A Modern Professional's Guide to Anti-Social Etiquette in the Workplace
Anti-Socialites, never fear. You too can learn to walk the fine line between passive-aggressiveness and open contempt in the workplace.
It is really quite simple, according to Anti-Social Etiquette Guru and lifelong nemesis to Miss Manners, Burgess Cobblepot III. All you have to do is be wholly consumed by disgust for the very people you're forced to interact with, at all times.
Cobblepot, non-author of the never-actually-written or published would-be worst seller "How to Lose Friends and Alienate People at Work," masterfully walks the line when it comes to behaviors at work.
"Everyone in the office was doing a weight-loss challenge right after New Year's," says Cobblepot. "They wouldn't shut up about their diets and workouts. So I brought in trays of homemade brownies. Baked with lard. And spit."
Here are Cobblepot's Top 5 tips on workplace manners and etiquette for the modern professional.
1. Always Be Avoiding
"Always Be Avoiding" is not only a good tip, but a highly effective business skill put into practice by anti-socialites on a global scale.
Essentially, Cobblepot explains, you have to treat work like the first day of prison, every day. Snap at one random co-worker for no actual reason. Alternate between pleasant and conversant; busy and indifferent. Never make eye contact, shuffle your feet and frequently wear headphones.
"Everyone will be so terrified by your general unapproachableness and tendencies to random, social violence," says Cobblepot, "they'll only come to you in dire need."
2. Navigate The Office Potluck with Ease
When you work in an office, invariably you will at some point be invited to participate in an office potluck.
According to Cobblepot, this is your cue to bring in a crushed package of store-brand cookies or pretzels, then spend the whole time eating as much of what appears to be the most expensive food item in the company kitchen.
Don't even think about helping clean up. They have staff for that (i.e. anyone but you).
3. Tips for Decorating Your Cubicle
Everyone loves fluffy animals. So why not decorate your desk with a prolific tribute to your taxidermy hobby?
"Your coworkers will gain true insight into your character when they see that you've not only stuffed and mounted your childhood cat, Mittens, but your even using him as a pen holder," says Cobblepot.
As for wall decorations, crudely tape the target from your most recent excursion to the gun range in a visible location, preferably just outside your cubicle.
As for what not to hang on the wall, Cobblepot warns that posters of cats hanging from tree branches with the caption "Hang in there" are a clear sign of a demented individual. If your coworker has one of these, you may want to report them to HR.
4. Email Etiquette: 'Reply All'
It's not annoying at all when you hit "Reply All" to a corporate company-wide e-mail, especially when you respond with a smiley emoticon or a texting abbreviation. LOL!
For extra effect, attach multiple photos of your kid for no apparent reason. If you don't have a kid, attach photos of your cute nephew. If you don't have a cute nephew, attach photos of Warwick Davis.
5. Smart Phones Make You Smarter
Arrive fashionably late for all your importants meeting or your annual evaluation, and do not forget to bring your phone, (leave the volume on).
The smart phone does exactly as it professes -- it make you so so smart.
Once you've awkwardly positioned yourself well within the personal space of your boss or the meeting leader, do not take your eyes off your phone, even for a nano-second.
"Playing Clash of Clans while grumbling a half-assed response to your boss's request for information speaks volumes about your multi-tasking abilities," Cobblepot says. "It's the modern day answer to doodling private body parts in a notebook."
© 2012 Aleza Freeman