Office Etiquette, Decorum, Basic Human Decency

I arrived at work this morning at my usual time with my usual cup of Starbucks in hand.  I made my way through the maze of cubicles in which I spend my day.  I sat down, logged into my computer and started my normal morning routine.  As I was going through my normal slew of email, I heard a peculiar, yet clearly discerning, sound coming from over the cubicle wall…clip, clip, clip.  He is clipping his fingernails.  How can this be?  We are at work not at home in your bathroom where this activity should be managed.  There and only there should that task be undertaken.  Is he gathering the clippings at least and throwing them away?  Are fingernail parts being flung over my wall?  It better just be his fingernails that are getting clipped over there.

Whether it is a fingernail or toenail getting clipped, the point is that there are certain things that should never be done in the work place and I am amazed by some of the things I’ve seen.  I’ve seen two people making out in the lobby like it was a Friday night at a drive in.  I saw someone in the stairwell stretching out all sorts of body parts like he just ran a marathon rather than walking up the one flight of stairs that he did.  I saw a man drinking out of a milk carton labeled “Linda” from the community refrigerator and someone taking a bite of a cookie and putting it back on the platter of cookies that someone brought in to share.  I saw someone else take 6 of those cookies and put them in his bag to take home.  I’ve seen people changing their pants in their cubicle and people sound asleep at their desks.  I’ve seen a lot more than I should have at work because people have lost all sense of right and wrong behavior.

There is an anything goes mentality which probably stems from the excess of personal exploitation.  Funniest Home Videos, where people showcase all sorts of personal foible, most of which are staged, has been on since I was a kid, you can find anything on YouTube from sex to dancing cats to people just eating breakfast, Big Brother monitors people 24 hours a day and the surplus of reality and dating shows exploit mostly inappropriate behavior to hoards of audiences who crave this peeping Tom like television.  Society is so overexposed to every behavior imaginable, anywhere and everywhere that I think we’ve lost our sense of appropriate and inappropriate public behavior.  I could go on with my rant but I think I’ll go shave my legs in the office bathroom instead.

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