Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Cubicle Etiquette

For someone I know who just found themselves in a "workstation" environment, here are some clues cribbed from Miss Mentor. They will serve you and everyone else in a office space very well:

TOP TEN Cubicle Etiquette Violations:
10. The Candy Jar.
Having a candy jar on your desk in plain sight (!), and not sharing is not cool. You guarantee that your co-workers will plot for your demise. If you are so cheap that you don’t want to fund multiple candy habits, then buy crappy candy. Or, convert to celery with peanut butter…. No one will fight you for that.

9. Surf’s Up!
Surfing the internet to non-work related sights is bad form. If your office has one woman for every 300 men, like mine, loud proclamations about the preview video to Girls Gone Wild and other similarly themed sights are not only not appreciated, but could land you, YOU, in a heap of trouble. Don’t go there. If you must “go there,” in after hours, don’t share it with the office.

8. Stinky Food Syndrome.
MMMmmmmm. Don’t you just love the smell of bleu cheese melted over raw onions served with liver and asparagus? You do? Well, that makes one. Do not be adventurous with food selections that will be reheated and served in the office via Tupperware. [Ms. Nylon adds: Eating out of glass/ceramic containers with silverware is also irritating; clink-clink-clinkety for 20-odd minutes? EEEEEKK!]

7. Step away from the Bluetooth.
Gabbing on cell phone, while not the top cubicle etiquette violator, is one of the more dangerous. How many conversations have you accidentally started with someone who didn’t realize you were on your cell phone? More than 1? Instead of annoying people like most of this list, this one ENRAGES people. Really. It’s like road rage indoors, coming to a hallway near you. [I add: letting your cell phone ring off the hook after you leave your desk is enraging, too! MUTE that thing!!]

6. Crunch-er-ific!
So you like Corn nuts? Sunflower seeds? Well, that’s nice for you. That constant crunching or spitting into cup sound is likely making your neighbors very grumpy. While unscented, the residual noise created by consuming the seeds and nuts is gross AND let’s everyone know what pace you are working. Watch it. Folks might be timing your seed spits…. True!

5. Showcasing Collectibles.
Not only is it tacky to have a pile of action figures, but also it makes you look like an 8 year old. There’s nothing wrong with collecting tin lunch boxes of superheroes, but don’t blame the janitor when one walks away. Keep your treasures at home. This includes your children.

4. Conversations over cube walls.
Cross-cube conversations when the speakers are still seated at their desks cause more confusion and disruption than Paris Hilton running through the office in a
bikini. Get your lazy butt up and have the conversation face-to-face. No excuse.
It may be the only exercise you get all day…. [Also pesky: Talking over the cube walls is called "gophering"]

3. No shoes, no service.
Removing your shoes in the office, particularly if you have mildly ripe feet, is grounds for moving you to the elevator shaft. That scent gets into the air and circulates like a bad cold on an airplane.

2. Audible Audio.
I like Cypress Hill; You like Patsy Kline…. Can you see problems? If you absolutely must have music for a short duration during your work day (remember, you are here to work) … Ear plugs or headset, your choice.

1. Using your speakerphone!
Wait until you get an upgrade buddy. If we wanted to be on a conference call with you, we’d be in the conference room. This is particularly bogus when describing things to a doctor, discussing sensitive customer information, and making smoochy noises to your sweetie.

Repeat offenders should be flogged. You know who you are….


  1. #5: Really? No, seriously. Really? But where else am I going to keep my cool stuff that the kids want to chew on (like my Peewee and Jambi action figures)? And I can't have pictures of my kids, or did that mean I shouldn't bring my kids in?

    I need to know this stuff!!

  2. Oops, I was checking my spam-collecting email. That was me!

  3. Finger (and toe) nail clipping. Snap. Snap. Snap. Snap. Repeat until coworkers go insane.

    Pen clickers also reside in that Ring of Hell between simonists and people who don't refill the icecube tray.

    And the guy who drinks all but a tablespoon of coffee and leaves the machine on for it to burn and leave nasty residue that I have to scrape off should be torn apart by wild dogs.

  4. Twenty-odd years working in an office was enough. I'm done. Done. Done. There are many distractions to working at home, but really no more than an office.

  5. My biggest problem isn't in the cubicle itself, but the guy who leaves the restroom smelling like a cholera epidemic. Dude, you got a health plan: use it. A healthy bowel movement should not leave an odor that strips paint.

    Also is a godsend to us passive agressive types.

  6. RE #5: An anonymous relative of mine was telling me about how a coworker of theirs had bedecked his entire office, walls, ceiling, door, desk, --the works-- with Steelers paraphernalia. This enraged my relation! The nerve! The juvenility! The unprofessionalism! Where did this guy think he was? A tailgate?

    Decorating in moderation is fine; it's the excessive that's distracting.

  7. not toe clipping.........hehehehehe


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