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Every career coach work his salt has a few classic stories that he’s heard over the years from new employees. A. Harrison Barnes, who’s a well known and respected career coach as well as the founder of, says sometimes, the only advice anyone can give those new employees wondering about their second day on a new job is to “keep your resume current”.  We were wondering if there were any classics that stuck out in the’s founder. Turns out, he does have a few that have remained near and dear all these years – and rest assured, all the details have been changed for the sake of privacy issues. Keep reading – who knows, you might realize the office politics you’re dealing with could be worse!

How many points in a triangle?

An recent college grad and newly-licensed engineer on the east coast reported several years ago that while he was eager to get started in his new career, he had no idea of what awaited him within the first hour on his new job. After being introduced to the department’s assistant, he found his way to his office, only to have her follow a few minutes later. She immediately goes into this long story about how she loves one of their co-workers and she knows he’s in love with her, but that for some reason, he’s directed to her not reveal the romance. The new engineer, feeling awkward but wanting to remain neutral, slowly talked her out of his office, where he resumed setting up shop. Thirty minutes later, one of the engineering interns found her way into his office where she promptly told a similar story of a hush-hush love affair with a co-worker. After being paged to her desk, she excuses herself, only to have a young engineer come up and introduce himself and then promptly go into the “torn between two lovers” spiel. Within an hour, he had all the latest gossip and goings-on for the past year. He resigned and accepted another position a year later.

And now, a toast!

Imagine finally finding your way to the break room on the first day in search of that fresh brewed coffee you smell, only to realize every drink requires a toast. The new receptionist, eager to begin her new job, arrived early on the first day and was allowed in by Security, who’d been expecting her. Unpacking her coffee cup, she followed the aroma and found a few of her co-workers, who were kind and introduced themselves. Telling her to help herself to the coffee, before she could get her mug to her lips, she was stopped and told that they toast everything.  Imagine toasting…with every cup of coffee or bottled water…every single day. Needless to say, she began hitting the breakroom only when it was void of co-workers.

These are just a couple of A. Harrison Barnes’s stories of life as a career coach. No worries – we’re going to get more out of him for future articles and if you’re living your own “it would be funny if it wasn’t happening to me” story, be sure to visit for the newest jobs found anywhere in the country.

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