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11 August 2008 @ 08:39 pm
Unwritten rules  
This was part of a workshop I attended at International last month, and it's come up again in a couple of places.

What are some of the unwritten rules at your place of business?

Some that were mentioned at the workshop included "if you take the last cup of coffee, you make the next pot," "you can heat fish in the back kitchen, but not the front kitchen," and "don't say anything too intelligent if you find yourself talking to the boss's boss, because the boss will think you're trying to make him look bad."

A propos of this, in a multi-stall restroom, how do you indicate that one of the stalls is out of paper? Every place I've worked before UT, the custom was to put a sign on the stall door. At UT, the custom seems to be to drape a length of TP through the door hinge (and I've seen that all over campus, not just in my building).
Gretchenwren08 on August 12th, 2008 03:20 am (UTC)
Why not just replace the toilet paper?
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on August 12th, 2008 12:32 pm (UTC)
Ah! An excellent question, and one that points out "unwritten knowledge."

We can't replace the rolls because it's the industrial toilet paper, the kind that comes on rolls about a foot across, and only the custodial staff have the fresh rolls (or the keys to unlock the dispensers).
BaronLawbaronlaw on August 12th, 2008 04:04 am (UTC)
Unwritten rules? Men will wear collared shirts, long pants and closed toe shoes. Women can wear shorts, skirts, sandals and any shirt they feel like.

No we don't have a dress code.
The Broad Majestic Shannonms_interpret on August 12th, 2008 07:13 pm (UTC)
This is difficult for me, because there are no written rules. I work in a church, and it's only me and the minister most of the time. The rules are simple courtesy rules like, "You make it messy, you clean it up".

I asked Chris what the unwritten rules at his job are. Always say hi to someone you pass in the hall
Always allow someone to sit at your table at lunch if they ask, even if you're having a private conversation. Stop the conversation and let the other sit down.
If you get coffee for yourself, you offer to get some for everyone else so they don't have to get up.
If you're calling in sick, also email all the people in your immediate group.

And if the stall is out of TP, he calls maintenance and they come fix that immediately.
Janet Miles, CAP-OMjanetmiles on August 12th, 2008 07:29 pm (UTC)
Can I ask what sort of evironment Chris works in? Does the coffee rule apply just to meetings / lunch, or also to people working individually at their desks?

Facilities laughs at us (well, not literally, but effectively) if we call about toilet paper unless ALL the stalls are empty.
The Broad Majestic Shannonms_interpret on August 12th, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC)
Chris works in R&D for a branch of Natural Resources Canada. His office building has many offices and labs. His particular office has 4 men in it. It's a small office - say 20''x 25'' or so. The coffee rule is for all the time. So if he got up to get coffee, he'd say, "Anyone else want some?" and if they did, he'd go pour them a cup.
Spark_in_darknesssparkindarkness on August 12th, 2008 11:53 pm (UTC)
1) The secretaries should never be asked to make coffee, EVAH. They will OFFER on a regular basis, but they should not be asked.
2) Do not look for anything. Ask the secretary where it is.
3) Memos are never read, they're for covering up only
4) Everyone is ALWAYS running late, plan everything accordingly
5) Everyone is always busy, don't delay them
5)a) Unless you have something funny/interesting to say, in which case see 4 and don't worry
5)b) Especially if it's gossip.
6) NEVER ask for help, talk hypothetically about a problem
7) NEVER offer help, vaguely muse to the air how you would deal with a situation if someone is talking hypothetically about it

Oh, there are hundreds :)
starcat_jewelstarcat_jewel on August 13th, 2008 04:02 am (UTC)
The only unwritten rule I remember is from my college-dorm days: Yell FLUSH! if you hear the shower running.

I don't think I've ever encountered an understood custom for indicating that a stall is out of TP. I have a reflex of "check for TP" whenever I go into a stall in a public bathroom, because that's the only way to be sure.