Thursday, October 30, 2008

Water Wise

A Water wise tip. If you drink coffee or tea regularly then there’s really no need to wash your cup every single time you have a drink. Statistics have shown that even a quick rinse can waste a whole cup of water over a day. Over 240 working days in a year, this adds up to 60 litres. That’s a whole petrol tank!

But think about it, do you really need to rinse at all? You’re drinking the same drink, all the time. No one else is using your cup. Just refill it! After all, when you’re at McDonalds and you get a refill you don’t spend hours meticulously cleaning it, do you? No, you just pick up the pot and pour! Well the same principal applies. And think how much water you waste putting your cup in dishwasher each night. After all you know that no one has touched your cup overnight, so just use it the next day. And that “weird” taste is simply the taste of the environment thanking you.

Cubicle Walls

Contrary to popular belief, partition walls are not there to separate employees. They are installed to add dimensions to the already complex arena of inter-office communications. Don’t be afraid to “break the 4th wall”, pop your head up and communicate with your cube mates.

With this in mind, if your neighbour is having a particularly loud conversation, either on the phone, or with a cubicle visitor, it should be treated as a subtle invitation for you to show an interest and ultimately join in. Don’t let ignorance of the subject matter, or the fact that you have missed half the conversation, deter you. People are usually more than happy to fill in the gaps of any private conversation to someone who has joined late.

If your neighbour is, on the other hand, not particularly loud, then it is still an invitation, just a more subtle one.


Did you know that when people say “how are you” in the morning, not only do they not care about the answer; they often don’t even listen for a response. You can test this by replying in gibberish, and see how, or if, they respond. This is particularly effective in a corridor exchange where there is limited face-to-face time.

“Hey how’s it going?”


If you become skilled at this, you can take it to the next level:

“Hey how’s it going?”

“Blannemble. Merr findun bem?”

“Yeah, pretty good thanks.”


Plankton is a great place to work but let’s face it: software development is never going to give you the adrenaline rush that is felt by an ambulance driver, fighter pilot or nude weatherman. Here are a few tips to make your office day exciting:

  • Corridor Chicken –See how someone reacts if you walk directly towards them in the corridor. If they get out of the way, you win! Let them know this.
  • Radio silence – See if you can go a whole day without opening your email. Not even once, not even to check to see if you have a meeting.
  • Whiteboard Reservation – Go into a meeting room and write random things on the whiteboard, then, in the top right hand corner, write “Please Leave”. See how long it remains there.
  • Mythbusters – Send staff wide emails about “interesting facts” that you know are actually urban legends. See how many people respond. Bonus points if they refer to www.snopes.com

Monday, October 27, 2008

Small Talk

Morning coffee is great, however it can be awkward when you try to make small talk with people you see everyday. Even the standard fall backs of sport, television and the news wear thin after 5 consecutive days. Here are some conversation starters that may help:

“So, tell me exactly what you have done in the four or five waking hours since I last saw you.”

“You know, a friend of my brother’s boss once had a girlfriend whose dad knew someone who worked in a milk factory, and if you’d met that guy you’d think twice about drinking that stuff every day.”

“I don’t want this to sound too forward, but you have really beautiful eyes.”

Monday, October 13, 2008

Feel free to ask

If you have any questions about anything, feel free to ask the person who sits next to you. With the layout of the office, people are almost always sitting next to at least one person, and this company is proud of hiring people who are willing to help. If you are in a seat where you don’t sit next to someone, it’s most likely because you have been deemed to be anti-social, and you should probably just look stuff up on the internet (in your own time).