Mailbag: Cube courtesy

In a recent newsletter about cube etiquette, two readers responded to my invitation to send in courtesy guidelines that they'd like their officemates to follow.

Computer programming consultant Phil Bossardet has worked for several companies and experienced a variety of workplace etiquette infractions. He says that ironically, these violations became painfully clear while he was working at a cubicle manufacturer.

Here are his suggestions for pleasant dwelling on the cube farm:

* Please take that impromptu meeting to a conference room instead of cramming two to five people into a cubicle and leaving others to hang over the wall.

* Please don't use speaker phones in cubicles and especially don't use them to listen to your voice mail messages, even though those 15 messages from your most recent escapades may be quite entertaining.

Keith Rice, an assistant vice president for a major financial institution, writes, "I have been seriously considering buying some yellow plastic chain from Home Depot to hang across the entrance of my cube when I do not wish to be disturbed."

Among his recommended rules:

* Do not call out my name over the cube wall. Many times, I have co-workers who do that to ask me a question while I am on a conference call. One co-worker does this several times a day.

He sits directly across the aisle from me and will do that even when I am on a call. If I'm wearing a headset, I'm on a call.

* Do not come into my cube and just stand there and wait to be acknowledged. Also, do not just walk in and start talking to me. Knocking is preferred.

* If I am on a call and you need to speak with me on a nonurgent issue, please send an e-mail.

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