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When you work with people long enough, there are things you should just know and adjust to accordingly. Your boss is a neat freak? Then don’t leave half a sandwich out in your cubicle. And yes, your co-worker Sue is always ten minutes late. So, when she says 2pm, know that she means 2:15pm. Wrong or right, you know who she is. Style, procedures, practices, and personalities: if you’ve been there a year and still don’t have all of these down? #ForReal? Fire yourself.

If you’ve been there a year and still can’t anticipate your boss’s and co-workers’ needs, likes, and dislikes, you don’t deserve to be there. Jobs are like marriage: after a year, there are no surprises.


I had a client who wrote an algorithm to figure out when his boss would need a latte each day. He didn’t have to ask, his boss didn’t have to tell him, and everyone knew where he was from 11:15 until 11:33 each morning. Anyone who didn’t wasn’t at that company for long, and guess what? That client got promoted, and now he has an assistant who’s (hopefully) figuring out his algorithm.

One of the reasons you got hired is because you’re really good at what you do. Therefore, it shouldn’t be hard for you to anticipate what your boss or co-worker wants, because you already know. You just don’t know you know. Here’s how you find out. Put yourself in the other person’s shoes and ask yourself: “What would I want in this situation?” (Example situation: your pants are down around your ankles and there is no toilet paper.)

Some things to remember:

  1. Know where everything is
  2. Know what’s missing
  3. Know what’s needed
  4. Make sure you can answer any question asked
  5. Be one step ahead of everyone

The bottom line: just get things done.


P.S. This blog is by Katherine Kennedy, who has worked with Auntie Evan for eight years. (There’s always toilet paper.)

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