the art of office: gotta get the papers, get the papers
A semi-regular feature in which I detail all the tactics one should carry in their office arsenal or the behaviors one must always avoid when working in an tightly-bunched cubicled community.
Let me start with the basics. The most egregious breach of office survival is the printing of personal materials. Don't get me wrong; I do it all the time. Often one is FORCED to print personal materials (hello home buying!). That is fine; the devil is in the retrieval.
Personal printed materials must be retrieved posthaste. Ideally, do a spot check of the printer to make sure no one is already waiting for a print job. Because if they are, they will most assuredly pick-up your "Guide to Identifying Pussy Skin Lesions" before you're able to retrieve it.
Printing 20 "sour milk" recipes from cooks.com, while embarrassing (and frighteningly thorough) probably won't jeopardize your job. Worst case is your boss asking why you don't abide your milk's expiration date. However, printing a list of the "100 Most Frequently Asked Java Interview Questions" (sandwiched between printed emails to your person) might get your superiors to asking some questions. Even if it wasn't you, who wants the boss snooping through internet usage logs? Furthermore, who prints emails? Are you going to file them using pneumatic tubes to your home office to which you travel via quadricycle? Will you then make copies on your ditto machine? Silly.
The last contingency to plan for is the dreaded "Warming Up"printer message. Excitedly did you print you Beanie Baby collection spreadsheet (complete with pictures - so you used the color ink jet, of course), fast did you run back to the printer to retrieve it. But, alas, the printer wasn't ready to create the documentation of your small bundles of joy. F*$k! Here comes your boss! Back to retrieve a printout of his own. What to do? Box out. Stay between him and the tray. Use your ass!!! But he's curious as to why his job isn't printing. Now he's right next to you, about to snag your sheets. "Oh here comes something" . . . whirrrrrr . . . you only have one option -- punch him in the face. Maybe you have a twitch?
Follow all these steps and you're sure to safely retrieve your Herself the Elf Appreciation Club membership form while your co-workers are none the wiser.