Every summer our offices get invaded by students on work terms. And just because I use the word “invaded”, I don’t mean to imply that this is necessarily a bad thing. It’s fun having some fresh, young blood around — watching them getting up to their zany student antics. It kind of livens the place up. Yes, it does.
However, (and you knew there had to be an “however”, right?) — however, I think it would be a good idea if schools (or maybe even parents) in charge of these lovely young people’s education gave them all a brief workshop on office etiquette before they foisted them onto the workplace.
Yes, some of them are brilliant and very efficient and polite and hard-working and business-like. But a hell of a lot of them don’t seem to have a clue. So, I propose a short half-course called Attitude Adjustment 101. It would cover the following:
Module 1: Dressing for Work. No matter how casual an office might be, it is never a good idea to look like you just stumbled in from a night on the beach. Short shorts, flip-flops and tank tops are really only appropriate if you wish to work in the offices of a surf shop. While many office drones enjoy looking at sexy, firm young flesh, you don’t want to overwhelm them with all of it at once. (There will also be a day-long seminar on why clubbing clothes isn’t what grown-ups mean when they say “dressing up for work”).
Module II: Telling Time: We understand that it’s been a long time since Kindergarten, therefore this module will review and refresh the concept of time and why workplaces are all hung up about it. We will look at your right to party your face off at night vs still having to arriving by 8:00 am to work the next morning. Some questions that will be addressed are: Is it fair? Is it really so wrong to start work in the afternoon? And, if you have to get ready to go camping for Friday night, what’s wrong with leaving work at 2:00?
Module III: Doing as You’re Told: Students in their second year of post-secondary education are, of course, more than ready for upper management positions, so why are they expected to do filing and photocopying on their work terms? Your heads are filled with all the knowledge and wisdom of the ages and people insist on treating you like hired help. How to cope with this humiliation will be given careful examination.
Module IV: Acting Interested. Naturally, once you graduate with a degree from our esteemed institution of higher learning, you are going to fall into an exciting, well-paid and glamorous career. At that time, you will be perfectly free to sneer at those saps who slave away in a boring old office day after day. How to stop yourself from doing that while you’re actually working with them for a summer will be covered in a workshop by a well-known guest speaker. We will look closely at the urban myth that a year or two after graduation you will come crawling back begging for a job.
Module V: Earning What You’re Worth. It is indeed, barbaric of work term placements to have to work for only double the current minimum wage while useless old people in the same office as you are earning way more. A comprehensive workbook will be distributed outlining the methodology used by most work places to determine promotions, salary increases and advancement in the organization. The puzzling concepts of full-time permanent employment and extensive experience vs summer jobs will be explored in-depth.