Work Place Ethics – Common Sense and Courtesy Aren’t So Common

I’ve noticed a lot of little things around the office lately that have been very grating on my nerves.  Nothing big, but, at the end of a long, stressful day, it all adds up.

So, I’ve come up with the following 8 Principles of Work Place Ethics:

  1. Never, ever, ever, ever, ever take the elevator up or down a single floor unless you have a physical ailment. Even up or down two floors is debatable. Seriously, there’s no reason you can’t hike up or down 20 stairs. Besides getting some much needed exercise, you’ll avoid the death stares of the people who don’t appreciate you interrupting and slowing their justifiable elevator trip.
  2. Replace the paper towel roll if you use the last sheet. This is so common sense that it shouldn’t need to be included on the list. Unfortunately, common sense and common courtesy simply aren’t common enough. Don’t be selfish. Throw out the empty roll, reach up into the cabinet, unwrap the next roll, and put the fresh paper towels out for the next person to use.
  3. Don’t pee all over the toilet seat. Everyone misses once in a while; nobody’s ever 100% at everything they do. Knowing this, if you get a little bit of moisture on the toilet seat, be courteous and wipe up after yourself. Actually, why are you peeing with the toilet seat down in the first place?!?
  4. If you drink the last cup of coffee, brew another pot. This, like the paper towel rule, falls under not-so-common common sense and common courtesy. It’ll take you just a minute or two to get everything situated, and the next person to go in to grab coffee will be very appreciative. As a side note: unless you have a legit medical reason, don’t drink decaf coffee. It’s nothing more than impotent swill.
  5. Never take up more than one parking space. I don’t care how nice your 7 series BMW is, or how fast your new Mustang can go. There’s plenty of space within your single parking space to provide a nice force field protecting your car from door dings. Just because you drive a nice car doesn’t mean you’re allotted more space than dudes like me who drive Dodge Neons.
  6. Step outside to take personal calls. If you have an office door, close it. Otherwise, for the rest of us working stiffs stuck in cubes, grab your cell, walk out the door and then proceed to talk about why your boyfriend broke up with you, or discuss the awful things you did last night when you had one too many Jager Bombs. Because most people have the need to scream into their phones (especially cell phones) in order to have intimate conversations, you should probably know that nobody else gives a crap about your stories. Please spare us.
  7. Stop shilling your kid’s cookies or school fundraising crap. When you push your kid’s fundraising junk you’re a jerk because you make the rest of us feel obligated to buy stuff so that we don’t look like the jerk. I’ve already got 18,000 boxes of thin mints in my freezer because I buy stuff from my family (a legitimate obligation). I’ve done my part, now leave me alone.
  8. The recycle bin and the trash can are two completely different things.  There’s no reason for you to throw your trash into the recycle bin, and there’s no reason your aluminum cans and plastic bottles should end up in the garbage.  I know many times the two bins are put right next to each other, but, seriously, it’s not that confusing!

Get everyone in the office onboard with these rules and you’ll find yourself in a much more happy, productive and efficient workplace. If you can’t get everyone onboard, then you have the easy targets to start rumors about at the water cooler.

What are your thoughts? Have any other rules you’d like listed? Let’s start a petition to get these rules internationally recognized.