Workplace Stress [G I PI S]

I was thinking about stress in the workplace. There's not much one can really do to alleviate the majority of the stress, but these things can help - a bit. These either may make someone else feel happier, or your accepting these tenets will help you cope better. Note a lot of these things we learned when we were kids, but some of us have forgotten.

Say "please" and "thank-you" when appropriate.

For exemplary service let the person's boss know they went above and beyond to help you.

Be aware that when a new company policy says it applies to EVERYONE – such as renting a compact car – realize it really doesn’t.

Sometimes a smile and/or a compliment can brighten a person’s day. (note that nowadays however if a man says to a woman “that’s a nice dress” you may find yourself a party to a harassment lawsuit)

Knock on someone's door when entering, even if it is not closed. It even does wonders if one knocks on a cubicle partition; it's just simple courtesy.

If you have a bonus of hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars per year more than your subordinates, you do not need to flaunt it by doing things like wearing a solid gold hat to work. SEC filings are public – everyone knows what you “earn”.

Don’t cut in line in the cafeteria; I realize that in some cases it is within the culture of your native country to encourage “cuts” (especially due to mass starvation) but in civilized lands we que up!

Don’t use a speakerphone, especially if you have an open office door or are in a cubicle environment. The President of the US and the Joint Chiefs of staff can use a speakerphone, not you.

Except for when I was speaking with my late grandmother - who was pretty much stone-deaf in her 90s (although she would staunchly proclaim she didn’t need a hearing aid, usually followed by “eh - what did you say?” in her quaint Polish accent) I have found that yelling doesn’t help you communicate any better. (Note that paradoxically this occasionally works with children and non-English speaking individuals, but this is a rare occurrence).

There will always be someone far, far less qualified in an identical job being paid far, far more than you make; that's life.

Companies will always send business to developing countries like China. Not every time is it profitable (for example I recently saw a piñata made in China; there is no way with oil at $90 a barrel that one can ship raw materials to China from the US, make the piñata, and ship it back at a profit compared to being made in Mexico) – it just looks good to investors and everyone else is doing it.

Not everyone appreciates offensive, sexist, ethnicist (is that a word?), misogynist, or ‘locker-room’ humor at work; I certainly do; but not everyone does.

If you ask me an important, detailed question, please realize that: A) it may take more than 45 seconds to research the answer, and 2) you may have to devote more than 45 seconds listening to the answer.

If your company introduces a brand new quality initiative, and someone says it is pretty much the same as the old quality initiative; trust me, they are correct.

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