How Do I Make Friends at Work?

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Dear Cubicle Coach: A clique has formed in my workplace, and I'm not part of it. Should I ignore it or fight my way into this potentially career-boosting inner circle? I feel like I'm back in high school.

Dear Lonely at Work: CC may be the wrong person to ask about this, having sat at the nerds' table all four years (of course, when lunch is at 10:45 a.m. and you sit on plastic chairs, everyone is a nerd). Do you really think this clique has any bearing on your advancement, or are you just feeling left out because no one asked what's in your Netflix queue? If it's the latter, it may not be worth humbling yourself trying to become a member of a club that doesn't want you. But if it's the former, well, access to power is power, and you'll have to find ways to worm yourself in, whether it's appealing to the group's softie, giving them all candy hearts next Valentine's Day, or, as they're donning their coats on the way to Bennigan's, blurting, "Hey, mind if I join you?" Chances are they won't be rude enough to say no, and then you can show them the devastatingly witty you over a platter of curly fries. If they do say no, fuck 'em.

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