Keep Office Snobbery in Check
Some office professionals don’t get it: They think that because their coworkers have jobs, then they’re doing just fine financially and have managed the economic downturn unscathed. Never presume anything about your colleagues’ personal lives, not even the seemingly happiest employees in the office—in fact, especially not the happiest ones. Many people overcompensate for negative emotions by masking them with positive appearances—for better or for worse, it’s what many Americans define as strength. So don’t cajole coworkers who decline offers to eat lunch out; many are on a tight budget. And don’t brag about your ski trip to Switzerland to a colleague who just returned from a staycation. As this article elaborates:
“You don’t know what kind of vacations your colleagues can afford. Your cubicle-mate might have an unemployed husband, and another might be on a strict budget so she can pay off her school loans. You don’t have to be ashamed of the fact that you spent money on a trip and enjoyed yourself, but they don’t know that you sprung for the presidential suite. Be sensitive. Even if your office culture is one of conspicuous consumption and constant one-up-man-ship, be the classy one and stay modest.”
Nobody likes a snob, and during these stressful financial times, snobbish behavior is considered by many to be outright socially unacceptable—especially at the office where talk of money is taboo. Besides, your coworkers don’t care that you paid so much for your Ben Sherman shirt. They think you’re an idiot because they know where you can but the same shirt for half the price. Savvy office professionals not only appreciate the value of money, but also appreciate the value of class.
Image courtesy of blue jackal