If you have ever worked in an office, no matter how big or small, you know there are unwritten rules that you should observe. If you have just began working in an office, then please listen very carefully for the safety of your coworkers. These following rules can make or break your career.
- Saying Hello: There is 1, maybe 2 times, when this word should come out of your mouth. That time is in the morning. Saying hello several times to people is not necessary in an office environment where you may run into the same person 20 times. One hello in the morning will suffice, and maybe one in the afternoon if someone is returning from lunch. But otherwise, use your ‘hellos’ sparsely.
- Personal Belongings: It has come to my attention, that in an office environment, people take whatever they want without asking. If it is in my office, don’t fucking touch it, unless I tell you too. Leave my phone charger right where it is. In general it doesn’t seem like people will steal an entire lunch anymore, but people feel that snacks are fair game. Just because I left it in the kitchen, doesn’t make it yours. Leave my Cheetos alone.
- Clothing: Take off the fucking hat you big jerk. Hats are made for outside. They are to protect your stupid head from getting any more damage than is clearly already done. Do not wear a hat in an office. Also, if you’re a man or a woman, do not show your toes. Unless you are a life guard, you should have your disgusting toe cheese in a shoe of some sort. Nobody wants to look at your toes all day. Nobody wants to smell your toes all day.
- Birthdays: Everything Elaine Benis has ever said about birthdays is 100% correct. There should be one day of the year where you celebrate everyone’s birthday, this way there isn’t a cake every other week or month. Also, if you work in a small office, you probably struggle with whether or not you should get someone a birthday present. One of the secretaries asked me what I was getting the other secretary for her birthday. I had no idea because we had never done that before. Then I thought, “I better get her something because my birthday is the day after hers and if she gets me something I’ll look like a jerk.” So, I just picked her up some flowers. I came in to work and gave them to her. Ten minutes later she handed me 14 bucks cash. In the words of Elaine again, “Cash!?!?!” Yes, it was 14 bucks cash. I obviously couldn’t try to give it back, even though obviously I was the one who made her feel bad by getting flowers. Should’ve just stuck to my guns and got nothing. Learned my lesson though. Never getting anyone a gift now. Especially, because the flowers were only $5.
- Religion and Politics: Just please, please, keep it to yourself. It may seem like everyone has the same beliefs as you, but that may be false. Actually, it’s probably false. Remember that you might have to work with these people for years. Wars have been started over religion and politics. It doesn’t do an office environment well. It pressures people and makes people uncomfortable. Believe whatever you want, just talk about it the other 128 hours a week that you aren’t at work.
- Your Baggage: Just like when you start dating a new person you should dump your baggage, when you go to work you should leave your baggage home. The office is a place of business. Some people just want to do their jobs and go home. The office isn’t your therapy center nor am I you therapist. We all listen because we don’t want to do something rude, like walk away, and then have to continue working with you. I hate crying. It makes me extremely uncomfortable. So, if you do start crying I will probably just walk away. I have done it before and I will do it again. I’m not saying I want to walk into the office and do as little as possible and leave. I’m saying SOME people show up to work and work very hard. They care about their job very much. They want to come to work and do their job because they care about it. Something they don’t care about, is you and your feelings.
- The Kitchen: The kitchen should not look like your kitchen at home. It should not be a fucking disaster of unwashed, crusty, dishes. Clean up after yourself. That doesn’t mean just fill your bowl with water and leave it there. It certainly doesn’t mean that you can make oatmeal and leave the dirty dish in the sink with water because it’s “soaking.” Wash the goddamn bowl and scrub it hard if you have to. If you don’t have a kitchen sink, definitely don’t leave a dirty dish in the bathroom near or in the sink. People shit in the bathroom all day long. That means that the food bowl, whether it belong to the office or you, is sitting there getting covered in feces dust.
- Leaving the Office: Here’s one that I’m guilty of and maybe a lot of other people who are new to the workforce are guilty of. People probably don’t care about your job. Unless you’re an astronaut, people don’t want to hear about it. Whether you’re a teacher, a stock broker, or even the president. Nobody cares what you do. Just do your job right so the world keeps spinning. I’m trying to work on not talking about work once I leave work. Nobody cares about your job because nobody is familiar with what you do. Even if they are, they probably don’t want to hear you complain about teaching 27 little brats went or how many solar panels you put up today. Unless you meet someone who does the same thing as you, keep the work talk to a minimum. There are plenty of other things you could be talking about.
- After Work Events: I get that it’s important that after work events are important for team building and camaraderie. It’s good to socialize with the people you work with so that the work environment is more comfortable. The line has to be drawn somewhere though. Like I’ll go to happy hour with you, but I don’t want to go out dancing with you. I’ll have a pot luck with you, but I don’t want to do coke off of a strippers ass with you. I’ll go to the bowling alley with you, but I won’t go on a 3 -day vacation with you to a Shakespeare Festival. Yes, I was asked to go to a Shakespeare Festival. Despite not wanting to go because most plays I have seen I haven’t liked and because, well, it’s a Shakespeare Festival, I was going to bite the bullet and go. Luckily it fell through and it seemed like people stopped talking about it. So, keep the work events within a few miles of the job and don’t push it.
- Shittin’ on the Job: First off, keep it to yourself. Don’t inform the office about what you are going to do. Second, I don’t know how people go in public places. On one hand, I want to hover, but on the other hand I want to be comfortable. I also don’t want to waste my time making a toilet paper toilet cover. I just want to go in peace. My ultimate goal in life would be to have a private bathroom. That’s all a someone can ask for. I know with my career path that it’s very unlikely. But who knows. Maybe I’ll get lucky and find an unused hidden bathroom somewhere. That would be equally as good as a private bathroom if not better. Only I would know about it, and every time I went, I would have to be stealthy, so as not to invite others to bask in my discovery.
So, there you have it. Here are just some rules of the trade for those of you just joining the workforce. If you’ve been part of the workforce and you’re failing to abide by these, please take a look at yourself. Either you’re doing it on purpose to be spiteful, or you really need to think about your behavior. Either way, get with the program. People don’t have time for your nonsense. Should we be following any other rules in the workplace? Probably tons more, I think ten is a good start, so if you think of any others please share.