Friday, December 19, 2008

Pet Peeve of the Day: Use Your Indoor Voices, Please

We have small cubicles with short walls in my office, and even with the white noise being piped in, voices carry. I practically whisper whenever I’m on the phone, and if I have to make a personal call, I usually take it outside or to an empty conference room. My team is often proofreading, which requires intense concentration, and I’m very careful about disturbing anyone. However, there are a few people who just don’t seem to get the concept of using indoor voices. In the next aisle, an accounting employee regularly carries on personal phone conversations as if she is speaking to someone with a hearing disability. Obviously, the occasional personal phone call at work is inevitable, but this is not the time to chat, as she is clearly doing. It’s amazing to me that no one in her department says anything to her — this entire side of the building can hear her. How can someone be so oblivious to the volume of her voice in such a quiet environment?

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pet Peeve of the Day: Flush It!

Earlier this year my company moved into a new building. Our floor was renovated before our arrival, and we now have fancy automatic toilets, soap dispensers, and water faucets in the restrooms. As automatic toilets go, however, ours are kind of crappy (har har). They don’t activate until you actually leave the stall, or unless you do a little dance while you are pulling up your pants. Just to be on the safe side, I usually hit the button on the side on the sensor, but many of my coworkers seem to be too lazy to make the effort. At least once a day, I walk into a stall only to find that the previous occupant did not bother to confirm that the toilet actually flushed.

"That’s something my kids would do," a coworker said the other day as we bypassed a stall where a paper toilet-seat cover was still perched on the seat. "But, you know, they’re kids."

Enough said. Is it really too much to ask? Am I going to have to start leaving passive-aggressive notes in the restroom?

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I'm Dreaming of a Chocolately Christmas

I previously wrote in my other blog about how I love food, particularly chocolate. At this time of year, chocolate seems to be everywhere. Usually, my company receives large gift baskets from some of our vendors for the holidays, but this year, a lot of companies are scaling back. People who used to send us large baskets full of myriad Christmas goodies are now just sending a smaller box of chocolates, which is fine with me. I might even follow their example and buy some chocolate for the few people I have left on my list. Who doesn't love chocolate for the holidays? Online retailer Fannie May offers a wide variety of seasonal chocolates, candies, and novelties, including little gift bags that would be perfect for passing out at work. I'm nearly over my Christmas budget, so a small affordable indulgence like chocolate would be the perfect thing to finish off my shopping this year.

Pet Peeve of the Day: Nosy Coworkers

I have a coworker we call Planters because, well, she’s a bit nutty. Whenever she comes over to talk to me — which isn’t often, fortunately — she tends to sit on my desk. Right on top of my papers and file folders. Conversations between the two of us usually consist of me giving her a blank stare while she rambles nonsensically.

Yesterday, she stopped me in the hall and said, “I heard you had surgery. What for?”

Again the blank stare, as I tried to figure out how to respond to such an inappropriate question. Fortunately, she gave me an out when she looked down at my foot. “Was it your toe? Or something else?”

I considered just saying yes, it was my toe, since many of my coworkers already know my big toenail was ripped off in a rock-climbing competition. But I couldn’t imagine what sort of surgery would be required for a missing toenail, so I simply said “Something else,” in a firm enough manner that (I hoped) would indicate the discussion was closed.

“Are you okay?”

At this I softened a bit and tried to give her the benefit of the doubt. Maybe she was just being concerned and not nosy. But how can some people have so little tact? I don’t mind if someone told her I had surgery, but my health is not something I wish to discuss with someone I barely know. You’d think that sort of thing would be common sense.