The closed office door.

11/26/2012 11:28:00 AM
Usually when I encounter a closed office door, I refrain from knocking and decide to come back to said office at a later time. I figure the person working behind the closed door is either doing something confidential (pumping? in a meeting?) or frankly, just needs some quiet time to online shop and facebook.

This, I am finding this fine Monday morning, is clearly not the standard thought process.

When my office door is closed, is there a reason why people think they can just slowly turn the knob and pop their head in and say, "Hi... I saw your door was closed...but..."


What inspired you to:

a.) not knock?
b.) not accept visual cues that indicate that I AM BUSY. (CLOSED DOOR.)
c.) think that I can stop whatever I'm doing at this very second to help you?

When someone says, "Hey... do you have a second?" there are some assuptions and inaccuracies there.

Assumptions: You assume that I have a second. That I want to stop what I'm doing. That I can help you RIGHT now. That I will not deny your passive agressive request.

Inaccuracies: There is no possible way that your communication with me will be LESS than a second. It won't. It will be at least 15 minutes, sometimes longer. Why lie about it? You should just say, "Can I have 20 minutes to complain about something/pawn a task off on you?"

Today I was walked in on by a repeat-closed-door-offender at my place of work and I continued looking at my computer screen and didn't make eye contact and just said, "Huh-uh.  No. No. No."

She looked slightly aghast and closed the door and walked out.

Was I rude? Sure.


Here's the thing I skype conference call a lot. And people will walk into my closed office and since I don't have a phone up to my ear, they just start talking. In the middle of my skype conference call. At this point, I have to excitedly point to my computer to indicate that I AM ON A CALL, wait for their confusion and then for them to leave and then I have to ask whoever is speaking to repeat themselves because someone just interrupted me.

Illustration that could be used to hit my point home:

When one is in the restroom utilizing the facilities, they close the door. They expect privacy and expect no one to enter. Knocking is acceptable; but it's best to use other clues before opening the door. (Is there a light on? Do you see feet under the stall door?)

There is no reason that while sitting on the John I should ever have to point to the toilet to indicate that I am using it.

I should also never have to point to my computer or phone to indicate I am on a conference call behind closed doors.

Closed doors = no entry.

*Note: Bosses and those who are higher-up-in-the-chain-o-command can absolutely enter my office at ANY time. Because they can. I work for them.

The end.

Rant over.



  1. Although it's much needed to keep away your pesky office mate, it would probably be inappropriate to install a lock on your office door, 'eh? Can you make a sign? A cute little door hanger that ever so nicely says STAY AWAY, I'M BUSY!

    It's a faux pas in my office to close your door unless you are working hard on a project or you are on the phone or have someone in your office. I think that's rather silly because some days I just truly don't want to be bothered. I want to close my door to keep people away! And besides, I can hear the person three offices away from me hacking up a lung because they have a cold. That's nasty. I've noticed that on TV and in movies, more times than not when an office is shown and someone is working in that office, said office door is shut. Why have a door if it can't be shut?!

  2. You know, I DO have a lock on my door. But, I rarely use it. And for the most part my door is open; except when I'm in a meeting, on a conference call or I need to write.

    And that person hacking up a lung near you should be sent home. :)

  3. I FEEL YOU ON THIS! I only wish I had a door. I have a desk :) and 3 walls, and most days I eat my lunch in the CAR of all places because if I don't - no one at work will have an issue with coming into my space and talking to me about ANYTHING - work, personal, whatever. Personal indicators would, uh, indicate that I am consuming food at noon - is it not my lunch hour? Could you leave me in peace for 10 measly minutes? So - the car lunch - my oasis.


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