Friday, May 20, 2005

Office Etiquette
Much to my chagrin, I left my book at home the other day. This was especially sucky because I haven't had much time to read lately, and had planned to finish it at lunch. Reading is one of the few things that combats the tedium of work. And since I'd rather talk to my sandwich than make conversation with most of my co-workers, and since my sandwich, while tasty, is less clever than I require, I was out of luck.

So, trapped in the break room with nothing to do, I decided to read the fine print on all the signs we're required to post by law. Your standards. Everything from Minimum Wage to Whistle Blowing to a sign up sheet for a company softball team from 1997. I became a little alarmed when I read the Warning Signs of Violence in the Workplace. Symptoms include irritability, waning enthusiasm, and sleepiness.


Sure, I've had dreams where bosses are swept up by tornados and rolled over by tanks, but I've never thought about actually doing those things myself. These symptoms, however, make me wonder how I come off. Add Occasional Bouts of Smart-Ass to the list, and I'm a prime suspect. At least I've never threatened anyone or destroyed office furniture (my favorite warning sign). Remember that if you're ever called to testify.

Then I moved on to the Sexual Harrassment poster. The graphic, which seems to be lifted from Photoshop, shows the outline of a woman standing over a copier. Behind her is a man with one hand casually in his pocket, and the other presumably grabbing her ass. In any event, it looks to be extremely naughty and highly inappropriate, what that Photoshop Shadow Man is doing. This made me wonder about how I'm perceived, too. Perhaps I should re-think the way I greet people around the office.

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