Office Gripes: What’s Not Written in the Employee Handbook

Everyone has those days where they just don’t feel like being bothered with anything; not cleaning a filthy home, feeding stray cats, and probably the most likeliest, not going to work. Especially if that day happens to land on a Monday or any other day of the week that ends with the letter “y.” I have news for you. It’s okay. Not wanting to be bothered doesn’t make anyone any less of a better person than the next – because like I said, “Everyone has those days.” 

Since work is the one place the average persons spend most of his time more than any other place on the planet, it’s a good thing that you brought it up. First of all, what is work? Work is a place where you go to do a lot of things you don’t want to do for a bunch of people you don’t want to be around all day long. Some would argue that’s no different than family, and in a sense that’s true. An employee knows his coworkers just as well as he knows his relatives. The difference between work and family though, is that you get paid to do one and not the other. 

I’m not going to spend a lot of time explaining to you why we work. To sum that up quickly, if you don’t work, you don’t eat. Everyone has to work to earn their keep. That theory dates all the way back to the caveman and if you don’t believe me you can go back in time and see for yourself. What I am going to explain to you, with a very short list, is the minor technicalities that are overlooked at work, that easily turns a good day bad. Because I know you have about five minutes left in your fifteen minute break, I’m going to keep this list short. Perhaps by the time you finish reading it, when you get back to your desk you’ll hopefully be more inclined to chuckle rather than make pencil lead-tip daggers out of memo pads and envelope glue. 

Work, no matter if you love it or hate it, is never an easy place to be or an easy thing to do. But if you understand how it operates it’s not such a bad thing to deal with. Getting a paycheck every eighty hours isn’t such a bad thing either – which in fact is the part everyone loves. On the other hand, no one knows all the little details that come along with the package when they sign their name on the dotted line – aka, the employee employment verification contract that binds all employees to their duties governed by a bunch of silly rules called policies. The policies are the blah blah blah’s of the job. They are to be expected. Since they’re all spelled out in black and white, let’s talk about the little things employees aren’t forewarned about. 

  1. Coworkers that stand outside of an employee’s office or cubicle and hold a conversation, without including the employee whose space is being violated.

    Three thoughts come to mind: (A) Can you be any more rude? (B) who cares? (C) see (A).

  2. Coworkers who hold their entire telephone conversation on speaker phone.

    I digress, (A) Can you be any more rude? (B) who cares? (C) see (A).

  3. Any meeting that begins before 10AM.

    Let’s be honest here. Who the hell can concentrate before 10AM?  Nothing in the world should be that important. After having to deal with crawling out of bed, karate-chopping through morning rush hour traffic, and fussing at the cafeteria lady for not putting out a fresh pot of coffee, asking anyone to do anything except breathe before 10AM is asking too much!  Where is the compassion?

  4. Staff meetings that run well over into the lunch hour.

    If you want an employee to work hard, you have to feed him. Food is the battery that keeps the body working properly. No one should feel as if they’re working in a Chinese sweat shop (Trust me, it’s not fun. But that’s a story for another time). Bottom line, any time a stomach growls louder than anyone can speak, it’s time to end the damn meeting.

  5. Brown bag lunch meetings.

    Epic violation of the employee handbook manual. Somewhere written in the bylaws is a clause that awards an employee a full hour of personal time (thirty minutes for lunch and two fifteen minute breaks…triple that if you work for the government). Dear supervisors and all those alike: The words “brown bag meeting” are fighting words! “Your space; My space.”

  6. Coworkers who are too overwhelmed to complete their own work assignments without assistance.

    Seriously? The finger should be pointed at management for not hiring people who know how to manage their time better. Management should look into time management courses for their staff development retreats. Management should also have its ass kicked for not warning employees that the phrase, “…and all other duties assigned,” means doing someone else’s job.

  7. Supervisors who wait until an employment performance review to enlighten the employee on all of his/her screw ups.

    In all honesty, you can apply gripe #6 to this this one here. However for the sake of being redundant, waiting until the last minute to do or say anything just isn’t fair. You don’t throw a brick at someone without telling them to duck if you don’t have any intentions to hurt them.

    Everyone should be allowed to correct their mistakes before they are forever damned. Equally so, it can’t be much of a mistake if the person offended doesn’t address the issue at the time and place of said incident. [That’s right. I said it!] This can easily lead into a big fat case of ‘your word against mine.’

  8. Employees who don’t hold the elevator after they’ve watched you trip over your shoe strings in an effort to catch the doors before closing.

    Introduction to Corporate America 101. Most coworkers couldn’t care less about you if you aren’t working on a project with or doing something for them. It really is no more or less complicated than that. Everybody’s a nobody until somebody needs somebody. Also it’s pretty funny to watch anyone trip and fall trying to catch an elevator.

  9. When the cafeteria runs out of caffeinated coffee.

    When it comes to dealing with certain demands, expectations, and the performance of miraculous feats, caffeine is the sedative dart that keeps the peace in a brood of animals. “No coffee,” ranks up there with “brown bag lunches” in the category of “Fighting Words.”

  10. No liquor in the vending machines.

    I don’t think management or Congress will ever go for this but you have to admit that it’s a pretty good idea. It would help everyone to take some of the edge off, especially in the cases of gripe numbers #5, #7 and #9.

  11. When two or more employees take a dump in the bathroom at the same time.

    There are only two words to say for this: “Gross,” and “Ew!” The one thing that two or more people should never share is sh*t.


Hottywood Ha-Ha!

“If you’re not a morning person, don’t worry. You’re not alone. There’s a support group for that. They meet at the bar.”


3 thoughts on “Office Gripes: What’s Not Written in the Employee Handbook

  1. Looks like we work at the same place. Some great one-liners (OK multi-liners) you’ve got, too; “If you’re not a morning person, don’t worry. You’re not alone. There’s a support group for that. They meet at the bar”

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