So cubicles are everywhere now. They just make sense. Why put up a million walls, when all we really need is a desk? I get it. But here’s the thing: the person in the cubicle next to you… yeah, they can hear you. And smell you. And sometimes, see you. So straighten up, and stop being an asshole.
Here are some simple rules to help you get it right.
Rule 1: Shut. The Fuck. Up.
Don’t shout conversations across cubes.
Don’t talk on your speakerphone. Ever.
Turn your Air-Raid Siren cell phone ringer off. Put it on vibrate, put it in your pocket, and don’t answer it at your fucking desk.
Don’t have meetings in your cube. Or in the corridors. Get a conference room, that’s what they’re for.
Stop shouting. Everyone can hear you. And when you’re on the phone, the person on the other end of the line has a volume control. Also, they can fucking hear you too, because you’re fucking shouting.
Rule 2: Don’t Stink up the place.
Look, we all have to work here. We’re in this together.
So when you heat up last night’s halibut with vinegar and garlic sauce in the microwave and then loudly slurp it down at your desk, it makes us all want you to die. Leave the pungent cheeses, garlic, aromatic fishes — and whatever THAT is that you’re eating right now — at home. Or go out to lunch. Or just go out. Often. Please.
Rule 3: You are not at home
Your desk is NOT your house. No one wants to hear about your colon test, your arguments with your crazy mom, or how your kid is selling crack to your other kid. Take your personal shit out to the lobby. Oh, feel self conscious out there? Go home. Even better.
Don’t take off your shoes. No one wants to see the disgusting feet that you NEVER walk on. You sit there all day, dripping sweat into your orthopedic shoes, and guess what, it’s gross. So leave them on.
That’s basically it. It’s not an entirely difficult process to act like you’re in public when you’re at work. Practice a tiny bit of cubicle etiquette, and people are way less likely to punch you in the brain.