Top Firm Staff Told Not To Gum-Pop, Hum, Slurp Or Pen Tap

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Dealbreaker reports that certain staff at Morgan Stanley have received fairly detailed instructions on how to conduct themselves when working in their cubicle-style offices.

Here's the memo staff are said to have received:

Subject: Cubicle Etiquette

'As our team has grown and our space has become more populated, just a few reminders to basic guidelines for cubicle life.


Never enter someone's cubicle without permission. Behave as though cubicles have doors and do not enter before you have eye contact "permission" from the occupant.

Don't "prairie-dog" over the tops of cubes or peek in as you walk past each one.

Don't loiter outside someone's cube while you wait for him or her to finish a phone call. Come back at another time.

Never read someone's computer screen or comment on conversations you've overheard. Resist answering a question you overheard asked in the cube next to you.


Try to pick up your phone after one or two rings. Set the ringer volume at a low level.

Please do not use speaker phone at your desk. Use a meeting room for conference calls that require speaker broadcasting.

Watch your volume when talking on the phone. A headset can help keep your voice low.

When you leave your cubicle, turn your phone ringer off and let it go to voicemail or forward your phone number to your new location.

Never leave your cell phone behind in your cube without first turning it off or to vibrate.

With personal or sensitive calls, be aware that your neighbors can hear your end of the conversation.


Use your "library voice".

Don't talk through cube walls or congregate outside someone's cube. For impromptu meetings, go to a conference room or break room.

Don't bring clients to your cube to meet with them. Go to an office or conference room.

Don't yell across the "cube farm". Get up and move to the other person's location

General Noise

Use email or instant messaging to communicate silently with your coworkers.

Set your PC volume to a low level or use a headset.

Avoid gum-popping, humming, slurping and pen tapping'.

Source -

Reader Comment

1. 'Did these instructions come from The White House ? Sure looks like the kind of thing that Obama would come up with to have another pop at the banks'.

2. 'Personal calls ? Morgan Stanley staff get to make personal calls!?'

3. 'What the heck is 'prairie-dog' ? Is this the American version of dogging ? If so, it is a bit much for the office'.

4. 'Why would the staff be 'slurping' ? Just what are they getting up to in those cubicles ?'

5. 'I thought this was work - not some kind of correctional behaviour boot camp!

6. 'They forgot the worse 'crime' - eating a smelly lunch at your desk!'.

7. 'Sounds like typical HR nonsense to me. I'd use my best 'library voice' and tell 'em to **** off!'.

8. 'Cube farm' !? This takes buzz word bingo to a whole new level!'.

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