General Etiquette > All In A Day's Work

Not rude, but baffling, behavior at work

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As some of you may know, I recently moved from Arkansas to Georgia. I'd also previously lived, for a number of years, in Florida, and worked in a professional setting for most of that time, post-college. In other words, this isn't my first time working in an office complex.

However, I've encountered some utterly baffling behavior since I've been here. Not rude, exactly (although you could certainly argue that some of the personal grooming stuff in public is bordering on rude, if not just outright rude). Am I just noticing this for the first time? Is this somehow just an Atlanta thing? Or have we been moving this way and I'm just seeing it more since I spent the last year in Arkansas mostly working from home? Any insight people can give is truly appreciated. I'm stumped!

-- Women, professionally dressed, wearing bathroom slippers (sometimes really horrible, ratty things) and carrying heels that they obviously are uncomfortable wearing. This is all on concrete (no grass path or anything) so no chance of damaging the heels.
-- Women sitting in their cars, putting on full makeup. I parked next to one (I was finishing a chapter of my audiobook, and so stayed in my car for a few moments) who was applying false eyelashes in her car's mirror!
-- People using MANY layers of seat covers in (extremely clean) office bathrooms, and leaving them for others to dispose of. I've heard this complaint from male coworkers, and seen it myself. I've seen what must have been ten or fifteen layers of the paper covers used at a go.
--People walking around with headphones on, music so loud is is clearly audible more than three feet from the listener, head down, ignoring where they are going, in the halls of the office. I've nearly been knocked over more than once.

Any explanation that anyone has would appreciated. It's not rudeness, exactly, but it's certainly baffling behavior from professional adults in the office.

I put on makeup in my car frequently and am puzzled about how it could be rude. I know there are windows, but I'm not doing anything embarrassing or private; I just prefer the natural light and the mirror angle is convenient, and I don't prioritize makeup over other things I must do at home when getting ready -- I just add a bit of color/coverage if I find I have arrived with time to spare.

Leaving seat covers behind is unsanitary and impolite, and forcing your music on others is no good, but I don't think the slippers are anything to worry about, just not to your taste.

The bedroom slippers thing COULD be that they drive in the slippers then change into the heels once inside.

Also, are you sure the seat covers are all being used by the same person, or could it just be a build up? Maybe people don't realise they're disposable?

Those are the only two suggestions I can offer.

ETA Jmarvellous makes a good point about the makeup - it's not something I'd choose to do (and I might inwardly boggle at applying false eyelashes in the car - I'd be terrified I'd drop them and lose them!), but I wouldn't have said it was rude.

The slippers could also be a safety thing. We had a workplace safety meeting where they advised women to take off their heels when going to the parking garage (can't run very well in heels). I don't know why they'd pick ratty slippers instead of tennis shoes.. maybe easier to slip in to a purse?

I put my makeup on in the car, because it's nearly impossible to do at home with DS3 and DS5 buzzing around. It's just more peaceful.

The seat covers, I'd say that person has a huge germ phobia. Leaving them on the seat.. yes, very rude.

I guess the makeup thing, which is one of the things I find most rude, is because as a child, and even well into adulthood I was always told that there were two places you could do something more than touch up lipstick or remove an eyelash - a bathroom or a bedroom. This is taking place in a darkened parking garage - not a natural light issue.

As for the seat covers, it's definitely one person. They are all precisely aligned, as if they were all pulled from the package together - no way that would happen if multiple people did it.


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