No, We Don't Microwave Fish at Work...And Other Office Etiquette Rules

Redstate typically doesn’t get involved in questions of etiquette and form in the office environment. However, a recent tragedy at CNN has exposed a glaring weakness in American work-life that we can no longer ignore.

With a slough of new millennials entering the workforce for the first time – many of whom have never worked before – maybe it’s time to go over some basic dos and don’ts for the office. Be sure to share this far and wide. America should never have to endure the likes of another Tapper Tragedy ever again. #NotOneMore

THE DON’Ts

1.DO NOT microwave – fish, eggs, Indian food (sorry, Indian friends…it’s not you, it’s us…and your cultural dietary tastes). Put popcorn on this list, because you may think it’s harmless but that first burnt bag will drive your coworkers to madness. The office space is too small and confined to accommodate strong smells. Don’t be a jerk…eat your stanky sustenance on your own time.

2.DO NOT leave your mess in the break area for someone else to clean up. The “home” you can leave your dishes in the sink for three days or a wrapper on the counter for the next time you walk into the kitchen. That’s your choice. The “work” you is a respectable human being who exercises common courtesy. Wash your dishes as soon as you’re finished using them, throw away your trash and wipe up behind yourself.

3.DO NOT take personal calls in common areas. No one cares about the longstanding argument between you and your sister over who gets to host Thanksgiving dinner this year. Your cubicle mate has no interest in that story about your hussy neighbor and her three bratty kids. Save that nonsense for a space that doesn’t involve earning a living. Step outside, take a walk, go anywhere that your coworkers don’t have to be subjected to what should be private conversations. Also, trust me – you don’t want people you need to respect you to hear the genuinely stupid things you judge other people about. Keep that on the down-low.

4.DO NOT leave the bathroom a hazardous zone. We all have the same basic types of bodily functions. We all know the unsavory nature of such a topic. I’m just going to get straight to the point here. Save your giant dumps for home. Do not subject your coworkers to the consequences of your coffee gut or poor lunchtime decisions. That’s just rude. Now, sometimes it just can’t be avoided (see the DO list for tips on this subject). If you have no choice, I have two words for you – MERCY. FLUSH.

5.DO NOT loudly declare your politics for everyone to hear. It might surprise you to learn this, but you are not the only person who has thoughts and opinions. You are also not the only person who wants everyone to know their thoughts and opinions. You are also not the only person in the office. Politics and religion are very personal subjects and should be for personal conversations. Screaming in the break room about the “murderers at the NRA” is a quick way to show your fellow employees (and your boss) that you are a narcissist. Heck, your boss might actually be in the NRA. You’re certainly allowed to hold your own opinions, but office etiquette says we don’t badger others with those opinions. There is a time and a place for all that.

 

THE DOs

1.DO bring a treat for the office now and then. A box of donuts, some special coffees, a Starbuck’s run. Be a team player. It makes a difference and fosters generosity. Plus it’s just a nice thing to do.

2.DO pick up the slack. No one should ever hear you say “that’s not my job”. If you do just enough, then all you’ll ever have is “just enough”. If that rude person left some trash out, pick it up. If your office mate needs help getting those reports out on time and you have completed your tasks, offer to help. See if your supervisors need anything else done, any assistance or have any extra tasks for you. Unless you work for the government, the inconvenience of going above and beyond your job description will pay off at review time.

3.DO consider yourself a guest in someone else’s space. Treat that space as such. Respect is earned. You start earning it by treating your environment and those around you with respect. The office is not a living space. It is a working space.

4.DO keep a small bottle of some type of light deodorizing spray. When you have no choice but to violate office bathroom etiquette, take your spray. It’s not a perfect fix, but it helps.

5.DO maintain a friendly, professional relationship with your coworkers. We all have complaints about the people we work with. Office gossip is nothing new or crazy. Do your best to keep gossip to a minimum. Be courteous to your fellow employees, even the annoying ones. Kindness costs you nothing and you can crank about your lazy manager when you get home. An effective leader is able to work with all types of personalities and tolerate annoying personality traits. The people who can pay you more will notice this.