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How Not To Get Fired On Your First Day At Work

Updated on August 22, 2012
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I'm a dad a husband & a Christian first. The rest is just life's add ons - an educator, administrator, learning & development professional

Don't get fired on your first day at work.
Don't get fired on your first day at work. | Source

The first day of work is an exhilarating day. But don’t let this day be your last. Here are some tips (helpful or not).

1. Go to work! As straight forward as it is, fight the urge not to ditch your first day of work. Unless of course you’re suffering from a contagious disease. In such cases, call in sick.

2. Come on time. The truth is you are not considered late until you show up. But if you don’t show up that’s a big minus on your part.

3. Learn the names and faces of the top guys – when in doubt; treat the person you’re talking as if he’s the owner. It might just be him or her.

4. Pay attention to the company orientation – focus on the topic and not on the pretty young HR staff conducting the orientation. Now is not the time to ask her out – wait until the orientation is over. Company orientations will help you get your bearings straight to avoid making a fool of yourself.

5. Don’t send your previous employer a hate letter using the company’s letter head.

6. Don’t flirt with your boss’ wife or girlfriend – not knowing who your boss is dating or married to is not an excuse. As an addendum to tip 3 learn the girlfriend’s or wife’s name and face.

7. It’s too early to take home office supplies so don’t…just yet. Leave the stapler alone!

8. Don’t start the who’s dating who in the lunchroom on your first day. Let them do the talking and just blandly nod as if you’re not really interested. But do take mental notes.

9. Don’t ask for a raise.

10. Don’t sit in your boss’ chair.

11. Make friends with the security personnel and the custodian. You’ll never know when you’ll need their help in the future.

12. Don’t surf for or download adult material on your workstation. Using a proxy server will not cover your tracks. You may opt to use you’re a co-worker’s desktop but it will still take some time before you can do this covertly.

13. Don’t encroach on your co-workers work space. Although the office space is technically the properly of the company, many employees have marked their territories – hopefully not with urine or some other bodily fluids.

14. Don’t ogle at the ladies (or guys) which ever you prefer. You don’t want to be labeled the pervert of the year on your first day. Keep ogling to a minimum. Salivating at the sight of a gorgeous co-worker is also not a good idea.

15. Keep your hands to yourself unless when you need to shake the hands of people. But refrain from constantly touching yourself as well. It can be equally creepy and disturbing.

16. Be mindful of your language. Rude and vile language are reserved for employees 3 years and above. Just paint a mental picture of profanity and just smile instead.

Don't sleep on the job.
Don't sleep on the job. | Source

17. Don’t sleep on the job. For the love of all things sparkling and shiny stay awake! Sleeping on the job is reserved for the bosses and the highly gifted people who can sleep with their eyes open. Some are even blessed with the typing reflex – the ability to type while asleep.

18. Do not complain about anything. You have not earned the right to complain. For some this takes a few months while others take years to earn the right. The question “Are you OK?” or “Is everything all right?” are rhetorical. So if your table is near the men’s comfort room, just bring a can of air freshener in the coming weeks.

19. Don’t say “This is not my job, ask someone else.” This is most especially true when you are talking to your boss.

20. Do not photocopy your butt on your first day. If you can’t fight the desire, make sure you wipe the surface afterwards. People won’t like it when your butt print shows up on their documents.

21. Practice the art of looking busy with care. Even if you’re an expert you don’t know what counter-measures are present in the new office.

22. Don’t shout “Stop looking at me!” or “Make the voices in my head go away!” You may shout “I see dead people.” But the reactions may not be as harsh as the first two.

23. Don’t set the office on fire.

24. Don't write "[Name] was here." on the toilet door and intentionally leave the toilet unflushed. Anonymity is your best friend.

25. Don’t pretend to be the new boss on your first day. Sure, it may be fun since no one knows you yet. You might even fool the actual office manager. But this will be short-lived I assure you.

Being the new guy in the office can be unsettling. You may feel like you’re in a fishbowl and everyone is tapping on the glass just to see how you’d react. Of all the applicants it’s you who passed the selection process. So do your best not to get fired on your first day.

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    • profile image

      Phoebe Pike 4 years ago

      "23. Don’t set the office on fire." -- That one made me laugh. :-)

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi Phoebe Pike, I recently conducted a safety seminar for the office and fire safety was one of the topics. Good thing I did the seminar. LOL

    • tammyswallow profile image

      Tammy 4 years ago from North Carolina

      LOL.. Don't sit in the boss's chair. This is a hilarious list. I chuckled the whole way through it. Love it!

    • unknown spy profile image

      IAmForbidden 4 years ago from Neverland - where children never grow up.

      i love the #10. Hahahaha!! sounds fun. My friend once scolded by a superior because she was caught chatting on facebook during office hours..it was her first job and her first day!

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi tammyswallow, I'm glad I tickled your funny bone. but seriously, don't sit on the boss' chair. LOL

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi M,

      Your friend should have waited a day or two. lol

    • profile image

      Ghost32 4 years ago

      As others have commented, this is a great list...for a white collar worker. But there are other things worth considering when it comes to blue collar employment. The first to come to mind (which, hmmm, maybe I should expand to a full length Hub) happened my first day at work as a roughneck in the oilpatch.

      Turned out stepping up to your crotch in the oil-scummy wellhead overflow pit was probably not the BEST thing to do.

      Didn't get fired, but yeah, it did make the boss wonder about me more than a bit for a while after that....

      Vote Up Plus.

    • Lightshare profile image

      Lightshare 4 years ago

      -) interesting suggestions! Thank you

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi Ghost32,

      Nice way to start your first job. LOL At least you got your boss' attention!

      We'll wait for your hub :)

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      You're welcome Lightshare. Of course this is just a short list.

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      That's a great addition VibrantViews. Everyone has their own list and we can actually make a book about this. Who knows, Fortune 500 companies might buy it from us.

    • DeborahNeyens profile image

      Deborah Neyens 4 years ago from Iowa

      This made me laugh out loud. Not touching yourself in the workplace is an important tip to keep in mind.

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi DeborahNeyens,

      Glad to put a smile on your face today. Yes, less touching more working seems to be a good reminder. :)

    • profile image

      Mike 4 years ago

      I like number 5. Don't send a hate letter to your previous company using the letter head. Great tip. :)

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello again Mike,

      YEs, #5 can be dangerous. We try not to get fired on the first day.

    • DDE profile image

      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      A smile is always the best way to show your mild manner

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      He there again DDE,

      Yes, a smile can break the ice while showing positive vibes.

    • daisyjae profile image

      daisyjae 4 years ago from Canada

      Good tips for any new employee.

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi daisyjae,

      I just hope people will take heed and don't find themselves jobless on the first day. :)

    • savingkathy profile image

      Kathy Sima 4 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      These are great tips! Thanks for the laughs. :)

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi savingkathy,

      Glad to put a smile on your face today.

    • SpeakUpStandOut profile image

      Criss 4 years ago from Southern California

      These are some good tips. A few years ago, I started a new job, a few days in, I was at the employee kitchen area and a man walks by and drops his coffee all over the floor. I grabbed some paper towels and started to clean up the mess. I found out later that day that that man was the President of the company and he had told my boss how impressed he was that I helped instead of pretending I didnt see what happened or just walking away.

      I like number 18. This reminds me of "do not complain if you didnt vote". You have to earn the right to complain. Nice one. :)

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi SpeakUpStandOut,

      It's a good thing the boss did not think you were the new custodian. :)

      Thanks for sharing your experiences.

    • billybuc profile image

      Bill Holland 4 years ago from Olympia, WA

      LOL....great suggestions my friend. You had me laughing at quite a few of them...don't photocopy your butt is a definite, at least the first week. :) Great fun!

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hola billybuc,

      Nice to have put a smile on your face today. Yeah, wait round a week before photocopying your butt, there's a long line so get a number. :) See you around my friend.

    • profile image

      M.Orteza 4 years ago

      SO funny. I'll keep #20 in mind.

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello M.Orteza,

      Yes, do keep #20 in mind always. When the urge hits you to do this, remember that someome might be watching. Big Brother is everywhere. :)

    • profile image

      Topher 4 years ago

      A hate mail using the letter head...that's original. :)

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello Topher,

      Well, some can be really creative. :)

    • theluckywriter profile image

      Stephanie 4 years ago from Canada

      This made me laugh. I actually got fired from my first job. On the first day. In my defense, I was 15 years old and nervous. I was supposed to answer the phone. But when I picked it up, I was too shy to actually say anything. Oy.

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hi theluckywriter, Well, that would definitely get you fired. At least you can add that to the list of experiences that will make you a better employee.

    • Ceres Schwarz profile image

      Ceres Schwarz 4 years ago

      This is a pretty funny list but it's also useful for people who are just starting with their jobs.

    • jpcmc profile image
      Author

      JP Carlos 4 years ago from Quezon CIty, Phlippines

      Hello Ceres Schwarz,

      Thank you for dropping by. Yes they are quite funny. But we still have to take heed since we don't want to get fired on the first day. :)

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