I hate it when someone walks into my office and asks me dumb questions like, “are you busy?” Of course I’m busy. I’m at work. Is there an appropriate way to tell someone to go away and leave me the hell alone?”
There Goes My Promotion
Dear There Goes My Promotion,
I can advise you that telling someone to go away and leave you the hell alone is a sure way to not only lose a promotion but also your job in its entirety. Why don’t you try skipping deodorant for a few days or not brushing your teeth for a week? I promise you no one will want to come near you. With these actions, you won’t have to use any language prohibited in the workspace (“no,” “I can’t,” “I’m busy.”).
Unless you come right out and say you’re otherwise preoccupied by order of God, there’s no amount of acceptable deterring appropriateness that will discourage a colleague from interrupting you for any reason. In the office world, saying the word “no” to anyone or “yes, I’m busy” is laughable, ill-advised and punishable by pink slip.
If you have a private office, you may try barricading your door so no one can get in. The problem with that is you may not be able to get out. You’ll realize how big of a problem this can be when (a) you have to use the bathroom and (b) when it’s time to leave for the day. If by some off chance you are able to keep your door closed for the day with the ability to enter and exit, you want to make sure that whenever you leave your office (bathroom break, lunch break, smoke break, etc.) you do so as clandestinely as possible. This would be a prime time to exercise your ninja stealth skills. Hide behind shadows, slither on the floor like a garden snake, or even trying emailing yourself to wherever you need to be. Be warned, though. Most officemates are nosey as hell. No matter how hard you try to be invisible there is always someone watching you. ALWAYS.
If you have a cubicle, I’m sorry to say you’re screwed. As long as your colleagues can see your face you are available to them. Period.
Your best option is to try my ‘not washing your ass’ suggestion. Good luck with that!
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