Monday, February 09, 2009

Things That Should Not Happen in the Workplace.

In general, I am anti-touching when it comes to the office. No matter how friendly I have become with my boss, I still think that hugging him or her, even in a final goodbye, is a little weird. I realize this is extreme. There's nothing wrong with hugging someone goodbye. It's just that I would prefer that the universes of work and touching intersect as little as possible.

Someone recently told me that one of his coworkers tried to give him a pound before a meeting, one that he reluctantly returned, only because he wasn't sure what else to do.

First of all, I think it's hilarious when guys try to interact in a specifically guy way in an office setting. It drives me nuts when I see guys drop "man," "bud" or "bro" to each other at work, while refraining from using such expressions around women. So, for example, "Hey, Christina, when do you think that project will be finished? OK, thanks!" becomes, "Hey, man. How's it going? Cool, cool. When you do you think you'll have that project? Alright, thanks, dude."

Why do guys do this? After all, women don't walk around going, "Hey sistah, how's that report coming along?" or "Could you forward me that e-mail? Thanks, girlfriend." Maybe we should start!

Here is a list of things that I would prefer not to see in a work context:

- High-fives

- Fist-bumps

- Winking

- Patting someone on the head

- Hip-bumps

- Bumps of any kind

- Exceeding the capacity of any given seating, i.e. sharing a chair in a meeting

- Resting any part of your body on my chair as you are talking to me

- Coming any closer than eight inches away while leaning over me to look at something on my screen

That's all I can think of right now. Anything else?

Music: "I Have the Touch"


  1. This is the perfect example of an uncomfortable moment.

    I am uncomfortable with all extraneous human contact, not just office-bound, even though I don't actually dislike it or oppose it. It just makes me feel awkward. This includes:

    -Hugging a female acquaintance hello/goodbye with the possibility of an awkward cheek kiss thrown in

    -Fist bumping/hand slapping with basketball buds -- I mostly dread this because my expertise in manly hand slaps ends around 1988. There's always new shit to know, and I don't know it.

    As for work, I am with you on all the examples. Let's throw in office massage, which for some inexplicable reason has flourished at my previous job and my current one.

  2. Anonymous10:48 AM

    I think the song accompaniment to this posting should be Mariah Carey's "Touch my Body." The R. Kelly remix version. It'd be really ironic. Yeah.

  3. Ew, office massage!

    Mariah Carey -- good one! It's possible I am being mocked here but that's OK.

  4. Anonymous6:47 PM

    I have some clients who always kiss me on the cheek, which leads my boss to say, "no tongue for me" or "what's wrong with me?" He does it every time, which is really annoying.

    My boss takes not touching in work to a whole other level. He finds excuses not to ride elevators (especially at hotels) with colleagues. He says he doesn't want to give the wrong impression.

  5. Whoa. It's too bad your boss inadvertently reveals what he is trying to tamp down in his consciousness.

  6. Anonymous9:29 PM

    Today, I was the inappropriate toucher! A colleague asked me to review something on her screen, and as I leaned over her to read, I realized I had my hand on her shoulder. I apologized, but I felt very foolish.

  7. She is probably less uptight than I am and found it endearing.


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