Workplace Etiquette 101

If I’ve learned one thing during my 14+ years of working with office co-workers, it is that you would be surprised just how many people need a lesson in basic etiquette in the workplace. My case in point: the communal candy jar.

I am one of those people who always has on her desk a glass candy dish filled with assorted treats. Typically the treats are holiday themed (candy hears for Valentines, jelly beans in spring, pumpkins for Halloween …), but I digress. I like providing candy for people. First of all, it gets people to stop by and say hello. Second, it brings a nice bit of camaraderie and happiness to the office. And finally, I’m a candy junkie myself and sing the praises of those who have a little sweet something for me to snack on at 3 p.m.

But one thing that drives me absolutely crazy are those certain co-workers who have no since of manners when it comes to the candy jar. Those of you who work with co-workers (or even just deal with humans) on a daily basis know what I’m talking about, right?

In my candy jar world, I’m talking about someone who comes into my office and picks (literally) through the jelly bellies to get to the ones he wants. And if he picks one he doesn’t want, he puts it back in the bowl! How disgusting is that?!

I understand the frustration of getting a nasty jelly belly. We’ve all been there and wished we never picked up that popcorn one. But the unspoken rule is that you take a few, and if you get one you don’t like, you toss it in the trash. NOT PUT IT BACK IN THE BOWL! To add insult to injury, this person also sits in my office and chews the candy with his mouth open. I have to stop myself from yelling, Where are your manners?!

I’ve been racking my brain to come up with a solution to this problem. I don’t want to stop providing candy. Yet I don’t want to have to quarantine the remaining jelly bellies after this person sifts through them either.

So after a long and hard deliberation, I’ve come up with a solution. I will now be going from the candy dish above to this! At least now with my $10 antique store find, a person can only touch the bellies they get. Lets hope he doesn’t realize how to unscrew the top.

Have you ever been in an awkward work situation or a colleague or two could use some etiquette training?  Please say it’s not just me!

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