One really great tip at being unprofessional at work is stealing your colleagues’ food. It’s a great way to endear yourself to your friends and colleagues at work, living up to that TV classic trope of just stealing food out of the fridge. We see it all the time in sitcoms, so let’s bring it to your workplace today. But why would you want to be unprofessional at work? It’s a great question, and generally, you don’t want to be, right? But in the new book from Merry Brown, she takes a twist on workplace etiquette from telling you what you should be doing to be professional in the workplace to what you should be doing to be unprofessional in the workplace. By casting it in the negative, she gives you something that’s more entertaining and potentially more direct to those who maybe miss the general messaging of how to act in a workplace. Merry Brown is a local author up in Martin, Tennessee, and owns third-party workplace conflict restoration services, or, short-hand version, 3P. Merry has been focusing her work on helping people deal with conflict in the workplace in a way that supports everyone in the process. She has a lot of other books that she’s written, and you can see more about Merry at her website,,

She also hosts a podcast called the Conflict-Managed Podcast, which she was kind enough to have me on in 2023, and she has a lot of guests on it to talk about the ways they’ve dealt with conflict in their offices. I think Merry was able to see that these are common issues that people come up with when they’re in the workplace. She put this book together, largely, I would hope, for new professionals in the office. But it would also be beneficial for those who are unable to figure out why they’re causing so much conflict in the workplace, whether that’s because of a blind spot or because of social behavior. This would make a great gift for friends and family entering the workforce or something to have on hand for new hires to help them quickly acclimate to the workplace. It’s also written in a way that’s really fast to read and easy to digest, so it’s really accessible to a lot of people. Let’s look at one of my favorite excerpts from the book, Tip number 39: Don’t read your work emails. If you want to be unprofessional at work, don’t read all the emails that come from your boss or from HR.

It can’t be that important. They’ll tell you in a meeting if it’s really important, or they’ll call you if it’s super important. So don’t worry about reading the entire email or responding to it if you need to do something else, because obviously, you’re not trying to be professional at work. I have interacted with so many people who need this particular chapter read to them or perhaps tattooed on their forehead. So if you work with someone who is a nightmare not knowing how to act at all, be sure to look up How to be Unprofessional at Work by Merry Brown. Maybe have it mailed to them anonymously or just have it show up in their office but be sure to clean your fingerprints off the book so it doesn’t get traced back to you. Do you have any business books to recommend? Any books that have made a difference for the culture in your office? Shoot me an email at I’m always building my list of future reads. Thanks for listening to the Content Machine podcast. See you on the next episode.

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