Workplaces are so weird. You’re stuck (either in a giant office or a giant Zoom) with a bunch of strangers, eight hours per day, five days per week. And that’s if you’re a regular 9-5 Joe or Jane.
Offices all over the world are a bizarre melting pot of personality clashes, sexual tension and Michael Scott‘s. But whether you love or hate yours, you gotta admit that office etiquette is wild.
I’ve spent time in the travel industry, where jumping ship to Kenya was no big deal. I’ve also spent time in the wine industry, where drinking chardonnay at 10am was no big deal. And while I L-O-V-E-D both these workplace vibes, there were still things (and people) that really ground my gears.
Speaking of, here’s a relatively concise list of my petty workplace annoyances.
Being overly complimentary
Look, there’s nothing wrong with a compliment. But to ensure a compliment remains sincere, it must be given sparingly.
It’s like saying ‘I love you’ constantly – it just starts to lose its value. You start to think ‘what even is love?’ and then you break up. So when you’re overly, and non-stop, complimentary of your coworkers’ latest PowerPoint presentation or the most recent eDM send, it starts to feel false.
Your praise grows disingenuous. You become annoying.
Not taking your sick days
Mother above, do you know why we have sick days written into our contracts? It’s so a) you can recuperate at home from the comfort of your own couch and b) you don’t subject the rest of us to your whack cough. Yes, the cough that I can hear from five cubicles away.
You might think you’re being “an exceptional employee” but honestly, you’re sickly and I don’t like you being here. Go home.
Setting up detailed out of office messages
Ah, the old out of office. I always feel so powerful when I set up an OOO response. Like, sorry y’all, I’m outta here. Please contact my resentful colleague Jane Doe with any questions or queries, BYYYEEE.
What I don’t love is a convoluted, borderline braggy OOO message. Hun, I don’t care that you’re on holiday in Noosa. You telling me this is making me feel something akin to jealousy and it’s messing with my vibe. Especially because I haven’t got any annual leave left.
CC’ing everyone onto an email thread
You think you’re doing due diligence. I think you’re wasting my time. And Jim’s and Pam’s and Dwight’s. All of our time – officially wasted.
The more people you choose to CC doesn’t make you a better employee. Be careful and considerate with your reply alls. Otherwise, I will craft you a personalised, passive-aggressive email in response. Thanks in advance.
Checking your Slack out of hours
Eurgh, were you school captain or something? Are you the eldest child? You sound like a needy overachiever to me. Nothing good comes from hanging around on Slack after hours. All you’re doing is making me feel like a Slack-er (sorry!) and giving me a tonne of notifications to sort through in the AM.
Delete the app off your phone and go rewatch Friends for the 10th time like the rest of us normal employees.
Always offering to be office DJ
On one hand, I thank you. I definitely don’t want the responsibility of curating a 9-5 appropriate playlist. But on the other hand, I’m tiiiiiirrrreeedddd of your vibe. I get it, you’re really into the latest Billie Eilish release but holy heck you’re making me want to bury a friend – and that (work)friend is you.
Put down the keys to Sonos and step away from the speaker, please.
Being overly enthusiastic about extracurricular activities
It’s great that you’ve organised our workplace Secret Santa / Footy Tipping / Birthday Calendar – but just remember, some people are introverted and they don’t appreciate being roped into speeches and singing and general joyousness with strangers.
Don’t pressure anyone to participate. Just let some of us show gratitude for your interpersonal skills from afar.
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