Monday, June 28, 2004

Work Oddities

So I work at Intel, writing software. Yup, I'm a geek. And I'm surrounded by geeks, many of whom aren't from this country. I don't have anything against non-citizens, they just aren't necessarily aware of all the pop-culture references that most Americans are. Comments like, "Marsha marsha marsha" and talking about the Flowbee often go over people's heads. But that's ok, it doesn't bother me. It can actually be fun, though I was rather embarrassed when I was asked to explain the term "Hummer" to a van full of non-natives (and no, they weren't asking about the army vehicle.

Anyway, some things people do are very bothersome or irritating.

Of course there's the first one:
Guys who do not wash their hands after going to the bathroom.
This is just disgusting. We even have those fancy, electric-eye, paper towel dispensers so you don't have to touch the dispenser to get a clean towel. Luckily, most of the bathrooms here have doors that open out, so you are not forced to actually touch the door with your freshly washed hands. Supposedly 50% of guys do not wash their hands. Think about that the next time you meet someone new. I'm hoping women have a better track record.

Guys who drive to work with their wives in the car, 

and the wife drives home
Sure, there's probably some "good" reason for the guy to drive. She's putting on her make-up, or talking on the phone, or eating breakfast, or maybe she doesn't want to drive. Maybe. Not likely. I think the guys are control freaks. They just have to drive because they can drive better than their wife can, or that the guy must always drive. And if the wife doesn't want to drive - she's driving home! Get a second car, ride a bike, do something, just don't play your mini Chinese fire drill outside the workplace.

Guys who sit in their cars at lunch to eat their lunch.
How anti-social is that? There are quite a few people here who walk out to their car (often with a lunch from the Intel cafeteria), and sit there, either in the blazing sun or downpouring rain. It just seems weird. At least they could surf for porn at their desk...

Guys who never make eye contact.
You know these people. You see them in the hall, but they'll look anywhere but at you: the floor, the cube wall, off into space. I lived in a dorm in college for a year where guys did that. I never did meet 3 or 4 of them - and there were perhaps 10 people on my floor. I'm not asking for a big hug from them, or even anything more than "hi" or "whassup". Just acknowledge that we're know each other once in a while because it's freakin awkward to avoid you when we're the only two people in the hallway.

Groups of people who take over the entire hallway.
I've seen a large guy nearly run a woman into a fire extinguisher because he made the minimal effort to make space for her. It's common courtesy to not take over the entire 12' wide hallway with the three people in your group.

You'll notice there are no gripes about women. That's easy to explain: there are nearly no women at Intel, at least in my Department. And on the few occasions there are women, they're surrounded by a group of guys who are drooling over the prospect of asking her out on a date. It's pathetic. Add that to my list.

A couple more things came to mind:

Guys who don't push their chairs in when leaving the cafeteria.
Most of the engineers here do not push their chairs in when they're getting up after eating. This act of laziness turns the cafeteria into a maze of chairs that require other people to dance their way through the cafeteria. Again, common courtesy.

Leaving insulated lunch bags in the communal fridge.
The fridge is for all to use, and these guys take up 1/3 of the shelf with their one freakin' lunch bag. Not only that, but it is insulated! WTF? You don't try to roast a chicken inside a cooler, you put it in an open pan so the heat can get to it (ideally on a roasting rack so the hot air can get all around the chicken). Same thing with a fridge: insulation slows down the transfer of heat. So you're making the fridge less efficient because you're just filling it with air, so the fridge is more prone to extreme temperature changes when the door is opened. People also waste space occasionally by putting in a 12-pack of Coke, which is also very inconsiderate. There are over 400 people on this floor, and two (2) refrigerators to share.

1 comment:

Diana said...

Just "blogging" around and I stumbled on yours. Great stuff and so very true. Thanks for the laugh!

Feel free to stop by mine at