Most of us have to do a job. Some of you, have to work in an office. After working in offices for many years I have some easy to follow guidelines to help you navigate the doldrums of office life.
How are you?
How are you is a question that in normal life can be answered in many ways. The only acceptable way to answer in an office setting is by responding with a comment about the day of the week. For Example:
John: How are you Susan?
Susan: Well, it's Monday.
END OF CONVERSATION.
Special note, keep special attention to tone. Monday should start out more sombre, and slowly as the week progresses you should be happier and happier. For example:
Susan: How are you John?
John: Tuesdays right?
Susan: How are you John?
John: Thank god it's Friday right?
In my experience, anything that is not mindless chatter is to be completed over email. It doesn't matter if that person is within an arms reach, you must ask all questions over email as to not disturb the noise levels of the entire office.
Now, you would think a building full of responsible adults would result in a calm and reasonable environment right? Well, you would be a damn fool. Offices are a savanna. You have some savage lions eating some extremely smelly food in some cubicles, you have some hyenas laughing loudly even though they know the email only rule, you have some infectious pests who spam everyone with their constant demands to sell chocolate bars for their larvae's school...An office is a wild ecosystem where courtesy goes to die.
My suggestion to you is be a rhino. They are big and quiet but they could take out Susan the next time she is caught stealing other peoples lunches. Bitch we know you didn't go to Red Lobster last night, why do you think you can eat my left overs?! But then after that, you settle into your space and people keep a weary distance. Except maybe a few of those little birds that watch your back and take care of you. But watch out Susan...
So that is really all you need to know to survive in an office. Maybe soon I will go into more detail about the different creatures that inhabit the savanna of office life. If you all would life that so you can subtly share it around your offices and be like, yeah, don't you hate those hyenas? and Susan will be all "you mean the ones who laugh loudly?" Nervously looking from side to side. And you'll be like, "Oh not you, I mean, you are loud sometimes but not often." And that is all it takes to destroy someone. A little seed of doubt blossoms into a garden of insecurity. Believe me I would know, I have an entire arboretum myself.