A coworker and I had an exchange earlier where we agreed to disagree in the end but I'm going to put this out there to you guys as I am curious what you think.
I think that we should all be professional in the workplace. That said, I ALSO think coworkers should be cognizant of what mood a coworker is in. We are employees but we are people, too, and that doesn't end when we punch in to work.
For ME that means that if I ask someone a question and they are a bit snappy with me, I back off and leave them be. I don't know why that person is snappy. Maybe they went to file divorce papers today. Or got a flat tire on the way to work. Or had a fight with their spouse. Or don't feel well.
I say, read the context clues and act accordingly. This person is not in the mood for me and all my questions right now. I'll email them if it's urgent, or talk to them later if it's not.
My coworker says you should go out of your way to explain now is not a good time yadayada.
I'm not disputing that, but, there are some people here (and we were talking about a SPECIFIC CO-IRKER) for whom that would not be enough. Because, then, they would want to know why? What's wrong? Are you OK? Can I help? Is there anything I can do?
And, I'm hateful enough to say, "Yes, there's something you can do, you can leave me the f*** alone!" Which, if they had read the initial context clues, body language, terse initial response etc., they should have picked up that I am not, at that moment, in the mood for answering a bunch of nosy azz questions.
I can accept if I am wrong about this as I am admittedly moody, hateful and funnyactin'. LOL!