R-E-S-P-E-C-T: 3 Tips for Winning at Work


By Kathy Bustos

I’m Kathy, and I’m a workaholic.

Well, maybe not a workaholic, but I wear a lot of hats at work. In addition to my responsibilities as office manager, I greet people at the front desk, make purchasing decisions, and have my hands in human resources and accounting. Some say I’m a receptionist, which is true, but that’s just one piece to my office manager puzzle.

What others may miss is that I’m also a gatekeeper.

Did I tell you about the time an interview candidate didn’t make it past the front desk? How about when the vendor lost the job because he didn’t want to speak with the receptionist and kept asking for the person in charge of purchasing?

Times have changed, and so should assumptions about who sits at the front desk. Assistants, receptionists and office managers are highly educated decision makers who have the power to select who makes it to their first (or second) interview and which vendors win ongoing business. Employees wear multiple hats and perform work above and below titles – This is now how the business world works, especially at Double Forte. Everyone here rolls up their sleeves to get the job done. When needed, vice presidents chip in and do the work of account coordinators, and account coordinators review the writing of vice presidents to check for typos.

As the office manager, I also have more than 25 employees to look after. It’s up to me to ensure they have the tools and supplies they need to do their jobs. This can range from managing our IT vendor to providing fresh coffee to kick-off the day. It makes me happy to see them happy. They sometimes call me a badass, which, to me, is quite frankly the ultimate when it comes to R-E-S-P-E-C-T.

Below are my tips for winning at work:

  1. Assume Everyone Matters: This is because they do – In business and life. Enough said.
  2. Do Your Homework: When contacted to set up an interview, research on LinkedIn the person who set up the interview, and the person who will conduct the interview. Then practice tip #1. A few months back I was not treated well by a job candidate who arrived for her interview. When asked my opinion of the candidate’s demeanor, I could not recommend her. As such, the person did not get a second interview. There are also the candidates who politely introduce themselves, make small talk (if it’s obvious I have time) and make a great impression.
  3. Be of Service: Let’s face it, we’re all in the service industry because we all serve someone. I’m a vendor, you’re a vendor. With this in mind, it’s important to note I can always call a competitor – from shipping companies to lunch caterers – if I’m not treated with respect. The same goes for Double Forte. Our clients can always call another PR agency if we drop the ball. That’s why it’s essential to know we should all show up with respect, work together and get the job done well.

How about you? In addition to respect, how do you win at work?

Meet Kathy:

What is your favorite childhood memory?

Sitting on the backseat floor of my mother’s Ford Galaxy on the way to Disneyland. My siblings would then wheel and deal me out of my E Tickets. Yes, this is when Disneyland had books of tickets!

Tell us about the best concert you attended. Where and when was it?

I have two, they are decades apart! 1) Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band, April 16, 1983, Cow Palace, Daly City, California. 2) Zac Brown Band, April 14, 2012, Shoreline Amphitheatre, Mountain View, California. . .   Ahhhh good times!

That’s not a stapler on your desk, it’s a genie in bottle. What are your three wishes?

1) That everyone knew how to load a dishwasher

2) Four-day weekends were real

3)There was no such thing as weight gain over the holidays