Workplace etiquette for baby boomers

Every now and then there are rumblings about how young folk in the workplace don’t know how to behave, and need the wisdom of baby boomers to survive professionally.

It’s a cliche, of course, but Team No Award, plus our fellow millennials Ash, Zoe and Weaves (the latter two being Fatberg Inc) had our own thoughts on the matter.  Here are our tips for baby boomers — all, alas, taken from real life.

  • no one cares that you’ve accrued enough superannuation to retire
  • 50 Shades of Grey is not the kind of material you should be passing around the office
  • put your damn phone on silent
  • you don’t need to make a remark every time someone has Asian food for lunch
  • vegans: they exist … and they might be sitting at the desk next to you
  • renters: they exist … and they might be sitting at the desk next to you
  • gay people: they exist … and they might be sitting at the desk next to you
  • Asians: they … oh, come on, how did you miss that?
  • the appropriate term is “transgender”.
  • no one cares about your investment properties
  • but have you considered multitasking?
  • keep your hands to yourself
  • an Excel spreadsheet is not a good place to put your 10,000 word verbose descriptions of things.
  • playing opera loudly is just as annoying as playing any other kind of music loudly. Even if you’re the boss.
  • turn your goddamn mobile phone down or off, Jesus Christ.  Your phone doesn’t need the typing sound. Truly, it doesn’t.
  • nobody has sympathy for your difficulty in pressing buttons on the printer. nobody.
  • “No, I’m not looking at buying real estate any time soon, thanks” is not an invitation to lecturing on the merits of owning real estate.
  • – qualifications in medicine, law, or literally any other thing do not make a young person able to fix your phone/computer/television based on your description over the phone.
  • your helplessness in the face of clear instructions regarding something technological is not cute and in fact is not even acceptable workplace behaviour
  • it is appropriate to attempt to gauge interest in such subjects as the state of your rosebushes and then modify the amount of time you spend talking about them according to your audience.
  • nobody cares about the state of your colon.
  • stop asking people if they’re planning to get pregnant
  • or married
  • especially if the people you’re speaking to might be anything other than heterosexual
  • try not to use the phrase ‘Not Like Us’ unless you’re prepared to see some eyebrows rise
  • the appropriate response to the attempted suicide of a colleague’s teenaged son is almost anything other than “Kids just don’t seem to have sticking power these days, do they?”
  • stop touching me
  • the printers are not in fact conspiring against you personally.  (Being printers, they conspire against all humans.)
  • having time to binge watch TV on the weekend isn’t a sign of a lack of commitment
  • having interests outside of work, period, is not a sign of a lack of committment
    dedicating 60+ hours a week doesn’t actually make you the most amazing person ever
  • no one is impressed that you eat two meals a day at your desk
  • in fact no one is impressed by your denial of joy, happiness, or excitement, period.
  • yes, you got me.  I totally made up those food intolerances for attention.  Yup.
  • yes.  I am racist against white people…
  • …and sexist against men.  Those are totally things.
  • stop touching me
  • no, I will not share the story behind my tattoo
  • yes, we really do want to be remunerated for our work.  Shocking, I know.
  • that check-out chick you were whinging about probably has a law degree
  • yes, I am motivated by money.  That HECS debt’s not gonna pay itself off, you know.
  • take a tip from the digitally literate: don’t use your work email, which everyone can see, to communicate with recruiters.
  • when sending co-workers porn, keep in mind that your work emails will be reviewed when your company either sues someone or is sued by someone
  • 17:27 is a terrible time to call a secretary in to revise a letter
  • “Can you just…” at 17.27 pm is FUN FOR NOBODY
  • people who don’t have kids or spouses are not inherently less deserving when it comes to picking holiday dates or going home on time
  • the average price of a house now is about fifty years of our life, so it’s great that you paid your mortgage off by working a second job in the 60s, but that shit doesn’t fly any more
  • groceries for a week = half my rent. please ask me again why I don’t own my own house
  • yes, I’m 30 and not married, just like I was last week and the week before, but PLEASE stop trying to set me up with your son, I’m actually quite happy the way I am

Suffice to say, we’ve all been in the workforce for a long time, and have maybe accumulated a tiny bit of resentment.  Just, you know, a bit.

3 thoughts on “Workplace etiquette for baby boomers

  1. Heidi

    OMG some of these.

    A lot just make me feel so lucky in my co-workers: others remind me how lucky I am, in general. But some of these, OMG.

    So Much Yes to the tech- related ones.

  2. Pingback: Down Under Feminists Carnival No. 77 | Blog on the Landscape

Comments are closed.