Thursday, February 22, 2007

Office Etiquette for the Triathlete: What to Do When Work=Life for Your Coworker

Triathletes are a special breed. Through years of training, we have worked out that delicate balance between family, exercise, work, and personal time. We know that when one of those things overpowers the others, life gets rough. And the best way to succeed and do your very best is to find the best balance for you.

Happy Triathletes

But what happens when you run up against someone who hasn't figured this out yet? And what if you have to work with them? They may resent you because they don't feel you're pulling your load at work when you don't stay overtime. The "American Way", after all, tells us we should work hard because that's what will make us successful. And we all want to be successful, right?


Triathletes do work hard. We work very hard. But at ALL aspects of life, not just in the office. We tend to measure success not in how much money we make (as long as it's enough for race entry fees, food, and gear, we're set!) or in what promotions we get. And when coworker Joe Schmoe has dedicated his life to ensuring that people everywhere have their appropriate dose of pictures of Britney Spears' shaved head on the gossip website you work at (tailor this example to your situation), he's going to give you poo about "having a life". As if it's more honorable to stay late on Friday night to get that 10th photo of Ms. Spears than it is to spend time with your family or work toward another, say, Ironman.

So what to do?

Dartboard face

You could pin a picture of said coworker's face to a dart board at home, and in the 2 spare minutes you have to yourself before going to bed, launch darts at him. But that's a bit too passive aggressive for a go-getter like you.

boss talk

Speak with your boss so you have solid hours. That way, there shouldn't be any wishy washiness about when you're allowed to go. If Picture-Finder Joe Schmoe has later hours, or wants to stay later, that's his prerogative. In no way should it make you feel guilty at all.

There are always times when you might be asked to stay later to fix something. And if you can, and it's not an every day occurrence, it's up to you to do so or not.

Just remember: if you do the best you can do all the time (which is a motto most triathletes live by), you should have no regrets. There will always be "haters" who are jealous of your thriving social live, your kick ass athletic physique, and your amazing athletic accomplishments. They don't like you and give you a hard time because they're jealous.

Jealous Coworker

Take pity on them. And maybe one day, buy them a swim cap or something and encourage them to tri, too!

Happy Thursday!

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