On the Job – No Blubbering Allowed

Posted: 07/17/2011 in Workplace Behavior
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Okay, we are all human and have emotions. Well, most of us, anyway. But that doesn’t mean we should just emote all over the place when we’re at work. It’s distracting, uncomfortable and can undermine your professional mojo – especially, dare I say it, if you’re a woman. That glass ceiling is slippery when wet (from tears, of course. What did you think I meant??).

So here are a few workplace drama don’ts:

  • Try to avoid crying at work. Yes, it happens. I’ve had a couple of  sobbing sessions in the ladies’ room in my past work life myself. But unless you come to work and discover one of your favorite co-workers is dead, it’s generally considered unprofessional to bawl in the office. If you feel yourself losing it, excuse yourself as quickly as possible and go cry in private. Or you can try clearing your throat, which I’ve heard stems the flow (haven’t yet tried that one).
  • Don’t blow up. I’m not talking about spontaneous human combustion. Not that I would advise catching on fire at work, either. Or anywhere else, for that matter. But I digress…. Yelling or throwing a chair at your colleague’s head is not okay. I grew up with a time bomb, otherwise known as my sister, that went off at unexpected moments. It was quite unnerving and stressful, and you don’t want to be the trigger for your co-workers’ traumatic childhood memories.
  • Rein in the crazy. Being a bit eccentric or odd can make a workplace more interesting, up to a point. However, you don’t want to be known as the office wacko. If your workplace is casual and welcomes creativity, wearing a Three Stooges tie is probably okay. Wearing it around your waist instead of pants is not.
  • Don’t overdo the touchy-feely. Some offices are more okay than others about expressing affection to co-workers, but the whole sexual harassment thing warrants some caution. Even if you don’t think a hug will be misinterpreted, your co-worker might still prefer you keep your distance. Especially if you have tuna-breath.
  • Keep your passionate political and religious opinions to yourself. Don’t share your agitation at work that your hero, George Bush, couldn’t serve a third term, or that God spoke to you when you got up to pee at 2 a.m. and told you to stock up on freeze-dried beef patties to prepare for the apocalypse.
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