It is your first Monday after landing that “big kid” job you have been waiting to hear back from weeks after a third interview two weeks out of grad school. This is it. You are a grown up… by definition. You have your willingness to impress accompanying your desperation to validate the six plus years you just spent in school. Your can-do, will-do, ENTJ personality type (you know this cute little acronym because of the patronizing personality test Company made you take while you waited to start your first interview) has a match in its pocket, ready to set the stage on fire. Here comes your first assignment. The boss that interviewed you seemed like such an effective leader so you are hot in your seat ready for him to say “John Doe, go start The Biggest Project This Company Has Ever Had because we believe in your abilities and you are an asset to this team!” Instead, you crumble when he hits you with the, “Hey, can you get me a coffee? Little bit of cream, lot a bit of sugar.” Your ENTJ personality wants to say “No, I am busy with The Biggest Project This Company Has Ever Had because I have abilities, I am an asset to this team, and I just worked six plus years as a bartender to pay for an education that planted my pie-hole right in this very seat so I finished the portion of my life where I have to serve beverages.”
Ladies and gentlemen, The Art of Shutting Your Unsolicited Pie-hole is a marginally perfected, extremely amateur art that is largely a work in progress. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average person has twelve to fifteen jobs within their lifetime. Take a step back. If you decide to tell Mr. Get Me Coffee that he can put his little bit of cream and lot a bit of sugar where every four-letter word resides, you will probably end up closer to the latter end of the statistical pool. The Art of Shutting Your Unsolicited Pie-hole is all about knowing your place, your worth, and your experience.
Your place: you are a new employee. With every new person Company hires on, they are going out on a limb by showing you the tricks of their trade, by allowing you to be a part of their payroll, and by entrusting you with their brand image. Uphold it. Based on the business-savvy mind of Dr. Stephen R. Convey’s Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, “seek to understand, then to be understood.” Your worth: there is a limit to shutting up. Respect your dignity and support your years of education. You may be the grunt of the company, but your bones will look the same as everyone else’s in one hundred years. You are a human being; you deserve respect. Your experience: keeping with the scenario, this is your first real job. You have an abundance of knowledge waiting to be soaked in like a sponge and absorbed by your worn out brain into your knotted guts. Get excited! When your boss tells you to do something, if it dwells in the confines of your ethics, do it. If you pay your dos, in time, you’ll be telling the sad, broke, newly big kid’ed grunt to be getting you coffee.
Drag your shiny Oxfords, that your mom bought you as a graduation present, over to the Keurig and take the coffee making with a grain of salt. Your opinion is only unsolicited because of the sheer aspect of time and the fact that you have not spent any there. You have no problem telling someone to clean the toilets, do you? No, because you spent your teenage years as a lifeguard, waitress, or bust-boy. Your boss has no problem telling you to make him thirty-eight point five copies of The Outline of The Second Biggest Project This Company Has Ever Had because he had to make thirty-nine copies years ago when he was in your shiny Oxfords. The thirty-eight copies are for the thirty-eight board members assuming the responsibility of The Second Biggest Project This Company Has Ever Had and the point five is for you, John Doe. He has big plans for your employment at Company because he chose to disregard the other candidates and hire you. Remember that and shut your unsolicited pie-hole.