Monday, March 02, 2015

Shut the front door!

I suppose the best thing I can do is to begin by saying this (and really, most of what I write) is an opinion piece.  I don’t expect anyone to bend to my will or see things my way but I sure as heck am going to tell you what I think because, after all, this is my blog.  As Phil Williams says, “This is my opinion; feel free to make it yours.”

In all my years working in an office environment I’ve seen a lot of things.  I’ve been around so many different kinds of people that quirks, habits and other idiosyncrasies tend to roll off me like water off a duck’s back.  Yeah, I get irritated and sometimes think unkind things but it’s rare (very rare, in fact) that I say anything about them.  I might even have a good old fashioned Bitch Session (forgive me) with my girlfriends – but not in a way that will specifically hurt anyone.  However, I must now take a stand.  I must pull out my well-worn soap box, climb atop it, and preach to the highest heavens.


In every, single, iteration of office-life that I’ve lived, there are these wonderful inventions called Conference Rooms.  These rooms are to be used for…well…conferences.  Meetings.  Gatherings of a multiple-attendee nature.  They sometimes have windows with nice views, or are simply four walls, a projector, a projection screen and, maybe, a white-board with (hopefully) non-scented dry-erase markers.  Whatever.

Also, in every, single, iteration of office-life that I’ve lived, there are these equally wonderful inventions called Conference Room Doors.  These doors are to be used for…well…closing.  And opening.  And closing, again.  They are for secluding the meeting-gatherers inside the aforementioned Conference Room in order to have a private meeting.  They are also for making sure meeting-gatherers do not disturb those sitting in the immediate vicinity.

I am, in fact, one of those sitting in the immediate vicinity of a conference room.  It is right directly across the hall from my office.   I am supposed to leave the door to my office open – at least ajar – so people don’t feel like they are unwanted; they should feel free to come in at any time.  (A closed door is a visual barrier, a wordless message to stay out, and some people are hesitant to cross that barrier - even by knocking and announcing their presence.)  However when folks meeting in the conference room across the hall leave the door open, I must shut mine. 

I’m glad there’s levity, or intense conversations, video or voice conferences.  I’m glad people have meetings to work out their issues or find a path forward.  But there is no need to include me by proxy.

Putting it plainly, for the love of all that is peaceful and quiet and productive in this world: SHUT THE *@#$!!! DOOR!  The rest of the world does not need to hear you, and more to the point, you are disturbing the rest of the office by leaving the door open. 

Pretty please?

Thank you.  That is all.  I shall now thoughtfully, and gratefully, put away my soap box.


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