Posts Tagged lists

Office Characters, Cubicles + The Top 5 Ways to Annoy Your Coworkers With Words

Some things are universal in offices.  Every office I’ve worked in has, at its core, the same “characters”.  This is why the characters in the TV show The Office or the movie Office Space feel so familiar.  Office Characters are ubiquitous*.  So are Annoying Coworkers.  Here are a few examples:

  • Those who forward you all kinds of junky email
  • Those who won’t shut up about their kids (guilty!)
  • Those who cook stinky food in the microwave (fish, burnt popcorn, I’m looking at you!)
  • For 50/% of you – those who email about the kitchen messes
  • For the other 50% of you – those that make the messes in the first place

(See here  for more office facts.)   


In the Old Days, office workers had offices; but as more and more office workers needed a pc and desk, the Cubicle Farm was born. 
here for the fascinating History of the Cubicle. 

I know you didn’t sign up to have roommates as an adult, but this is pretty close.  (Actually, you probably didn’t even spend 8 hours a day with your roommates when you had them.)  Here is a handy guide for surviving cubicle life, in terms of the 5 senses.  (Ok, there are more than just 5, but humour me, ok?):   

Click to embiggen.

click to embiggen

*If you find yourself fantasizing about non-cubicle jobs, think again.

More on Cubicles:


Bonus:  The Top 5 Ways to Annoy Your Coworkers with Words:

  1. Make up words – “irregardless!”
  2. Use too many buzzwords – “synergy!” “paradigm shift!”
  3. Gratuitously use the same word – “Ok” “Like” “Know what I mean?”
    Use acronyms not everybody knows
    – “Yes, Tom.  I’d love to hear how you’re planning to reach your S.M.A.R.T. goals.
  4. Nitpick others’ words –  If you have ever corrected someone and insisted that the true Canadian pronounciation of ‘schedule’ is with a ‘sh’ sound, then this is you.  Extra points:  You point out the redundancy in words like PIN number and SIN number (I lose a year off my life every time I hear someone bring that up).
  5. *Use overly complex words when a simple, monosyllabic word will do. 


Super Extra Bonus:  List of things to keep at your desk:

  • Mirror – to make sure your lunch of spinach salad with poppy seed dressing is not apparent
  • Tide to go
  • Baby wipes – lots of uses.  Never stop buying them
  • Glasses cleaner
  • Kleenex
  • Band-aids
  • Tylenol/Advil
  • Cough drops
  • Toothbrush
  • Dental floss
  • Mouth wash
  • Anti-static spray
  • Lint brush/roller – nice kitty, messy kitty!
  • Hand lotion
  • Toothbrush
  • Nail file
  • Comb
  • Contact lens solution
  • Safety pins
  • Umbrella
  • Hosiery/Trouser Socks
  • Soup – in case you forget your lunch and/or it’s too cold to go out anywhere
  • Straws
  • Napkins
  • Takeout menus – if you’re really organized, put them in a binder
  • Book/magazine 


Comments (2)

Coffee Culture

For some reason I get annoyed when restaurant staff tack “today” on the end of their questions. “Would you like chocolate sauce on your sundae today?” or “Would you like to supersize that today?” seems to imply that I go there every day. I don’t go anywhere every day – that’s ludicrous!

EXCEPT I do go to Tim Horton’s every day. Once you have a Timmy’s (Or Fivebucks for you brew-geoisie) routine, you can’t just stop on a dime. You have to stop at Timmy’s Every. Single. Time. (Poet. Know it. Check.) In fact, my son thinks we’re supposed to go every time he gets in the car because we almost always do. We even gave one of his Valentines to the drive through lady we see every day. Timmy’s is so ingrained in us that even non-coffee-drinkers have their “regular” order they get from Timmy’s. Keep this in a list on your pda/phone/mobile device so you’re always prepared to be the Nice Guy who picks up coffee for people you visit.

More on Tim Horton’s:

  • Here’s an application for your iPhone – a Tim Horton’s locator
  • If you find rolling up the rim to be a hardship, never fear. You can use this to help you out.
  • Tim Horton’s nutrition guide. This is not for the faint of heart! I was gravely disappointed that my usual coffee was 4 WeightWatchers POINTS! Darn you 18% cream, darn you!


I like my coffee how I like my men…
I could come up with NOTHING appropriate to follow this statement.



Coffee and the Geek
Who else but a geek would come up with this?

Geeks have always been into caffeine in the form of Mountain Dew (the US recipe has caffeine), Jolt, coffee etc. Thinkgeek even has a whole section called “caffeine“. At the Service Desk, someone’s last name on our team means “coffee”. I’ll give $20 Tim’s card to whoever figures that out first.


Random Musing #1
Is French Vanilla cappuccino (et al.) a gateway coffee? I’m leaning toward “yes”. It’s how I started drinking coffee years ago. My husband would never drink coffee with me. Just cappuccino. Then he started working in an office with some strange ritual to determine who buys coffee that day. And now he drinks coffee. Conclusion: my husband is stubborn.

Eventually, you work your way up to black coffee by the time you’re advanced in age. (“Cream and sugar? Oh, we don’t touch that stuff!”) And you drink it with lunch.


Random Musing #2
“Contrary to what we’ve all learned in the past, espresso is not the style of coffee that has the most caffeine. In fact, the longer a bean is roasted, the less caffeine content it has – the caffeine is cooked off while the bean roasts. If you want a big caffeine buzz, lighter (or milder) roasts will give you that kick, while the darker roasts, though more complex and flavourful, have a lower caffeine content. Espresso, being the darkest roast, also has the lowest amount of caffeine.”
Cite: Kelly @ the Service Desk, 2009

For some more facts on coffee, here’s the obligatory Wikipedia article.


Coffee Cleverness

  • I’ve heard you can richen your beef gravy with coffee.
  • Chocolate cake in a coffee mug!
  • Smelling too many fragrances confuses your olfactory area and coffee can help “neutralize your nose
  • I thought this was my own clever idea. Nope! Real Simple suggests you use a martini shaker to mix iced coffee.
  • If you break the wine cork into the bottle, you can use a coffee filter to strain it.
  • This lid changes colour with heat so you know if it’s too hot to drink yet.
  • Here’s a USB hub that has a clock AND a cup warmer!
  • Here’s a coffee link for the foodies.

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About the Lists

I think the reason I like making lists so much is because it “clears the cache”, so to speak.  Your head is much lighter without carrying all that unnecessary detail around.  (Save your “airhead” jokes!) You can look at the list later and see if you can make it actionable.

Sure, there are the standard “To Do” or “To Get” lists, but you can really make use of lists for:    

  • Contact information – you never know when you’ll need an address or phone number
  • Coffee preferences of people you know
  • Gift ideas/links
  • Sizes of clothing/batteries/vacuum bags/light bulbs and other household stuff
  • Groceries – order it according to the sections of the store (produce, dairy etc.)

(Hmm…this is a bit self-referential, isn’t it – a list about lists?)    

Again, I thought I came up with most of these ideas and then read these.  *sigh*  Some of these lists are fine kept on a piece of paper in your wallet, on a whiteboard on the fridge, on your PDA/cell phone, or in your Internet mail.  


Let’s talk about good old Notepad  

I realize that Notepad isn’t very new or elegant, but it opens really quickly and certainly serves its purpose – to make notes – duh (Did I just write that?)  

I always have a Notepad document open in case I need to paste a link, a list or chunk of text into an email or Proper Document (like Word) later.  

You can use it kind of like a visual clipboard.  (I have always eschewed Word’s clipboard for multiple items because I like to see what I have on my clipboard in a clear way.)  Also, when you paste something into Notepad, it clears the formatting.  Now when you copy the text and paste it somewhere else, it will take on your default font size/style and match the rest of your document.  

I’m only slightly ashamed to admit that my son’s baby book was originally in Notepad.  I knew that I would be too much of a perfectionist to just write his milestones messily, in pen or pencil, in his baby book whenever inspiration hit.  So, instead, I wrote the date and whatever cute/funny/disgusting happened in his Notepad file.* After his first birthday, I copied all the important stuff into his baby book.  Now it’s all in the same colour of ink throughout the whole book and I haven’t got anything scratched out.  I also tucked a printout of the original Notepad file in there too.  How do you like me now?   

*I just learned that if you hit F5 in Notepad, it inserts the date and time.  It’s right there in the Help, too.  Why have I never seen this before?  This would have certainly come in handy in my BabyBook.txt.    

Or if you’re the busybody who likes to record other people’s coffee breaks, you can use Notepad as a diary.

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