Office etiquette

As I mentioned recently, I now have an office at work. I was debating how much time I would spend there, instead of at home in my more convenient home office. I do have to show up occasionally at work, so in the last few days I have begun to personalize my work space. As a result, I have realized that I enjoy being at "the office". However, in this short amount of time, I have already noticed a few things about sharing an office space.

On talking:

  • Some chatter is OK, but when people are obviously trying to get work done, please stop talking at them.
  • When I am grading papers and things are not looking good, I get grumpy and complain and make other noises; grunts, sighs of despair, curses, and the like. I have to tone this down when surrounded by other people who might be trying to focus instead of listen to me complain.
  • It is not appropriate to start commiserating about the general laziness and poor concentration of your students when a third person is trying to counsel… a student. We do not need witnesses to our bad mouthing.
On food and drink:

  • Hey, I have no problem with people eating and drinking in the office. I do it too. But when random people from within the building come to use our microwave, disrupting our work and leaving behind the fragrance of whatever lunch they were warming up, it is annoying.
  • Please do not steal my coke. I have put my name on it, because it belongs to me. I might need that caffeine soon.
  • Would it be inappropriate to bring in some wine, to help get me through this pile of papers I am grading? I'll share, if you'd like…
On environment:

  • We have absolutely no control over the climate. It was 40 degrees today, and raining, and we had no heat. My fingers were like little blocks of ice by the time I finally gave up and left. Please don't look at me funny if I am sitting at my desk with my jacket and ski hat on.
  • Please be considerate when decorating your space. The posters on the wall are behind you; I am the one facing them all the time.
  • Ask if you want to play music. I usually don't mind, but some people do. Plus, just because country music helps you think, doesn't mean it does good things for my thought process- it is either depressing or makes me want to get up and line dance. And forget about trying to discuss technical protocols with my students- who barely talk above a whisper to begin with- if loud music is playing in the background.
One thing I have noticed is that somehow everyone else scored a computer. My next project- now that I have an office- is to get it equipped. I have sent an email out to determine the probabilities of rating a computer. Yes, I have my laptop, but it is the point. I shouldn't have to provide my own computer, should I?