Thursday, August 6, 2009

Politics of office doors

I've been lucky, I guess, to have always had a door in my workplace. I've never been stuck in a cube farm, always had the security of 4 walls and a door, behind which I can make private phone calls to doctors about, say, this inconvenient need to pee all g'damn day long.

But as with all things in the office place, there need to be some rules. When you have a door, the status of the door provides a built-in code, an indicator of my willingness to talk to you. (Because that's the kind of bitch I am.)

So here is my Rosetta Stone of Office Doors.

At my former place of employment (lovingly referred to as Soul-Sucking Mega-Corporation), there was a door and four walls, leading to the following door positions and meanings:

  • Door open - Come on in! Distract me from these error codes!
  • Door ajar - Knock first, please.
  • Door ajar and I have a headset on - I'm on the phone - speak softly.
  • Door closed - Knock but don't be surprised if I don't answer. I'm either out or sleeping under my desk.
  • Door closed and whirring noise escaping from the cracks - For the love of God, leave me alone. I am pumping, and trust me, this conversation is every bit as uncomfortable for me as it is for you.

At my new pretty place of employment (referred to as Pretty Pretty Place Where I Work for the Pretty Pretty People), there are four walls, a door, and a window, with a blind, leading to additional much more complicated door meaning algorithms.

  • Door closed + blinds up or open - Knock and wave. I'll either gesture you in or ignore you pointedly.
  • Door closed + blinds closed - I'm busy plotting ways in which to remove you from this pretty place of business. Don't panic, panicking will not help.
Ok, so that last one probably isn't true. Maybe.


alan said...

I have a door, but also a big window right above my desk -- but *no blinds*. It makes for complicated iconography.

Liza said...

Ach, Alan - what to do, what to do. I think the answer is to come and work for the Pretty Pretty Place... Or you know, buy a blind.

eleven bee said...

i found that the closed door, closed blinds and whirring noise coming from within was too subtle for some people, so i started sticking a yellow post-it note on the outside of my closed door with the word "MOO" written on it... :)

Megan said...

I have never once had a job with a door. Unless you count the theatre, which I don't. I can't even imagine an office with a door . . . stupid nonprofit.