Tuesday, February 26, 2013

A few words about office etiquette

As I've mentioned probably a hundred times, I am so happy to be back in the working world.  Four months of unemployment was plenty for me.  More than enough. I prefer working. I prefer steady paychecks, feeling challenged and an overall sense of worth.  

someecards.com - Having a job is the new raise.

I'm also enjoying meeting new people in my role, and there have been a lot of them. Of course, when there are other people involved, there is an opportunity to observe the behavior of others -- some good and some bad.  I've talked to friends and family about some of this and compiled a short list of some things we discussed.

Don't clip your fingernails at your desk.
Seriously?  Why would anyone think this is appropriate?  I couldn't see the guilty party, but I could hear it.  And the click-click of the clipper made me cringe.  Ick.

Don't play games on your phone/computer all day and then ask someone else to bail you out of your work pile at the end of the day.
Maybe if you weren't playing, you could have been working. If you don't help yourself, I'm not going to help you either. I'm not saying I've never goofed off while on the clock, but I certainly didn't expect anyone else to clean up the mess I made for myself.

Don't reheat fish in the break room.
If I have to explain why this is a bad thing, you've obviously never smelled reheated fish.  Or noticed how that smell lingers forever.  So gross.

Don't have a loud conversation with someone while your cube neighbor is on a business call.
I am totally guilty of this one.  I'm new to this whole cube set-up, and I often forget.  Sorry.  And I'm trying to fix it.  

Don't have a personal conversation.
If you need to talk to your doctor about a medical condition, your spouse about baby poop or your best friend about last night's hook-up, take it somewhere else. Your co-workers do not want to hear any of those details. 

Don't take the bathroom stall immediately next to someone if there are others open.
I know, I know.  I'm a creature of habit too.  I usually have a favorite stall (weird, right?), but it's awkward to choose that one when there are five others unoccupied. This actually applies to any public restroom.

Don't steal someone else's lunch from the fridge.
Did you not see what happened to Ross on "Friends" when someone stole his sandwich?  He lost it. People are serious about their lunch.  Don't mess with it.

If you sneeze or cough, cover your face, and don't touch equipment others have to use without washing your hands first.
There's no need to spread your germs everywhere. Some people enjoy their health.  At least invest in some of those little hand sanitizer bottles and keep in your desk.  Personally, I like the Clorox wipes to use on my phone and keyboard every night during cold and flu season.   

Do you have anything to add to this list?


  1. A big one in our office, where we share centralised printers rather than having them on our desks, is don't bring people their printing when you go to fetch your own. It might seem like a nice thing to do, but inevitably they're only half way through their stuff and you'll just mess up their system.

  2. I once had a co-worker who would come in around 12 when we had a 2pm deadline. He would end up asking for my help to finish his work (we worked at a newspaper) and I got sick of it, so I flat out refused one time. Then his supervisor was like "erika, can you help him?" i was so pissed!
    And the bathroom stall thing--I wrote a whole post on that once! I hate when people take the stall right next to me. Granted, I have my favorite stall too, but I'm not going to take it if someone is right next to it. Weird.

  3. MYYYYY SANDWICHHHHH?!?!?! LOL too funny.

    But man...I definitely agree with you on ALL of these!!! Especially the one about not taking personal phone calls. Our admin. asst. at my office talks on her cell ALL THE TIME, and it's LOUD, and it's RUDE...she swears and yells at her kids a lot but it's gotten better since we got a new boss. Still, it was awful.

  4. Oh boy howdy I'm so glad that the fingernail clipping was covered! (and number one) I wrote a whole post dedicated to this!


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