Unless you’re a wildly successful blogger (or maybe Seth MacFarlane) and can work at home in your underwear, you go to an office every day. And if you’re like most office drones, you work in a cubicle (sometimes referred to as a “cube” or, more accurately, “sensory deprivation chamber”).
My point is, if you do work in an office, there are some unwritten rules of etiquette you should follow if you don’t want your co-workers to Super Glue your phone to your desk, or spike your kombucha the week before your mandatory piss test.
Etiquette is more than knowing which fork to use – especially in an office setting. In the workplace, good manners set you apart as a professional. The lack of them may suggest that you’re not ready for prime time, and that you’re also kind of a dick.
To get along in the workplace, remember these basic rules:
- Respect co-workers’ privacy. Don’t interrupt people without a good reason. Don’t eavesdrop on – or insert yourself into – their conversations, and for sure do not get into other peoples’ bidness. Yeah, your co-worker totally got robbed paying that much for his house (in that neighborhood?), but he doesn’t need to hear it from you, Mr. Smarty-Fuck.
- Watch your volume. You’re sharing a workplace, so make an effort to keep your voice down to avoid disturbing others. Sure you’re happy that your rash went away, but your co-workers don’t want to hear the details.
- Cell phones. Speaking of keeping your voice down, this is especially important when you’re on your mobile. When talking on a cell, many people use a volume that is more appropriate for tin cans on a string; this is not good when you’re discussing how many Dos Equis (or strippers, or both) you pounded last weekend. Remember what your mom told you and use your “inside voice.”
- Turn your ringer off, maybe. In addition to keeping your voice down, either keep your phone with you when you leave your cube or turn off the ringer. If your neighbors have to listen to that fucking Carly Jepsen ringtone one more time, don’t be surprised if your Android “accidentally” falls into the recycling bin.
- Clean up. Keeping your desk or workspace uncluttered and clean projects a professional image—and shows that you’re able to organize your work and your attitude. If nothing else, it will make it easier to find your car keys at 5 o’clock and get the fuck outta Dodge.
- Food. Just like keeping your voice and your ringtone to yourself, try to do the same with food smells. To you, it’s Vegan Delight; to the guy next door, it’s compost. You don’t have to give up eating what you love; just be mindful of those around you who have to smell it.
Following these suggestions doesn’t guarantee you a corner office; in fact, it might not even win you an invitation to happy hour with your co-workers. But if you do fail your piss test, you’ll have no one but yourself to blame.
This post originally appeared at manpacks.com Photo courtesy manpacks