Corporate Netiquette

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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.

20 comments:

  1. One of my grouse is friends hoarding multiple tables for their group to sit during lunch time when all we need is 2 seats. Most of the times, we will be standing looking for a table with plates in hand. Such times, there are some two people who will be blocking 3 tables and equal number of chairs.

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    1. Oh yeah I can write a separate post only on these lunch time etiquette!

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  2. Ha ha! This was so fun and trust me it's not just your company. Recently at work, we were talking about how people behave. One day I was walking down the stairs and behind me was a lady running and was clearly in a hurry. I slowed down, gave her way and opened the door so that she could step out first and guess what? She zoomed as if I was a security guard. No thank you, no smile or nod - just walked out. That made me furious.
    I see the best behavior at the microwave though.

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    1. Oh damn! I hate such people.

      Oh yeah the microwave. I shall write an entire new post on it.

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  3. Ohmy! Totally loved this post!
    The lift thing is too true. Some people just tend to forget that the lift is a stationary object, that will remain alive and kicking even if they don't enter into it first!
    I didn't know that bit about the conference call. Haven't been on one, and I've learned something new today!

    A hilarious post, Soumya! Loved it :)

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  4. Oh yeaaaah... Go through each of these, every single day! Phew!
    Loved the way you listed them :)

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    1. I know, right??

      Thanks for reading Shalini!

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  5. hmm,its nothing to do with people in corporate, these days people are not behaving like educated.all the instances you have written do happen at every public place,you will come across same behavior at public places.these people are really sick at malls and multiplexes too.if you want to change these thick skinned people,take a gun and shoot him in leg in public and a bullet in thigh will make people not to behave in same manner. .that's the only way to change thick skinned people. fear is the only way to make thick skinned people follow rules.

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    1. I do agree that it is not related to corporate alone. But fear is not the way. People just need to open their minds and understand better.

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  6. So true!
    Faced most of this, Soumya :)

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  7. Wow, looks like work from home works out fine for me then. I do remember some of these from my working days, though, Looks like not much has changed. That's saddening. How hard is it for people to follow basic manners and rules? Honestly.

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    1. Oh you lucky you!

      I know. It's so simple if people only understood.

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  8. Hahaha...I was reminded of my office-going times. Many of this is true even of life outside the office. For instance, the lift manners or talking over the phone during plays or movies. Thanks for the laughs, Soumya!

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    1. Lift manners is something else altogether!

      Nice to see you here after long, Uma :)

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  9. How about scheduling a con call, then getting the audio and mike right, and after all that technical nuisance and wasting the time of everyone involved, the person asks some silly basic doubt which could have been asked on chat or email!

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    1. Oh man! That would make me want to kill.

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  10. Little things that shouldn't even fall under etiquette in my opinion. Just a normal person extending same courtesy he or she would expect for themselves. Of all the ones listed here lunch bit is completely true for me. Wish I can push this post to a lot more than just the ones who might stumble here :D *subtle hints*

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    1. Basic courtesy is what the world needs.

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