Friday, May 8, 2009

Being the Etiquette Police is RUDE

I finally found some inspiration, so, sorry if this is long. Blame my director of HR, she is just too inspiring!

I live the corporate life, working in the bank's headquarters, and witnessing an array of people and personalities working together in beautiful symbiosis. Well, okay not quite.

There's one person who's irked me since the beginning of my employment here a little over a year ago. That person is the director of HR. We'll call her Minnie. Minnie is originally from England and fancies herself to be the supreme authority of all things related to etiquette. In reality, she's a sadly unprofessional, rude, pompous ass.

Every month or so since we moved all of our corporate offices into one brand-spankin'-new building, we receive reminders from Minnie in the form of emails and occasionally posted print-outs. Although these are meant to maintain a level of professionalism and courtesy in the office, instead they come across as her sounding at best like she has nothing better to do, and at worst flat-out rude and condescending. Often both.

The first one was a sign posted in our break room which appeared a few weeks after the move that read, "HOW DISAPPOINTING, people are slipping already..." and went on to remind everyone to clean up after themselves. Recently I've received other emails letting us know that she has witnessed people eating at their desks (against the rules, you know), and she goes on to actually describe what kinds of food are being consumed! Is that really necessary?? And, why not just ask the people doing it to stop rather than wasting time sending out mass emails?

Minnie also has a habit of going around staring at women's feet to ensure they are wearing proper hosiery. She is very obvious about this. She'll stare at your feet, and upon finding no hosiery, she will look at your face, then back at your feet. She won't say anything to you though, she'd rather send out a "reminder" to the entire office that rules are being broken and we MUST follow them as a matter of etiquette! She takes great personal satisfaction in these reminders, which in itself is not very polite, is it?

Without a doubt, however, the rudest thing I've witnessed her do was when I had to take an employee issue to her shortly after I started here. Granted, it wasn't a terribly serious matter, but it related to sexual harrassment, so not only did it legally have to be addressed, but my employee (I'll call her Stacy) was very upset about it and I wanted to see it resolved for her sake. (Plus the guy did say something extremely inappropriate for the workplace.) Minnie's response to me was, "One professional to another, Stacy is pretty uptight." I was seriously taken aback! I couldn't believe this was the director of HR I was talking to. I made sure she knew that I did NOT think Stacy was an uptight person at all, not that it should matter whether she was or wasn't. Ever since then, I've thought this woman was anything but "professional."

Maybe it's her job to be the etiquette police, but if she's going to do that, she could at least try to have some manners of her own.



M said...

"One professional to another..." What a loser!!

You are hilarious Kitty. I love this blog already.

Allison said...

Wow, judgmental much?! Minnie sounds like a real treat. She must have escaped from the Magical Kingdom and vowed to never live a life of sunshine and happiness again.

tracy said...

Yeah, um, that's kinda creepy that she likes staring at womens feet