Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Workplace Manners

I have no internal filter. Or, I have one, it's just not very good, and the manufacturer's warranty ran out a long time ago. I have a hard time not saying what I am thinking, no matter where I am, or how inappropriate it may be. I like to think that it is one of my quirky, and charming qualities that makes me all the more lovable, though many have assured me that is not the case. And now, according to MSN, it just could cost me my job.

When I first clicked on the "13 things not to say in the workplace" I figured I would know exactly what it would say. After all, I learned my lesson about calling someone a "fucking idiot" years ago. But this article basically described conversations I have every day. No, some of them are not conversations I would choose to have if I had a choice, but they are conversations I have anyway.

For instance, number 2. Medical History. There is really no way I can't discuss this with certain co-workers right now. At least four days a month I have to go get ultrasounds, and, of course, those ultrasounds can only be done right in the middle of my shift. I thought about telling them I was going on drug runs, but then decided honesty was probably the best policy. I also decided I didn't want to be ashamed about my fertility issues. Am I discussing cervical mucus with them? No. Am I telling them where I am in case they need me? Hell yes. Of course, now I wonder if they are keeping secret records to send to HR. If they are maybe I could get them to chart my basal temperature too...

How about number 4? Work complaints? Sometimes I think that if my co-workers and I didn't exchange complaints we wouldn't talk at all. Does that mean we hate our jobs, and are trying to take the company down from within? Absolutely not! It means there are things we don't like, that most of the time we are trying to fix. Yes, there are some complaints that are made over and over again, but most of the time those fall away like so much noise. Honestly, I think that if we were all happy, all the time, nothing would ever get better. So, petty bitching may, in fact, be the start of all great things.

The worst though, in my opinion, is number nine. Don't talk about blogs or social networks. I would have to give up half my readership! And where am I going to make that up? And really, if I have things on my blog or my Facebook, or my Twitter that could get me fired, I should probably rethink why they are there in the first place. Because no matter how insulated anyone thinks they are on the Internet, there is always someone who can find them, and rat them out.

I understand how important it is to have a work/life boundary. I do. Once I am home from work I am home, and I rarely, if ever, see people from the office outside of the office. However, that doesn't mean that I am going to turn off my life when I go into the office, and I would hate it if anyone else did as well. If we didn't talk about our kids, or our weekends, or our families, or our passions, all we would talk about was work. And what an awful reality that would be.

See, I knew my lack of internal filter was charming...


The Great Fox Hating Potentate said...

You said fucking! You live in Utah and you said fucking! My brain just exploded. Big Love lied to me. Sniff

I constantly live in fear that my boss will find my blog and call me in for an awkward conversation. And then I remember; I live in Alberta, if I get fired it's just a story to write about and there are 9 other jobs across the street.