Next month I clock eight years of being in the corporate world. While I do consider myself lucky to be working with one of the biggest IT companies in the world, in a job that I have come to now love; there are quite a few things I'd like to do away with. Corporate is a wonderful space to be in, where you will meet different people from different walks of life. Some stay on your mind for good enough reasons and some well, just remain stuck there for reasons you don't even know. One of the things that I have noticed more often than not is the corporate etiquette, or rather the lack of it. Now if you are looking to understand the title of the post, it stands for corporate non-etiquette. Yeah, I just recreated a word for it and it is not the same as the normal netiquette.
Today as I walked towards the entrance of my office, a man was walking from the opposite side towards the entrance as well. While I was in no hurry to enter first, the man on seeing me started rushing towards the entrance. I was already at the door by then and he just brushed past me hurting my shoulder and walked in almost slamming the heavy entrance door in my face. He did not even turn to offer an apology. I was appalled and angry. It took me a few seconds to come to terms with what had happened. Once I was back in my senses I realized that this is not the first instance of corporate netiquette that I've seen. They are way too many to list down but I'm just going with a few here.
~ Opening doors - I am not talking about bias here as I'm not the sort of woman who would expect a man to open the door for her. Chivalry is definitely appreciated, but is something least expected in a work place. Here more often than not, people brush past you and walk in through the door first and just let the door ram after them. It is only basic decency (men and women alike) that you hold the door when you see someone walking in after you. But how is it your business, right?
~ Entering lifts - The rule is simple. First you give way to the ones exiting the lift and then you enter it. How hard is it to understand this? I work in the first floor and I seldom take the lift, but sometimes when I do, it is a nightmare. Once the first floor is reached and I need to get out, a huge group walks in like I'm almost invisible. I then have to push my way out of the crowd with people looking at me with "What the fuck is wrong with her" on their minds. Then again, rules are meant to be broken. Aren't they?
~ Printer rooms - Our whole floor shares the same printer and xerox machines. But when I go to collect my print outs I have always noticed that the printer room is perpetually crowded with people going through all the print outs before finding theirs. I understand that since a large number of people can give a print at the same time. But what I don't understand is that why do you have to read the entire document before figuring out that it is indeed not yours. I once caught a guy looking through the printout of my flight tickets. Unless he had wanted to print tickets at the same time and for the same airlines, there was something very wrong about it.
~ Lunch queues - I always take lunch from home, but at times when it doesn't happen, I'm in a nightmare. People who stand in queues for lunch always forget to leave space ahead of them for their plates. So when I'm spooning something into my plate, my elbow always touches the other person's plate causing it to go off balance and then I get really horrible looks. I also hate people who take forever to serve themselves an item when the entire line behind is waiting for him/her to finish.
~ Excuse me. Not - This has happened to me at least 8632579865 times in my eight year old career. People walking behind you will say anything but an "excuse me" if they want you to leave way for them. I once had a man push me aside and walk ahead, a lady who grumbled curses in a native language until I heard it and made way, another lady who chose to tap my shoulder and let me know she wanted way, yet another lady who tried to squeeze in to the 0.5 inch gap that was left and ended up hustling me anyway and this is still not the end of it. Seriously, how hard is it to blurt out an "Excuse Me"?
~ Pantry - You know those kind of people who come in for a glass of water and stand right in front of the water filter until they finish drinking the entire glass and sometimes even go in for a refill? Yeah, these are the kind of people who I want to kill. Take a glass of water and move aside and then come back for the second glass, but then again who has the time for all that? Once this guy was standing so close to the filter that when a lady bent to fill in her water bottle she hit him with her butt. I did not know if I had to laugh or cry.
~ Conference calls - "While not talking, please put the phone on mute", this is the first line you see in the mail whenever you get an invite for a conference call. This also happens to be a magical line that is visible only to a few. I have heard coughs, guitar strumming, traffic, cooker whistles, glasses clinking, babies crying, dogs barking, people yelling and sometimes movie dialogues too while being a part of a conference call.
~ Phone calls - There is a special place reserved in hell for people who talk on their phones during a meeting and they will have company from people who talk at their loudest in their cubicles and the ones who leave their phone in ringing mode while in office. I once heard a newly married lady coochie coo with her husband while the speaker was on. One of those times I wished I was deaf. Speaking of being deaf, I do think that people who leave their phones in the ringing mode while at work are deaf if they cannot hear their phone vibrate instead. As much as I like music, listening to "Suraj dooba hai", "Didi tera devar deewana", "Fevicol Se", "Abhi toh party shuru hui hai" and any other song/noise/tone while I'm busy trying to get something done before a deadline makes me want to throw their phone off the window. Again one of those times I wished I worked on a higher floor instead of the first.
These are just a few of the corporate netiquttes I could think of at the moment. I do know there are a lot more out there. If you have one, please do leave a comment.