Hope you enjoyed your holiday! (That is… if you had a holiday. If not, happy second day back. And if you’re unemployed, Happy Saturday!) Now that most of you are back at work today, I thought I’d share why I’m so happy that I not do the 9-5 (currently)… In essence, people annoy me. Especially co-workers.
Below are my office co-worker gripes. If you find yourself echoed in any of these statements, shame on you. Seriously, you should lock yourself in a bathroom stall now and reflect on your asshole-edness. (And please be sure to wash your hands afterwards. Don’t make me spray you with Lysol!)
1.) I like burned popcorn. You should too.
The lack of kitchen etiquette pervades the office. People think it’s okay to eat smelly tuna sandwiches at their desk, leave their dirty sinks in the kitchen for housekeeping to clean; and hog a full 75% of the refrigerator space with their meals/snacks for the week. Listen, it’s not. The last time I checked my job description, I was not hired to be your Mom. Clean up after your nasty self. And if you take the last cup of coffee, for God’s sake, make another round… it takes all of three minutes!
Who is that fool that burns the popcorn in the break room everyday? I understand that you might like the taste of charred corn (or not), but please don’t make the rest of us smell it too. Burnt popcorn ranks somewhere between “wet dog” and “gym sock” on the list of “Things I DON’T Want to Smell Today.” Please be respectful and stand by the microwave while it cooks.
And if you think it’s okay to steal somebody else’s lunch, there is a special circle of hell waiting just for you… (And yes, it *is* stealing. I’ve seen people get fired for being caught with other people’s meals.)
Most of us peons sit in cubicles. As such, we are exposed to WAYYYY too many of our coworkers already(!) Gum smacking, loud talking, pen clicking, foot tapping, cologne-infested, Li’l Wayne ringtone blaring… er… idiots do not realize (and/or don’t care) that all of these noises adversely affects everyone around them. (PS: I hate you.)
Be polite to your fellow staff… and maybe… just maybe… the pervasive, made-up gossip about you will subside around the water coolers.
3.) Inane, Neverending Meetings (Conference Call and/or In-Person)
Even as a consultant, I am required to attend meetings that have nothing to do with me or what I contribute to the organization. I swear, some managers just like to hear themselves talk. And the wider audience they have, the better apparently. I know some poor souls who spend several hours of their day boarded up in a closed room meetings… unavailable to others outside from breaks. (I don’t know how they find time to do… you know… work.) Unless your job title is “Meeting Attendee,” this practice is often a colossal waste of time for all involved.
I can’t get to your pressing deadline if you make me sit in a room listening to you drone on. Managers, if you MUST call a meeting, make sure only the stakeholders are present, and set a time limit. And limit your use of PowerPoint… nobody’s impressed by your scrolling text, embedded sounds/videos and 3D graphics.
4.) … Was that snow falling from the ceiling?
I never understood why many offices have to set their thermostats to a breezy 40 degrees Fahrenheit. Why, oh why, in the middle of summer, do I need to run a space heater and wrap myself in a duvet so as to not get the flu?
Keeping your offices so cold, along with leaving the lights on at night is a very environmentally (un)responsible way to run your business. I would hate to see your monthly power bill.
5.) Technology has only NOT kept up with us. It hasn’t even passed us by…
Why do many corporations make their staff work on
- circa-90s era Pentium 486 computers;
- hard drives filled with 50 GBs of garbage from previous staff members;
- servers infiltrated with spyware if not outright viruses;
- DSL internet connections (with dial-up speed);
- Microsoft Windows XP loaded with Office 2000…
… and expect them to be productive?
Invest some money, buy some current equipment, and let your staff go. You will be amazed at how much faster (not to mention, nicer) your company’s output will be.
6.) We have to think out of the box on these actionable items!!!!
The affliction “office jargon” has infected all levels of management today. Meaningless, trite phrases are thrown around around corporate America to make everyone sound smarter… and dumber at the same time. What a feat!
Some of my most favorite phrases include:
- TLA (Three letter acronym): Because we don’t have the time to say three words at once, we must abbreviate all office procedures to three letters. (see, TPS report)
- “Thinking Outside of the Box:” Does anyone have a clue? Anyone?!?!??? FOR GOD’S SAKE, can any of you dumbasses come up with just… one idea at all?
- “Hit the Ground Running:” I expect you to go into this situation with very little information and knowledge and pull a diamond out of your ass… Yeah, you’re screwed.
- “You and I are not on the same page:” I’m SO disappointed in you because you did the task wrong and/or not up to my standards.
- “Let’s run the numbers:” Let’s screw with the spreadsheet until we find some results that we like!
- “We need to touch base” Supervisor: I need to micromanage you some more. OR… Employee: I really need some self-worth here… tell me what you think about my job performance NOW!
7.) *Cough, cough*
If you’re sneezing incessantly, look kinda green, and your head is lurching forward over your keyboard every few seconds, you do not need to be at work, infecting everyone else. Take your ill ass and go home. That’s what sick leave is for, dummy!
* I know that many businesses today do not allow for adequate health care coverage/sick leave. If you absolutely HAVE to show up at work, invest in a $10 doctor’s mask. You might look tres stupide… but everyone will appreciate you slightly more…
8.) Your boss is Michael Scott
And let’s face it: many bosses are royal, Grade-A dicks. I know I won’t get along with everyone in all office situations. (And that my supervisor(s), while nice enough, will never be the “perfect fit.”) You can love your work and what you’re doing on a day to day basis… but if you can’t connect with your supervisor, it makes your work environment bitter and stressful.
I, myself have had bosses of all shapes and sizes: the micromanager, the emotionally abusive, the taskers that expected you to work 16 hour days, the lazy/everybody does HIS work, the clinically depressed/insane… the list goes on. The supervisor sets the tone of the office, and if it is one of uber-competition, incompetence, negativity and/or shame… it WILL overtly affect the company at some point. And that’s not good.
In the end, I know that no office environment will ever be 110% perfect. But what do we have to strive for, if not perfection… at least at 100%? C’mon people now – have standards!!!! Demand a skilled, adept, competent company with peerless coworkers!!!