There are a set of rules society has non-verbally agreed to that we should all abide by. We are forgiving of children who are still learning and rebellious teens who should know better but don’t act better. By adulthood, a man should not only be aware of these rules but he should be following them without question. When a man breaks these rules, he needs to be told to straighten out, for his benefit and the benefit of all those around him. Unfortunately, I’ve often found myself in an official position of having to tell an employee that their behavior was unbecoming and inappropriate. Below is a list of obvious social rules that I have, in every instance, actually had to tell a guy they need to follow.
1. Improve your Hygiene
Clearly a sensitive subject, but when complaints about the smell of an employee are reported, action must be taken. Hygiene may mean showering more often, brushing your teeth, wearing deodorant, or dressing in clean clothing. In a compact and crowded world, we all need to be aware of our impact on those around us.
2. Don’t Piss on the Floor
Being a man, urinating can be more than just something we have to do – it can be a fun, target shooting experience. That experience quickly turns sour if you’re drenching the floor, or the toilet seat, in pee. On this note, a urinal is meant for you to stand at and urinate, where as a commode is not. Except in a crowded bar situation, you should not stand over and urinate at a toilet, as even the most accurate of shooters are bound to dribble on the floor, the same space where your pants may rest later that day.
3. Dress Appropriately
Sandals and shorts are fine for the beach, but do not belong in the office or the clubs. Clothing, especially in the workplace, should be clean and free of holes and tears. No matter how casual the office may seem, the way you dress not only represents you, it represents the company and those above you. While we may appreciate your unique style, a stain-covered and hole-ridden T-Shirt is not appropriate in any work environment.
4. Stop Talking
Most everyone likes a friendly guy, but there is a limit to how much chit-chat can go on. Talking can be disruptive, and in some avenues of work, it is entirely inappropriate. Even in social situations, there are times when someone must be taken aside and told to relax on the chatter. Excessive talking can easily lead you into saying something you’ll regret, as well.
Perhaps the antithesis of the guy who talks too much is the man who doesn’t know how or when to apologize. We all make mistakes at work and eventually we say the wrong thing and offend someone. The only way to make that situation worse is to remain quiet and not apologize. How embarrassing is it for the supervisor and the employee when one must be guided by the hand to apologize for something they’ve done?
6. Flush the Toilet
Imagine my surprise at how few men know how to follow simple rules of proper etiquette in the bathroom. You’d think that I could easily go through my professional career without having to tell grown men to remember to flush a toilet after they’ve used it. There is no excuse for something of this nature – and for all our sakes wash your hands when you’re done.
7. Clean Up After Yourself
How many people have you seen take the office-garbage free-throw and miss, only to let the trash sit there? Spilled some cereal in the break room? Why on Earth would you let it sit there or, even worse, kick it under the shelf or refrigerator? If you’re the guy who leaves a trail of paper and magazines from his desk around the office, be warned – someone knows and sooner or later you’ll be on the receiving end of a conversation usually reserved for an 8 year old. Similarly, if you take the last bag of fruit snacks – throw away the box!
8. Replace What You Use
We all work in the same office and share the same things. If it is someone’s job to replace some goods regularly, great. If not, it falls on you to be the one to take responsibility. Even if someone else has that job, if you’ve used the last coffee filter, let the person know. If replacing the coffee filters is as simple as opening the cupboard beneath the sink, then do it. Replacing napkins, paper towels, or sodas in the refrigerator is polite and to be expected. If you’ve ever been upset at an empty fridge or the lack of paper towels, you have even more reason to replace those items.
If you see yourself in any of these, you need to reevaluate the image you are giving others. These are simple, every day things that should be obvious to a grown man by now. Please don’t leave me in the awkward situation of taking you aside and asking you to brush your teeth, as we’ve gotten several complains about your breath.