In a struggle to be happy and free

Drystone Wall

Workplace recollections

Things I learned from my workplace neighbours:

  • Don’t use a squeaky grip exerciser in the office. Nearby coworkers will hear it and be annoyed.
  • Carefully consider your lunch choices if they’re strongly scented. Nearby coworkers will notice if you use the microwave oven to reheat a lunch that smells like burnt garbage or a tire fire.
  • Don’t trim your fingernails in the office. Nearby coworkers will hear and be annoyed.
  • Don’t spout off about how lotteries are a tax on the stupid, and then rush to join the office lottery pool because you don’t want to be left out if the pool members happen to strike it rich. Your coworkers will notice that you’re a hypocrite, and that you’ve got a big mouth.
  • Don’t create a ringtone of your very young child speaking a foreign tongue and keep your cellphone at maximum volume. Nearby coworkers will notice when you receive a call and believe you’ve summoned a tiny demon. Again.
  • Don’t trim your toenails in the office. Nearby coworkers will hear and be revolted.
  • Don’t take off your shoes if your feet smell like a wet dog. Nearby coworkers will smell it and be annoyed. They’ll wonder why you don’t wash your feet. Why don’t you wash your feet‽
  • If you’re caught airing out your dog feet once, simply don’t do it again. Don’t tell your co-worker to tell you if your feet bothers him/her again. Keep your shoes on. Why would you risk subjecting your pleasant co-workers to your weapons-grade feet?
  • Don’t chew your lunch with your mouth open. Nearby coworkers will suddenly find themselves not very hungry.
  • Don’t take it a step further and talk to them while chewing. They may throw up on you if they can’t get away quickly enough.
  • Don’t change in your cubicle. If you ignore this advice, your bad karma will certainly have your neighbour pass by just as you’re stripped down to your underwear. Your neighbour will then be forever traumatized by this unwelcome and unpleasant image. Don’t feel relief that only one person saw you, as everyone else in the office will hear about it before lunch.
  • It’s fine if you never talk to your coworkers, but then don’t blow up at them months later because they don’t talk to you.
  • Mute your cellphone. This is doubly important if you text frequently with your spouse. Ignore this advice and nearby coworkers will fight over the privilege of shanking you the next time you visit the washroom.
  • Don’t wear sandals over your socks. If you do, your coworkers will notice and wonder why you don’t know how to dress yourself.
  • Please have more than one shirt, and make sure all your shirts aren’t identical. If you only have one shirt, your coworkers will notice and think you’re gross. If all your shirts are the same, you coworkers will believe you have only one shirt and think you’re gross.
  • Don’t spit in the kitchen sink at work. Your coworkers will notice and wonder what’s wrong with you.
  • If you bring canned drinks to work and forget to put them in the refrigerator when you arrive, don’t put one in the freezer to get it cold quickly when you find yourself suddenly thirsty. You’ll forget, it’ll burst, and when you go to get it, five people will be gathered around the freezer griping about the jerk who left his drink in the freezer. You coworkers will notice you standing there and you’ll be forced to agree with them and leave without your drink.
  • Don’t talk to your invisible friends in the office. Nearby coworkers will hear you and realize you’ve got toys in the attic.
  • Don’t forget your condom wrapper in the mop closet. Your coworkers will notice and…isn’t that enough?

I’ve witnessed these events in all but one case. In that instance, I was the offender.

Do you have any lessons you’ve learned? Let me know in the comments!


Thought dictators? Hardly.




  1. Debbie

    Thank for the laugh! Some of these are very familiar.

  2. Don Douglas

    I would add to that list, but sadly I was witness to most of it!

    • Rick

      I knew you’d recognize a lot of it. If anything I’ve missed comes to mind, please do add a comment. I should have called it “Tales from the Loony Bin.”

  3. Jason Menchenton

    What about “Don’t get caught hugging co-worker by other co-workers”? We should have hugged in private.

  4. Jason Menchenton

    Don’t let shirtless boss massage you.

  5. Jessica

    Don’t steal a pregnant woman’s cheese from the communal fridge. Twice. 

    Don’t let your spouse or kids think that it’s OK to call you repeatedly and incessantly at the office, until your nearby co-worker gets so fed up that she goes into your cubicle and answers your phone just to tell them that you are not actually ignoring them, but that you are in fact NOT AT YOUR DESK!

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