Sunday, 11 August 2013

How To Be A Grown-Up

About 18 months ago, I started my own list of things it is handy to keep in mind in order to be a good pretend-adult.  Basically, things I encountered and thought "I should remember that".
Leave a comment if you have any good tips of your own.   :)

This is it:

Any courier firm is pretty much guaranteed to screw up any delivery.  Keep a note of the decent ones, and avoid the bad ones like the plague if you can.

At work, don’t offer opinions unless specifically asked to do so.

At work, if new, be quietly polite.  Trust no one.  Don’t worry right away about making friends.  Talk to plenty of different people and see who you click with.  Trust your gut, but when an old-timer in the workplace gives the stink-eye or makes close-to-the-edge comments about someone else…  Heed the warning.  Both of them should be given a wide berth until you have time to make your own judgment. 

That one member of staff who has been nothing but lovely/friendly/charming to you, but about whom no one else has a single good thing to say, should probably be avoided.  Put them in your mental box of “people I can smile sweetly at, but must be guarded around”.

Perfect the “staff meeting face”.  It means a neutral expression for the most part, but try and make eye contact with whoever is speaking, nod thoughtfully and go “hmmm” from time to time.

If you’ve bought something a few times and decide you just don’t like it… stop buying it “just to try”.

The above rule applies mostly to tea and porridge.  You don’t like them.  Ever.  I have a weird thing about buying both of them occasionally, just to see if I suddenly like them.  I don’t.

Any food that comes in any sort of Christmassy packaging, other than established brands of chocolate or sweets, is usually awful.  Save that craving for bacon-wrapped sausages and mozzarella sticks for another time.

Don’t save important things to “do tomorrow”, because you’ll forget or something else will come up that means you can’t do it.  Do them now.

Don’t rely on the internet to work tomorrow either.  Send that important email/do that important work thing right now.  It’s just easier.

Always keep a pot of change in the house, and keep it topped up regularly.  £2 and 50p coins are both good ones to save.  I have pots of both.

Similarly, a purse in the glove compartment of your car with a few quid inside can only be a good idea, and is perfect for unexpected parking fees/service station coffees.  Just remember to take it out when the car goes to the garage for its service.

Keep your own records.  Days worked, money paid, cancellations, anything important.  Don't rely on an employer to remember how much they owe you.

Set up an adult filing system for important documents that would make sense to your mum in the case of an emergency.  That pile on top of the bookshelf is not a filing system.

Get phone credit before you run out.  22p remaining is not enough.

Never say “I don’t need to write that down, I’ll remember it.”  You won’t. 

If you have holiday time and want to take an actual holiday that involves travel, money and effort, always do it in the first half of your break if you get the chance.  NEVER the last half.  Do that and you’ll just feel disgruntled and like you’ve not had a break, however lovely your actual holiday was.  It turns out that the most restful place to be is your own home.

The ring road, may be further, but it’s ALWAYS quicker than driving through the town centre.

Don’t go to supermarkets on Saturdays, unless you plan to be there before 8am.

Always do the washing up on the day you make the mess.  Because you’ll hate it So Much More tomorrow.  A dirty kitchen in the morning is horrible.

Take that little pile of recycling to the bins every time you have a bin bag to chuck out.  So much easier to manage than a massive pile once a month.  The same goes for other bins around the house.  At least check them before going downstairs.

Fill up the windscreen washer before a winter drive of any length, particularly if it’s rural or involves motorways.  You’ll be pleased you did.

If you’re not sure whether to say that thing to that person.  Not saying it is probably the best thing to do.  Or at least make a decision to sleep on it or save it for another time.

Always carry painkillers and lady products (if you’re a lady!)  Just in case.  There’s nothing quite like a nagging low-level headache to ruin an otherwise lovely meal out with friends.

If a social occasion comes up that you aren’t 100% sure you are going to enjoy… drive there.  A car is a perfect get-away vehicle for when you’ve had enough.

Don’t go to parties when you only know the host.  Even the most outgoing person in the world would hate that.

Chuck some bleach down the loo once a week.  Again:  Easier.

Buy new loo roll when you start on the last roll of the previous packet.

Have that list in your head of “Things You’ll Need Until You Die”, that you can stock up on if you see them on a great special offer.  For me it’s washing up liquid, toothpaste and hand wash.  Things that won’t go out of date.

Try and do at least one thing every day that makes your living space nicer.  Even if it’s just “straighten out that row of shoes”.

Be the person who reaches out to friends first.  When you think, “wow, I haven’t spoken to Sarah in a long time”, be the one who emails first.  Then at least, come what may, you’ll know you did your part.

Try and maintain your house with a frame of mind that “I’m moving out in 3 months” (even, and especially, if that’s not true).  That’ll help keep the clutter at bay and you’ll become an expert of getting rid of that junk you’ll never use or need.

Ebay stuff like DVDs and computer games.  They will sell quite well.  Yeah, you can freecycle or donate most other shit.  But when time or mental resources are low, feel no guilt about throwing the lot in the bin.  If you are hanging on to something because “I should try and sell that”, it’s usually better to just chuck it out.

Actually, it’s usually better to just say nothing.

1 comment:

  1. At work, be wary of people who are nice to others to their face then slag them off behind their back. Assume you get the same treatment when you're not around.

    Don't get involved in low level moaning and speculating about bad things that might happen at work. It almost never achieves anything useful.