It has been a year since I started the full time cube life and have discovered a peculiar mostly silent communication system in play at my office. Often I find myself having to walk around the building to talk to someone, get something, stuff my face with snacks, etc. On these jaunts I may occasion to pass or see other employees. I am not sure what happens at other places of work, but here we observe the following rules based on the distance between coworkers when they first see each other.

1. If the distance is greater than 30 feet a small chest level wave will be given. This is done by raising up your hand so that it is parallel with your chest and making a slight wave. One or two 'wave' rotations is all that is necessary. Your elbow should form an angle grater than or equal to 90 degrees. Any more and you have committed too much to the wave.

2. If the distance is less than 30 feet, but greater than 10 feet short quick small talk may be exchanged (less than two sentences) or the aforementioned hand wave may be done. The small talk must follow these conversation topics:

  • Weather
  • Weekend plans
  • "Good" -day, -night, -morning, etc

3. If the distance is greater than one foot and less than or equal to 10 feet a small head nod will be observed. The coworker will nod either up 15 degrees or down 15 degrees once. The other coworker will reciprocate this head nod. This may or may not be accompanied by each coworker saying the other coworker's name.

4. Distances equal to or less than one foot should be avoided. if this rare event does occur a short office appropriate exclamation must be used. These include, but are not limited to:

  • "Oops"
  • "Sorry"
  • "Oh"

I have found carefully adhering to these rules ensures safe interoffice travel and adequate daily office socialization.