I have been working in offices since I was 20.
It was a bit of a shock after working at markets  and then in a shop for the seven years before that and took some getting used to.
The problem with working in an office is that you can’t get away from annoyances.
In another environment, you can move yourself to another area of the building and busy yourself with another activity, far away from whoever is annoying you.
Lately, a number of friends have been complaining about their office environments and the annoying habits of their co-workers, which has prompted me to create the following list:

Office Etiquette
compiled by Hermia and her office-working friends:

1. A bar of soap and some deodorant won’t break the bank. Invest in them.
Similarly, I don’t care how much YOU like that perfume that you BATHED in this morning, stop abusing it because I don’t want to spend the day choking on it. Remember, less is more.

2. If you eat at your desk, keep in mind that no one else wants to smell your latest frozen delight of fish and sewage. It can be forgiven if it only happens now and again, but not on a regular basis.

3. If someone is popping down to the shop for a snack and asks you if you want anything, they mean it along the lines of “Do you want me to grab you a bar/crisps/banana?”. This is not an invitation for you to dump your complicated sandwich order on them, forcing them to queue forever at the deli counter.

4. Just because a co-worker comes into your office to say something to whoever shares the room with you, it doesn’t mean you’re allowed to sit there listening in on everything that’s being said. It mightn’t be super private, but it’s not being addressed to you. It’s also not socially acceptable to reference said conversation at a later time.

5. If someone is taking a phone call with a client, don’t make as much noise as you can in the background because it will be impossible for them to figure out what the client is trying to ask/tell them (working in a call centre was fun). Also, don’t listen in on the phone call, because it’s none of your business and if it is, you will be told…take your nosiness elsewhere.

6. Stealing food is not ok. It is NEVER ok. It’s even less ok in this beautiful recession where people now have to budget and plan out their week’s lunches. To you, it might just be a yoghurt, but to the person it belongs to, it’s leaving them short of food and possible costing them more money. Don’t be an asshole.

7. Don’t give people nicknames…actually that one applies to every job. As does ‘don’t leave poo floating in the work toilets for the next person to find’.

8. Don’t be a knuckle-cracker. The noise makes a lot of people want to vomit. If you really need to do it, take it outside

9. Don’t force the person you share a room to talk to you if they obviously don’t want to. Take the damn hint! (this was particularly bad in the call centre, because you didn’t have a designated seat and sometimes ended up sitting beside people you didn’t like or who were just too weird)..this one also applies to bus stops.

10. Don’t mess with another person’s desk. It’s just wrong to adjust the height of their chair or mess with their screens or move their papers and pens around, while you’re arsing around on their computers. A side-note to this rule is also not to root around on another person’s Facebook/Personal Email/etc if they’ve left themselves signed in on THEIR computer that YOU are violating.
Frape is hilarious if it’s your best mate, but messing around with a co-worker’s private sites is just unacceptable. Don’t be a dick.

To summarise, just don’t be a self-obsessed, rude, social-retarded jerk and you’ll be a lovely office person.

What do your co-workers do to annoy you…?

EDIT: I’d forgotten about this one:
11: Do not – I repeat, DO NOT – stare at your co-workers when they are eating!!!!!!!!!!!!


Filed under Daily Update., General Observations

17 responses to “Etiquette

  1. There is actually not enough words to describe how much one of my office colleagues annoys me.

    Cracking knuckles for instance? He cracks HIS WHOLE SPINE BONE BY BONE including his neck and fingers.

    He can’t pronounce the word ‘coffee’. He says ‘COFF-AYE’

    He cannot follow simple instructions and this man has an architecture degree. ARCHITECTURE…which he pronounces ‘Ark-a-tack-tere’

    He never buys the milk and is constantly making cups of tea and coffee (putting his grubby hands into my tea jar!) which means that I have to keep buying milk, being the only person who ‘remembers’ to do so. If I didn’t buy the milk, there wouldn’t be any at all.


  2. hear, hear!

    I think the only thing I do to annoy my colleagues is having the radio on loudly. Yes, it’s annoying being the only young one in the office. Thankfully now, we’ve found a radio station that plays the old stuff (for my colleague) and 80s/90s music (for me) and modern music (for everyone so we know what’s the latest GaGa tune is, for ex). No, it’s not BBC Radio 2.

    Oh and I get told off for getting hot chocolate on the mugs (we have a frothy milk machine at work. yay!).

    Plus, I kinda forgot that everyone used to comment on my chicken tikka sandwiches when I was at school because they used to smell! (however they did taste scrummy!)

    WR: your colleague must be annoying…!!!


  3. In complete and utter agreement with all of these! Also have sent them on to a couple of colleagues 🙂

  4. I must be very lucky, as my work colleagues aren’t annoying!
    @WhiteRabbit – If I were you I’d stop buying the bloody milk and see how he likes it, and if he ever brings in some himself… It would be worth giving up your own cuppas just to see the reaction.
    I am probably guilty of buying less teabags and milk than the others, but only cos they always beat me to it! If I discover a shortage I don’t mind getting them.

  5. Excellent list! My thing is clicking my pen. Whenever I’m worked up, stressed or even just excited – the clicking starts. I’m sure it annoys the crap out of my co-workers!

    Note to self: purchase non clicky pens ASAP.

  6. I agree on all points! But the desk-messer is my ultimate pet peeve. I once worked in an office where workers had to share computers. I belonged to the afternoon shift and the girl (AM shift) before me had the audacity to display her boyfriend’s photo on top of the monitor. Shared desks = no personal things. Simple really.

  7. LOVE it!!
    This should be posted on the wall of every office in the country!!
    Lady Peach

  8. dannidupa

    My dear–these are fabulous office rules. Only wish I could pass this link on to some coworkers who don’t abide by them!


  9. haha this is awesome. everything you said was so true!
    i don’t work in an office, i work in a salon, but some of these apply to pretty much every job.
    i once had a boss, at starbucks, who threw out a pair of my uggs. i quit the next day.

  10. Love this – Unfortunately I think I have to reiterate these to my work colleagues a little too often! I think my running tally for pens vanishing into thin air would be about 50 this year so far…and its only March!


  11. I especially hate people who have food that stinks, like a salami sandwich, it makes me want to puke! and I absolutely hate knuckle cracking! What a great list!

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