The Office Walk

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.

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