A Short Play on Etiquette: Goals for Etiquette and Manners in the Workplace

Scene 1:
In a conversation at work and there is another bomb being flung. Take smoking out of the workplace, and you still have the toxicity of profanity and gossip. Well it’s overtime to clean that up, but how, if the people in the workplace don’t find it important? Taking a quick look and checking the watch for the 4th time this hour, Sally still has not arrived at work or called to say she is going to be late. It may be because all last week the latest careless catch phrase was about her, and although it violated HR policies, no one seemed to care. Most people are hiding in their office and prefer to text interoffice rather than say hello and as a result team spirit is at its usual all-time low because no one knows each other, let alone cares to know each other. Cliques are common between small groups of 2-3 people and for associations that is about it. Co-workers love to talk. It’s safer to be an outsider. It shows potential for management or something…

Scene 2:
A customer walks into a business, “What a lovely day it is, maybe I will buy something.” Entering the store, she passes by an employee, and is ready to flash a quick smile hello, but then is puzzled by the insulting, sarcastic greeting which was said addressed to her. Ignoring it at first, what was said sets in and her eyes open wide in concern as it was about her. She continues through the store, grabs the items she came in for, and heads to the register. As she waits in line, the cashier is overheard spreading gossip to the person in front of her while checking out. Now, next in line, the cashier greets her with the standard, “How are you today?” The truth is, the sunshine has fallen considerably since she entered the store and now she is being attacked again at the register. Is the store really paying this employee? Are they this oblivious that this employee has their own agenda fed by the community to slander an individual? And to make matters worse, it is one of their customers? How on earth does this support the business? What would the CEO say? After filling out countless receipts at this store and other businesses, obviously the managers do not see it as a concern. These employees still manage to keep their jobs, while creating a discrimination issue that has caused significant loss not just with being publicly humiliated, but with her own employment search, and in many other facets of life including housing. Having communicated this to several, it seems to have no impact.

Scene 3:
“Praise God!” Isn’t that what church is about? Now it is like walking on eggshells. Going into any church, any verbal hate bombs can be heard at any time by random people, entire rows of people, those who strategically choose to intentionally sit right behind where you are, those serving, and leaders. Within an entire area of church communities and religions this hate, gossip and name-calling has become acceptable—and shunning for good values, not even bad ones. Is this the new trend for Church… Suddenly, the ‘Body of Christ’ takes on an entire different meaning. Since when was going to church about chanting sexual loyalty and requirements rather than about worshiping God? All parts of the Body of Christ [people] are important as part of the body although different. While there is a degree of acceptance within church communities, you have to think what people are really coming for and who is reading and living it and who is whipping it out differently with other agendas. Looking at the cross, it was the same for Him wasn’t it? People don’t seem to have changed much in 2000 years.

Scene 4:
“Whahahahahahahahha”, she twirls around the pencil in her hand as she debates her next hurl of words with the next guest, disposing unwanted information. With the front desk as her stage to be able to say anything, the books are a back seat for horror and murder. The fellow co-worker shelves it as a means to pass the time. They should be booked but for some reason this is the way customer service even at local libraries is now-a-days and is acceptable to stay employed.

Scene 5:
“Well good morning!”, greeting the co-worker with a big smile. “Thank you for letting me know the editorial is running a little bit behind schedule so we can plan to adjust the workload to meet deadlines. This will affect everyone on the team and  I know they will all appreciate the update.”

“Does anyone want to go to lunch today? I think we should celebrate that we were able to get that last project out the door despite all the hurdles and it turned out great too!”. 

“We will be sure to copy everyone who needs to be included on this project.”

“I am happy to assist you today. Please take your time and let me know if you have any questions.”

“Yes, ma’am. Thank you for shopping here today. We look forward to seeing you again soon!”

The company’s mission and motto are priority but politeness, consideration, and respect makes the team successful. Everyone is a winner because each brings unique skills to the table to contribute with. As a result, customers enjoy the business, and it breeds loyalty naturally as a good business, simply because it doesn’t foster gossip but is one that radiates positivity and customer service.

Watch this film online about 1950’s office etiquette!
Office Etiquette (1950): Courtesy & Manners in the Workplace Film


Enjoy plays? Want to learn more about office etiquette? Click to view more…

Books
Toxicity in the Workplace: Coping with Difficult People on the Job
by
Shonda Lackey PhD

 

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