“A job, a job, my kingdom for a job!”
Let’s face it: being a professional fighter is pretty much the coolest job on earth. Even if you never get to wear gold, you can party like a rockstar and make a decent living, not to mention the benefits–oh the benefits. Few of us will ever know the pleasure of punching our coworkers in the face—in fact it’s generally frowned upon—and for that I am eternally jealous. But in the corporate world we live and die by a universally accepted code of conduct that one can follow to stay on the straight and narrow. For the professional ass-kicker, the guidelines are less concretely defined. As evidenced by an increase in pink-slips for cage-unrelated activities, mixed martial artists are not issued the same employee handbooks as their 9-5 brethren. With that in mind, here are a few axioms from the office that may prove handy for our leather-throwing friends as they walk the fine line between living large and unemployment.
“If you’re not 15 minutes early, you’re 15 minutes late”
Showing up to work on time is ‘Employment 101′. Your boss doesn’t want to be there any more than you do, so you’d better believe he wants you clocked in and suffering alongside him at the agreed-upon time. Sure, we all get stuck in traffic from time to time, but if you make a habit of being late you can believe he’s going to notice.
Don’t take a long lunch break
“I just *had* to order that Awesome Blossom!”
The lunch break is a much needed reprieve from workday woes and an opportunity to recharge with a well-balanced meal. But you don’t want to abuse the situation: it’s a simple meal, not a feast. If you find yourself dragging things beyond the typical 30-60 minutes, you’re flirting with disaster. Have a quick salad, gnaw on an ice bag, and get back to work. Don’t be led astray by your less professional coworkers.
Don’t come in to work fucked up
“Stay away from the green Gummi Bears. Trust me.”
We’ve all done it before. One drink led to another and before you know it happy hour ends with you waking up on the floor of your living room wondering how the hell you got home. Fortunately, most of us can show up to work the next morning reeking of whiskey and skank without concerns of a random drug test. But if you know big brother’s going to be handing you a piss cup, take a moment to think about what you’re putting in your body and ask yourself if those brownies from Nick in accounting are worth it.
Keep it P.C.
“Stop me if you’ve heard this one. No, seriously, stop me.”
It’s one of the worst parts of riding a desk, but you can’t always say what you want to say when you want to say it. Take it from us, not everyone lives by your moral code nor gets your sense of humor. That joke that slayed your bros at the game last night may not go over so well with the chick in the cubicle next to yours. From gender roles to politics, we all have our opinions. Whenever possible, try to exhibit restraint and watch what you say.
Respect the Chain of Command
Speaking of watching what you say, watch who you’re saying it about. A wise crack about the boss may draw a few laughs around the water cooler, but make sure he’s not within ear shot at the time. It’s best to keep critical thoughts about your superiors to yourself lest they get wind and take offense. Insult a coworker and they may throw a tantrum, but insult someone up the chain and you may be looking for a new line of work.
Make sure to file your paperwork on time
“All of this trouble over *my* likeness?”
No one enjoys the drudgery of spreadsheets and flowcharts, but they’re the lifeblood of every office. The devil’s in the details, and failing to dot that ‘i’ or cross that ‘t‘ on your form could mean months of profit down the drain. A little organization will pay off in the long run—if there’s a document that needs your signature, sign it. And make sure you hand in your paperwork on time to the people that matter. What you might consider a ‘clerical error’ could earn you an undesired vacation.
Any other office rules that apply to MMA fighters? Give a shout in the comments section.