Office etiquette

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Office Etiquette is the written and unwritten rules that make an office run smoothly. The following general guidelines were published in the 2014 guide to official office management compiled by the Lichtenstein league of happy office workers and are generally considered the definitive documentation of office etiquette.

edit General etiquette


The league of happy office workers lists the following as general rules to consider and adhere to when working in an office. Most items contained within were usually considered common knowledge until the Prestige publishing massacre of 1878 the aftermath of which resulted in the development and publication of these guidelines.

  • Be respectful of others' personal life choices.
  • Remember to adhere to local customs and rules.
    • Example: Snapping at someone is rude in some parts of the US, whilst ripping someone's earlobe off and chewing it whilst removing your shirt is a term of endearment in Scotland.
  • Avoid profanity.
  • Use cell phone only during important meetings and discussions.
  • Consistently check printer paper levels to assure they are always full at any given moment.
  • Don't read others printouts or faxes.
  • Keep perfume to a minimum
  • Keep workspace tidy
  • Keep common areas clean
  • Remain focused and professional unless something really, really funny is going on.
  • Office temperature must be kept at exactly 22(c) except during regular office fires.

edit Email use

Added to the guide in 2001 the following sections governs etiquette relating to emails and other digitally transmitted text.

  • Forwards should only be sent to your employer, your mum and your therapist. Forwards to your cat are also permitted but generally frowned upon due to the related sexual connotations that entered mainstream office society after the great 1947 fondue fire.
  • Avoid using a moderate religious signature. Instead opt for an extremist signature, such as 'Allah shall rain down a plague of staples upon ye!'
  • Be aware that sarcasm and other humor cannot always be read in emails. These techniques are only to be used to make criticisms of fellow staff members that may later need to be detracted as "Only Kidding".
  • Avoid 1337 language. Many companies have a policy that punishes such an act with a rain of fire on your house. And then a rain of fire on you. Crispy.

edit Social etiquette

  • Say hello or nod when passing people in common areas, unless, of course, they are common.
  • Hold doors. Perpetually.
  • Only paid interns are acceptable substitutes for door stops.
  • Don't bother to Attempt good relationships with your cube neighbors. Jim said they were a bunch of squares man.
  • Do not feed the office-supply junkies, unless so asked to.
  • Never split infinitives in the moronic way evident above. Man that really rides my goat.

edit Cubicle etiquette


Don’t stare. It is impolite.

  • If you are eating at your desk make sure you're eating something noticeably big to instill envy and fury amongst your colleagues. Like a plate of Strawberry cows.
  • Don't use PC speakers. PC speakers annoy everyone. Get a decent stereo instead.
  • Don't have a conversation over someone else’s cube. Move the cube first.
  • Keep personal calls to a minimum unless you don't like paying for your home phone bill.
  • Break wind in a bag or similar container. Release at an appropriate time or dispose of at your local Municipal Fart Depot.

edit Break area

  • Make a new pot of coffee if you finish the last one. If you're feeling lazy, you can simply add black . This also minimises coffee-pot waste.
  • Do not break the break room. The break room is for having breaks in, and not for breaking things in, breaking the room itself or breaking down in.

edit Meetings

  • Do not attend meetings. You will help the company more by sleeping in your cubicle.
  • If you happen upon a meeting, do a convincing impression of the fire alarm to free the trapped worker-bees inside. You may add to this effect by dousing your agenda in petrol and exposing to a naked flame.

edit Hygiene etiquette

  • Regularly groom, this includes grooming others.
  • If you must engage in kitten huffing, do so only with sterilised kittens.
  • If you're ill, it's best to infect as many colleagues as possible to allow them the same sick-day privileges as you.
  • Do not leave items to rot in the fridge. Rotting items are best left in colleges suitcases.
  • Do not leave items in the sink, this includes fart bags.

edit Office language

A selection of particularly formal office language reserved for high level functions.

No fucking way I’m fairly sure that's not feasible
You're fucking joking mate Really!
Tell someone who gives a shit That’s not my department!
No body fucking told me about it I wasn't involved in that project
I haven't the fucking time Perhaps I can work late
Who fucking cares Are you sure that's a problem?
Eat shit and die You don't say
Eat shit and die, arsehole You don't say, Sir
Kiss my arse So, you’d like me to help you?
He’s a fucking wanker He’s somewhat insensitive
She’s a ball-busting bitch She’s an aggressive go-getter
You haven’t got a fucking clue You could use more training
This place is all fucked up We’re a little disorganised today
What sort of wanker are you? You're new here, aren’t you?
Piss off shithead Well, there you go
You're a wanker You're my supervisor, and I respect you
Ha, suck eggs shit face! I wasn't there that day
Fuck off! I’m busy I’ll look into it and get back to you
How did you get this piece of shit to work? Well done!
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