What Can I Post In My Cubicle?

Question Ask the Workplace Doctors about a complaint due to a sign posted in a coworkers cubicle:

This week my boss & immediate supervisor spoke with me in our private conference room. They told me that someone complained about the content of one of the signs on my cubicle. I don’t put a whole lot of things on my cubicle walls except pictures of my nephews, pics of cartoons etc, but this person complained of the “FOR SALE BY OWNER” sign that I hung on my cubicle wall & I wrote in the blank line”NA PILOSPO” (means THE PHILOSPHER in tagalog)

Apparently someone in my division complained to my boss about. They didn’t like the fact that is was written in a foreign language. They were thinking it meant something bad. Just the fact it wasn’t in English apparently drove them to complain about it. My jaw dropped because I was thinking someone apparently had too much time on his or her hands. My bosses thought it was ridiculous, but I guess they have to respect these complaints no matter how silly it may be. Can this be an HR issue? Can HR really make a case for something like this? Can lawyers be involved? This is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard someone complain of in the workplace. Can HR make an issue out of a non-issue? (Which is what this is) Please give me some feedback. Thank you.

Signed, Philosopher

Yes, it’s ridiculous to spend time talking about your “NA PILOSPO” signature. I’ll not waste more of your time as your boss and supervisor did meeting with you in conference. Those who supervise should encourage their associates to find ways, such as you have, to mark their territory in unique ways. However, management can impose policies that regulate what is permissible other than work-related material or objects in workstations.

Some places have outlawed anything left on the top desks. Stupid? Yes. But such a rule does keep a place looking orderly, if not lived in. So let it pass. Focus on being professional and a cheerleader within your workplace. Do not let this complaint and how it was handled turn an annoyance into wondering who made the complaint and talking to yourself about how stupid that busybody is. Okay?? Does this make sense to you?Think WEGO. Think team. Laugh to yourself about how pettiness gets in the way of working as a team.

William Gorden