Open Plan

Human beings, social creatures, co-habiting with friends, family. Forming long partnerships, spewing forth offspring. We like to go to pubs, clubs and restaurants, sharing a drinking, dancing and eating experience (sometimes all 3 at once) with our fellow man.

Even when we are not able to be with others in person, billions of tweets and facebook status updates now inform our nearest and dearest what we are doing. (Often down to the most mundane of things “I just updated my blog…” Bah) I class myself as a anti-social person, but given the right people I too can become the all singing, not quite all dancing social animal.

However very few people are social animals all the time. As George Carlin once said we all need a place for our Stuff. So even in these very social flat sharing, communally conscious nests we build for ourselves we need a space we can call our own. A place where we can gather our thoughts, be stupid, play air guitar, dance around in our pants, or without our pants. It’s a break, it’s a virtuoso guitar solo from the guy who usually provides rock steady rhythm. It rocks!

Then we return to work. Where the wheels fall off the social wagon. If you are an office worker there is a good chance you sit in vast open plan areas. Thrown together, there is a small chance you sit with people who you might share an interest or two with. Even if that is the case, there will always be those people who talk constantly, in voices that are always at the correct pitch that makes ignoring them impossible. These people will talk about banal subjects. Now I’m not the master of wit these blog pieces may have led you to believe (!) but I do like to think I have a reasonable boring filter. Subjects of no interest to anyone are (to name a few):-

  • What you had for tea, last week.
  • How much you paid for your blinds
  • The fact that you got into work 3 minutes earlier than usual

Now you may think the list is harsh. But imagine if you will the same stories, over and over throughout an eight hour day. Banter is good, minutiae is not. You will often find the same people use the office phone for personal calls, so you will find out that their iPad is broken, their urinary tract is infected and their husband is cheating (I wonder why) all whilst trying to get on with a job.

Workplace rules:
Non-repetitive banter is good, in short bursts.
In general, whatever you are thinking, unless you have connected on a social level. No-one cares!

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