Kitchen Slobs, Loud Phones… Handling Rude People at Work

Isn’t it time to bring back office courtesy?

Office Courtesy

Office courtesy is a topic that’s near and dear to every admin’s heart.

From food molding in the lunchroom fridge to the annoying ringtone of a co-worker’s cell phone, who wouldn’t like to say good-bye to rude behavior in the office?

Personal accounts

We’ve asked admins across the country to tell us about a rude situation they’ve had to deal with.

Most importantly: We wanted to hear how they handled the problem.

Here are their personal accounts along with their solutions.

To maintain harmony in the office, we’re keeping their names and locations confidential!

‘You microwaved what?’

An admin in the Midwest tells this story:

The worst case of rudeness I can remember is when I caught someone putting slippers with foot warmers in the company microwave.

I asked her how she could do this knowing everyone’s lunches and coffee mugs were also being heated up in there.

She said it was completely sanitary because her mother said so!

Solution: I eventually told the boss about this, and he was appalled.  He made her stop doing it.

She was really irritated with me.  When she finally left the company, we decided to replace the microwave!

‘She was chomping and slurping’

From an admin on the East Coast:

A co-worker I supervise would always bring food or drink into the meetings we’d have together.

It drove me crazy trying to talk to her while she was chomping away or slurping a drink

Solution: Even though I’m not a confrontational person, I decided to be direct.

I told her, “I find it very distracting that you’re eating and drinking when we meet.  Could you please not bring anything to our meetings other than paper and a pen?”

She listened, and there were no hard feelings, problem solved.  I had no idea it would be so easy!

Turn off your cell phones!

An admin in the Northeast says:

At our monthly management meetings, I’m responsible for creating the agenda, putting together various reports and taking minutes.

Some attendees were leaving their cell phones on during the meetings.  The frequent ringing, beeping and other noises were very disruptive.

Solution: When I send out meeting invitations each month, I now include a sentence stating all cell phones must be turned off in the meeting – or if it’s an emergency, have the phone on vibrate and take the call outside the meeting room.

The majority of attendees have cooperated, and our meetings have far fewer disruptions.

Clear out the fridge

From an admin in the Midwest:

Some staffers bring in large bowls of food that they eat from all week – and they keep them in the fridge.  One person placed a 24-pack of colas in there!

With 60 people in the building, there’s no room for this.

Solution: Still working on it.  We’ve emailed the staff asking them to clear their stuff out, and we’re now considering asking a department to take on this task.

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