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Posts Tagged ‘office courtesy’

Being Polite is the Slowest Way to Die

In Communication, Organisation, work life balance, work stress on March 5, 2017 at 15:39
‘Being polite is the slowest way to die!’ you had heard in a motivational workshop. But that was for sales guys.
Now you are in an air-conditioned office where interactions can be more hostile but language always has to be civil to the point of flippancy. Words like help start losing weight and assume a life of their own. And some words are hunted to extinction. Like the sweet and simple No.
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No is decisive, firm and has gravitas. No doesn’t wait for regret to seep in, No moves on, No has a life. Which is why it has no space left in corporate life. ‘I’ll get back to you’ has taken its place in perpetuity. Because with enough euphemisms, we will all be immortal one day.
And in the midst of this nihilism you have ended up saying yes to another stinker of a project. Coz it came in the garb of help. Help; a word so versatile it can never go extinct. It’s scale is quantum but it’s demeanor is benign. You can keep helping blind old ladies cross the road remembering that Jesus too once helped us by taking one for the team.
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As you now type away into the wee hours of the evening instead of being home with your family of online subscriptions, you begin to wonder is it that difficult to say no? You wonder how all the succesful VPs and up-and-comers get through the muck of life and come out clean and gleaming. You wonder how people can get away by simply saying ‘I need your help’ instead of ‘I know you hate doing it but there is no way I am going to do this myself so we are in this together now’?
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But it is difficult to say No. Increasingly so, in the minefield of power structures, dotted line reporting and 360° appraisals. And beyond the niceties and tea parties, No has to come from a very real place deep inside your hollowed conscience, beneath all the layers of conditioning and anxiety. Do it when you are ready, when there is no looking back and there is no regret. Life in the wild can be brutal but life in climate control is excruciating.
– Punit Pania

OUT OF OFFICE

In Communication, e-mail, humor, Office humor, Resignation on May 19, 2014 at 03:56

Courtesy is a form of formality. And formality is; in most cases, imposed. At least you find it so. This adds to the tedium of being in an office for the major part of your waking day.


Keep calm Courtesy

Till your major jail break takes shape, outdoor duty is the only gasp of fresh air you can take. But this too is fraught with formality starting with: ‘Out of Office’ replies. There are ready formats available ranging from the apologetic: ‘I will have infrequent access to emails. In case of urgency, I can be reached at…’ to the whacky: ‘You are receiving this automatic notification because I am out of the office. If I was in, chances are you wouldn’t have received anything at all.’ Then there is the high flier who says the same thing in 5 foreign languages in case his long lost Czech friend finally decides to add him on Pinterest

Out of Office Beach

But none suits your style. This is because your style would be to leave no automated reply at all. You can’t imagine anyone’s life depending on your responding to a mail on the same day. But invariably, when you are out of office, some unfortunate soul’s life does land the misfortune of doing so.

Office emergency

There is no escaping formality. So you decide to go through ‘OUT OF OFFICE’ replies that you have received in recent months for inspiration. And there are quite a few of them. A lot of people seem to be gasping for air. One in particular catches your attention for its sheer length:

‘I am out of office right now…

Since you are still reading, might as well make it worth your time. This is a little story about a young girl who had joined us last year. After months of neglect and taking photo copies, she finally left voluntarily. This is the resignation letter she tendered: When I had joined last fall, I felt truly happy after a very long job search. Being a management trainee with this organization would be the perfect start to what I want to be a long career, I thought. The stipend wouldn’t hurt either. In fact, if I commuted by bus, it would help pay off some of my student loan. But after 9 months of only taking photo copies for pretty much everyone in office except the other management trainees, I feel guilty. The pay as I said; doesn’t hurt. Not that I have not eagerly asked for work from anyone who would listen but you guys seem to have everything pretty much covered. An office boy in more dire need of employment could do my work. The only consolation is; the coffee was good!

The letter does not seem to have affected HR much but I thought it would be better than a Plain Jane auto-reply. Thank you for your e-mail. I will get back to you as soon as I rejoin.’

Well, you don’t remember reading this yourself though it lies very much in your inbox. You do believe that rebellion no matter how ill-fated never goes to waste. But you also believe that you should save your energy for those who care and for a time that matters.

Resignation Letter - Cake

For now, you stick to the bare minimum: ‘I am out of office, I will return on the 29th,

And to liven the mood, you add: ‘In case of emergency, dial 911.’

 

– J.