Australians are being forced back into their workplaces, bringing office etiquette back into the cultural conversation.
Who hasn’t muttered: “What on earth is Jim eating today?”
There’s no denying that some Aussies behave like absolute ferals in the office, and they need to be called out.
It doesn’t matter if you’re the boss or the intern.
Everyone has an opinion on how people should behave at work.
I consider myself an office problem.
I heat up my smelly food, leave my desk in a mess, and definitely slurp too loudly when eating soup.
So, while you read through the list of what makes you an office feral, please know that I’ve embraced my feral status, and you should too.
It takes a feral to know what makes a feral.
1. You heat up things that shouldn’t be heated up again
I know you’re trying to save money because house prices are insane, and you can’t quite kick your coffee addiction, but there is no need to microwave salmon.
Salmon is not the kind of textured food that needs to be reheated and smelt throughout the office.
It is rude, offensive, absolutely bold, and makes everyone feel like they are in a deep-sea David Attenborough documentary.
You are only really hurting yourself.
Who really likes the taste of heated-up salmon? No one.
It is a pan-fry or a throw in the bin situation.
You aren’t Michelle Bridges, you need to calm down.
Leftovers in general are a big concern.
Before you come into work have a little sniff and if it smells bad just know that heat isn’t going to help matters.
Do everyone a favor and go spend $20 on an average sandwich and save everyone’s nostrils the trauma.
2. Your desk looks like you secretly live in the office
The odd coffee cup is acceptable, but if you have papers, accessories, numerous energy drinks, and half-eaten snacks on your desk, you need help.
You aren’t Julian Assange, and you don’t need to be packing your desks so full of supplies that you could hide out underneath them and live off the leftovers for several months.
Repeat after me: “It is a desk, not a bunker!”
Your messy desk doesn’t make you look like someone working so hard they don’t have time in the day to tidy.
It looks like a cry for help.
You need to pull yourself together, take some deep breaths and travel to the trash.
Sadly, I’m part of the problem I have a 2-minute noodle stash at my desk.
3. You take your shoes off
Keep the toes to yourself!
If you claim your feet don’t smell, I will have to deliver some hard truths and let you know they do.
Even if by some miracle reason they don’t stink, there is something horrifying about seeing a co-worker’s fleshy trotters on the office carpet as they make a mad dash to the kitchen for an instant coffee.
How can you take your boss seriously when you know they have bunions?
If your shoes are so uncomfortable that you can’t wear them all day, well, it is time to head down to your local shopping center and treat yourself.
No one you work with should know what your toes look like.
In saying all that, I have been known to get my hooves out occasionally.
4, Eat loud food at your desk
There’s nothing wrong with a desk snack.
I suggest a chocolate bar, some crackers, and even some chips.
But you’re pushing your luck once you bring anything liquid-based to the table.
Noodles, Ramen, Laksa.
It just means your seatmate has to listen to you slurp away while they get their job done, and people don’t deserve the stress.
Be polite and go eat your sloppy food in the sunshine.
5. You take loud personal phone calls
Look, we all have important phone calls to make.
I’m practically on the phone to my podiatrist weekly with my ongoing ingrown toenail issues, but if you’re going to have a lengthy and tedious personal call — move.
Step away from your desk and go get your steps up.
Now if you’re breaking up with someone, discussing something salacious, or receiving your STI results, please stay at your desk, and honestly, put your phone on speaker.
The people demand and deserve the entertainment
If you’re organizing a boring dinner reservation with your in-laws.
Time to cut laps, sweetie, just keep your shoes on while you’re doing it.
6. You comment on what other people are eating
“Wow, that’s a big meal!”
“Oh, you’re really going to eat that?”
“Is that a bit carb heavy?”
Don’t comment on people’s food.
It’s rude, it’s boring, and it makes people uncomfortable.
Focus on yourself.
You sound like Tyra Banks from the early 2000s.
7. You pretend to be in ‘charge’ of something
Someone in the office always decides they are in charge of something that they definitely aren’t the boss of.
Sometimes someone becomes the dishwasher boss.
Suddenly they are sending emails reminding everyone how to stack plates, popping into the kitchen, and huffing at the mess of the dishwasher.
Barely having time to do their actual job because they’ve appointed themselves dishwasher chief and they are buckling under the pressure.
Relax, it is a workplace, not your home.
You aren’t in charge, you’re likely annoying everyone, even if you are in the right.
Go back to your desk, quietly shop online for clothes and pray no one notices like the rest of us.