1) You put up posters – I’m not talking about that dodgy Christmas present that you’re trying to sell. Or the fact that you run a Pilates class. I’m talking about the mysterious posters that arrive over night when everyone else is sleeping. They’re always written in the tone that either replicates a cyclist talking to car drivers, or your mum after she found you having a crafty fag out of the window. “Please make sure you only print what you need, trees died to bring you this paper”. Yeah, and you just wasted a complete sheet on a pointless message I’m now going to ignore. Get a life.
2) You smell – Ok. Now I know BO is a serious issue. I work in HR, I’ve dealt with smelly people all my life. I mean, instead, the people who have a Chinese or an Indian meal (other cuisines are equally culpable, this is a non-discriminating rant) the night before and think, “I know, I’ll take this in to work tomorrow and really improve the environment for all my co-workers by heating it up and eating it at my desk. They will really appreciate the way that the smell lingers all afternoon like some sort of weird olfactory fog.
3) You organise “fun” – No-one comes to work to have organised fun. There is no such thing as organised fun. Fun happens or it doesn’t. That’s just the way that it is. It’s like love. It can’t be created by a cheerleading fool with invisible pom poms. Let people have their fun at home, in the park, behind the bike sheds. Wherever they choose. They can even have it at work if they really want, but please for the love of Buddha never start a sentence with, “Why don’t we all dress up as xxxxxx this Friday”.
4) You leave your s**t around – Not literally. Although buy me a drink and I’ll tell you a darker story about this one. This is work, this is the workplace. It is not your very own personal Big Yellow. All that c**p you’ve got under your desk, on your desk and by your desk. Find it a place to live or burn it. Nobody needs to see the pair of trainers that you thought you’d run in, languishing under your desk 8 months later. Including you, lard arse.
5) You diet – I’m not against diets – I’d personally rather you did that than eat yourself in to oblivion, God knows, square footage is tight enough as it is. But frankly, I don’t need to know about it. Or how it differs from the one that you were doing the month before, but failed to stick to, or the one just before Christmas that was fine until it played havoc with your bowel habits. I really don’t care if you want to eat lightly fried angel’s buttocks for the rest of your life. That’s your choice, keep it to yourself.
6) You have pets. Or children – Ok. I realise that this “may” appear to push me slightly towards the fascist demographic. I don’t actually have an issue with you having pets or kids. I just don’t want to know every detail about your parrot Ernie who was named after your late Uncle who once nearly played for Manchester United Reserves. Nor do I want to see a million badly taken pictures of them displayed throughout the office. I’m glad you see Ernie every evening and get to share precious moments. Let’s keep it between the two of you, m’kay?*
7) You steal stuff – Wait. I’m not talking about bullion or the Crown Jewels. I’m talking about the important stuff in life, like calculators and rulers and the only pens that write properly. These are organisational gold dust and you are undermining the very balance of workplace karma when you move one from its rightful home. Take a moment and reflect on your actions. I’m not cross, I’m just disappointed.
* This also applies to weird crushes. Like the ginger kid out of Harry Potter. Which is just strange.
Excellent post, Neil.
Point 3 puts me in mind of Bill Drummond (formerly of the KLF) stating that “I don’t do fun.” http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/music/3558814/Bill-Drummond-pops-prankster-heads-for-destruction.html I seem to remember Mr Drummon expressed these sentiments much more strongly in his book 45, but I can’t find the quotation online right now.
And do I detect a new theme in the world of HR blogs, in the form of a concern with paper (as covered in point 1 here)?
Oddly, not one but two other HR bloggers have weighed in on HR and paper over the last few days. See the latest posts from Bonni Titgemeyer (http://livehrblog.com/2015/01/23/facebook-did-not-start-the-distracted-workplace/) and Richard Westney (https://hrmannz.wordpress.com/2015/01/25/not-worth-the-paper-its-printed-on/).
And to backtrack a wee bit, the importance of point 3 really cannot be overemphasised!
Reminds me of a piece I wrote a while back about the people you meet in the workplace http://www.recruitingblogs.com/profiles/blogs/irritating-coworkers-the#.VMeRBedDHu8.twitter
Re point 4, I think this guy might have a convincing counter argument. “If a cluttered desk is a sign of a cluttered mind, of what, then, is an empty desk a sign?” Albert Einstein
Re 4; you inspired me to do something I’d been meaning to do for months. Thank you https://sprunkledgraffiti.wordpress.com/2015/02/07/hello-world/