QUIZ: Is She Flirting With You, Or Is She Your Coworker Asking For Feedback On A Presentation?

Ginny Hogan has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, and McSweeney’s. Her first book, Toxic Femininity in the Workplace, is available September 10th. Pre-order here.

Having women at your office is tough. Nobody asked you if you wanted them there, which feels unfair. One particularly challenging aspect is figuring out who is trying to sleep with you (smart) and who just has bad taste (un-smart). If a woman seems to be interested in talking to you, you might not know if she’s flirting or trying to “collaborate.” To figure it out, take our quiz!

Did she schedule a meeting with you via:
a. Your phone number, which she asked for twice (some women are assertive, what can you do?)
b. The office scheduling tool

Did she send an email saying she wanted your thoughts on:
a. Her eye makeup—she’s open to doing darker if you’re into it
b. If she should swap slides 16 and 18

When she writes your names on the presentation, does she:
a. Put hearts around yours
b. Choose to live heart-free

When you run into her in the hallway, does she say:
a. “Hey handsome”
b. “Hey, have you had a chance to look over the deck I sent last night?

On a Monday morning, does she ask you about:
a. Your love life—did you #pound this weekend? If not, are you looking to next weekend?
b. The email she sent two hours ago

Does she end her emails with:
a. Thanks, babe
b. “Regards”

During the presentation, does she sit:
a. In your lap
b. Not at all, because she’s standing (she’s the one delivering the presentation)

Does she regularly compliment:
a. Your abs
b. Your choice in font size, because she can’t think of anything else to compliment but she knows men need constant encouragement

When she said “great job”, did you notice her wink and bat her eyes?
a. Yes
b. No, but what even is “batting your eyes”?
c. Yes, but she did stay up all night drinking coffee to prepare this presentation, which you didn’t actually help her with, so the eye-batting could be very much be an exhaustion-related twitch.

Have you swiped right on her on every single dating app and still not matched?
a. No
b. Yes
c. That’s a very personal question

Has she explicitly told you already she’s not flirting with you and not interested in you?
a. Not yet
b. Yes

Should you stop?
a. Why?
b. What is “stop”?

If Mostly As: She’s sooo into you. She probably took the job because of how badly she wanted you—it’s unlikely that she just wanted to work. In fact, you’d be an irresponsible coworker to her if you didn’t continue hitting on her until she sleeps with you. Part of working with women is giving them what they want.

If Mostly Bs: She wants feedback on a presentation, after which she will be into you. The thing about women is sometimes they need help with things, but that doesn’t have to detract from how badly they want you. After all, you are a brain and a body, so why wouldn’t she want both?

If neither: She hasn’t indicated any desire for feedback, which means you should give it to her unsolicited (it’s what women want). And even though all signs point towards her not being into you, she definitely is, because she’s a woman at your office. Key word being “woman.” Other key word being “at.” She’s there—she wants you.

If both: She needs you and she wants you. Actually, this is true regardless.

Ginny Hogan has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, Cosmopolitan, and McSweeney’s. Her first book, Toxic Femininity in the Workplace, is available September 10th. Pre-order here.

8 Holiday Gifts For The Coworkers You Actually Like

I don’t think I need to remind you that it’s the holiday season. This means you’re supposed to start thinking about buying gifts for other people, ugh. Worst part? It’s not just your family. You’ve got to get stuff for your friends, for your kind-of boyfriend, Secret Santa gifts for your coworkers… it’s all v stressful.

But if you’re on a personal quest to be crowned the nicest, coolest, fetchest person in the office, then it’s time to think about gifts for your coworkers. You don’t need to go balls to the wall, but these are people you likely spend the majority of your Monday through Friday with. Small gestures go far, and this could totally (maybe) pay off for you later.

Here are a few collective and individual gifts for your coworkers that say “hi, I’m cool and got you something cause I’m thoughtful” without coming off as creepy or desperate. You can thank us when that promotion comes through.

1. Coffee And Treats

Everyone loves coffee and treats when at the office. Diets don’t exist when you’re in that fluorescent-lit sixth circle of hell. Honestly though, if you’re looking to please EVERYONE in the office rather than buying a bunch of individual gifts, get things to eat and caffeine to drink. Wandering Bear makes a delicious peppermint cold brew (also regular and vanilla) that comes in individual boxes or a giant 96 oz. monster that can be delivered right to your office.You could also just stop at Dunkin’ or Krispy Kreme if people are more into the typical hot coffee (esp. great if it’s negative three degrees outside).

Pair with a few boxes of freshly made doughnuts OR get super fancy with it and order brownies (or bonbons) from this small mom-and-pop North Carolina shop, French Broad Chocolates or Harry & David if you’re fancy and into large corporations.

Wandering Bear Organic Cold Brew Coffee

2. Desktop Organizers

Is your work husband’s desk so disgusting it’s become a joke? Get him a “clean it up” gift basket with monitor wipes or mista desk organizer, and pocketbook on Feng Shui. It’s a win-win. You’re encouraging him to clean up his sh*t so he can be more organized and you don’t have to look at his crusty monitor anymore.

Joss & Main Camile Desk Organizer

3. Lip Balm And Hand Cream

If the folks in your office are anything like me, they’re constantly searching for hand cream and lip balm because of how full of black mold dry the office is. Get some desk #necessities in the form of Nyakio lip balm, cuticle cream, Burt’s Bees, and the ALWAYS amazing Neutrogena Norwegian Formula Hand Cream. Make sure whatever products you pick are free of any color or glitter. If you do go this direction with your gifts, you won’t have to look at people’s nasty dry hands or lips anymore. Yay!

Nyakio Baobab Lip Balm

4. Plants

Plants are a wonderful gift if you feel that more oxygen in the office would truly benefit everyone and you’re confident that the plants won’t die within the first week of your recipients having them. Snake plants are a great option because they’re practically impossible to kill. Succulents are even better if the recipient is likely to forget about watering their new gift. Bonus points if you find something that incorporates plants into something functional, like a “smartphone valet” (whatever that is… do I need to tip it?).

Uncommon Goods Smartphone Valet and Planter

5. Cubicle Guest Book

If you don’t know where a coworker stands on caring for living things (or you work in a sad, windowless room), this cubicle guest book is a fun, cheap, and kind of universal option. It’s hilarious because, like, they have to interact with others and make them sign it with fun notes. We all know how awesome interacting with people can be in an office environment, don’t we?

Knock Knock Guest Book Cubicle

6. DIY Cookie Mix

Don’t feel like spending money or applying effort other than pouring ingredients into a Mason jar? Cool! Create a DIY brownie or cookie mix and slap on a cute tag tied with adorable ribbon. It’ll cost you next to nothing since you likely have sugar, flour, and whatever else in your pantry. Or, you can buy pre-done ones and say they’re your handiwork!

The Mason Jar Cookie Company Cookie Mix

7. Desk Games

Desktop golf, basketball, and other games are all great gifts for your coworkers, because they will help distract your everybody from doing real work while providing hours of entertainment. Your boss will probs hate it, but you’ll become an office legend.

Uncommon Goods Desktop Basketball

8. Dammit Dolls

This is perfect for that coworker who’s always shouting obscenities from their office or cubicle. These are stress relievers in the shape of tiny people that you can throw into walls, drive pins in to, choke, curse at, etc. They’re great for anyone looking to lessen their outbursts directed towards individual people. Now they can channel that very rage into an inanimate object. Healthy!

Paper Source Dammit Dolls

Images: rawpixel/Unsplash; Paper Source; Uncommon Goods (2) Amazon (5); Joss & Main; Ulta
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Are You A Bad Employee? Here’s How To Tell

The following is an excerpt from our new book, When’s Happy Hour? Work Hard So You Can Hardly Work, on sale NOW.

If you’re trying to get promoted or advance in any significant way in your career, one of the most important qualities to cultivate is self-awareness, and the ability to self-evaluate and figure out where you need improvement. And then actually do those things, obviously. One of the hardest things in life is seeing your own flaws, but you have to see them before you can admit to them, and you have to admit to them in order to change them. Here are some ways to go about finding your flaws and really understanding what they are:

Actually pay attention at your employee evals: If you want to know what your boss thinks of you, unshockingly, all you have to do is just pay attention at your yearly (or whatever) evaluation. Your boss is literally forced to formally rate your strengths and weaknesses on paper, so like, don’t just let that be a wasted half hour. If they say you take too long to answer emails and it pisses clients off, just like…respond faster. Most of the time, the answers to fixing your shortcomings will be spelled out for you if you’re willing to be open enough to listen to feedback and change habits.

Ask a coworker who isn’t catty and whose opinion you respect for honest feedback: This is pretty hard because it requires being a bit vulnerable, and we’re not saying you should definitely do this unless you’re sure that the person you’re asking will give worthwhile feedback. Otherwise you just put yourself out there for no gain, and we can hardly think of anything worse than that. The person you ask should be a little more experienced and higher up in the office, and they should be someone who is widely seen as hardworking and drama-avoidant. The last thing you need is someone gossiping about your vulnerable moments to the entire break room.

Ask your friends and family: As much as we want to think that we can put on a flawless act at work, that’s really not possible. Like we mentioned earlier, who we are in life is who we are at work, just with a little more polish. You might be a little better at faking it with your coworkers than with your boyfriend, but the fundamental flaws themselves will probably be the same. If you really can’t be organized enough to ever get to brunch on time, chances are that you’re also disorganized at work and tend to be late to meetings or whatever. Take some cues from your weekend self, as explained by loved ones, and ask yourself if any of that is reflected in your job. Then work on that sh*t and use your personal life to practice as well. Maybe if you started getting to the restaurant in a timely fashion, you would not only piss off your friends less but also the habit will spill over into your work life and benefit you on multiple fronts.

Pay attention to what you criticize other people for: The traits we notice and critique about other people are often—surprise—actually the things we do ourselves. It’s called projection, and it’s really easy to detect—thanks, Freud. For example, it bothers the sh*t out of you how Michelle is constantly sucking up to your mutual boss and trying to undermine you and your coworkers by subtly throwing shade about everyone else. Meanwhile, you just spent a half hour plotting how you’re going to make Michelle look like an idiot in the next meeting by criticizing her project and then offering to fix what she did. Sound familiar? Yeah, because you’re actually doing the exact same thing that you criticize Michelle for. Next time you hear yourself talking sh*t about a coworker, ask yourself if you might actually do the same thing you’re calling them out for. Once you’ve answered yourself, you can keep bitching about them, but then change your behavior after.

We’re not saying it’ll be easy. Getting to know yourself and admitting your faults is honestly kind of the worst. But if you value yourself, you’ll value your own self-improvement and you’ll be okay with suffering a little and making changes for the sake of a better future.

Want more amazing career advice? Order our new book, you won’t regret it.

Images: Giphy (4)