Let me start out by saying, I am a HUGE toy guy, I mean… look at my office at home.
As you can see, this isn’t meant to throw shade at anyone who has toys or decorations at their desk or in their office at work.
With that being said, I have witnessed some crazy situations when it comes to toys at work and I think there should be some ground rules or at least a guiding policy surrounding them, and that is what I intend to do here with what I am calling:
Fancy Mike’s Guide to Toys at Work.
- Do not bring toys of value to work
This can be monetary or sentimental value. Seriously, people suck. Don’t bring your expensive signed Babe Ruth baseball into the office. God forbid someone touches it, moves it, or hides it from you, and you lose your mind. Now you’re the crazy possessive person. Cool, you have a signed baseball from Babe Ruth, take a picture of it and show it to people, and they will still think you’re a loser. Same thing can be said with sentimental items. Your deceased grandma’s glass frog should stay at home.
- Prepare for people to touch your stuff
This goes without saying. If you have a football on your desk, I am going to touch it. If you have action figures, I want to play with them and if you have cute pictures, Debra from HR is going to man handle them every time she walks by like it’s her first time seeing the picture of your kids from 3 years ago. So if you aren’t down with any of those scenarios, leave your stuff at home!
- Prepare for people to tease you
Imagine: Fancy Mike walking through the cube bank and he notices the Barney doll you have on your desk. I am going to stop by and ask you all about your special Barney doll and listen to that cute story about how it was your favorite as a kid, and you’ve had it on your desk for the past 10 years. Then, I am going to go relay the story to the office ass, probably named “Blake” or “Mike” and he’s going to be at your desk in less than 10 seconds making fun of you in an obnoxiously loud voice, as people awkwardly try not to laugh so they don’t get in trouble with HR.
- Limit your toys to one box
If you’re reading this and you’ve never worked in an office, or you’ve been lucky enough to work in the same place and keep the same desk for over five years, you won’t understand. But, the rest of us know. Don’t get comfortable. Odds are you are going to be moving desks / offices / buildings / jobs all the time. So, I have found that if you limit your toys to one box (the size of the boxes the printer paper comes in), you’ll always be able to find a box for your stuff and you won’t look like Todd who has to ask for the special cart to bring all his stuff to his new desk and takes the entire day setting up his desk just so.
- Gauge your toy ensemble based on your 2nd level supervisor’s ensemble
This is a pro tip in my opinion. Kind of like “dress for the job you want, not the job you have”. Odds are if you are working in an office environment, you have a supervisor, and that supervisor has a supervisor. That person is your second level manager. I know, duh. But, hey: we are trying to educate those who may be reading this. I digress, check out your second level manager’s desk or office. If they don’t have ANY toys… quit, because it sounds like they suck. But, if they do have some toys, I recommend bringing in a couple of things that you have that is similar or would pique their interest. This way if they are walking by your desk, or they need to come talk to you, it provides an open invitation for additional dialogue and for your to showcase more of what you bring to the table.
Please like this if you enjoyed reading, and if you have any thoughts, leave a comment!