Geek Life in the Workplace
No matter how badly we wish it, not everyone can work in the Google offices. There may not be a giant slide or video game room at your place of employment, but don’t let that discourage you from bringing individuality into the workplace. Some office buildings are cold, stuffy, and boring, which in turn creates an unfriendly atmosphere. Many people dislike their job in the first place, let alone how they feel when they walk into the room. The last thing we need as employees is to dread leaving the house in the morning due to a uninteresting and stiff environment.
How can we amend this? Isn’t there anything the geek culture can do besides having a Pikachu on their desk or hiding Tardis socks under their slacks?
Announce your presence with a greeting. Doing so as you enter the room is not only polite, but welcoming for others to start a conversation with you. They may be feeling just as drab as you and are looking for a little warmth in the workplace.
Share interests by presenting experiences. Maybe mention a movie you recently viewed or a cool new kitchen gadget you found at the mall. If no one bites, don’t worry. It’s possible that when they see that same movie or are next cooking in their kitchen the memory of what you shared will come to mind, and the conversation will reopen another time.
Find out the rules in your work place for personal area decoration and dress code. Remember Pikachu? Totally keep one on your desk if you’re allowed. Pikachu is powerful, cute, and a great conversation starter. Great at lighting up a room, too. If your area is your own and you can do as you please, make it feel more like home with pictures and quotes from your favorite fandoms, scientists, or philosophers.
A great way to coerce coworkers to you is to offer them treats. Candy jars have been a staple in offices for years for this very reason. When that wall hits in the middle of the day and all you want is a reason to get out of your chair (that isn’t a restroom break because you’ve peed a thousand times already and are already paranoid that people think you’re nuts) the bowl of Twizzlers across the room is a great excuse.
Why Bosses Love the Geeks
Whether you’re an entertainment, gamer, gadget, costume, craft or internet geek, you have a great interest in something. The reason everyone loves a geek is the same as why your boss should, people with interests have more personality. Introverts, hear me out here. You may prefer to spend time alone with your own thoughts, but that doesn’t make you any less interesting. People are interested in people with interests. Why do you think geeks are the easiest and most fun to give gifts to? Bosses and other superiors take notice when you make an effort to not only get your work done, but also to have a presence in the workplace. Your manager didn’t earn that title by blending in.
Don’t hide behind your desk/register/apron and simply go through the motions at work. You are unique with your Minecraft lunch box and Millennium Falcon bumper sticker. Improve the atmosphere by embracing your geekiness and being yourself. Corny, I know, but it works (Brave, Little Miss Sunshine, Rudy, Wreck It Ralph, etc.) These tips and tricks may not transform your job into a character sculpting position with Weta, but hopefully you’ll find it a little easier to be yourself and bear the burden of your membership in the world’s work force. Good luck on that lottery win, my friend. May the force be with you.