Thursday, July 14, 2011

Office Etiquette -- My Conundrum

This post is my therapy for today and maybe will not get published, but I feel the need to write and sort my feelings because of recent extreme rude behavior of my co-workers thereby temporarily putting aside my promise  to keep this blog focus on positive topics as there already is enough negativity amplified in our world.

My profession is typist/word processor and I am a world-class typist.  It is my God-given talent and gift, and I am grateful. However, the world does not look upon my talent with any particular favor not to mention pay-wise. I do not get any respect from most of my coworkers and I recognize this as ignorance, jealousy and hate, but how do I cope on a daily basis?  Today I am writing about it. 

For seven years I loved my job until our office manager recently left the firm. This is the first time that an office manager has left me in a position, usually it is vice versa. The new office manager is 15 years my junior and  has since hired mostly people like her in looks and mentality. The new employees speak Spanish to each other while sitting next to me. It feels like I now work in Tijuana. Isn't English our national language? Why should they be allowed to speak Spanish jibbering back and forth to each other all day long? Oh, because the new office manager is Hispanic. What is funny is that I majored in Spanish and can understand their conversations. Taking this microcosm and applying it macrocosmically, everyone in this universe better learn Spanish.

Why not have a direct conversation with the office manager and express these concerns you're probably wondering? Because the office manager is the main culprit. She has no clue or awareness of the people around her as other secretaries always complained to me even before she became office manager that she kept a ruckus going on around her desk with incessant chatter. So, to keep my sanity, whenever the loud conversations around my desk, stomping of feet when walking, horrible singing out loud, incessant, non-work-related chitter-chattering, and/or thepeople who stop by their desk to plan lunches, breaks, trips to the farmers market, etc.–I am sharing some of my coping techniques.  First and foremost i remind myself that i am lucky to have a job that utilizes my talents and grateful that I truly love to type.  I also remind myself that the cacaphony of sound I work in has forced me to increase my concentration and attention to detail.

If all this was not enough to deal with, there are certain attorneys here in the office who have never spoken to me. One such attorney's office is directly across from mine. When he comes in in the morning, he looks straight ahead when walking by me so as not to give any eye contact lest he should have to say good morning. That was all well and good and I concluded he just had issues and was just a negative person. Not! Since the new "girls" arrived, every morning he still passes my desk looking straight ahead, but a few yards past my desk he speaks to them, smiles and even asks how they are doing.  I really don't want to start speaking to him or confront him on this or even mention it again past writing it all out here! Just another opportunity for me to come up higher, send them all the love I can muster, and keep on keeping on. If you are reading this and you don't know if you are an inconsiderate worker or not, chances are you probably are inconsiderate and maybe you will wake up to others around you. 

Adding to this as events arise, the Office Manager just stopped at the data entry clerk's desk and they whispered, whispered: pssss, pssssssssssss, pssssssssssss instead of going to her office.  What do I do to keep my sanity? I take my earphones off so as not to strain my ears trying to hear my dictation over the noise and calmly wait until they are finished. 

God-Awful Singing and Humming 
The inconsiderate people do not realize that their off-key singing when they have headphones on and are not aware the volume or pitch of their singing is a big disturbance to coworkers. Put a lid on your singing and humming. We share cubbyholes; so, try to be considerate. 

Pick Up Your Feet When You Walk 
I would next like to mention to everyone who shares an office with other humans: It is possible to walk without anyone hearing your footsteps. To the people who stomp and do not have a clue what this does to others around them every time you stomp, stomp, stomp innumerable times per day, you, too, can walk so no one hears you. The only positive result of their stomping is that they are never able to sneak upon anyone, especially me! :) 

I am shaking my head, and am learning to smile through all this craziness and still be grateful to have a job in this economy. Here I sit, age 63 with a 50-something-year-old boss who hasn't a clue about courtesy, consideration, professional behavior, etc. No bitterness here, just sucking up and reassessing and sharing my coping strategies because this is an unexpected opportunity for me to learn this lesson quickly and thoroughly while growing and taking the high road. 

Thank you, dear readers, for reading this rant, and I look forward to talking to you later when I will share with you more of the music that helps keep my sanity in the sometimes rude, often hostile working world. 


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