Posts Tagged work

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)

True, that!


Leave a Comment

The Old Fashioned Way

This may be a warning to not overthink things.  Looks like something was deconstructed and re-engineered here.


Leave a Comment

Back to Basics: Being a Working Parent

Between work and home, sometimes it seems life is so busy that you just want to make sure your basics get done.  Ain’t no shame in it.  (And luckily for most of us, there is more than one way to be a good parent!)  Here are some tips to help you with the basics – the rest can go to heck:



A little planning goes a long way.  Most of us are just happy when everyone can agree to eat the same dinner.  (I now understand the old “this is not a restaurant”/ everyonesmom.) I made a failed attempt to have a full week of dinner menus planned for a while. (I don’t know what I was thinking).  If you can swing that or the Once a Month Cooking, then you’re all set.  A more reasonable compromise:  make a big/double dinner on Sundays so that you don’t have to cook after work on Mondays.  I heart not cooking on Mondays.
            *I made this one last weekend and it was a hit



Tony Little or Tony Robbins or whoever says to model successful behavior, so I asked the only working mom I know who totally seems to have her act together.  She said she got a cleaning lady and got her weekends back. 

*She also has two kids that sleep 7pm-7am (I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP) every day.  She also made her own organic baby food and only gives her kids organic vegetarian food now.  Did I mention that she’s intelligent and beautiful too?  Let’s all take a moment to hate her…

…ok.  The key takeaway here is that you don’t need to be rich and famous to have someone come over every couple of weeks to help you clean.  It’s really not that expensive and the payoff for your family life is huge.



If you pick out your clothes the night before and have them ready for the next day, you’ll save valuable morning time.  Also, I keep reading about how it’s a good idea to have a “launch pad” near the front door where each family member has their own spot/cubby/whatever to keep their things that need to go with them to school/daycare/work the next morning.  Most of us don’t have the wherewithal in the mornings to remember all the hats, sunglasses, mittens, bags, permissions slips, letters to be mailed, books…

Want more tips?  Here you go

Bonus:  Some Back to School Tips from the best tip sites I know of:
Tips from
Tips from

Leave a Comment

The Top 7 Things I like About Meetings


  1. Meetings are a fantastic communication mechanism.  You don’t have to wait for a reply via email; you can get your answer in REALTIME.
  2. Without meetings, there would be no super office meeting cartoons.
  3. Moving Forwards – things we’re going to do Moving Forward (read: stop doing that shit from now on.)
  4. Snacks!
  5. The word “volentold”.  (Well, I like a good portmanteau, in general.) Your risk of being voluntold to do a task increases drastically if you are as absent from the meeting
  6. Charts and Graphs – they look Professional (like you Know What You’re Talking About and can back it up with Data). Plus, sometimes it’s helpful to illustrate your point with a visual aid.  There are several helpful charts here and here.
    1. The Venn diagram is my favourite (What kind of dork has a favourite type of diagram???  I DO!!) 
  7. Business buzzwords re-establish your synergy.

Until we meet again. (har)*

*Yes, I laugh at my own jokes.  Don’t judge me.

Comments (1)