Rude, loud, gum-chomping toilet texters.

LogoDearest readers,
Manners are a two-way street. If we expect politeness and patience from others, we must practice them ourselves. Working with others means overlooking small flaws and minor irritations.

Remember the serenity prayer: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference. In other words, don’t sweat the small stuff.

The email-writers below may have good points, but in most cases there are no practical solutions. To those faced with gum smackers, food stinkers or toilet texters, my answer is simple – we can’t control other people’s behavior, only our own. Mind your manners. Be kind. Work hard and have fun. And remember, earplugs cover a multitude of sins.
Ms. Corporate Manners

Here are the emails:

Chomping gum

Dear Ms. Corporate Manners,
I work in an office atmosphere with a great bunch of people but unfortunately a few of them chew gum at work and – let’s just say – it can get pretty noisy with all of snapping / cracking / smacking of gum – even when speaking on the phone. I am of the school of thought that it is OK but in a professional atmosphere it does not belong. What makes it bad is that when you approach some of these individuals they actually get upset and that it is their right. Personally, to me, it is like listening to someone dragging finger nails across a black board. I try my best to ignore but my nerves are on edge at the end of the day. What is the policy on this subject?
Nerves on Edge

Texting on the toilet

Dear Ms. Corp. Manners,
It seems like every time I go into the bathroom now, someone is in the other stall texting on a cell phone (or on occasion TALKING!) I find this to be disturbing and unsanitary to say the least. Aren’t bathrooms considered part of the workplace environment, where cell phones are not allowed?

Potty in Peace 

Training deadlines

Dear Ms. C. M.
I like to voice my opinion on datelines for mandatory e-training sessions. Officially a course may have a two-week deadline, but in reality our leaders, being persuaded by their leaders, move the deadline up by one week and announce “you have to do it today.”

Let’s get real. We are working doing the job for more than one person and have to carefully plan when to get into compliance by taking these training sessions. Some days, or even weeks are out of the question. I wish our management, from the top down, would extend the courtesy to give ample time for any and all training sessions. And by the way, a quote of “it takes 30 minutes” may turn into 1.30 hours if the material is way out of the work area of the employees. A deadline good for 2 weeks should just mean that. Let’s work on that, I am sure I am not the only one having issues with this discourteous practice. 

Calendar is Booked

Loudmouths I

Dear Ms. Corporate Manners,
There is a co-worker in my area who puts the phone on speaker to participate in conference calls. I find this to be not only annoying and distracting, but also very inconsiderate. I feel uncomfortable saying anything because this person has a significantly higher position in the bank’s hierarchy than I. What do you suggest?
Thanks in advance,
Put-out peon

Loudmouths II

Dear Ms. C. M.,
When employees are in an open office should individual conference calls be placed on speaker phone? I fine this so disturbing when trying to work on other things or help service customers.  

Being rude to others

Dear Ms. Corporate Manners,
I am a teller at a large branch and wait on fellow employees from different departments on a daily basis. I find it very disturbing that these fellow employees tend to treat me and the other tellers like we are incompetent on a regular basis. Aside from the typical, i.e. arguing with me that their check does not need to be endorsed, etc., they also are just out and out rude. They do not wait to be called up to the window, which is exasperating because we can be on the phone with a customer or finishing up on something and no regard is paid to that fact. It is also disheartening to ask someone how they are doing and they simply grunt or mutter something inaudible. And, not to nit pick, but it is the most frustrating to have to look up an employee account number and have the employee huffing and puffing because it is taking so long. I expect this treatment from customers as a part of being in a customer service role, but shouldn’t fellow employees have a better understanding of how things work, and don’t work? What can I do to tactfully address this situation?
Thank you in advance for your assistance in this matter.
Fed Up 

© Penny Aviotti and Ms.Corporate Manners 2003 – 2013.

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