One of my pet peeves is when people go through my stuff. I can’t stand it, I guess because I respect other people’s boundaries and in an environment where everyone has their designated workstation, I don’t understand why some people feel the need to constantly invade your space and rummage through your things.
I might have mentioned before that I’m quite observant and so I will immediately notice every time someone tampers with anything I consider mine. I file my documents a certain way and even position my desk calendar and photos at certain angles.
Yes, I’m that particular and so if someone rearranges them inadvertently or otherwise, I will know. Whenever this happens, I silently wonder what these people want because as I mentioned earlier, I don’t touch other people’s stuff so why can’t they leave mine alone.
I would rather someone asks if they need anything instead of helping themselves or waiting for me to leave and taking over my space. You know how you step out for lunch or whatever and return to find your charger gone and you then have to ask around because you don’t even know who “borrowed” it?
I recently took a couple of days off because I haven’t been feeling well and when I did eventually return to work, my chair was missing and my desk was covered in food and tea stains. I was seething. Sometimes people act like you quit when in fact you just took a few days off. At this point, I’m considering leaving post-it notes with guidelines on what to do or not when in my space. “Please don’t switch any items on this desk” or “Don’t go through my drawer…” Speaking of which, I used to leave some personal items in there, you know like deodorant and in fact some money for emergencies. Ladies know the struggle. Sometimes you switch bags and forget to pack your makeup or wallet so I wanted to keep some money at work in case that happened so I would have lunch money, transport and such.
I don’t do that anymore because I realised that all those times I second-guessed myself thinking I must have dropped one item or another somewhere or had somehow spent the money, someone had actually stolen it. You know how you’re sure you left a certain amount but on checking, you realise it’s much less but don’t think much of it, convincing yourself you must have counted wrong or something.
That happened to me a couple of times and I know better than to leave any money or other valuables now. Locking the compartments is not enough. People will somehow find a way to get in there. I wish colleagues treated each other with the same respect they reserve for the boss. When he goes away for whatever reason or amount of time, no one goes into his office and gets comfortable. Why then can’t we observe the same respectful boundaries amongst ourselves?