TNQ Office Pet Peeves
Ah, the joys of sharing a workspace. TNQ's current workspace is bigger and lovelier than our old digs, which means that more people can occupy it at the same time. Though I sometimes relish the times when I've got the whole place to myself, on balance, I love the new, busier dynamic of TNQ's new HQ. Further, I'm fascinated by the ways in which people work and occupy space differently. It's a creative, not-for-profit work environment -- ie, lots more work than time or money to do it with/for, in an atmosphere of general goodwill -- so I wonder if we are more tolerant of each others' working habits than say, the corporate giants. But even so, I've noticed that each TNQ staffer has her own unique peeves:
Kim's: lunch dishes left out on the table (rather than returned to the caf or the staffer's own desk after lunch)
Melissa's: I'm guessing here, but I'm going to go with dead plants due to, er, inconsistent watering by her colleagues on the days she is not in (she's only in two days a week). I also know for a certainty that she hates the Staples-brand post-its I bought last time because they are accordion-style - ie, placement of the adhesive varies top to bottom with each one, so sometimes she tears one off to discover that she's written on it in the "wrong" orientation....
Catherine's: Probably the rampant "pen thievery" from her desk --- there are never good pens on her desk because it's nearest the phone and some people (ahem) take a message and then keep the pen they used to write it with. Also, as Catherine is currently our chief processor of submissions, I happen to know it makes her semi-certifiable when our guidelines are not respected.
Mine: I've got a few, but only two of any significance: the first is when shared office supplies are not returned to their 'proper' places and the second is its kissing cousin, when someone opens a cabinet and says "where is the..." without really looking. I know where the thing they want is supposed to be without having to look up from my desk because I put some thought (and, um, some labels) into the initial organization of this joint when we moved in. If the thing is where I say it is, I'm annoyed because I know they didn't really look. My system is lovely: its only flaw is that in order to make use of it, one's eyes must be open. If the thing's not in its place, well .... it just should be, which takes us back to my first peeve, eh?
My parents are to blame for this one---indeed, my mom would probably be proud of how much this bugs me. "Put it back where it came from when you're done" was the house rule for all objects held in common (dishes, ketchup, toothpaste, etc) and for one's own things stored in common areas (like, say, bicycles in the garage). How each family member kept his or her own room was that person's own business -- it could look like a landfill, so long as it was more or less inhabitable from a health point of view (mess is fine; mold is not). All this time, I've been assuming the same policy applies pretty much everywhere --- and yes, I'm just realizing this is a little weird. Also weird? How much joy I get out of putting things back in their places, even if I do initially start in on the task feeling rather pissed off that nothing is in the (neatly labeled! super logical!) location I chose for it. Yeah. Everything you're thinking about me right now is probably true.
Those of you literary types out there sharing workspaces ... what are your office peeves?