What not to do in a cubicle if you value your job

A cartoon protest to the mere existence of work cubicle farms.

Since cubicles won’t go, learn what not to do at your cubicle so that you don’t go – on unemployment and into debt. (Photo Credit: CC BY/Johnny Goldstein/Flickr)

If you are an office worker, you may be spending most of your waking life inside those sardine cans of woe known as cubicles. If you’re stuck in a cubicle can and depend upon the income you receive for stewing in corporate preservative juices, conduct yourself like a good little fish and display admirable workplace behavior. Here are some not-so-obvious tips for what not to do at your cubicle (because sexual activity, illicit drug abuse and criminal faux pas are obvious to eagle-eyed employers). Avoid these things because you fear unemployment and drowning in debt.

What not to do in a cubicle tip No. 1 – Grooming

Groom yourself for a better job – but don’t groom yourself the way you would in the privacy of your personal bathroom. Filing or clipping nails, tweezing eyebrows, painting toes, flossing teeth and performing chemical peels are all completely unacceptable activities in a professional setting. Soul crushing, on the other hand, is appropriate.

What not to do in a cubicle tip No. 2 – Undressing

Unless you’re a stripper, disrobing is discouraged in the workplace. This is particularly true when it comes to feet. Kick off your shoes at home. At work, the potential hazard bare or stocking feet pose to others is palpable. If they can smell you, they can track you and make you a skewered pig.

What not to do in a cubicle tip No. 3 – Shopping on their time

Some workplaces are more liberal with this policy than others, but all workplaces expect that when you’re on their time, you’re doing something business productive. Participating in online auctions and shopping probably violates directives in your company’s employee handbook.

What not to do in a cubicle tip No. 4 – Pursuing dates

Do not under any circumstances visit online dating sites and related social media sites that revolve around whether someone thinks you or someone else is hot or not. These matters can wait until you’re very alone with your computer and the blinds are closed. Then, pose for all the smartphone mirror shots you like. Similarly, public displays of affection in the workplace are best avoided, too. Questions of power relationships and even sexual harassment can arise, depending upon the circumstances.

What not to do in a cubicle tip No. 5 – All kibbutzing loud and soft

People are trying to get work done, so please, refrain from any loud noises. It’s simply too disruptive and can easily be traced back to you. On the flip side, spending time whispering to work-makes creates a gossipy atmosphere of secrecy that breeds distrust.

What not to do in a cubicle tip No. 6 – Infinite sadness

Your soul has been stolen by slave-driving employers and your dignity has been crushed by the crones and orcs you’re supposed to pretend you respect. Feeling sad about this is understandable. But don’t do it at the office! You will be labeled a malcontent and people will tell tall tales about you. You employer will assume you’re a slacker and you will be put out to pasture at the unemployment office.

What not to do in a cubicle tip No. 7 – Being the wrong kind of overachiever

Many people are afraid to be sick, because it means that their streak of working days may be interrupted. If you are genuinely sick, however, be considerate and stay home so that you don’t spread your diseases to others. You aren’t going to be productive when you have a hacking cough, anyway.

What not to do in a cubicle tip No. 8 – Leaving food and plates at your desk

While your career may have gone moldy, that doesn’t mean that you should force your co-workers to be part of a live mold experiment. Clean up after yourself when you’re done eating, and don’t store perishables in your desk.

What not to do in a cubicle tip No. 9 – Sleeping at your desk

Unless you’re being paid to participate in a sleep study, you should never sleep on the job. It’s the most obvious way to inform those around you that you will be leaving your job duties very soon.

What not to do in a cubicle tip No. 10 – Cussing like a sailor

If you are well-spoken, you’re that much closer to earning raises and influencing others. If every other word out of your mouth is a profane epithet, however, you impress no one. Get wise, don’t crack wise.

What not to do in a cubicle tip No. 11 – Cross your knees

This one is mostly for ladies. Crossing your legs at the knees leads to pressure buildup in the legs, as well as potential back pain. Assuming you’re under cover of your desk and cubicle walls, sit without doing this. Even if working in a cubicle can’t save your mind, sitting with good posture can at least save a piece of your health.





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