Yeah, so, today I want to talk about something really important: cubicle etiquette.
Someone in the office is playing their music kinda loud. Now, normally I wouldn’t complain if it was something I liked listening to – you know, something cool like one of those “Glee” soundtracks or an “American Idol” compilation. But this coworker is playing some depressing chick singer that I can’t identify. Between the gray weather outside and this downer music … well, it’s just not appropriate for a Friday.
I’d complain to HR, but I’m worried that it’s someone from HR who is playing the music.
Yesterday, two people in this office were speaking to each other on speaker phone. This wouldn’t be a big deal except they don’t sit that far away from each other, so it was like they put their mundane conversation about billing on the intercom. Really? You can’t walk to the 10 feet to your coworker’s cube for this discussion?
The speaker phone incident was almost as annoying as the folks who walk around the office with their little cell phone headset devices on, talking to someone while they are pouring their coffee or – god help me – using the restroom. We are a printing company. We are not saving lives here. Whatever call you are on, I’m pretty sure it can wait until after you’ve emptied your bladder.
I know you can’t tell by reading this, but I actually really like this office. I criticize because I care, people. I’ve got a good job. I’m lucky, and I know it. I had a really great performance review yesterday. Unlike other performance reviews I’ve received in the past (at say a certain daily newspaper in SF that I used to work for a few years ago), this review didn’t end with me storming out of the office angry.
Here’s my impression of my past performance reviews at that newspaper:
The boss: “Sonia, you do a really great job. You work very hard. But, your jokey personality isn’t very professional, and it gives people the impression that you don’t care.”
Me: “This job is really stressful. I find that handling it with a good sense of humor is helpful.”
The boss: “You need to be more professional, and you need to think about long-term goals for the paper.”
Me: “Ummm, I edited content for and designed 22 pages today while everyone else did about three pages. I don’t have time to think about long-term goals for the paper. Can I haz a raise now?”
The boss: “No.”
Me: “Thanks for nothing.”
The boss: “What?”
Me: “[Sigh] Can I go back to my cube now so I can angrily talk shit about you on IM to my coworkers?”
I won’t go into details, but my performance review I got yesterday, but it was a million times better than that. My boss actually treats me respectfully … like a valuable employee. Weird, right?
Now, I just need to school some folks around here about proper cubicle etiquette …