Thank you, random Internet searcher for your curiosity about instant messenger at work! As some of you know, I have a professional development presentation called Becoming a More Annoying You! that covers issues of conflict resolution, dress code, office behavior, and sexual harassment. Which means that when someone wanted to learn more about instant messenger etiquette, they naturally came to my site to see what I had to say about it.
The answer? A big fat nothing. NOTHING! I HAD TOTALLY OVERLOOKED THIS!
How have I gotten this far without making fun of all the idiotic things people do with IM? Seriously, I’m pretty sure I’d forget to put pants on everyday if I didn’t sleep with them on my head so I’d see them first thing every morning. Anyway, here you go world – all the ways I can think of to annoy the crap out of anyone dumb enough to be your IMing partner:
IM The Wrong Person! This is ridiculously easy to do when you have multiple IM windows open. You know those 80s movies where a guy had two girlfriends who didn’t know about each other, and then they both called at the same time and he puts one on hold to talk to the other, then vice versa and so on and back and forth until he screws up and uses the wrong name with the wrong girl? Yeah, it’s a lot like that, except you probably won’t get smacked in the face with a purse. Instead, you’ll just get passed over for a promotion. That’s so much nicer!
Keep All the Sounds On! Your coworkers are lonely and sad, and the only thing that can possibly drag them out of their hopeless malaise is the incessant sound of your pinging IM whale mating call, or whatever weird-o sound you have whenever a new message pops up. This is even more fun if you have different sounds for different IM windows; then you can make the same kind of annoying non-music that people make when they run their fingers along the rims of 15 differently-shaped wine glasses!
IM Your Boss to Tell Him/Her to Come to Your Office! Couldn’t have thought this one up if I’d wanted to. Someone told me it had happened to them. Hilarious.
Spend Your Entire Working Day IMing People You Don’t Work With! That’ll teach your company to block Facebook. You’re technically being paid to work for 8 hours – but if you spend 3 hours of that time chatting with friends, then if you think about it correctly, your actual hourly salary will go way, way up. Huzzah for fuzzy math!
So there you have it. Now get to work not working!
Question: How many of the above have you been guilty of? Don’t lie to me! I can tell when you’re lying, you know…