. There are still some discreet ways to stay awake whilst sitting in your chair by using acupressure. There are certain pulse points on your body that when pressed down on, will stimulate your brain and instantly make you alert, which includes your earlobes, the back of your hand, and the back of your neck. For your earlobes, just pretend that you have an itch or your ear muscles are just so sore that you need to massage them, and just slightly rub between your thumb and index finger. Likewise, the area on your hand right between your thumb and index finger is also a good place to massage. This is the most discreet of all, and advantageous because if you massage your hand, tilt your head, and narrow your eyes just a bit, it would look like you are really pondering about how to improve sales this quarter. Lastly, you can massage the back of your neck; but don’t do it for too long or else it’s just distracting to other people. Good luck!