Thursday, February 28, 2008

Yes, actually, I mind very much

The people I'm working with are lovely, but they're consistently stepping on one of my biggest temp pet peeves. Here's a typical conversation:
Co-worker: "Hey are you doing anything right now?"
Me: "Nope." (Translation: "Yes, but nothing you're paying me for.")
Co-worker: "Would you mind making 3 copies of this for me?"
Me: "Uh, of course not."

Just once I'd like to say, "Yes, actually, I mind very much. My Google Reader is very full today."

I'm all for being polite, but making copies for you is my job. It's the entire reason I'm here and not home in bed. By all means say "please" and "thank you," and sure, hedge a little bit if you're asking me to do something not really in my job description like pick up your dry cleaning, but don't waste my time and yours by asking my permission to put me to work. And stop with the disproportionate gratitude while you're at it. I know that my presence here is helpful to you, but after all you are paying me. I'm not doing you a favor out of the goodness of my heart. I am motivated purely by a paycheck, and I'd feel much more comfortable if your attitude were as mercenary as mine.