Noticing Neglect: Recognizing the impact of bad manners in an office

by epi on October 25, 2012

Q: I am taking my first writing class at night school, and my last paper is on argument and persuasion.  Since I work in an office all day, I thought I would write about how bad manners and poor etiquette have invaded the workplace.  I am talking about the small stuff that becomes annoying day after day, like talking on cellphones in the break room, not cleaning out the fridge or microwave, and failing to put new paper in the printer.  Maybe I expect too much of my co-workers, but I can’t believe I am the only one who thinks bad manners in the office are back!

A: The biggest change I notice lately is that people are finally demanding that something be done about the rudeness and inconsideration that’s prevalent in the workplace.  Employees want a pleasant work environment, and they’re even willing to leave their jobs if the environment is unpleasant.  Replacing a worker for such a totally preventable reason is simply an unacceptable cost for businesses today.  A much easier solution is to foster a pleasant, positive, responsible atmosphere.  To do this, management needs to lead by example, while also making it clear that they expect this example to be followed throughout the organization.  Every worker can begin by being responsible for his or her own actions, including cleaning up any mess in the kitchen, replenishing the copier paper, and refraining from personal grooming at their desks.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Joanna October 25, 2012 at 9:24 am

I’ve worked in a variety of offices over the past decade or so, and in my experience, there are many people who think they’re “too important” to do things like replace toner or paper in a copier or fax. This may be annoying, but still work out if there’s a secretary. In my current area, there isn’t one. So, because I’m in my early thirties and the youngest on the floor, everyone says, “Oh, the printer’s out of toner!” and looks at me to work my magic like maybe it’s my special job to take care of it. (It’s not.)

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Mariette's Back to Basics October 25, 2012 at 10:36 pm

In general moral and ethic values have declined; being it in the workplace or elsewhere. Actions often show a morally bankrupt falling off the economical Niagara Falls. Everyone is waiting for somebody else to fix problems. Egocentric generation and placing themselves higher than others. Management has to set standards for this. It will not only show in the workplace but it does affect customers as well. Guidance is needed and if we are not willing to go that way, we will face a morally bankrupt falling off he economical Niagara Falls!
Let’s hope our nation will get its act back together after many years of decline; we have to, or else it will be too late.
And the immature game of finger pointing and looking at others for correcting ones shortcomings should become the past.
Good luck!

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