You know you're rude when …

Some say the workplace these days suffers from a lack of civility — but of course not by you. Still, you may want to take this workplace-rudeness test (or give it to someone you know).
According to, you know you’re rude when …

  • You have a habit of  interrupting others. That suggests — dare we say “screams” —  that your time and ideas are more important than everyone else’s and that you have no interest in listening to what they have to say. A rare offense is forgivable, but habitual interruption is problematic, according to professional coach Susan B. Wilson. “Some folks interrupt incessantly, whether you are on the phone, in a meeting, deep in thought or in another conversation.”
  • You don’t say “please” and “thank you.” In a 2002 Public Agenda survey, 48% of workers said that only “sometimes” they encountered others who made an effort to say “please” and “thank you,”  and another 16% said they saw such behavior “practically never.” A few words to show gratitude can put someone in a good mood — or at the very least can keep someone out of a foul mood.
  • You don’t clean up after yourself. Lack of housekeeping manners, especially in a workplace communal kitchen, marks someone as a slob, as well as a rudenik. If you’ve worked out a deal where your mom is going to come in and clean up after you, then it’s OK. Otherwise, it’s rude.
  • Your language is f***ing filthy. Granted, what’s profane to one person is perfectly acceptable to another, but foul language is rude. It says, “I’m going to talk the way I want and f*** you!” When in doubt about what’s over the line, stay well away from the line.
  • You’re LOUD! In the world of cubicles, a loud conversation or one on a speakerphone quickly becomes an entire floor’s business. Never mind how annoying it is to hear a conversation you’re not a part of; think how bothersome it is to try to concentrate on work when someone’s blathering away loudly. Rather than force your call on the whole department, invest in a headset or just hold the receiver in your hand. Or just talk softly.
  • You treat everyone like a stranger. You’re walking down the hall and a co-worker is walking toward you. Now, a bear hug or a kiss is probably asking too much (especially if the other person is the CEO). Still, it doesn’t kill anyone to smile and nod to let others know they exist in your world. Too busy for a quick “hi”? No, you’re not.