This story was originally written for the r/HFY subreddit.
Now that human personnel have been incorporated into our offices, several minor changes have been made to incorporate our newest sibling species. Employee Resources have released the following rules and guidelines for dealing with your new coworkers in the office environment.
- All employees must wear pants when entering a human’s cubicle unless the human has already specified that their personal sensibilities do not require the wearing of pants
- Foodstuffs layered between bread is known as a sandwich. If you see them in the break room fridge, they belong to the humans. Do not eat them, you will invite a war that you cannot win.
- Humans are near-universally addicted to energy-increasing drugs, the most common addictions being caffeine and sugar. Do not inform them of how terrible these things are for their health. They already know. They don’t care.
- When humans complain of not getting enough sleep because they were up too late partaking of some form of obscure human entertainment, do not inform them of how terrible this is for their health also. They already know. They don’t care. No matter what you say, they will be complaining of the same thing again within the week.
- The third floor northwestern corner has been outfitted with a traditional human shrine known as a ‘water cooler’. Human spirituality involves tithing personal information while partaking of the shrine’s sacred waters; do not be disturbed if you see this ritual. Humans are non-exclusive in their services, and nonhuman staff are welcome to drink from the water cooler, but are warned that if they do so they will be expected to tithe. Therefore, if you drink this water, expect to linger about for a little while answering invasive personal questions about the wellbeing of your family, what you did on the weekend, and your opinions on the outcome of the big game last night.
- Humans need a little nap around 3 in the afternoon. Our human informants ensure us that this is absolutely vital to their health and that if the office wishes to properly respect the rights of its human employees, it is proper to not disturb humans when they settle down and partake of this all-important nap, which can last from 15 minutes to ‘whatever the length of your average staff meeting is’.
- Humans are a proud species and take their honour very seriously. A human whose honour is slighted will seek retribution in the form of a ‘duel’, a small-scale battle where right is determined by might. The nature of the battle is varied, and duels can take the form of a verbal art called ‘slam poetry’, physical combat with soft, elongated flotation devices, or agility-based games using a ball on a low table, as well as many other forms. If a human slaps another with a removable hand covering and loudly insists on ‘satisfaction’, expect a meeting room to be commandeered for such an event before the end of the day.
- You will not offend human duellists if you observe their duel. They seem to prefer it.
- You will not offend human duellists if you bet on their duel, so long as you are not involved in the duel. There will usually be a third human hanging about to take your bets.
- Anything a human from the sublocation ‘Australia’ tells you about their home is a lie. Unless it is about a dangerous animal (in which case it is probably true) or a strange food (in which case it is definitely true).
- Humans from the sublocation ‘Canada’ do not feel cold. Humans from the sublocation ‘Russia’ do not feel fear. Try not to be too startled by this.
- At some point, a human will use deceit, possibly in the form of pretending to deliver important information or interesting news, to lure you into viewing a war song by the warrior Astley, in which he will inform you that he will never stop hunting you, nor will he release you. Do not be too startled by this. Employee Resources have investigated the matter and, although the meaning of this action is still unclear, we are at least seventy per cent certain that it does not constitute a direct threat and can be safely ignored.
- Do not inform humans that they all look alike, sound alike, or that the differences between their various ideologies and religious, cultural and political systems are so miniscule as to be negligible. They are still pretending that these differences are important and will not take kindly to you pointing out the obvious.
- The pectoral swelling on approximately half of humans is not indicative of a Sirius parasitoid outbreak. These are not parasitoid-induced bubae. DO NOT EXPRESS CONCERN OR RECOMMEND A DOCTOR. DO NOT RUN AWAY SCREAMING ABOUT CONTAMINATION OR DEADLY BUBAE. The human will NOT take kindly to this behaviour, and what she will do to you will be worse than a Sirius parasitoid infection.
- Humans will anthromorphise anything with even the smallest level of automation or complexity. They will name their cars, gently coax their computers, and swear at the vending machines when they break. I saw a human walk into a pole and apologise to it once. This behaviour is normal for the species and not a sign of an advanced mental illness.
- If you have fur and large eyes, a human will try to pet you at some point. You can just tell them to knock it off, or submit a complaint to ER.
- The humans already know that their singing is bad. If you tell them, it will only encourage them.
- All the wheeled spinning chairs in shared office spaces have been replaced in preparation for the arrival of the humans. You’ll understand why later. You’ll thank us.