You need to be nice at work. This doesn’t mean holding the door. Well, it does, but you need to do more than that. You need to do high-profile, from-the-heart niceness. People who are popular at work do better at work. Yes, it’s true, the popularity contest never ends.

So why not try cupcakes? Wait. Stay with me here. Cupcakes are good because they are easy to make. You can leave them in a central location in the office, or even on your desk, and people can just pick one up. They will be impressed and touched that you cooked. (I use the recipe in Joy of Cooking and believe me, I am no cook.)

Don’t tell me about Dunkin Donuts or store-bought-popcorn. You need to bake. It shows you really care if you take the time to bake. And for most of you, it will shock your office and show a side of you that people don’t usually see. The more you can show people that you are human and caring, the easier it will be to ask for major concessions.

You might say, why not cake? Why not cookies? Cake is hard to transport and hard to dole out. And cookies are not as fun. You want people to think you’re fun. People like fun.

For you overachievers, here’s a cheat sheet for cupcake decorating ideas.

For you who think you’re too cool for cupcakes, here’s the cupcake blog, written by an editor of Penthouse Variations.

For all of you who think cooking cupcakes is not in line with your workplace image, ask yourself: Why cultivate an image that cannot accommodate such a sweet and giving act?