Okay everyone, it’s time to lay down some groundwork when it comes to work behavior.  I was out of the corporate world for almost a year (stupid economy making it difficult to get a job) but now I’m back (hooray!) and am being reminded on a daily basis of all the little things that used to drive me insane.  So now I’ll share them with you!

  1. When you get on an elevator and I’m the only other person already on, there is absolutely no reason why there should be any physical contact between us.  I have never been on an elevator so small that two people can’t ride comfortably without being close to each other.  Step back.  Chances are, you smell and I don’t want you rubbing up against me.
  2. If you walk up to the elevator and I’m standing there waiting, and the button is glowing, you can safely assume that I did not just choose that spot randomly to hang out at.  I pushed the button and am waiting for an elevator to arrive.  There is no need for you to walk over, make eye contact with me, and push the button 7 times – it won’t make the elevator come any faster.  It will however make me step on your foot when I get off the elevator at my floor.
  3. Do not listen to your voicemails on speaker-phone.  We don’t care if your spouse left you a romantic message telling you to be confident and try your hardest.  We don’t care if your stalker left a message simply of their heavy breathing.  And we don’t care if you left yourself a message reminding you not to forget your gym shorts in the bottom drawer again.  Stop being lazy and pick up the damn receiver and listen to the messages instead of inflicting them on the whole office.  Otherwise, I’m going to call you after hours and leave a message stating that we’re foreclosing your home because your last mortgage payment bounced and our research shows it was due to your excessive amount of money spent on hookers, and then I’ll laugh hysterically when you listen to that on speaker-phone the following day.
  4. I don’t care how much you love your ringtone or text message alert sound, nobody else in the office does.  If we hear it once, we assume you forgot to put it on silent and we let it go by without much thought.  18 times later, I’m going to beat you over the head with a 3 hole punch.  I don’t want to hear the same sound over and over again all day long just so you can feel important that someone is text messaging you.  You’re not.  The autopsy will confirm that.
  5. If a meeting starts at 2 and ends at 3, an appropriate time to show up is not 2:52.  The meeting is over.  At this point, we’re all wondering where you were, and figuring out a way to punish you for not showing up.  Your half-hearted claim that you were busy and couldn’t get away from your desk is bull.  I saw you surfing Facebook earlier and updating your twitter all morning.  We will now shun you.  That big luncheon that was scheduled for next week which we told you was cancelled?  It wasn’t.  We’re gonna have a blast.  Then call you 8 minutes before it’s over and ask why you couldn’t make it.  Tweet about that.
  6. You’re busy.  I’m busy.  We’re all busy.  When do you ever see me sitting around telling anyone who passes by how much I wish I had more work to do?  Oh yeah, it was never.  Stop trying to get me to do your job and mine as well simply because you’re feeling overwhelmed.  Once or twice, fine, I’m a reasonable guy.  Every day?  I’ll bite you, I swear I will.
  7. Parking garages (and even parking lots) often have spaces designated as being for “compact cars”.  So why is it they’re always filled with Hummers and Ford F350s?  And I say filled because I mean filled.  They take up the whole spot, plus some overflow on each side, making it impossible for anyone else to park in the directly surrounding spots for fear of not being able to open their doors.  So instead of 3 cars getting spots, your one humongously oversized truck/SUV/tank gets it.  I would spread a rumor that you have tiny genitalia, but it’s no fun to spread a rumor that’s very likely true.  I’ll just consistently let the air out of your tires, and practice my voodoo.  Just wait.  I’ll getcha.
  8. If you see me approaching the elevator and start pushing the button to close the doors because you want it to yourself, I will purposely run and throw my body onto the elevator and stare at you the whole ride up.  And if I get off before you, I’ll push the buttons for every other floor and then stare at you with a smile as the doors close behind me.  Stop being an ass.
  9. If you need to have more than 30 second conversation with someone, schedule time in a small conference room to discuss your issues.  I don’t want you standing right behind me talking to someone about how the deadline for the such and such is tomorrow and you haven’t finished the thingamajig and you’re gonna jump off the roof if you don’t get it done in time since you’ll almost certainly be fired for being incompetent.  If I have to listen to you talking about that for more than 30 seconds, I’ll show you the way to the roof and advise you not to land in any bushes or soft objects below.
  10. Please don’t bring Chinese food into work for lunch, and then eat it at your desk.  Just about every corporate building has a cafeteria – a place specifically designed to smell like food and facilitate its being eaten.  You wanna eat a sandwich at your desk?  Fine.  Go for it.  You wanna eat something that’s going to smell up the whole office?  Be aware that I’m going to lean over your cube and spray you in the face with air freshener to try and balance it out.  You have been given fair warning.
  11. If you’re going to bring up every fundraiser your child’s school has and expect your coworkers to buy all that useless crap that we don’t really want, then you had better be willing to do the same when we start peddling our kids’ crap.  Too many times have I seen people sell popcorn, girl scout cookies, wrapping paper, and all other kinds of ridiculously random stuff to coworkers, then turn around and say that they don’t have any money to return the favor, all the while planning their next family trip to who-knows-where.  If you don’t buy the stuff I’m peddling, I will sneak sugar into your carry-on baggage and warn the airport that you’re smuggling cocaine.  Enjoy your cavity search.
  12. Newsflash: sound travels.  If you’re listening to a radio at your desk, everyone you can hear it.  There does not exist a comfortable volume that you can both hear the music over the sound of your keyboard and mouse clicks, but still keep your neighbors from having to listen to it.  What’s worse is that the people who listen to music loudly at their desk rarely have commonly shared taste – they’re usually huge fans of heavy metal, deep south country, or polka.  Stop it, or I’ll be forced to modify the system files on your computer, and from now on when your computer starts up you’ll be greeted by farm animal noises, thus perpetuating the rumor I also started about your torrid love affairs with sheep.  Write a country song about that.
  13. If you are cold, do not complain to building management and request the temperature be raised.  How about you stop wearing short sleeve shirts to work if you’re feeling chilly?  Some people are required to wear dress shirts and slacks, and those don’t really breathe very well, so said people get quite warm.  They don’t need you requesting the temperature be set to 82 so you can feel nice and toasty at your desk.  Wear a sweater.  Wear a jacket.  Get up off your ass and move around to stimulate blood flow.  When you’re cold, you can do something about it.  When everyone else gets hot, it’s not really work appropriate to strip down to cool off.  If you don’t follow this rule, I’ll be forced to sneak hot sauce into all the food you brought for lunch.  You won’t be feeling very cold after eating that.
  14. Don’t print out a 300 page report all at once in the middle of the day.  Other people need to use that printer too, likely for one or two pages, and they shouldn’t have to sit around all day waiting for your document to finish.  Split it up into a few smaller sized pieces.  You’ll still get your report printed, but other people will be able to intermittently print their documents too.  Everyone wins.  If you don’t comply, I’ll steal pages 109-147 out of your report.  Hope there wasn’t anything important in there.
  15. During a fire drill/alarm, do not push everyone out of your way to make it to the stairs faster.  We would all like to escape, thank you.  Pushing me over will not facilitate your safe escape without any repercussions.  Chances are, I’ll get back on my feet and make it downstairs just fine.  However, when it’s safe to return inside I’ll rush straight to your desk and start taking things.  And shredding things.  And then I’ll limp past you later feigning innocence as you cry over your missing Snoopy pen.
  16. If you have to have a badge of some sort to activate the elevator or the parking garage or the door to your area of the office, please have it out and ready when you get to said spot.  I am tired of being behind you while you dig in your car to find your badge, or upend your purse in the elevator looking for it, or dig through your pockets all the while laughing awkwardly and pretending you haven’t done the same thing everyday of your employment here.  I’m tired of it, and so is everyone else.  If we can have the necessary identification ready and available when necessary, so can you.  Get with it, or next time I see you I’m going to rush over and tape it to your forehead.
  17. We live in the 21st century, not the Dark Ages.  When it comes to trivial little questions or ramblings, an instant message or an email will more than suffice.  You can even throw in an “lol” or an emoticon and then go along with your day, never having gotten up from your desk.  But no, that’s no good.  You have to get up and walk across the office to talk to your friend, then walk back to your desk, then walk to someone else’s desk 3 minutes later with a follow-up question, then back to your desk, and so on and so forth all day long.  I tire of seeing your face walk past my desk.  Technology is a great asset.  I’m not asking you to plug your brain into your computer and disconnect all social interaction, just to be aware of the fact that your constant pacing back and forth across the office is distracting to those of us actually working, and your conversations are also a nuisance, one which could be accomplished even quicker and with absolute silence via the computer.  Take advantage of the technology, or I will build a sentient robot to shoot laser beams at you every time you pass my desk.

As you can see, I’m moderately bitter.  Working in corporate America is tough, but if everyone followed the rules we’d all be just fine.  Spread the word.  Or else…