Welcome to “Understanding A Book Nerd in the Workplace.”
So, you’ve got a book nerd (BN) on your staff? Well, lucky you! Though you might not agree with me now, after you read this article, you might just change your mind.
I’m here to offer you some guidance when dealing with your BN.
The days of a book being released on a Tuesday isn’t necessarily the case anymore, be aware that a book can be released at any time. If in doubt, the signs to watch for are:
- Constantly clicking the refresh button on an Amazon page
- Checking Facebook over and over
- Restarting a tablet
- Spontaneous yelling
A book release can be a lot to handle for the BN’s fellow co-workers, please tread carefully and understand the addiction runs deep. Waiting on a book can resemble waiting for that long-anticipated weekend, and it is finally Friday. Here are some words of encouragement you can use if you wish to engage:
- I heard it may release right after midnight
- I heard its awesome! I’m sure it will be here any moment now
- YAY! Let’s tag team Amazon together
- You follow FB and I’ll follow IG
Okay, so now the book has finally hit the BN’s tablet, and all is calm…so you think. But a storm is just startin’ to brew. Here is where I really need you to focus. This is a make or break moment for you as a boss or co-worker. ONLY approach said BN if you absolutely need to! Here’s are some helpful tools if you need to approach:
- “Hey Shannon, there’s a fresh pot of coffee on in the breakroom.”– Once the BN has lifted his/her head from the tablet it may now be safe to engage with a work question.
- “Hey Ketura, I saw Dan Rendering had a FT Live last night, come over to my desk and I’ll show you.” – Be sure to show the video first before engaging in your next question. You never want to toy with a BN’s emotions.
- “Hey Donna, I heard you’re a Logan fan. My brother looks just like him and he too is in the Army would you like to see a photo?” – Once the BN has been lured away from the tablet offer info then ask your question.
What to take from all this, connect with the BN on a book level before diving into the work at hand. This might be frustrating, but it will work. The storm will pass.
Now the challenging part, the book is almost or is finished. I can’t express how fragile the BN could be. This is where your research on the book needs to come into play. Please, for the love of God, at least look up the title that he/she is reading, you do notwant to go into this blind! You’ve been warned.
So here we are, the story has come to the end and the BN could be left in pieces or pissed off at a cliffhanger. You need them to finish a particular job, a product quote, for instance. You hmm and haa, unsure if you should knock, your last three emails were unopened and their phone is on silent. They are avoiding all communication with the outside world.
What do you do?
*Rubs head* Look, I get it they’re reading during company time, but a Book Nerd is part of a tribe all on its own. To ask them not to read at work is like asking your nephew not to pee in your pool, it just isn’t going to happen. So, embrace the few days of the emotional roller coaster and weather the storm.
If you have to approach here’s my advice:
- “Hey Elizabeth,” (step into the room but stay by the door in case you need a quick exit) “I’ve been wanting to read Unleashed but have been too nervous to start it, so I thought I’d ask you about it first.” (Now watch their reaction, this can be an unseen trap. If they answer with, “it was okay” but sniff, it’s too soon to ask, walk away. However, if they answer with the entire storyline, allow them to finish, then you’ve got the green light everything is A-Okay…well until the next release.)
- “Hey Kim, there are Taco’s in the break room.” (If she doesn’t respond in the first 3.5 seconds, run. She’s not ready.)
- “Hey um Ali,” (wait to see their face, a smile can turn quickly to tears so hold your question for three long seconds, once you know the dam has held, move on with the question.)
I understand this is a lot to take in, but chances are your Book Nerd is a hard worker, so treat them with the same respect as you would any other employee.
Most importantly, and I can’t stress this enough, DO NOT, and I repeat NO NOT, say the following line or you may be knocked out, thrown in a trunk and buried out in a swamp in New Orleans.
“Seriously, it’s just a book.”
Stay tuned more tips and tricks for:
“So You Got a Book Nerd on The Company Camping Trip”
“So You Got A Book Nerd On The Girls Night Out?”
“Seven Signs Your Friend Is A Book Nerd. “
Q and A
Here at the J.L. Drake team were always willing to help and educate others on Book Nerds or books in general. We often open our doors and host a Q and A session as often as possible. We hope that my informant and well thought out answers, help you better understand the does and don’t of our awesome book world.
Q: Hi I’m Rob and my girl and I have been dating for just over a year and I made the mistake of calling the cover of her book “lame.” I knew by the look on her face that I had missed up. Now, she won’t talk to me. Should I be considered? What should I do?
A: Rubs aching spot between my eyes with annoyance…some people. Yes and run Rob, run far far away.
Q: All my friend does is read. I hate it, what can I do?
A: Find a new friend.