Etiquette Hell

Etiquette School is in session! => The Ehell Guide to Never Behaving Badly => Topic started by: Lisbeth on April 09, 2009, 11:27:27 AM

Title: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on April 09, 2009, 11:27:27 AM
1.  Dress appropriately for the job, whether that's a business suit, uniform, or office casual.  Take cues from your superiors, co-workers, and any company regulations as to what is acceptable.  When in doubt, dress more conservatively/mainstream.

2.  Respect those around you by keeping your voice and music at reasonable volumes, both on and off the telephone. 

3.  Don't engage in conversations about personal invitational events with co-workers in the presence of those who are not being invited.  Don't discuss religious or political matters with co-workers, vendors, or clients unless the organization is of that particular faith or political leaning, and don't discuss really personal matters at all.

4.  If your workplace has a kitchen/eating area, keep it clean-don't leave garbage around or put dirty dishes in the sink.  Wash, dry, and put away used dishes or put them in the dishwasher if there is one, and throw the garbage in a trash can.  Do not eat or drink in areas where this is designated off-limits.

5.  Obey any rules and ordinances about not smoking in the office or only in designated smoking areas.

6.  If office equipment like copiers, fax machines, and printers become jammed, need toner changes, or otherwise stop working, immediately notify the appropriate person, but don't attempt to fix the problem yourself unless you are the appropriate person (office manager, receptionist, admin, IT personnel, etc.).

7.  Don't leave papers, paper clips, broken staples, etc. in the areas around copiers and fax machines-throw bad copies and broken staples in the garbage and keep the areas around copiers and fax machines clean.

8.  Collect your papers as soon as you are through using a printer, copier, or fax machine-don't leave them in the machine, especially if they contain confidential information.

9.  If your workplace allows you to circulate petitions or do fundraising, don't put pressure on your co-workers to support your causes.  Let them decide whether or not to do it and how much they wish to participate or contribute.

10.  Your co-workers are not there to babysit or entertain your children.  Unless your company participates in a "Take your child to work" type occasion, make other arrangements for having your children babysat.  If you do bring your child to the workplace for whatever reason, it is your job to keep your child under control and see that s/he obeys the rules of the workplace.

11.  If you and your co-workers bring in food or drink to be shared by everyone, take no more than your fair share.  If you are allowed to store foods in a communal refrigerator that are for your consumption alone, label yours and do not touch others'.

12.  Don't use your office computer for unauthorized personal use, including Internet browsing and E-mail.  Keep anything that could compromise your job off your computer.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Outdoor Girl on April 09, 2009, 12:54:51 PM
Addendum to #4:

Don't monopolize any communal appliances.  If you drink decaf but everyone else drinks regular and there is only one coffee pot, either bring a thermos from home, bring your own small pot or use instant. 

Don't bring a meal that needs to be cooked in the microwave, rather than reheated.  If it is going to take longer than 5 minutes to nuke your lunch, do it at an off peak time.  Everyone only gets so long for a lunch break.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: kitty-cat on April 09, 2009, 04:15:27 PM
13: If there is only one printer/faxer/copier/scanner machine- try to do enormous print jobs at off times, such as early in the morning or lunchish.  Preferably early morning so that the person whose job it is to use the scanner can use it.  (Our machine can only do one of the above at a time)

14: Please remember that casual days mean that you still have to look decent.  No ratty sweats or stained t-shirts.

Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Nurvingiel on April 09, 2009, 06:01:15 PM
More for #6:

If you want to save paper and you use a group printer, print double-sided (if your printer settings have this feature).  Do not take paper that's blank on one side and load it into the printer tray.  Since this is a group printer, this means you could be messing up the next queued print job (causing the waste of more paper than if you had printed normally in the first place.  Someone my Dad used to work with used to do this and it drove him totally nuts.  Not only was it irritating for the person whose print job is ruined, it actually was a waste of paper anyway.

I also think it's alright to, say, unjam stuck paper if you know how.  I can do that but I don't know how to replace toner cartriges.  There's another guy in the office who does know how to do that though.  We're a small office and we all just keep this sort of thing running ourselves.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: KitFox on April 10, 2009, 09:26:55 AM
1.  Dress appropriately for the job, whether that's a business suit, uniform, or office casual.  If you are not employed as a stripper or club owner/worker, do not underdress or wear tight or excessively revealing clothing, have visible body piercings, or wear too much makeup.  You are there to work, not pick people up.

I'm not sure I agree with this part. I think that as long as the workplace doesn't have rules against them, it's not an etiquette issue but a personal taste. Many people find piercings attractive and feel that their jewelry is part of their identity.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on April 10, 2009, 09:35:04 AM
1.  Dress appropriately for the job, whether that's a business suit, uniform, or office casual.  If you are not employed as a stripper or club owner/worker, do not underdress or wear tight or excessively revealing clothing, have visible body piercings, or wear too much makeup.  You are there to work, not pick people up.

I'm not sure I agree with this part. I think that as long as the workplace doesn't have rules against them, it's not an etiquette issue but a personal taste. Many people find piercings attractive and feel that their jewelry is part of their identity.

But many others don't-especially in a professional situation.  Just because something is "part of one's identity" to oneself, it is not necessarily appropriate professional dress.  When in doubt, leave it out.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Mahdoumi on April 10, 2009, 11:40:51 AM
1.  Dress appropriately for the job, whether that's a business suit, uniform, or office casual.  If you are not employed as a stripper or club owner/worker, do not underdress or wear tight or excessively revealing clothing, have visible body piercings, or wear too much makeup.  You are there to work, not pick people up.

I'm not sure I agree with this part. I think that as long as the workplace doesn't have rules against them, it's not an etiquette issue but a personal taste. Many people find piercings attractive and feel that their jewelry is part of their identity.

But many others don't-especially in a professional situation.  Just because something is "part of one's identity" to oneself, it is not necessarily appropriate professional dress.  When in doubt, leave it out.

Agreed.  Tattoos and unusual piercings are still perceived as unprofessional in a lot of conservative corporate environments.  Personal identity isn't a primary factor in presenting the corporate image.  The golden rule of dress codes still applies, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have."
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Virg on April 10, 2009, 02:06:29 PM
Mahdoumi wrote:

"The golden rule of dress codes still applies, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.""

Of course, there was a comedian who once said, "My boss told me to dress for the job that I want.  So I showed up the next day in a Cubs uniform."

Anyway, my additions:

If you use up a communal resource, replace it, refill it or notify that person who can so that it's available for the next person.

Take care not to interfere with other people's work if possible.  Don't chitchat if they can't take the time.  Don't do stuff that ties up resources that someone else will need on a deadline.  Let someone know you're going off for lunch if you're the only one with a forklift license and a big shipment is due in while you'll be hard to find.  Consider your actions in the context of making the workplace run as smoothly as possible.

I'll also modify "Don't use your office computer for unauthorized personal use, including Internet browsing and E-mail."  I'll say, Remember that your company computer (or whatever) is the company's property, and so don't treat it as your own.  Follow the rules laid out for company equipment use, only "personalize" it if the rules allow, and don't store anything on it or in it that you don't want the company to have access to.

Virg
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: ginlyn32 on April 10, 2009, 02:12:29 PM
15) The Golden Rule of the Internet still applies: If you wouldn't want your Mother or Boss to see it, don't post about it! Yes, people have been warned and even been fired for things they posted about online! (no I don't think this is fair, but hey...that's life!)

16) Unless you work in a vetrenarian's office or some sort of animal rescue, it's never appropriate to bring an animal to work. Unless it's a service animal.

17) Make an honest effort to keep your work area clean. Don't make a mess and then leave it for the Janitoral Staff to clean because "that's what they get paid for". Also, if you do happen to clog the toilet, use the plunger to clear it. If it's really bad, call maitenence, but don't just leave it for the next person to find.

18) If you find that you are going to be late to work (10 car pileup on the freeway or your alarm didn't go off), please call! Don't leave the rest of your crew/team wondering where you are.

19) Do not comment on anyone's usage of sickleave/vacation time.

ginlyn
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: KitFox on April 10, 2009, 03:50:50 PM
1.  Dress appropriately for the job, whether that's a business suit, uniform, or office casual.  If you are not employed as a stripper or club owner/worker, do not underdress or wear tight or excessively revealing clothing, have visible body piercings, or wear too much makeup.  You are there to work, not pick people up.

I'm not sure I agree with this part. I think that as long as the workplace doesn't have rules against them, it's not an etiquette issue but a personal taste. Many people find piercings attractive and feel that their jewelry is part of their identity.

But many others don't-especially in a professional situation.  Just because something is "part of one's identity" to oneself, it is not necessarily appropriate professional dress.  When in doubt, leave it out.

Agreed.  Tattoos and unusual piercings are still perceived as unprofessional in a lot of conservative corporate environments.  Personal identity isn't a primary factor in presenting the corporate image.  The golden rule of dress codes still applies, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have."

I didn't assume we were talking about conservative, corporate offices alone. There are a great deal of companies that are fine with piercings/tattoos, and I think narrowing jobs they're all right for down to 1) stripper, or 2) club worker, is a bit, well, harsh.
If the company dress code allows for them, then I don't think you can say it's in bad taste. To me, this is like the hair issue discussed in "All In A Day's Work" where someone was told they were "unprofessional" for having long hair. (I think the thread was titled "That's news to me.") Some might see certain things as unprofessional, and some might not, but a personal choice that is not against company policy is not de facto bad etiquette.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: WhiteTigerCub on April 10, 2009, 04:03:10 PM
20) Keep personal cell phones on vibrate or 'silent' mode so that they do not disturb others around your work area.

21) Check with your employer on their 'cell phone' policy. Some may restrict use of a personal cell phone while sitting at one's desk area.

22) If possible take your personal call away from your desk area to some place more private so that co-workers are not subjected to knowing unnecessary details about your personal life.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on April 10, 2009, 09:30:07 PM
1.  Dress appropriately for the job, whether that's a business suit, uniform, or office casual.  If you are not employed as a stripper or club owner/worker, do not underdress or wear tight or excessively revealing clothing, have visible body piercings, or wear too much makeup.  You are there to work, not pick people up.

I'm not sure I agree with this part. I think that as long as the workplace doesn't have rules against them, it's not an etiquette issue but a personal taste. Many people find piercings attractive and feel that their jewelry is part of their identity.

But many others don't-especially in a professional situation.  Just because something is "part of one's identity" to oneself, it is not necessarily appropriate professional dress.  When in doubt, leave it out.

Agreed.  Tattoos and unusual piercings are still perceived as unprofessional in a lot of conservative corporate environments.  Personal identity isn't a primary factor in presenting the corporate image.  The golden rule of dress codes still applies, "Dress for the job you want, not the job you have."

I didn't assume we were talking about conservative, corporate offices alone. There are a great deal of companies that are fine with piercings/tattoos, and I think narrowing jobs they're all right for down to 1) stripper, or 2) club worker, is a bit, well, harsh.
If the company dress code allows for them, then I don't think you can say it's in bad taste. To me, this is like the hair issue discussed in "All In A Day's Work" where someone was told they were "unprofessional" for having long hair. (I think the thread was titled "That's news to me.") Some might see certain things as unprofessional, and some might not, but a personal choice that is not against company policy is not de facto bad etiquette.

Actually, this isn't true.  If it's company policy to do shady things like offer bribes to get business, it's still bad etiquette, not to mention illegal. So "personal choice" isn't necessarily professional or good etiquette.

Body piercing may not be illegal, and it's definitely one's personal choice, but when you are hired, you are there to represent the company and its policies, not to show off your personal choices.  And there is a general sense of professional dress in which visible piercings simply isn't considered good etiquette.  The company you work for doesn't mind it, but many do, and that's why I said, "When in doubt, leave it out" before.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Kaylee on April 10, 2009, 09:55:50 PM
Really?  So my pierced ears make me an unprofessional person?  You can see them, after all.

I disagree that this is an etiquette point.  'Dress appropriately for the workplace you're in' is a good rule.  'Follow company policy regarding dress' is a good rule.  Stating that there are rules against 'visible piercings' strikes me as inflammatory and too specific to a particular mindset, and not at all a general enough rule for a list like this. 
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on April 10, 2009, 10:03:32 PM
Really?  So my pierced ears make me an unprofessional person?  You can see them, after all.

I disagree that this is an etiquette point.  'Dress appropriately for the workplace you're in' is a good rule.  'Follow company policy regarding dress' is a good rule.  Stating that there are rules against 'visible piercings' strikes me as inflammatory and too specific to a particular mindset, and not at all a general enough rule for a list like this. 

No, I am not talking about pierced ears but piercings in other places.  Let's not split hairs over where on the body the piercings are.

And I think that for many professions it does come across as unprofessional and not appropriate to have visible body piercings.

So I disagree with you.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Kaylee on April 10, 2009, 10:12:29 PM
My point is that it is still splitting hairs to make a general rule that 'visible piercings' are rude.  It's a purely cultural phenomenon that some piercings are considered unusual enough to be possibly off-putting.

No one would ever, in any situation, say a word to an Indian woman who had a nose piercing, even though that is a more nontraditional Western piercing, because we recognize that in her culture, it is traditional.  These things are contextual.  And there are many, many workplaces where other piercings are not at all inappropriate or thought of as unprofessional--not everyone works in an office, or even in an office where that is the case.  I don't disagree with the idea that they may be inappropriate in some locations, but I am suggesting that we not limit a general list, being created for the potential purpose of a published book, to the ideas of etiquette in conservative workplaces.

You may disagree with me, but my understanding was that these lists were open to suggestions.  If that's not the case, never mind.  Your 'when in doubt, leave it out' is something I could agree with.  "No visible piercings" is just too general.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: penelope2017 on April 11, 2009, 05:48:14 PM
Maybe the issue is the OP just calls this Workplace Etiquette. Too general?

It seems it is more Corporate Office Etiquette or Conservative Workplace Etiquette if we're going to make a general no visible piercings rule.

There are many 'workplaces' that would have no issue with piercings. Mine included. I work for a newspaper.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on April 11, 2009, 05:51:13 PM
Okay, suppose we say, "It is advisable not to have visible body piercings unless you know for sure that your workplace allows them?  When in doubt, leave them out."
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Nannerdoman on April 11, 2009, 07:03:48 PM
Don't gossip about your co-workers.  It's unprofessional and can lead to unpleasant situations.

Accept the fact that you may not like everyone with whom you work, and that they may not like you.  Then pull on your big-kid pants and maintain a relationship with the disliked co-worker that will get the job done.

Don't criticize someone else's work unless you are that person's supervisor.  However, politely pointing out errors or making suggestions is okay: "Chris, you misspelled the client's name here."  "Amy, I've found it helps me to rough-draft the memo first."

Accept the fact that things may happen at work that you don't like.  Then pull up your big-kid pants and decide what to do--quit the job, accept the situation, work constructively to change the situation, etc.  Foot-stomping and temper tantrums will win you a place on E-Hell, but not in the hearts of your bosses and co-workers.

Every workplace and every job has its share of drudgery and scut work.  Do your share without complaining.

Watch your alcohol consumption at office social events.  It may be a party, but you're still at work.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: YogaChick on April 11, 2009, 07:35:47 PM


Watch your alcohol consumption at office social events.  It may be a party, but you're still at work.

Nannerdoman, is it ever okay to forgo office social events altogether?
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Msunderstatement on April 11, 2009, 07:38:02 PM
Do not wear strong cologne.  You do better putting a very little on than the other way around.

Do not eat smelly food at your station.  Do not chew loudly.

Do not play your radio loudly.  Do not sing along or play the bongos on your desk.

Clean up the lunch place you occupied and your work station (wipe crumbs, clean up greasy/sticky smears).

Do not brag so much (about your children, pets, etc.). 
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on April 11, 2009, 07:47:13 PM


Watch your alcohol consumption at office social events.  It may be a party, but you're still at work.

Nannerdoman, is it ever okay to forgo office social events altogether?

I'm not Nannerdoman, but I'd say it is when:
1) They occur so frequently that you're shortchanging your partner and/or children
2) They conflict with a major personal event like the wedding of a family member
3) It doesn't affect the job-that is to say, there are no "rewards" other than friendship and no "points" taken off for not attending, such as missed opportunities or gossip that occur as a direct result of the event and can hurt you later
4) There is an emergency
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: M-theory on April 11, 2009, 09:44:56 PM
23) Remain professional at all times regardless of mode of communcation. Do not use netspeak in IMs or e-mails.

I work in a profession where the emphasis is on our mastery of English spelling and grammar. Imagine my surprise when I got an IM from a coworker: "I kno it sez ur busy but can u hlp me plzzzzzzzzz."

She's 5 years older than me and has been with the company for about that much longer. I had to pinch myself to make sure I wasn't seeing things.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Alida on April 11, 2009, 10:28:25 PM
Whatever number we're at now) It's an office, not a coffee klatsch.  If you want to chit chat, wait until a break, don't come to another's desk and yammer away while they're deep into a project. 

Next number) Office gossip is evil.  It creates more trouble than it can ever be worth.  If you have to whisper it so no one else in the office hears, it shouldn't be shared.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: YogaChick on April 12, 2009, 06:21:23 PM
One time, my mom told me that it was "rude" to have any particular friends at work at all, and that one should be superficially polite and friendly to EVERYONE, but not socialize with any particular individuals more than others, even if you just naturally gravitate to one another.  Is this true?
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: YogaChick on April 12, 2009, 06:23:29 PM


Watch your alcohol consumption at office social events.  It may be a party, but you're still at work.

Nannerdoman, is it ever okay to forgo office social events altogether?

I'm not Nannerdoman, but I'd say it is when:
1) They occur so frequently that you're shortchanging your partner and/or children
2) They conflict with a major personal event like the wedding of a family member
3) It doesn't affect the job-that is to say, there are no "rewards" other than friendship and no "points" taken off for not attending, such as missed opportunities or gossip that occur as a direct result of the event and can hurt you later
4) There is an emergency

But, is it ever okay to forgo an office party because you just don't want to go, or even to summarily "opt out" of office social events altogether?  I mean, in the REAL world, parties are optional, an invitation is not a summons, and ideally, it shouldn't matter as long as you finish all your work and you're nice to everyone, right?
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: geordicat on April 12, 2009, 06:30:36 PM
Rule number next one:  If someone is on the phone, and you can visibly see they are on the phone, and they are talking to someone on the phone, do not, ever, under any circumstances start talking to them.  If you do this and they point to the phone and turn away, do not grab their arm in an attempt to stop them and start 'signing' to them.


(grrr this irks me the most at work!)
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Black Delphinium on April 12, 2009, 06:31:10 PM
Respect the breaks of others. It is not okay to bother someone on their break unless there is an emergency that only they are authorized/trained to deal with(ex: if the handle comes off the restroom sink and water is going everywhere,  bothering the only office maintenance person about it is a good idea).

If a co-worker is on break at the same time as you, it doesn't give you the right to join them and interrupt what they're doing. If they say "I'm not in the mood to chat right now" that is their right.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on April 12, 2009, 06:38:59 PM


Watch your alcohol consumption at office social events.  It may be a party, but you're still at work.

Nannerdoman, is it ever okay to forgo office social events altogether?

I'm not Nannerdoman, but I'd say it is when:
1) They occur so frequently that you're shortchanging your partner and/or children
2) They conflict with a major personal event like the wedding of a family member
3) It doesn't affect the job-that is to say, there are no "rewards" other than friendship and no "points" taken off for not attending, such as missed opportunities or gossip that occur as a direct result of the event and can hurt you later
4) There is an emergency

But, is it ever okay to forgo an office party because you just don't want to go, or even to summarily "opt out" of office social events altogether?  I mean, in the REAL world, parties are optional, an invitation is not a summons, and ideally, it shouldn't matter as long as you finish all your work and you're nice to everyone, right?

This is true, but unfortunately, in many cases workplaces don't operate like the real world when it comes to social events.  Some let you opt out; some, overtly or covertly, do things that make an employee who doesn't socialize with the group feel left out or discriminated against, like have sensitive discussions at these events rather than in the workplace, or in other ways cause one's relationships with one's co-workers to deteriorate.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Brentwood on April 12, 2009, 07:24:03 PM
Really?  So my pierced ears make me an unprofessional person?  You can see them, after all.

I disagree that this is an etiquette point.  'Dress appropriately for the workplace you're in' is a good rule.  'Follow company policy regarding dress' is a good rule.  Stating that there are rules against 'visible piercings' strikes me as inflammatory and too specific to a particular mindset, and not at all a general enough rule for a list like this. 

I agree. A general rule of thumb would be to follow your workplace dress code. I know of no etiquette guideline that prohibits visible piercings as a rule.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on April 12, 2009, 07:48:02 PM
Really?  So my pierced ears make me an unprofessional person?  You can see them, after all.

I disagree that this is an etiquette point.  'Dress appropriately for the workplace you're in' is a good rule.  'Follow company policy regarding dress' is a good rule.  Stating that there are rules against 'visible piercings' strikes me as inflammatory and too specific to a particular mindset, and not at all a general enough rule for a list like this. 

I agree. A general rule of thumb would be to follow your workplace dress code. I know of no etiquette guideline that prohibits visible piercings as a rule.

I addressed this in post #16.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Brentwood on April 12, 2009, 07:55:49 PM


I addressed this in post #16.

I just think a general rule about following the workplace dress code is sufficient without specifically mentioning visible piercings. There are too many variables in workplaces and dress codes to address that issue specifically.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Kaylee on April 12, 2009, 08:15:01 PM
Respectfully, Cathy has put it well--there is just no etiquette issue there.  Listing a rule against visible piercings or any other bit of personal decoration implies that intrinsically it is "rude" and may only be tolerated in, you know, those less particular workplaces.  Which I would maintain is not the case.  What you choose to do with your own body is manifestly your own business and not an etiquette issue at all.  (And no, I have no dog in this hunt or visible piercings of my own.   ;))  Even the "when in doubt, leave it out" rule would imply to my senior advisor, a pediatric neurologist with thirty-five years experience, that her nasal piercing is questionable.   It's not.

Whether or not it's advisable or mannerly in your own workplace is adequately covered by a rule about adhering to your own workplace's dress code.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on April 12, 2009, 08:18:48 PM
Respectfully, Cathy has put it well--there is just no etiquette issue there.  Listing a rule against visible piercings or any other bit of personal decoration implies that intrinsically it is "rude" and may only be tolerated in, you know, those less particular workplaces.  Which I would maintain is not the case.  What you choose to do with your own body is manifestly your own business and not an etiquette issue at all.  (And no, I have no dog in this hunt or visible piercings of my own.   ;))  Even the "when in doubt, leave it out" rule would imply to my senior advisor, a pediatric neurologist with thirty-five years experience, that her nasal piercing is questionable.   It's not.

Whether or not it's advisable or mannerly in your own workplace is adequately covered by a rule about adhering to your own workplace's dress code.

My point was that in post #16 I made a suggestion that essentially says the same.  It's not necessary to keep bringing this up.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Kaylee on April 12, 2009, 09:34:11 PM
Keenreader, if disagreeing with items on your list bothers you to the point that you are using the "not necessary to keep bringing this up" line, perhaps you should not be taking suggestions or posting a list that invites them.

You do not get to tell people to stop bringing things up.  Open forum.  Supposed to be a collaborative effort.  Polite disagreement with you =/= "keep bringing it up".    If you're not open to changing things on the list, make it privately and no one will disagree with you.

No, I don't think that you said "essentially the same."  What you suggested in post #16 still implies that piercings are intrinsically rude.  As I said in my previous post, and as Cathy is saying in hers.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Alida on April 12, 2009, 09:39:44 PM
Regarding alcohol consumption at work-related events...

Even if you're getting together with coworkers outside of work, a nice casual get-together, please, please, PLEASE remember that these are the people you will be facing on Monday!

It seems one of my coworkers was less than well-behaved during a recent drunken binge.  She said hurtful things to managers who were present and was generally a "mean drunk."

When discussing things with another who was there, I reminded them that even though these are not specifically work events, they are with people who are NOT their friends, but coworkers, and that what they said/did at such events still reflected upon them.

Her response? "Oh, wow - I didn't even think about that!"

*headdesk*

And this is why we STILL don't have a firm answer on our contract!
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: skbenny on April 12, 2009, 10:16:35 PM
But, is it ever okay to forgo an office party because you just don't want to go, or even to summarily "opt out" of office social events altogether?  I mean, in the REAL world, parties are optional, an invitation is not a summons, and ideally, it shouldn't matter as long as you finish all your work and you're nice to everyone, right?

This question can only be answered by each specific work culture. 

I really like my coworkers, however I like my family more.  Between work and my commute I spend at least 12 hours a day away from home.  Once I am home it takes a lot to get me to leave my family.  Work parties, right now, do not qualify as more important than time with my DH.  With my work culture I can do this, with other jobs I have had I could not.

My workplace rule:  If someone is reading in the breakroom and they do not put their book down when you come in, leave them alone.  They are reading the book because they want to be left alone.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: guihong on April 12, 2009, 10:24:02 PM
From when I worked at a grocery store:

1) Take breaks and lunch on time, and return on time, ready to go back to work.  Other people are waiting for their lunches, too.

2) Don't side-talk to the bagger, someone else working the next register, or a friend in the store.   Keep talk to the job at hand. (my own pet peeve when I'm the customer)

3) My store made a point of hiring people with mental or physical challenges.  NO snide remarks were tolerated.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: YogaChick on April 12, 2009, 10:28:53 PM
Respectfully, Cathy has put it well--there is just no etiquette issue there.  Listing a rule against visible piercings or any other bit of personal decoration implies that intrinsically it is "rude" and may only be tolerated in, you know, those less particular workplaces.  Which I would maintain is not the case.  What you choose to do with your own body is manifestly your own business and not an etiquette issue at all.  (And no, I have no dog in this hunt or visible piercings of my own.   ;))  Even the "when in doubt, leave it out" rule would imply to my senior advisor, a pediatric neurologist with thirty-five years experience, that her nasal piercing is questionable.   It's not.

Whether or not it's advisable or mannerly in your own workplace is adequately covered by a rule about adhering to your own workplace's dress code.

My point was that in post #16 I made a suggestion that essentially says the same.  It's not necessary to keep bringing this up.

One piercing in each earlobe is okay, right?
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: skbenny on April 12, 2009, 10:35:02 PM
One piercing in each earlobe is okay, right?

That depends on the office.  I know people with visible piercings all over their nose, lips and brows.  Many of those have "professional" jobs.  Frankly, I don't care what is pierced as long as the work is done well.

The only time I have ever seen a prohibition on piercings was in prison (previous employment, not lifestyle ;))
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Bob Ducca on April 12, 2009, 11:13:30 PM
I think the wording of rule #1 is very inflammatory.  Could it be worded differently?

1. Observe the standard of dress appropriate for your company and/or position.

Is there anything needed other than that?  I'm not sure why referencing strippers or club owners is even there, it just seems provocative to me.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: YogaChick on April 13, 2009, 12:18:25 AM
I think the wording of rule #1 is very inflammatory.  Could it be worded differently?

1. Observe the standard of dress appropriate for your company and/or position.

Is there anything needed other than that?  I'm not sure why referencing strippers or club owners is even there, it just seems provocative to me.

Yeah, I got that sense too--according to the original wording of Rule #1, I must be headed for a life as a stripper or a prostitute because my ears are pierced.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: snowball's chance on April 13, 2009, 09:54:55 AM
Respect work friends who like to keep their work and social lives separate, or more separate than you do.

5a) Conversely, if your coworker takes cigarette breaks during the workday, just because the smoker is your coworker doesn't mean you're allowed to make unsolicited comments about about their choice. 

If smelling smoke or a strong scent on your coworker really irritates you or aggravates your allergies &/or respiratory system, than take the issue up with the appropriate authority (your supervisor, HR, etc) to discuss how to solve the problem, vs. getting angry with your coworker (assuming your coworker is following the organization's smoking policies).
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: snowball's chance on April 13, 2009, 10:29:35 AM
Respect your coworkers' personal workspace.  If s/he's sitting in his or her office or cubicle, announce yourself before entering, by knocking or verbally greeting.  If said coworker's not in his/her office to not rifle through personal drawers or cabinets if you don't have permission to do so.  If you need something that s/he has on her or his desk, and the coworker is away from it, jot a short note like, "Needed to grab the Johnson file - Your Name"
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: KitFox on April 13, 2009, 10:39:25 AM
*If you are a smoker, please keep your smoke breaks to the mandated time, and try not to take breaks during "crunch" times. Announcing a smoke break when there are three projects that need to be done in a half hour and none of them ARE actually finished is selfish and disrespectful.

*If you are anti-smoking, please do not attempt to block your coworkers' smoke breaks by "just one little thing"-ing them to death until they've run out of time. That will not help them quit, and will only make them frustrated with you.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on April 13, 2009, 12:07:40 PM
I think the wording of rule #1 is very inflammatory.  Could it be worded differently?

1. Observe the standard of dress appropriate for your company and/or position.

Is there anything needed other than that?  I'm not sure why referencing strippers or club owners is even there, it just seems provocative to me.

Yeah, I got that sense too--according to the original wording of Rule #1, I must be headed for a life as a stripper or a prostitute because my ears are pierced.

To both of you:  Please check post #16.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Nannerdoman on April 13, 2009, 01:03:06 PM
Respect the breaks of others. It is not okay to bother someone on their break unless there is an emergency that only they are authorized/trained to deal with(ex: if the handle comes off the restroom sink and water is going everywhere,  bothering the only office maintenance person about it is a good idea).

If a co-worker is on break at the same time as you, it doesn't give you the right to join them and interrupt what they're doing. If they say "I'm not in the mood to chat right now" that is their right.

Oh, double pod.  At a previous job, people would come up to me as I sat reading and say, "I know you're on your break, but . . . "  But what?  Your question couldn't wait for a maximum of 15 minutes?

Re. whether or not one may opt out of office events, it probably varies according to the organizational structure.  I tend to opt out of office showers because I just don't enjoy showers.  The annual holiday get-together is held during work hours, so I luck out there.

Re. socializing with particular co-workers:  Hey, if you make a real friend in the office, go for it.  The important thing is not to make the relationship so exclusive that others feel left out, and not to let the friendship interfere with getting the job done.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Black Delphinium on April 13, 2009, 01:06:22 PM
Respect the breaks of others. It is not okay to bother someone on their break unless there is an emergency that only they are authorized/trained to deal with(ex: if the handle comes off the restroom sink and water is going everywhere,  bothering the only office maintenance person about it is a good idea).

If a co-worker is on break at the same time as you, it doesn't give you the right to join them and interrupt what they're doing. If they say "I'm not in the mood to chat right now" that is their right.

Oh, double pod.  At a previous job, people would come up to me as I sat reading and say, "I know you're on your break, but . . . "  But what?  Your question couldn't wait for a maximum of 15 minutes?

Re. whether or not one may opt out of office events, it probably varies according to the organizational structure.  I tend to opt out of office showers because I just don't enjoy showers.  The annual holiday get-together is held during work hours, so I luck out there.

Re. socializing with particular co-workers:  Hey, if you make a real friend in the office, go for it.  The important thing is not to make the rel@tionship so exclusive that others feel left out, and not to let the friendship interfere with getting the job done.
I was thinking about it because one of my (possibly soon to be ex-coworkers) was sent home for bothering a trainer repeated while she was on her lunch about getting certified on one of the machines. She was on the phone with family and told him to find her after her break, but he wouldn't let up(he's a persistent bugger), and another manager told him to get his stuff and leave for the day.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: YogaChick on April 13, 2009, 01:08:16 PM
I think the wording of rule #1 is very inflammatory.  Could it be worded differently?

1. Observe the standard of dress appropriate for your company and/or position.

Is there anything needed other than that?  I'm not sure why referencing strippers or club owners is even there, it just seems provocative to me.

Yeah, I got that sense too--according to the original wording of Rule #1, I must be headed for a life as a stripper or a prostitute because my ears are pierced.

To both of you:  Please check post #16.

I did read it, but "when in doubt, leave them out," gives me the sense that ANY kind of piercings are de facto rude, unless you're told otherwise.  I think that's a little extreme, because MOST women I know have pierced ears.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: penelope2017 on April 13, 2009, 01:15:14 PM
I think the wording of rule #1 is very inflammatory.  Could it be worded differently?

1. Observe the standard of dress appropriate for your company and/or position.

Is there anything needed other than that?  I'm not sure why referencing strippers or club owners is even there, it just seems provocative to me.

Yeah, I got that sense too--according to the original wording of Rule #1, I must be headed for a life as a stripper or a prostitute because my ears are pierced.

To both of you:  Please check post #16.

But post #16 doesn't clear up what these posters are saying. I think these and other posters are saying that there does not need to be a mention of piercings at all. You keep referencing post 16, which still references them. The posters who are querying are suggesting the rule be just to observe your workplace's dress code, removing all other specifics, like references to piercings.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Nannerdoman on April 13, 2009, 01:17:11 PM
Not wanting to flog a dead horse and get the thread locked up, but may I suggest a rule about not wearing jewelry that interferes with your ability to do your job?  (I'm specifically thinking about women who must remove one earring to use the telephone.  If your job involves a lot of phone work, then you should probably wear earrings that don't get in the way when you hold a receiver to your ear.  That's just an example.)
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Elle on April 13, 2009, 01:19:48 PM
Not wanting to flog a dead horse and get the thread locked up, but may I suggest a rule about not wearing jewelry that interferes with your ability to do your job?  (I'm specifically thinking about women who must remove one earring to use the telephone.  If your job involves a lot of phone work, then you should probably wear earrings that don't get in the way when you hold a receiver to your ear.  That's just an example.)

Nails that are too long to type with come to mind as well

Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: geordicat on April 13, 2009, 01:23:36 PM
When someone is on vacation, unless it's *really really really* important, don't call them.  Don't call to find out where the key to the supply cabinet is when it's been in the same location for 4 years.  Don't call to see if Bob is out today because chances are, the person on vacation isn't there at work to tell you.  Don't call to see when that person is coming back when they have left a big sign on their desk with that information, left a recorded message with that information, set up an out of office reply with that information and put it on the very large very visible group calendar.

(can you guess what happened to me this past weekend when I was on vacation?)
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Brentwood on April 13, 2009, 04:05:48 PM
Not wanting to flog a dead horse and get the thread locked up, but may I suggest a rule about not wearing jewelry that interferes with your ability to do your job?  (I'm specifically thinking about women who must remove one earring to use the telephone.  If your job involves a lot of phone work, then you should probably wear earrings that don't get in the way when you hold a receiver to your ear.  That's just an example.)

Nails that are too long to type with come to mind as well

Those are good rules of thumb to live by, but I don't think they come under the heading of etiquette.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Elle on April 13, 2009, 04:10:38 PM
Not wanting to flog a dead horse and get the thread locked up, but may I suggest a rule about not wearing jewelry that interferes with your ability to do your job?  (I'm specifically thinking about women who must remove one earring to use the telephone.  If your job involves a lot of phone work, then you should probably wear earrings that don't get in the way when you hold a receiver to your ear.  That's just an example.)

Nails that are too long to type with come to mind as well

Those are good rules of thumb to live by, but I don't think they come under the heading of etiquette.

Yeah, now that I think about it you're right.  :)
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Bob Ducca on April 13, 2009, 04:21:49 PM
I read the entire thread, including post 16.  You haven't altered the OP to reflect that change, so I was uncertain if you were going to make a change.  Please excuse me.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Nannerdoman on April 13, 2009, 06:58:42 PM
Avoid forming workplace cliques.  When a new co-worker wants to join a conversation, don't freeze her out or look at her as though she'd just landed from Mars.  Initiate conversations with co-workers outside your immediate group. 
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: snowball's chance on April 20, 2009, 09:09:04 AM
- When leaving a business-related voice mail for someone other than a colleague:

- identify yourself clearly.  If you have an unusual first &/or last name, say it clearly, even better, spell it.  Also a good idea to ID yourself at the beginning and end of the message if you're calling for the first time, and if your message is a couple minutes or longer  "Hi, this is Ann.  I'm calling regarding blah, blah, blah, blah . . . .  please call me back at ________.  Again, my name is Ann."

- speak clearly and at a regular pace and volume.  Don't mumble, whisper, shout over traffic, or talk with food or gum in your mouth.

- give your call-back number slowly and clearly, even better, say it twice, if the person needs to write it down.  On my work voice mail it's not as easy to play a message back as it is on other VM systems I have used.  Also, it's helpful to let the person know when to call back, i.e. "I'll be in the office until 5:00", or the location you are calling from if you are in a different time zone.

- give an explanation of why you are calling, but be as brief as possible in your explanation.  If I have no idea who you are or why you are calling, leaving a message like, "This is Ron, call me at ###" is going to put you at the bottom of my Calls to Return list.  If I know who you are and why you are calling, I can save both of us time by looking up/gathering the info I need to answer your question or help with your problem before calling you back.

For outgoing greetings:

- update your voice mail greeting when you come back from being out.  It's not helpful for me to know in mid-April that you'll be out of the office for President's Day, and it makes you look a little foolish.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: RooRoo on April 20, 2009, 03:32:56 PM
Snowball's Chance reminded me of a few things.

Whether live or recorded, always give numbers one digit at a time, pronouncing them clearly. (5 and 9 are so easy to mix up that aviation radio technique requires one to pronounce 9 as "niner.") Enunciate the consonants particularly well, especially the last one. Leave a small moment between digits for the listener to absorb them. I.e., 2,8,4,5 not "twoeightfourfive."

Change your recorded greeting every day, giving the date. "This is RooRoo in Accounts Receivable, and it is the twentieth of April. I will be out of the office between noon and 4 pm. (rest of message, if any.)"

Adding your department  deflects wrong numbers, and adding the date lets the caller know that "noon to 4 pm" is current info.

It might be a kindness to record a weekend announcement, too. "It's Friday night, and I'll be back at work on Monday at 9." But don't give TMI. Don't say you're on vacation, just out of the office.

Edited to remove off-topic remark
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: snowball's chance on April 20, 2009, 03:45:29 PM
Snowball's Chance reminded me of a few things.

Whether live or recorded, always give numbers one digit at a time, pronouncing them clearly. (5 and 9 are so easy to mix up that aviation radio technique requires one to pronounce 9 as "niner.") Enunciate the consonants particularly well, especially the last one. Leave a small moment between digits for the listener to absorb them. I.e., 2,8,4,5 not "twoeightfourfive."

Change your recorded greeting every day, giving the date. "This is RooRoo in Accounts Receivable, and it is the twentieth of April. I will be out of the office between noon and 4 pm. (rest of message, if any.)"

Adding your department  deflects wrong numbers, and adding the date lets the caller know that "noon to 4 pm" is current info.

It might be a kindness to record a weekend announcement, too. "It's Friday night, and I'll be back at work on Monday at 9." But don't give TMI. Don't say you're on vacation, just out of the office.

Edited to remove off-topic remark

I think it depends on the nature of the position.  At my job, I get cold sales calls from vendors who want to do business with us.  I have learned the hard way that these type of people hear "I'll be back in the office on Monday at 8 AM" and believe if they leave a VM they are getting a return call at that time, when in reality they will never get a return call. 

Also, for people we actually do business with, it doesn't matter if I am in the office, I won't be returning their call until I can run their issue by A, B, & C.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Ms_Cellany on April 20, 2009, 03:52:21 PM
An addendum to leaving a voice message:

Say your callback number at the very beginning -- "Hi, this is X from business Y, my number is 123-456-7890. Again, that's 123-456-7890. (rest of message) Again, that's X at 123-456-7890.

It is such a nuisance to have a replay a long voice message to get the number at the end if you missed it the first time. If the callee has to re-play, at least it's right at top.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: ch1pch0p on April 20, 2009, 03:55:38 PM
I read the entire thread, including post 16.  You haven't altered the OP to reflect that change, so I was uncertain if you were going to make a change.  Please excuse me.

If I understand the book project correctly, Ehelldame simply wants discussion on these topics to see what the general consensus is. The first post is not necessarily what will be in the book. So anyone is free to disagree with PPs or offer their own ideas. No one person's post is "the list."
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Nurvingiel on April 20, 2009, 04:49:19 PM
She also said that this forum will not result in a printed book.  While it is handy to have the first post with a list of things to do/not to do, I got the impression that the entire thread on the subject is meant as a guide.

:)
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on April 20, 2009, 05:29:16 PM
The OP has been changed.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: ch1pch0p on April 20, 2009, 08:30:08 PM
And I still disagree with it. I don't think anything needs to be said about tattoos, piercings, or dressing "conservatively."
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on April 20, 2009, 09:17:00 PM
And I still disagree with it. I don't think anything needs to be said about tattoos, piercings, or dressing "conservatively."

And I disagree with that, because there are many workplaces in which it is necessary to avoid these things and dress conservatively.  My point is, if the workplace has a dress code, explicit or implicit, the etiquette of that workplace is that you follow it on pain of consequences that could include losing your job.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Kaylee on April 20, 2009, 09:42:01 PM
And I still disagree with it. I don't think anything needs to be said about tattoos, piercings, or dressing "conservatively."

And I disagree with that, because there are many workplaces in which it is necessary to avoid these things and dress conservatively.  My point is, if the workplace has a dress code, explicit or implicit, the etiquette of that workplace is that you follow it on pain of consequences that could include losing your job.

No, the rules of the workplace include the consequence that you could lose your job if you do not abide by an explicit dress code.  It has nothing to do with manners, or the way in which you seem to want to insist on phrasing that part of your post.  Anyone who tried firing someone on the grounds of "implicit" rules of the workplace would not only be on the wrong side of etiquette but the wrong side of the law.

I get that you don't care for tattoos or piercings.  That has nothing to do, however, with business etiquette.  And the way you have that particular item phrase is still really awfully off-putting and judgmental.

Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Lisbeth on April 20, 2009, 09:45:20 PM
And I still disagree with it. I don't think anything needs to be said about tattoos, piercings, or dressing "conservatively."

And I disagree with that, because there are many workplaces in which it is necessary to avoid these things and dress conservatively.  My point is, if the workplace has a dress code, explicit or implicit, the etiquette of that workplace is that you follow it on pain of consequences that could include losing your job.

No, the rules of the workplace include the consequence that you could lose your job if you do not abide by an explicit dress code.  It has nothing to do with manners, or the way in which you seem to want to insist on phrasing that part of your post.  Anyone who tried firing someone on the grounds of "implicit" rules of the workplace would not only be on the wrong side of etiquette but the wrong side of the law.

I get that you don't care for tattoos or piercings.  That has nothing to do, however, with business etiquette.  And the way you have that particular item phrase is still really awfully off-putting and judgmental.



No one's talking about firing anyone for disobedience of implicit rules.  The etiquette issue is that if the workplace has a dress code that precludes tattoos, piercings, or requires them, or whatever, it should be followed and not blatantly flouted.  To do so would be disrespectful of the other employees and the management.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: RooRoo on April 20, 2009, 09:50:53 PM
Quote
there are many workplaces in which it is necessary to avoid these things and dress conservatively.  My point is, if the workplace has a dress code, explicit or implicit, the etiquette of that workplace is that you follow it on pain of consequences that could include losing your job.

And I agree. In businesses that serve all kinds of people, the receptionist and other customer contact persons need to be someone that won't scare off people or gross them out. I think it will be quite a while before piercings and tattoos are perceived to be as normal as apple pie.

I'm not saying that it is just fine to reject someone with piercings and/or tattoos. I am saying that it is bad business to risk losing customers over that.

And don't expect me to hire that guy who is trying to look like a cat. I don't want to have to look at him. http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002441727_catman16.html (http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2002441727_catman16.html)
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Kaylee on April 20, 2009, 10:09:21 PM
No one's talking about firing anyone for disobedience of implicit rules. 

Actually, it seems that you are:

My point is, if the workplace has a dress code, explicit or implicit, the etiquette of that workplace is that you follow it on pain of consequences that could include losing your job.

Boldface mine, but it seems pretty clear to me.

The etiquette issue is that if the workplace has a dress code that precludes tattoos, piercings, or requires them, or whatever, it should be followed and not blatantly flouted.  To do so would be disrespectful of the other employees and the management.

No one's arguing about flouting explicit rules.  We're saying that it really doesn't seem necessary to specify these particular things that you happen to object to as 'general' business etiquette rules, when many of us work in places that would not object to them at all.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Nurvingiel on April 21, 2009, 02:17:06 AM
And I still disagree with it. I don't think anything needs to be said about tattoos, piercings, or dressing "conservatively."
I pod this all over the place. Not all offices or workplaces follow conservative dress code. Like PP has said, this is not necessarily an etiquette violation.

I think the rule would be less contentious if it was phrased like this:
Quote
1.  Dress appropriately for the job, whether that's a business suit, uniform, or office casual.  Take cues from your superiors, co-workers, and any company regulations as to what you should and should not wear to workthe appropriateness of visible tattoos and body piercings other than earlobes.  When in doubt, dress more conservatively/mainstream.
(Blue added)
I don't have an issue with the dressing conservatively, because it says "when in doubt". This is a good suggestion for when one does not know the dress code. The comment about tattoos and piercings isn't needed because this will be in the dress code (either observed or written).
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: penelope2017 on April 21, 2009, 07:04:08 AM
And I still disagree with it. I don't think anything needs to be said about tattoos, piercings, or dressing "conservatively."

And I disagree with that, because there are many workplaces in which it is necessary to avoid these things and dress conservatively.  My point is, if the workplace has a dress code, explicit or implicit, the etiquette of that workplace is that you follow it on pain of consequences that could include losing your job.

No, the rules of the workplace include the consequence that you could lose your job if you do not abide by an explicit dress code.  It has nothing to do with manners, or the way in which you seem to want to insist on phrasing that part of your post.  Anyone who tried firing someone on the grounds of "implicit" rules of the workplace would not only be on the wrong side of etiquette but the wrong side of the law.

I get that you don't care for tattoos or piercings.  That has nothing to do, however, with business etiquette.  And the way you have that particular item phrase is still really awfully off-putting and judgmental.



No one's talking about firing anyone for disobedience of implicit rules.  The etiquette issue is that if the workplace has a dress code that precludes tattoos, piercings, or requires them, or whatever, it should be followed and not blatantly flouted.  To do so would be disrespectful of the other employees and the management.

Again, I think we're making assumptions about everyone's workplace. That's why I said earlier just make it follow your specific workplace's dress code and it seems others agree. If you wanted to list possible dress code violations, you could have a much longer list than just piercings and tattoos and I think people are wondering why just those are singled out.

I don't think any particular personal workplace objections should be included. As I said before, neither tattoos nor piercings are outlawed at my job. These etiquette rules should be generic enough for anyone of any workplace to read them and relate to them. Someone might read that first post and write off the rest of the thread as nonapplicable.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Nannerdoman on April 21, 2009, 11:02:51 AM
Seems to me that the "dressing for etiquette" issue has been thoroughly dealt with now.  Just my opinion.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Ms_Cellany on April 21, 2009, 11:45:09 AM
Seems to me that the "dressing for etiquette" issue has been thoroughly dealt with now.  Just my opinion.

Ditto. It is impossible to describe a single clothing style that applies to all workplaces. A law firm's senior partner's executive assistant is in a different environment than a night-club bartender.

May I suggest instead: "Dress according to the explicit dress code of your workplace, and if there is none, use common sense in following the prevailing standards of that profession. Should you rebel against those standards, do not make others uncomfortable in your rebellion, and do not be surprised should disciplinary actions result."

I consider it disingenuous when people with tattoos, piercings, etc., act surprised that some people in some workplaces might disapprove of, or even be physically revolted by, body modifications. And I speak as one with multiple tattoos and piercings, which I keep covered at work. (I haven't seen that attitude here, but I've come across it IRL.)

OTOH, it can be great fun to dress ultra-conservatively in a let-it-all-hang-out milieu. I loved wearing my work suit to a meeting of what can be safely described as a group with nontraditional interests. And I was the only person at a Dead Can Dance concert wearing a fuzzy pink cowl-neck angora sweater. I told my date I was the only true rebel there...
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Brentwood on April 21, 2009, 12:05:45 PM

May I suggest instead: "Dress according to the explicit dress code of your workplace, and if there is none, use common sense in following the prevailing standards of that profession. Should you rebel against those standards, do not make others uncomfortable in your rebellion, and do not be surprised should disciplinary actions result."


Several people have suggested several times that the guideline be simply, "Follow the dress code of your workplace." The objection is to singling out tattoos and piercings, because there are any number of other items that could be considered dress code violations at various workplaces.

Visible tattoos and piercings are not inherently impolite, so it is unnecessary to single them out in this particular guideline.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Ms_Cellany on April 21, 2009, 12:15:44 PM
Visible tattoos and piercings are not inherently impolite, so it is unnecessary to single them out in this particular guideline.

I tried not to, and you're right, I should have given a variety of examples. Very short skirts, too-tight britches, statements on T-shirts, overly casual outfits, and so on, can also bother others if they're not the norm for that workplace. I tried to shape my phrasing to encompass the concept, not specific possible situations:

"Dress according to the explicit dress code of your workplace, and if there is none, use common sense in following the prevailing standards of that profession. Should you rebel against those standards, do not make others uncomfortable in your rebellion, and do not be surprised should disciplinary actions result."

Outside of the actual suggested guideline, I kept with tattoos/piercings because that's where the conversation was (and, admittedly, to let out a pet peeve), but a selection of examples would have been better. Apologies.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Brentwood on April 21, 2009, 12:22:19 PM
Visible tattoos and piercings are not inherently impolite, so it is unnecessary to single them out in this particular guideline.

I tried not to, and you're right, I should have given a variety of examples. Very short skirts, too-tight britches, statements on T-shirts, overly casual outfits, and so on, can also bother others if they're not the norm for that workplace. I tried to shape my phrasing to encompass the concept, not specific possible situations:

"Dress according to the explicit dress code of your workplace, and if there is none, use common sense in following the prevailing standards of that profession. Should you rebel against those standards, do not make others uncomfortable in your rebellion, and do not be surprised should disciplinary actions result."

Outside of the actual suggested guideline, I kept with tattoos/piercings because that's where the conversation was (and, admittedly, to let out a pet peeve), but a selection of examples would have been better. Apologies.

Actually, I don't think a selection of examples is necessary at all. I don't think anything is necessary beyond, "Follow the dress code of your workplace."
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: penelope2017 on April 21, 2009, 12:24:59 PM
Visible tattoos and piercings are not inherently impolite, so it is unnecessary to single them out in this particular guideline.

I tried not to, and you're right, I should have given a variety of examples. Very short skirts, too-tight britches, statements on T-shirts, overly casual outfits, and so on, can also bother others if they're not the norm for that workplace. I tried to shape my phrasing to encompass the concept, not specific possible situations:

"Dress according to the explicit dress code of your workplace, and if there is none, use common sense in following the prevailing standards of that profession. Should you rebel against those standards, do not make others uncomfortable in your rebellion, and do not be surprised should disciplinary actions result."

Outside of the actual suggested guideline, I kept with tattoos/piercings because that's where the conversation was (and, admittedly, to let out a pet peeve), but a selection of examples would have been better. Apologies.

Actually, I don't think a selection of examples is necessary at all. I don't think anything is necessary beyond, "Follow the dress code of your workplace."

Right! That's what I've been saying a few times in the thread too.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Nannerdoman on April 24, 2009, 03:49:31 PM
The little everyday courtesies--"Thank you", "Please," "Excuse me", etc.--make for a more pleasant workplace environment.  Extra points if used by a supervisor!

Give credit where credit is due:  "Actually, that was Sue's idea."  "Bob did a lot of the work on this report." 
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: ginlyn32 on April 24, 2009, 08:31:16 PM
Acknowledging peoples' greetings is a big one for me.

When I was working as a receptionist, I would always greet people saying "Good Morning" or "Hello". Most people responded back, but some people would walk right by me as if I was invisible.

ginlyn
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: misha412 on June 05, 2009, 03:13:41 PM

Please use the handset of your phone instead of your speaker. Hearing your communal conversation from across the office (down the hall, on the next floor etc.) is disruptive.

If you need to have a hallway (aisleway) conversation, please keep the volume under control or be aware of others using the phone.

Be aware of any habits that might annoy or disrupt those around you. Example would be the office mate who, at random times, begins banging his/her mouse on the desk or stomping their feet on old wooden floors. Included in this would be loud grunting continously, or making noises like a pinball machine. (This does not include someone who cannot help it for medical reasons, just those that do it out of years of unconscious habit).




Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: KitFox on June 08, 2009, 11:52:35 AM
* Be aware that interrupting someone 5 times for five minutes each time costs them more time than one half-hour interruption. Set up conversations in advance via email, and take everything you need to give someone with you for ONE interruption.

These are all Business, but fall under a Meeting Etiquette sub-heading:

* Do NOT play with your cellphone/pda/blackberry
* Take coughdrops if you know you're going to have to cough or clear your throat repeatedly
* Be aware of the agenda and don't hijack the meeting to talk about your pet project
* Be on-time, or better yet, a minute or two early
* If the choice is between going and being unpleasant, or not going, DON'T GO! Your negativity will spread.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: ch1pch0p on June 08, 2009, 11:56:54 AM


These are all Business, but fall under a Meeting Etiquette sub-heading:

* Do NOT play with your cellphone/pda/blackberry


Depends on what you mean by "play." Obviously, a person should not be playing games, but if I'm in a two-hour meeting, I cannot go that long (during the work day) without checking my messages. I think that would be a case that's more of knowing your audience. There are some client meetings that I would be very discreet about how I used it, but in an internal company meeting, most of us would be checking periodically.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: KitFox on June 08, 2009, 12:12:06 PM


These are all Business, but fall under a Meeting Etiquette sub-heading:

* Do NOT play with your cellphone/pda/blackberry


Depends on what you mean by "play." Obviously, a person should not be playing games, but if I'm in a two-hour meeting, I cannot go that long (during the work day) without checking my messages. I think that would be a case that's more of knowing your audience. There are some client meetings that I would be very discreet about how I used it, but in an internal company meeting, most of us would be checking periodically.

I get what you're saying. That's why I was trying to be clear by using the word "play." As in games, texting for non-work-related reasons, checking personal email, etc.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: kitty-cat on June 08, 2009, 12:20:38 PM
If you want in when someone orders out for lunch, tell the person ordering and not someone who also orders with that person.  I work at the office that my mom does, and there is one person there, "Tony", who tells me to tell my mom to let him know when we are ordering chinese. 

Send me to E-hell for this but if you are a grown person who is at least twice my age (I'm 18...) then you should be able to let the person who does the ordering know that you want to order your own food too.

(Sorry if that rambles a bit.  Tony just did the "let your mom know, okay?" thing not 10 minutes ago.)
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Venus193 on June 08, 2009, 12:30:58 PM

Please use the handset of your phone instead of your speaker. Hearing your communal conversation from across the office (down the hall, on the next floor etc.) is disruptive.


This is not always possible.

At my present company and the two previous everyone had speakerphones.  Nobody abused the privilege; we all had to use them from our cubicles from time to time when either there was no conference room availalble or it was a standard weekly conference call that we mostly listened to.  It is impossible to multitask properly during such a call if one hand has to hold the receiver.  Hands-free headsets were ruled too expensive to be stocked and issued to everyone.

The answer here is to keep the volume low and to speak in a relatively low volume in general.  My present company is in a loft space on an "open plan" (no walls between desks).  There is no other way to deal with this.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: misha412 on June 09, 2009, 07:56:29 AM

Please use the handset of your phone instead of your speaker. Hearing your communal conversation from across the office (down the hall, on the next floor etc.) is disruptive.


This is not always possible.

At my present company and the two previous everyone had speakerphones.  Nobody abused the privilege; we all had to use them from our cubicles from time to time when either there was no conference room availalble or it was a standard weekly conference call that we mostly listened to.  It is impossible to multitask properly during such a call if one hand has to hold the receiver.  Hands-free headsets were ruled too expensive to be stocked and issued to everyone.

The answer here is to keep the volume low and to speak in a relatively low volume in general.  My present company is in a loft space on an "open plan" (no walls between desks).  There is no other way to deal with this.


I was more talking about the people who use their speaker phones for every call they take or receive.

I work in an office housed in an old mansion. We have a few people who insist on using their speaker phones for most of their calls. Even if they are calling a person just down the hall. I can be coming up the stair case and hear their conversation in stereo because both are on speaker.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: snowball's chance on June 09, 2009, 08:12:43 AM
If you want in when someone orders out for lunch, tell the person ordering and not someone who also orders with that person.  I work at the office that my mom does, and there is one person there, "Tony", who tells me to tell my mom to let him know when we are ordering chinese. 

Send me to E-hell for this but if you are a grown person who is at least twice my age (I'm 18...) then you should be able to let the person who does the ordering know that you want to order your own food too.

(Sorry if that rambles a bit.  Tony just did the "let your mom know, okay?" thing not 10 minutes ago.)

Nope made sense to me, I think it falls under, "Don't expect employees that aren't your Personal Assistant to act like one" -- could give many, many examples of this.  Not to say everyone shouldn't help each other out, but I have several colleagues who expect others to do things like ship their packages and type letters for them, not because it's anyone else's job to do so, but because they don't know how to do it themselves & refuse to learn.

But this post reminded me:  When ordering food to be delivered to the office, let the receptionist know you're expecting a delivery, and then stay where you can be found by the receptionist until your food arrives.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Venus193 on June 09, 2009, 08:19:17 AM
I have never seen that behavior in anyone I've ever worked with, especially in the last 8 years.  I rarely use the speaker phone anymore because of the ridiculous "open plan" office I'm in.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: petal on June 10, 2009, 01:58:45 AM
If youre having a bad day  don't take it out on workmates or customers.


Please dont swear in front of customers/clients


Remember your manners  (please, thankyou, excuse me)


Smell fresh and clean EVERY day


Keep your bad habits at home


Dont disrupt others


Dont contradict other staffmembers/colleagues  in front of clients/customers


Keep your voice to a reasonable level.


Remember that not everyone wants to hear you whistle, crack knuckles, snort, tap feet etc


Please dont bring your unhealthy germs to work.  If youre sick stay home.  If you come to work  ill  theres  a high  probablility that someone else will get sick because of you.


Welcome new staff members.


Dont spread gossip


Dont listen to gossip
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: kitty-cat on June 10, 2009, 07:49:12 AM

Please dont bring your unhealthy germs to work.  If youre sick stay home.  If you come to work  ill  theres  a high  probablility that someone else will get sick because of you.

POD POD POD and did I say POD?  A manager of another department where my mom and I work came to work really, really sick once and got my mom sick.  She got me sick, I got my stepdad sick and a some people at school sick before I got sick. (contagious before symptoms...)
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: KitFox on June 10, 2009, 01:31:11 PM

Please dont bring your unhealthy germs to work.  If youre sick stay home.  If you come to work  ill  theres  a high  probablility that someone else will get sick because of you.

POD POD POD and did I say POD?  A manager of another department where my mom and I work came to work really, really sick once and got my mom sick.  She got me sick, I got my stepdad sick and a some people at school sick before I got sick. (contagious before symptoms...)

In this vein...

If you are a manager, do not require sick people to come to work. If for no other reason than the lost productivity as the plague spreads around the office, causing the entire department to be "half" here for 3 to 10 days while they recover from their colds.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Venus193 on June 10, 2009, 01:33:34 PM
Addendum to KitFox's post:

If you are a manager, do not set a poor example for your subordinates by coming in sick yourself.  You may be a workaholic, but doing this sends a message to your subordinates that this will be expected of them as well.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: sarita on June 10, 2009, 04:51:17 PM
Addendum to the speaker phone:  Please don't listen to your voicemail over the speaker.  Also, when on hold for the helpdesk, please don't put the hold music on speaker.  I know the wait is horrendous, but sound really carries and it makes it difficult for your co-workers to hear their own phone conversations.

Also, when having a business related discussion in the aisles of the cube farm, please try to keep the volume as low as possible.  Your co-workers may be on the phone with a customer who shouldn't be privy to that information.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: ch1pch0p on June 10, 2009, 06:32:28 PM
Addendum to the speaker phone:  Please don't listen to your voicemail over the speaker.  Also, when on hold for the helpdesk, please don't put the hold music on speaker.  I know the wait is horrendous, but sound really carries and it makes it difficult for your co-workers to hear their own phone conversations.

I think this depends on the volume of your speaker and your office set-up. I could listen/use my phone on speaker all day long, and it wouldn't bother anyone because of where my office is. I think a better guideline would be:

Be aware of your surroundings and if you're possibly disturbing anyone else who's trying to work or hold conversation.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Mahdoumi on June 10, 2009, 08:53:49 PM
If youre having a bad day  don't take it out on workmates or customers.


Please dont swear in front of customers/clients


Remember your manners  (please, thankyou, excuse me)


Smell fresh and clean EVERY day


Keep your bad habits at home


Dont disrupt others


Dont contradict other staffmembers/colleagues  in front of clients/customers


Keep your voice to a reasonable level.


Remember that not everyone wants to hear you whistle, crack knuckles, snort, tap feet etc


Please dont bring your unhealthy germs to work.  If youre sick stay home.  If you come to work  ill  theres  a high  probablility that someone else will get sick because of you.


Welcome new staff members.


Dont spread gossip


Dont listen to gossip

Perfect, Petal!  And I'd like to add:

Please keep the volume of your radio low enough that the next desk can't hear it, and please don't slap your feet and hum along with the tune.

(Cass, I appreciate the favor, but if you wouldn't mind PMing me about what was crude about the original post, I would appreciate it.  I don't understand and don't want to make the same mistake, again.)
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Nannerdoman on June 11, 2009, 11:04:12 AM
If youre having a bad day  don't take it out on workmates or customers.


Please dont swear in front of customers/clients


Remember your manners  (please, thankyou, excuse me)


Smell fresh and clean EVERY day


Keep your bad habits at home


Dont disrupt others


Dont contradict other staffmembers/colleagues  in front of clients/customers


Keep your voice to a reasonable level.


Remember that not everyone wants to hear you whistle, crack knuckles, snort, tap feet etc


Please dont bring your unhealthy germs to work.  If youre sick stay home.  If you come to work  ill  theres  a high  probablility that someone else will get sick because of you.


Welcome new staff members.


Dont spread gossip


Dont listen to gossip

Perfect, Petal!  And I'd like to add:

Please keep the volume of the country music coming out of your radio low, and don't slap your feet and hum along. 

Okay.  That was snarky.  I'm tired after three years of XTU.


Deleted part of post because I'm sure the OP didn't mean to sound crude. Consider it a favor.


Yeah, that was snarky.  So if you're listening to heavy metal it's okay to have the volume up, but I'd better turn Johnny Cash way low?
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Mahdoumi on June 11, 2009, 11:21:45 AM

Perfect, Petal!  And I'd like to add:

Please keep the volume of the country music coming out of your radio low, and don't slap your feet and hum along. 

Okay.  That was snarky.  I'm tired after three years of XTU.


Deleted part of post because I'm sure the OP didn't mean to sound crude. Consider it a favor.


Yeah, that was snarky.  So if you're listening to heavy metal it's okay to have the volume up, but I'd better turn Johnny Cash way low?
[/quote]

No, no.  Part of my post was deleted regarding me listening to my Arabic music without headphones and such.  I should probably just modify the post entirely, and I'm sorry for the offense.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Nannerdoman on June 11, 2009, 12:43:04 PM

Perfect, Petal!  And I'd like to add:

Please keep the volume of the country music coming out of your radio low, and don't slap your feet and hum along. 

Okay.  That was snarky.  I'm tired after three years of XTU.


Deleted part of post because I'm sure the OP didn't mean to sound crude. Consider it a favor.


Yeah, that was snarky.  So if you're listening to heavy metal it's okay to have the volume up, but I'd better turn Johnny Cash way low?

No, no.  Part of my post was deleted regarding me listening to my Arabic music without headphones and such.  I should probably just modify the post entirely, and I'm sorry for the offense.
[/quote]

No problem.  Perhaps just modify to "make certain the music you enjoy doesn't disturb your co-workers"?  We country fans get made fun of a lot.  Makes us a tad defensive.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Mahdoumi on June 11, 2009, 01:48:42 PM

No problem.  Perhaps just modify to "make certain the music you enjoy doesn't distrub your co-workers"?  We country fans get made fun of a lot.  Makes us a tad defensive.

I did change it almost verbatim to your suggestion.  I only used country music as the example because that's the music being played two desks away from me.  Had I thought this through, ANY music would be a distraction for me, personally, so I now realize that singling out one genre wasn't fair.
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: Sirius on June 24, 2009, 01:50:32 PM
One piercing in each earlobe is okay, right?

That depends on the office.  I know people with visible piercings all over their nose, lips and brows.  Many of those have "professional" jobs.  Frankly, I don't care what is pierced as long as the work is done well.

The only time I have ever seen a prohibition on piercings was in prison (previous employment, not lifestyle ;))

And the military.  Mr. Sirius was told to not shave his head by one supervisor (he's nearly bald) but was allowed to shave his head by another supervisor.  So that's how he had to go. 
Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: NotTheNarcissist on May 30, 2012, 11:54:25 AM
I know this thread is 'old' but it's still quite valid & full of helpful info. I found this & felt that is was worthy to post here:
http://www.moolanomy.com/6038/office-etiquette-7-office-faux-pas-to-avoid-mmarquit01/

Title: Re: Workplace etiquette
Post by: gen xer on October 17, 2012, 07:32:27 PM

Nobody likes a rat!!!  Don't tattle.  It is not your concern if your coworker was late to work, took a long lunch or otherwise did anything you disapprove of.  You are not the morals police.

Unless something is directly impacting your job ( in which case you should take it up with the other party first if possible ) or is an actual danger / threat....then shut up and mind your own business.