Office Etiquette 101

It’s Friday, and today I mean it’s more like Fryday. It’s been a long week of dealing with other people and frustrating situations, and as I’ve been sitting here marveling at the assholery that abounds, I couldn’t help but reflect on all the other crazy ass situations I’ve encountered in my professional life. So, in the spirit of preventing office fires, I’m compiled this handy Office Etiquette 101 guide for you, which includes things you shouldn’t do as a boss, things you shouldn’t do at your desk, and reasons you shouldn’t piss off the “quiet” team member. As a bonus feature I’ve also included appropriate times for: giving the stink eye, crying silently under your desk, and going ape shit crazy. Enjoy!

Things You Shouldn’t Do as a Boss

  1. Talk smack about your underling to someone else on a video conference call while waiting for said underling to dial into said call.
  2. Offer to give your underling a ride to a mandatory meeting, roll up the windows to create an airtight vacuum, and light a cigarette.
  3. I’d say as a general rule, yelling is a bad idea, and also anything physical like slamming, grabbing, etc.

Things You Shouldn’t Do at Your Desk

  1. Eat carrots with the same tenacity that you’d apply to chain smoking (especially if you are a former chain smoker who has replaced the habit with baby carrots).
  2. Chug water, slurp your coffee. Nothing involving liquids, please.
  3. Use your desk as an open air trash can. Ain’t nobody got time for your week old yogurt container.
  4. When using headphones, proceed with caution. What you cannot hear, others can.

Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Piss Off the “Quiet” Team Member

  1. They do NOT have a mental handicap and are actually capable of speaking. 
  2. They are most likely a prolific writer and you’ve guaranteed yourself a cameo as a hit and run victim.
  3. Worse yet, they are a blogger and you will not have to wait for a more formal publication to be hit by this proverbial train.
  4. The have legit skills that you need. Besides, if everyone were super chatty, who would be listening and taking notes, so that in three months when you say “Crap, I can’t remember that thing,” your awesome resident introvert will be like “Oh, yeah. It’s XYZ.” It’s a superpower you should harness for the greater good.”

Giving the Stink Eye

If your intended victim isn’t actually looking at you, anytime. Otherwise, proceed with caution and be prepared to own your new identity as Office Bitch.

Crying Silently Under Your Desk

Anytime you’re in a video conference call and someone cuts you off. Pro tip: make sure you mute your mic first.

Go Ape Shit Crazy

When someone takes credit for your shit, or thanks everyone on the team by name except you. 

*Photo credit: office picture used in my featured image courtesy of Seattle Municipal Archives. I added the speech bubble and text.

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