Life on Tapp: Be tolerant of your colleague and don’t go rolling your eyes
Blaise Tapp writes: In the early ‘90s, horseplay at work was not only far more commonplace than it is today, but it was almost encouraged by some of the people I worked for back then.
Banter including asking the gormless trainee to go to the corner shop for a bucket of steam or skyhooks was par for the course for many of us starting out in work in the days before mentors and dress down Fridays.
These days of course, such pranks would result in the said employer being marched to the nearest employment tribunal with a chequebook in hand and there wouldn’t be many of us who would disagree.
While work is now mercifully far more inclusive for the majority of employees than it was in the days of four television channels and reliable bus services, there is an argument that since we all started returning from years of working from home, we have become less tolerant of our colleagues.
Last week it was revealed that £160,000 had been spent on teaching civil servants that they shouldn’t engage in ‘non verbal snubs’ such as eye rolling and looking at one’s mobile phone while a colleague updates you on the outcome of the latest three hour meeting.
Such acts, we are told, could be viewed as microaggressions, which are a form of discrimination.
I don’t know about you but stopping people from rolling their eyes in the office seems as unachievable as banning coughing or outlawing the increasingly tedious ‘personal announcement klaxon’ social media posts whenever someone moves jobs.
I have worked with some World class eye rollers, some of whom also do a fantastic exaggerated sigh, whenever words won’t do the trick.
In most cases these people haven’t been the office bully or someone who should be immediately marched down to HR but are usually people who haven’t yet mastered the poker face that is required in order to reach the top of most professions in the 21st Century.
While it is incumbent on all of us to be mindful of those around us, especially those people we have nothing in common with apart from the fact we all work together, this does apply both ways.
As irritating as they might be, we all have our idiosyncrasies and in some cases we don’t know we are doing it.