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Five Co-Workers You Should Get to Know

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Sure, the figureheads always rank at the top of the face-time wish list, but there are other people within your company who are more important than you might think. So next time you run into one of these five people, chat them up for a few extra minutes or ask them to go for coffee... Who knows where it might lead!?

The boss' assistant: She knows how he likes his coffee, where he stops for an after-work cocktail, and what provokes an angry tirade. She's also the gatekeeper to "the Man's" schedule, so if she doesn't like you, don't count on landing a meeting with him anytime soon.

The office manager: First of all, he does the payroll -- and you've got to admit, you're at least a little bit curious about whether your frenemy's pulling in more than you are. Plus, he orders all the food and office supplies. Translation: When you're stuck at work until nine, you'll be thankful he let you break into his secret stash of Swedish Fish.

The doorman:
He knows everyone who sets foot in your building, and you can bet he hears a lot of juicy conversations as people shuffle in and out. Get chummy with him and you might also get a new perspective on your company.

The IT guy: He gets a thousand requests a day to fix malfunctioning machines and disconnected networks. Next time your computer crashes on deadline, you won't want to be last in line, so taking time to get to know him could be a smart investment.

The office gossip: You don't have to chime in (nor should you) when she dishes about how Kate scolded Mark in the conference room. But this girl is tapped into all the secrets, and it would behoove you to have a clue about what's going on around you. Be all ears and no lips, and you'll fly under the gossip radar.