Office Etiquette: 101

 

officeIt’s been a little more than a month since I’ve started what I like to call my “big girl job”. I’ve had a lot of jobs before this one, but none quite as serious and definitely on a smaller pay scale. Starting my first business job hasn’t been easy but it has been entirely me. I don’t feel pressured to be anything more than natural and hardworking. When I tell people that I work at a finance firm I shock myself a little bit. It all sounds so professional and grown up! The other day I was getting my hair done, chatting away saying “Yeah but there’s no kids like me there”. Kids. Kids? And then it hit me. I’m not a kid anymore. And its not even cute to refer to myself as a kid like it is when your 19 or 20 trying to hold on to a bit of your youth. I’m 24, working a full-time salaried job. I pay my student loans and my taxes, all my expenses besides health insurance and rent. I’m literally a hop skip and a jump away from moving out, getting married, and being an official adult. Whoa. Anyway since I’ve been doing this for about a month now I’m starting to get a hang of whats accepted around my office, so I decided to let you in on a few things I’ve learned so far about the business life.

Everyone survives on coffee. If you thought you even stood a chance of not getting addicted – think again. Your boss offers to buy you Starbucks (which is conveniently located on the 1st floor of the building) at least twice a week. Any training or meeting is accompanied by a carafe just begging to be poured. You find yourself dependent on the drug, and when you receive a serious headache on your first day off it hits you – your addicted. And yes, the coffee in the break room really is free and it doesn’t matter if its 2pm the river flows all. day. long.

Nobody hangs out in the bathroom. You know the one where you escape to send a text or play a quick round of candy crush? Yeah. Be prepared to hear at least 7 other women finish their business by the time you realize that your the only one taking a text break. You better hope no one peeked under the stall to glance at your shoes because if so, they’re going to think you were cooking up a huge fudge dragon for the past twenty minutes. 🐉💩 PS. The second stall is the best. No one knows why.

Passing greetings are mandatory. You must say “hello” as you pass another person in the hallway. You might not even know their name or haven’t even seen their face before – it’s irrelevant. You’re walking down the hallway, you’re at the copier, you’re washing your hands in the restroom but without fail they say “hi” and you give this awkward smile that says I’m pretty sure this is fifth time we’ve crossed paths today but I’m still going to say hi to try and make this a little less awkward than it already is “hello”. Unless its a Friday. If its a Friday a mandatory “Happy Friday!” is to be expected. I’m pretty sure its in the employee handbook.

CAPITAL LETTERS DON’T MEAN SOMEONE IS YELLING AT YOU.  It means that they were just using an application that requires all caps and are too lazy to change the case. I too am guilty of emails like, “THANK YOU!” or “JUST MADE COFFEE, GET IT WHILE IT’S HOT!”

Women and children first please. Okay, there’s no children at work, but when it comes to the elevator its very clear that women are sacred beings. I’m not sure who invented the rule that the entire male species should wait for the woman to enter the elevator first but it has occurred every day without fail. The male might be assertive and step in front of you to stop the elevator door from closing until you pass, or he might just put his arm out signaling your right to enter. Whatever the style,it is clear that women have the royal treatment. The jury’s still out on whether I like this or not. While its a great reminder that chivalry is in fact not dead after all, I zone out all the time and leave this guy standing there with his arm out for seconds – that feel like hours – until I remember I’m the queen. 👑

I’m sure I’m forgetting ton’s more “office etiquette” that I’ve ran into so far! What’s something that happens in your office culture? Leave a comment below!