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A Modern Professional's Guide to Anti-Social Etiquette in the Workplace

Updated on May 29, 2016
alezafree profile image

I'm a freelance writer living in the desert with her husband, son, fluffy cat, dapper dog and the occasional spider.

Whether you work in an office or in your own home, it is of the utmost importance to at all times be consumed by disgust for the very people you're forced to interact with.
Whether you work in an office or in your own home, it is of the utmost importance to at all times be consumed by disgust for the very people you're forced to interact with. | Source

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."

Don't even consider pitching in with the dishes.
Don't even consider pitching in with the dishes. | Source

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).

If you see this hanging in your coworker's cubicle, run. Run far. Run fast.
If you see this hanging in your coworker's cubicle, run. Run far. Run fast. | Source

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 A Freeman

Comments

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  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @Ruby H Rose Thank you! Glad you enjoyed it!!!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @jasmith1 I'm so glad it made you laugh!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @phoenix2327 Thank you for the support!!

  • phoenix2327 profile image

    Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 

    7 years ago from United Kingdom

    Absolutely hilarious. Voted Up and funny.

  • jasmith1 profile image

    Adrian Smith 

    7 years ago from UK

    *chuckle* loved this!

  • Ruby H Rose profile image

    Maree Michael Martin 

    7 years ago from Northwest Washington on an Island

    What a great read! Very funny. You got my vote! How to decorate your cubicle, very nice!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @PegCole17 Mittens lives on in our hearts!

  • KatyWhoWaited profile image

    Kate MacAlpine 

    7 years ago from Anywhere, USA

    very cute

  • Blawger profile image

    Bahin Ameri 

    7 years ago from California

    I love this! Too funny. Thanks for the laughs.

  • PegCole17 profile image

    Peg Cole 

    7 years ago from Northeast of Dallas, Texas

    Oh no. Poor Mittens. Wannnh! This one was a total crackup. But that's what they always called me at work behind my back. Ah, longing for those days at the watercooler.

  • Cosmic Bus profile image

    Cosmic Bus 

    7 years ago from Maryland

    Very well written and funny! I could see Mr.Cobblepot being made into a comedy on stage or a movie. Congratulations on Hub of the Day! Voted up.

  • donnaisabella profile image

    Isabella Mukanda-Shamambo 

    7 years ago from Fort Myers

    Wow! Talk about etiquette, he topped them all. Thanks, a lot of lessons to learn from that one. Your style is brilliant, I could not stop reading till I got to the end. Thanks for writing.

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @MoonWillowLake Ha! Good luck to you on your first day!!!! Thanks for reading.

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @itakins Wow, thanks for the wonderful compliment!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @neeleshkulkarni I have a special batch of brownies just for you!

  • Moon Willow Lake profile image

    Moon Willow Lake 

    7 years ago

    What perfect timing to read this hub as I'm starting an administrative job tomorrow! I will be thinking of this and internally smirking. ; )

  • itakins profile image

    itakins 

    7 years ago from Irl

    I love this hub-brilliantly funny.

  • neeleshkulkarni profile image

    neeleshkulkarni 

    7 years ago from new delhi

    what a lousy hub.I wish you had passed it on to me to make basic corrections before it was put up.i am sure you have relatives in hubpages who let you get away with such stuff and give you a high rating.

    (shows i have learnt from it does it not? naaahhhh i am actually like this) voted u and funny and shared with my followers tooo. great hub.

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @suzzettenaples Thank you. Mr. Cobblepot certainly has many followers, all whom he shuns with a combination of insulting remarks and insufferable body odor. Thanks for reading!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @kelleyward Thank you!

  • suzettenaples profile image

    Suzette Walker 

    7 years ago from Taos, NM

    Thank you for a hilarious hub! I loved all the suggestions. I actually know people who subscribe to Mr. Cobblepot religiously! LOL ( sorry, couldn't help that) Congratulations on Hub of the Day - very deserving!

  • profile image

    kelleyward 

    7 years ago

    Loved it! Voted funny. congrats!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @Peanutritious Should be a fun family reunion! I'm glad you laughed! Thanks so much for reading.

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @ManfromModesto Wouldn't you like to know?!?!?!?!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @Faceless39 Poor Mittens, hahaha!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @Jeannieinabottle Or perhaps promoted!!!!!!!!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    Thank you @urmilashukla23 I hope you too will have a great day! Thank you so much for reading and commenting!

  • Peanutritious profile image

    Tara Carbery 

    7 years ago from Cheshire, UK

    Ha ha! Loved it! I think I may be related to Burgess Cobblepot! This gave me a much needed laugh. Thanks!

  • Man from Modesto profile image

    Man from Modesto 

    7 years ago from Kiev, Ukraine (formerly Modesto, California)

    So, just exactly where does Mittens the cat hold the pencils?

  • Faceless39 profile image

    Kate P 

    7 years ago from The North Woods, USA

    Using Mittens as a pen holder LOL! Burgess Cobblepot III is my hero (heroine?)

  • Jeannieinabottle profile image

    Jeannie InABottle 

    7 years ago from Baltimore, MD

    Oh, I am taking all of this advice. I am sure I will be a hit at work in no time... or maybe fired. Either way, it is going to be interesting! Thanks for the tips!!!

  • urmilashukla23 profile image

    Urmila 

    7 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

    Very funny! Thanks for sharing it. Congratulations on Hub of day award. Have a great day!

    Voted up!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @mbwalz LOL! Those are keywords that are SURE to get you an interview. Thanks for reading.

  • urmilashukla23 profile image

    Urmila 

    7 years ago from Rancho Cucamonga,CA, USA

    Very funny! This makes my day. Thank you for posting it. Voted up!

  • mbwalz profile image

    MaryBeth Walz 

    7 years ago from Maine

    That was great, especially the pictures! Question - as I work on my resume, should I include antisocial and taxidermy on it? Need every advantage I can get in this job market.

  • Tori Warren profile image

    Tori Warren 

    7 years ago from Escondido California

    So clever!! I love it!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @JeanBakula Thank you for reading. As Mr. Cobblepot always says, "If you can't join 'em, beat 'em."

  • Jean Bakula profile image

    Jean Bakula 

    7 years ago from New Jersey

    I loved this, as I always have a policy of not getting too involved with co-workers. It always backfires. If you have 2 glasses of wine at the Christmas party, eveyone is buzzing that you are an alcoholic. Being in close quarters, you know more about their problems and family than you ever wanted to know. And then when 2 of you are up for the same promotion, things go from bad to worse. I love Cobblepot! Thanks for the fun hub!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @MP50 Thank you!!!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @JBurgraff I love it! I think I might need to post a "Make Your Own Gary Coleman Mask" Hub.

  • J Burgraff profile image

    J Burgraff 

    7 years ago

    I have never been to a potluck where anyone brought other than the food that made their own hiney take up two airplane seats. Aagh...By the way, I'm putting the Gary Coleman photo on my locker.

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @GingerBell I am so glad it made you laugh, though I'm sorry it caused you muscle pain!

  • profile image

    MP50 

    7 years ago

    This is funny, thank you for SHARING voted up an SHARED.

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @bethperry Thank you! Do they make pen holders?

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @stephhicks68 Yes, the homemade, thoughtfully prepared sack lunch! That's a great one!

  • GingerBell profile image

    GingerBell 

    7 years ago

    LMAO this is funny. Thank you for making my muscles hurt from laughing!

  • bethperry profile image

    Beth Perry 

    7 years ago from Tennesee

    I know a couple of taxidermists who would so appreciate this Hub.

    Very funny, lol! Voted up.

  • stephhicks68 profile image

    Stephanie Hicks 

    7 years ago from Bend, Oregon

    The Gary Coleman comment is hilarious! Actually, the whole thing cracks me up, probably because I can so easily recognize the anti-social behavior of my own colleagues throughout. Don't forget the advice to eat other people's lunches from the company fridge. That is a real crowd pleaser!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @ThePracticalMommy Yes! A Gary Coleman email sensation is definitely in order!!! Thank you for reading.

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @EricNewland Thank you. I thought the vintage illustrations were pretty fun. As for Taxidermy ... well ... it sort of speaks for itself.

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @cluebbert Thank you!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @princesswithapen Thank you. I think your comparison to coffee might be the most awesome thing anyone has ever said about my writing! I'm glad you enjoyed it.

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @rikabothra Thank you very much! I'm glad you enjoyed the wise words of Burgess Cobblepot III.

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @fpherj48 Exactly. It's the yin and yang of workplace relations!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @raakachi Thank you! I'm glad you enjoyed it. Thanks for reading.

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @Juliek958 Yes!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @geetikaiyer Bart Simpson is wise beyond his years!!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @Tonipet I'm glad you enjoyed it! Thanks for reading.

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @KKiss I truly feel that "Always Be Avoiding" is a motto that is sweeping the nation and beyond. Thanks for reading!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    Thank you @Thelma!

  • ThePracticalMommy profile image

    Marissa 

    7 years ago from United States

    Hilarious! I couldn't stop laughing. I suddenly feel like attaching pictures of Gary Coleman and others in all of my emails... :D Congrats on your Hub of the Day!

  • Eric Newland profile image

    Eric Newland 

    7 years ago from Dayton, Ohio

    An awesome and well-deserved HotD. Can't go wrong with vintage illustrations. I don't think I've ever seen taxidermy in the workplace before. Maybe I'm working in the wrong place or I live too far north.

    Anyway, voted up and sharing. Well done!

  • cluebbert profile image

    cluebbert 

    7 years ago from Kansas City, MO

    Truly hilarious. Great way to start the morning

  • princesswithapen profile image

    princesswithapen 

    7 years ago

    This post is a nice blend of intelligence, sarcasm and humor, and brings a smile to the face. Just what a nice blend of coffee would do to you on a lazy Sunday morning. Congratulations for your hub being selected Hub of the Day. Nicely done!

    Princesswithapen

  • rikabothra profile image

    rikabothra 

    7 years ago

    I just could not stop myself from laughing out loud... what a wonderful hub... truly deserves to be picked as hub of the day!

  • fpherj48 profile image

    Paula 

    7 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

    alezafree....I have worked with many a "Burgess Cobblepot," devotee. In fact, I'm sure I've encountered Burgess himself, a time or two.

    Without the anti-social misfit, what on earth would keep everyone else laughing and hanging out together at the water cooler?

    Every work place should have at least one or two of these interesting and challenging individuals. Personally, I appreciate them. They annoy all the right people!!

  • raakachi profile image

    raakachi 

    7 years ago from Madurai / Tamilnadu / India

    Congrats for the accolade 'hub of the day'.very well written hub mixing with indirect-advice and humor. voted-interesting.

  • Juliek958 profile image

    Juliek958 

    7 years ago from Norman, Oklahoma

    Brilliant! I'm baking brownies tonight...lots and lots of brownies.

  • geetika iyer profile image

    geetika iyer 

    7 years ago from India

    Fantastic Hub! I will live by these tips from now and forever. Even though I have been trying to alienate people with my sarcasm for years, but it doesn't seem to be doing the job very well. I have more friends now than when I started.

    My personal tip:

    A tribute to Bart Simpson and his famous one liner...(we all know that one, right).

  • Tonipet profile image

    Tonette Fornillos 

    7 years ago from The City of Generals

    Really enjoyed reading this. Burgess Cobblepot must be the extraordinary among the extraordinary:-) Interesting, intriguing and funny. Thanks for this. Voted up across the board.

  • K Kiss profile image

    K Kiss 

    7 years ago from Newcastle upon Tyne, UK

    hahah that was a good one alezafree. I have watched the movie How to Lose Friends and Alienate People, don't know if there was a book first. I personally follow "Always Be Avoiding" to the dot and more actually. I am both a social and anti-social person. I hate all my co-workers because of their bitchy-ness and hence can't really make myself like them and lead a hypocrites life. So what if they don't like me, that's all I wanted in the first place for them to leave me be!!

    nice one voted up

  • Thelma Alberts profile image

    Thelma Alberts 

    7 years ago from Germany and Philippines

    Congratulation on the hub of the day! Thanks for sharing. Voted up and awesome.

  • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

    Patty Inglish MS 

    7 years ago from USA and Asgardia, the First Space Nation

    Absolutely adorable, like the Big Lots Exclamation Point and the kid who has her video game. Rated Up, Funny and Awesome!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @alissaroberts You should definitely throw in a random pic of an 80s sitcom star just to see if they're paying attention. :) Thanks for reading and commenting!

  • alissaroberts profile image

    Alissa Roberts 

    7 years ago from Normandy, TN

    You mean to tell me no one appreciated all the pics of my kids plastered on my business emails?! Too funny! Cobblepot's take on how to annoy your coworkers is spot on. I always got a good laugh when someone would accidentally hit reply all at the office. Enjoyed this one - voted up and funny!

  • alezafree profile imageAUTHOR

    A Freeman 

    7 years ago from Las Vegas, NV

    @SimoneSmith Mr. Cobblepot would be soooooooooo proud.

  • Simone Smith profile image

    Simone Haruko Smith 

    7 years ago from San Francisco

    Forget Miss Manners, I'm all for the wise teachings of Burgess Cobblepot III! I've GOT to get into taxidermy.

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