Office Etiquette: Listening to Death

There are certain etiquette rules one must follow when working in an office environment.  For instance, when you belch you should really say, “Excuse me.”  The same is true when you let out an obtrusive passing of the ass.  Sure, you may not want to.  You may not even care.  But it’s just the proper thing to do.  Think of it like walking downtown with your clothes on.  You probably would prefer to be naked but politics and the law, make the task simply daunting, and being the good law-abiding citizen that you are — who only holds up liquor stores on the weekends — you must play by the rules.

Unfortunately, no matter how many envelope openers you may want to throw at your coworkers, you can not fault them for following traditional office setting protocol. Asking someone how they’re doing is a standard act for anyone who’s an active part of the working community.  The easy part is replying with a simple one-worded sentence which usually sums up the description of your mood – “Fine,” followed by an annoyed gasp of breath and a look that could melt butter.  The hard part, on the other hand, is listening to that very same coworker volunteer an update on how they’re doing [or feeling]; “volunteering” being the operative word here.  There is nothing worse than listening to someone go and on about something that you care nothing about.

Have you ever stopped to ask yourself why you should care about the stories that boring clod is telling you?  Most average working class people really don’t want to hear all the blah blah about their officemate’s night before.  They don’t want to hear about the long drive into the office or the report analysis that’s going to be discussed in further detail in the next staff meeting.   They don’t even want to hear the lame ass jokes that are guaranteed not to make you laugh.  What they do want is to be left the hell alone!  They want to be at peace with their coffee and their personal email.  They want to avoid the phony relationships, the hierarchy of supervisors and the constant telephone calls that never end.  In fact, having to speak to customers on the phone should be the only time uninteresting stories are bombarded on anyone at the office.  The average person spends 60% of their workday on the phone putting out fires in someone else’s shattering life.  The gripes, grievances, sob stories and fragmented inquiries almost drives a person to wanting to start a fire – burn that office building to the mutha-effin’ ground!

Though starting a blazing fire may be too extreme for some workers, there are other things you can do to avoid the death-like stories of your colleagues, who deem themselves an extended part of your family, considering you spend more time at the office than you do in your own home.

(1) You can rip off your ears and hand them over to whoever refuses to shut the hell up.  That way they can finish talking while you are deaf to all the world around you.

(2) You can snatch the lips right off their face and leave them on top of the water cooler.  Pulling this trick off may offend the person talking, but in the end they’ll thank you.  People do most of their chatting at the water cooler, anyway.

(3) You can take a gun and blow a hole in the side of your head.   That’ll save the undesirable chatter-box from talking you to death.

Smacking them and calling them out of name may be your first thought, but it would also be your one-way ticket to the unemployment office.   However, if you’re planning on quitting the job anyway, you have nothing to lose!  Also, don’t rule out running away from the conversation with your hands waving in the air or something as simple as passing out.  Slamming your head into a wall is also a good way to indiscreetly give someone the hint that you’d enjoy a stomach ache more than the conversation at hand.  Listening to the intricate details of someone’s boring life is just way too much to ask first thing in the morning.  Whatever way you decide to make your quick grand exit from listening to someone talk you to death, just keep in mind that it will require a little effort on your part.  And 90% of any effort is getting started.

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Quote of the Week:    “42.7% of all statistics are made up on the spot.”

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5 thoughts on “Office Etiquette: Listening to Death

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