How to Keep Corporate Etiquette Alive in Your Office

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A friend of mine once told me a story about how he was driving a friend of his sibling's to the airport. Both of his brothers were also in the car. After she was dropped off, one of the brothers started making teasing comments about her as soon as the door was slammed. My friend swatted him on the back of the head and told him to shut up.

My buddy didn't know it, but he observed one of the five items recently listed as "etiquette rules that matter now."

The reason my friend smacked his brother was because he could have at least demonstrated some self-control and started talking about his opinion of her after they got away from the airport. It's called "the elevator rule," where you hold off discussing your impressions on a meeting with your colleagues until after you've not only left the room, but also the building.

I won't rehash the full list, but two other rules I truly, truly believe in myself is to not judge others ("You may disagree with how another person handles a specific situation, but rise above and recognize that everyone is trying their best. It's not your duty to judge others based on what you feel is right. You are only responsible for yourself.") If you must judge others, keep it to yourself. Or observe the "elevator rule" and wait until you get home, if you really want to spend your free time griping about your work day. That's your call.

The other rule is to send a thank-you note. Always. The writer of this particular post remarks that she works for a paper company that manufactures stationery. Shockingly, she says she very rarely gets thank-you notes from people after they interview with her. "If you're not sending a follow-up thank you note to Crane, you're not sending it anywhere," she muses. Writing such notes is going the extra mile and takes little to no effort, but it makes a world of difference. I've known people in hiring positions, grown men, who feel rankled when college kids don't even bother to write a short missive thanking them for the time. It might make the difference between getting the job or not -- then again, as an applicant, if you're petty enough to not be hired by someone because you didn't send a simple note, do you really want to work for them anyway?

Read the full list over at

David Wolinsky is a freelance writer and a lifelong Chicagoan. In addition to currently serving as an interviewer-writer for Adult Swim, he's also a columnist for EGM. He was the Chicago city editor for The Onion A.V. Club where he provided in-depth daily coverage of this city's bustling arts/entertainment scene for half a decade. When not playing video games for work he's thinking of dashing out to Chicago Diner, Pizano's, or Yummy Yummy. His first career aspirations were to be a game-show host.

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