February 25, 2010

Free (a.k.a.: unsolicited) advice for office professionals

Dear Office Professional,

As you navigate your way through day-to-day life here at {Giant Corporation}, we know it's difficult to know what is expected of you, and to remain aware of people and things apart from yourself. (You are, of course, the center of the universe.)

Sure, there are handbooks, policies, training, self-awareness and common sense. But you can't be expected to keep THOSE in mind.

So we've compiled a helpful list of things you should just...know. Things to keep in mind. Things that most self-aware humans already know, but that appear to keep eluding you somehow.

And, because it's apparently difficult for you to remember things that aren't about your own hair, we're giving you the option of printing this handy list as a little card you can tuck into your wallet for easy reference, or give to someone else to carry for you (more on that later):
  1. Bathroom stalls aren't soundproof. If you're loudly conversing with a friend (on the other end of a cell phone or in the stall next to you), OTHER PEOPLE CAN HEAR YOU. It probably isn't the best time to start talking smack about your boss, and it certainly isn't the right time to relate the long, detailed story of your drunken escapades last weekend. No one cares that you threw up all over your friend, and you both thought it was hysterically funny and then you fell down in it. Really. No one. Ever.
  2. Talking on the phone while going to the bathroom is gross. Maybe your friends don't mind the grunting in between phrases, but we certainly do. And unless you disinfect your phone when you're done (which we're certain you don't), it's disgusting and a health hazard.
  3. This is an office, not a clam bake. As such, your flip flops*, low-hanging capris and belly shirt are, shall we say, inappropriate. We realize that some departments offer more lax dress codes, but this is still a place of business. In theory, you should not be able to go from your cubicle to a wiener roast without changing clothes.
  4. While we're talking about clothes, a sweater tucked into belted dress pants is just a bad idea. It isn't against the dress code, but it looks ridiculous. Particularly when the ensemble also includes a turtleneck, white socks and loafers. We're just looking out for you here.
  5. The atrium is for getting to one's destination, holding impromptu meetings, casually greeting your friends and, possibly, reading on your lunch break. It is not for naps. It's large and echoey in there. We can all hear you snoring.
  6. The kitchenette and printer areas are not social clubs. They are places to warm up your food while engaging in quiet banter with your co-workers or to calmly wait for your print job to appear. When you yell at passers-by, bang on things, curse and shriek with laughter, you are being a jackass, and your co-workers want to hit you with reams of paper.
  7. Your cell phone is annoying. No one is telling you that you can't have a ringtone of a mashup of Oops I Did It Again and a cha-cha remix set to a techno beat. You just can't have it here. Put it on vibrate. Extra credit if you don't then leave it sitting on your desk unattended so it makes loud rattling noises every time you get an e-mail.
  8. The fish you're warming up in the microwave smells like dead people, and it's seeping into your co-workers' clothes. Stop it. Eat the salmon at home. This goes double for cheesy popcorn, which smells like athlete's foot unless you are the one eating it.
  9. Just don't be a dumbass.
We hope that you will take these guidelines to heart.

However, because we know we can't possibly expect you to remember the above points longer than the time it took you to read this memo, we're now assigning you a Personal Reminder. This person's only role at {Giant Corporation} is to walk with you, sit with you and poke you with a stick every time you violate one of the above guidelines. Yes, it's a huge waste of time, money and resources. But we value our employees here at {Giant Corporation}, and we want you to succeed, even if it means paying someone else to babysit someone who purports to be an adult.

Now stop napping and go practice whispering and eating food that doesn't smell like roadkill. We know you can do it.


People Who Have Been in the World

*I know some companies let their folks wear flip-flops; more power to you if it's appropriate -- for example, if your company happens to be located in Cabo. :)

7 backtalk:

Sarah W said...


Metacognitive Musings said...

I have no experience with any small or large corporations, but thoroughly enjoyed this regardless.

The outfit described in #4 sounds straight from the 80s. I love it!

Summer said...

Love every word. Kudos!

Dri said...

Amen. My new work place will allow flip flops, which completely ROCKS, but it is NOT appropriate in many other environments.

I will probably have a lot more to add to this letter come Monday morning! :)

Ky (Two Pretzels) said...

I believe this may be one of my favorite posts you've ever written. I can hear you saying all of this.

And, I laughed out loud about the fish smelling like dead people.

(I just laughed AGAIN as I typed that. And, I read the whole post to Craig while we were in the car getting the car washed.)

Too funny.

AND, thanks for the Cabo nod. :) Do know that I usually don't wear flip-flops. However, I DO wear open toed shoes pretty much everyday. Wait, I'm lying. I do wear flips. Fancy ones. With dresses.

wrestling kitties said...

HAHAHAHA! This is hilarious and so true! Why are people in the office SO annoying.

The fish thing - GROSS. Someone did that last week, blech.

Rule #9 was my favorite! Just don't be a dumbass. hahaha

(P.S. you crack me up!)

hopefuls #1 said...

This might be one of the funniest blog posts that I've read in a LONG long LONG long time... hilarious!

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