community Service means Business!

31 January 2008


7 embarrassing breaches of workplace etiquette

I recently dropped my underpants while talking to a colleague. I wasn't wearing them at the time (I was dashing off to get changed into my running kit when I bumped into him) but there was still a moment of awkwardness, which naturally I filled by saying "oh look, my knickers are on the floor." I don't know what the correct etiquette is in such a situation, but I'm pretty sure that wasn't it.

This got me thinking about other breaches of workplace manners; not all of those listed below are mine, I swear...

1. Losing track of gossip. There's nothing worse than sharing a juicy piece of semi-anonymous scuttlebutt with a colleague only to get halfway through the story and realise that it's about them. "Did you hear about that bloke who has been sleeping in the stationery supply room on level three for the past week because his wife kicked him out? Oh, right. Yes. I suppose you have."

2. Inaccurate blamestorming. Righteous anger has its place but shouldn't be let loose indiscriminately. It's hard to come back from "I've never seen such incompetence"...particularly if it transpires that it's your own.

3. Referring to a colleague by his nickname and only later remembering that, until you spoke to him, he didn't actually realise that people referred to him as Stalin.

4. Leaving the lavatory in an unpleasant state. I don't know why people do this, but I hope that one day they step out of their stinky cubicle to discover that their manager is next in the queue. Maybe then they'll step back in and flush properly.

5. Mentioning a colleague's hangover/faked sickie/history of cocaine abuse in front of the boss. You think that you're being matey and fun. Your colleague thinks that you're trying to get her sacked.

6. Hitting reply to all. By now there have been so many warnings about why not to hit this button that, if you do tell everyone in your company exactly what you think of your chief executive's dress sense, people are likely to think it's a deliberate ploy rather than a fit of idiocy.

7. Sending out a recall three days after the dodgy reply to all. If you've left it that long it's really too late. All you're doing is reminding people of your initial faux pas...SOURCE

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