What matters most to you at work? You and your office have a hierarchy of needs that will allow you to get important stuff done. Companies may have memos and policies posted in the lunchroom that discuss office etiquette and behavior. The real hierarchy of office needs is posted on the Wall between the walls. The code is tweeted wirelessly, shared openly, updated instantly with new status reports.
The most basic needs are first, followed by more advanced needs. For really important work to be done at an advanced level around here, all of the needs should be considered. Here is the Hierarchy of Office Needs:
Parking needs – My car is how I express my need for speed, how I get to the mall, and where I spend half of my life. This is important, pay attention. My car is like my pet, no it is more than a pet. It is my persona. I need a place to park my car where no one will bother it, or I will bite them. Hard. What I need to know is do I need to fight Bob for a parking space? I think I can take him, but I need to know if I should recruit a stunt double for this?
Personal space needs – I need to bring some of my stuff to work. When I bring stuff to work, I feel calm. It is important that you make me feel calm. I need to be in my happy place. When I have stuff at a desk, it marks my territory. Nothing too crazy, just essential stuff: Books, pens, photos, special sticky notes with code words on them, bike seats, wigs, curling irons, mirrors, nail files and old lunch bags. Similar to parking, where I park my body is important. On a related note, do people around me smell? A scent free environment is important, an odor free environment is best practice: It is best that you not have any odors or I will practice Ninja moves on your nose.
Kitchen needs – I need to eat regularly and often. Nobody better mess with my lunch. Where can I store my lunch and where do I eat my lunch? Do I need to bring a lock and a chain to secure my lunch bag? I did that at my last job and it sucked. Is the microwave an experiment in food pathogens? Do people eat with their mouths open? What I really need to know is what unusual foods do I need to eat so that I can show you that I am smarter than you? I eat, and I will regularly remind you that I eat: Kale, plankton, dandelion leaves, tender blades of carrot grass, Edame beans (I can say it better than you), geckos and Fire Ants. You name it, I will eat it. This is the really important stuff.
Handshake needs – How often do people wash their hands here? Do they have a wash-your-hands program and an Officer of Hand Washing? This is really important people! This helps me to decide whether or not I trust each of you to not have germs that will make me sick. I am watching you. Always. Who takes the garbage out and how often? Will my office stink of banana tomorrow if I leave my banana peel in the garbage can over night? I cannot work in a smelly office. See #2 above and get me some air freshener. If it smells, I will need a sick day.
Meeting management needs – What kind of food can we bring to our meetings? How boring are the meetings and how often do we need to endure them? Who decides the agenda and can I sleep openly in meetings? What happens if I lie on the table, and twitch when I sleep? I have a disorder where I twitch when I am in REM sleep. I am on medication so I need to know if I can sleep, on the table, and twitch. If I can’t, I question whether I can trust the Management. How are decisions made around here? I believe that only certain people should be listened to. In my experience, the characteristics of people who should be listened to are (in order): me, those with seniority (or seniors… seniors and those with seniority are usually the same people), those who fear change, the insecure, those who smell, those who have ideas.
Keep it real