Post image for Agony of Modern Manners – workplace etiquette #agonymanners

Tonight I watched a brilliant show on ABC1. It’s the latest in the “agony” interview series called The Agony of Modern Manners, and its tagline is “when it doesn’t cost anything to be nice”. Tonight’s episode was all about workplace etiquette.


I took notes of the best parts so I could impart some of the wisdom with you all :)

How should you behave on your first day?

  • Don’t hug anyone
  • Don’t keep justifying why you’ve done something wrong accidentally
  • Beware the person who is friendliest to you on the first day
  • Butter up the accounts staff
  • You can’t hide your insanity; it’s going to come out anyway
  • Don’t take a coffee mug belonging to something else

What annoys you most about the office fridge?

  • The constant emails from the executive staff about the state of the fridge
  • People only taking the good stuff, no one pinches the Aldi yoghurt
  • People who get cranky about their food getting taken when it’s not labelled or covered up
  • Finding a urine sample in the fridge

How should you behave in the lift?

  • Silent detachment – no talking, no jokes, dead eyes, get in and get out
  • Don’t start stories that are longer than the time you’ll be in the lift
  • If there’s a kid; let them press the buttons
  • Don’t fart in the lift

What shouldn’t you wear to work?

  • Singlets
  • Thongs
  • Anything that looks like Johnny Depp would wear it
  • Tracksuits or bow ties

Do you talk about your colleagues behind their back?

  • Isn’t that way you go to work?
  • Office gossip is a unifying thing
  • Gossip is God talking through women
  • A workplace without gossip is emotionally barren

What shouldn’t you do at your desk?

  • Pray
  • Cut your toe nails
  • Clean out your ears
  • Change into your workout gear
  • Don’t look like you’re having too much fun
  • Surf p*rn
  • “The internet is secretary’s work”

What are the do’s and don’t’s of using the phone at work?

  • Don’t have an emotional call with your parents about why you’re not married yet
  • Speak up if you’re on a break up call so everyone can hear it

If you missed the show and want to check it out, head over to ABC iview

What’s YOUR office wisdom? Share in the comments section below!


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