Friday, April 08, 2005

Workplace Etiquette for Dummies

Just because you don't see me doesn't mean I'm not here. In fact, there's a whole warren of us in this little area who really are getting tired of the hyena laugh and the obscenity-laced tirades.

Just because I don't have a door doesn't mean that you're welcome in my space. If I'm looking intently at my monitor and tapping away, it probably means that I'm busy. Your making yourself at home will most likely not be a pleasant surprise or respite from drudgery.

Just because it's the end of shift on Friday for you doesn't mean that that's the case for me. I'm here at least till five. Coming into the admin offices might be a field trip or holiday for you, but it's work for all of us who are assigned here. Kindly refrain from enthusiastic discussions about your weekend plans in front of my cubicle.

Every common area is not a conference area. If you have an office to retire to, I suggest you go there. If you don't, find an empty one; there are tons of them on other floors.

Your life may revolve around your child; you may well think that your baby is the most jaw-droppingly adorable thing around. I don't. In fact, I'm a bit annoyed that you're allowed to bring in your semi-domesticated animal while I have to leave my (fully domesticated, toilet-trained) animals at home. Though I'm CORI'd and am therefore a state-certified safe bet for childcare, that's not what I'm paid to do. I understand that plans can fall through...That's why we have what's called earned time.

Please don't lean on or bounce against the cube walls - when you do that, it knocks just about everything I have pinned to them onto me.

For the hundredth time: no. I am not going to put up a nameplate. When I did have one up, people would still ask me if I was Jenny from Accounts Payable or Susanne from Payroll. This has led me to the conclusion that most people who work here are functionally illiterate and that the allocation for nameplates might better be spent elsewhere (like remedial reading classes).

I am sick to death of hearing all the clever new cellphone ringtones now available, darn it. Why not consider putting the thing on vibrate or at the very least turning down the volume? It's getting to the point where I'm going to locate your phone based on the long, loud tone and pitch it out the window.

You are in a cubicle. Its walls are not soundproof. I am two feet from you. You do not need to yell into a speakerphone. For that matter, would you also please consider lowering your voice when you're on a personal call? I don't really need to hear you chastise your mail-order-bride (she must be one, given how you talk to her) or plan your next nooner.

If you're sick, please don't come in. You're not that indispensible and given how we're packed together here, illness travels like wildfire. Coughing up a lung? Again, that's what earned time is for.

(More images of Algeria and specifically the Casbah in Algiers here.)

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