5 Annoying Co-Worker Habits. . . .

. . . . .and what to do if you are the victim of one.  (Or more.)

First, the habits:

  1. Listening to voice mail over the speaker phone.  So excruciating for all within earshot.  And so unnecessary.
  2. Clipping fingernails.  Even if done in the “privacy” of one’s own cubicle, people all around can still hear you!  Yuck.  (Includes ear picking, nose “cleaning,” split-end “inspecting,” and any other activity meant to be performed behind closed doors, at home.)
  3. Eating smelly food.  One person’s delicious leftover kung pao spicy chicken is another person’s stomach-curdling stench.
  4. Eating other people’s candy.  Especially without offering to replace it.  Even more especially if you have to go into their desk drawer to get it. 
  5. Choosing a “unique” cell phone ring.  After the tenth or twentieth rendition of “Oh My Darling Clementine,” your co-workers want to take your cell phone and. . . . . .well, you know.

What to do?  If you are the perpetrator, it should be obvious.  Cease and desist!

If you are the victim, don’t let the annoying habit go on and on before you try to do something about it.  The longer it does, the more hurt/offended/surprised the perpetrator will be. 

Address the problem behavior the first time it happens. 

Speak kindly.  “You know, I was wondering if you realized that. . . . . ”  Do this in private, unemotionally, sticking to facts.  Suggest an alternative way of doing things.  Allow the person to save face as much as possible.

If the Annoying One continues to be annoying, you have a much bigger problem.

No Comments

  • Karen says:

    YES, you are SO right!! Especially #2, that bugs me – no matter where it happens! Long ago when I was a bus commuter, people would snip away on the bus and leave the droppings on the floor – YUCK!

  • Karen Burns says:

    Oh no, on the bus? Incredible.

    (And speaking of incredible, our commenter Karen is The Incredible Chef—she’s at http://www.incrediblechef.com!!)

  • Melissa Grossman says:

    People clip their fingernails at work?! I feel privileged for never having witnessed that one.

    The quirky cell phone rings, on the other hand…all I can say is, ugh! Double ugh!

  • A Reader says:

    Sometimes the individuals themselves, their work manner, is enough to be incredibly annoying. I worked with a person one time, who would wax long and eloquent in a totally ununderstandable manner, and then, when asked what the heck he said, would reply by wondering if it were possble to make it simple enough for you to understand. He did nothing overtly annoying, other than just showing up.