Working Your Nerves: 8 Co-Worker Habits That Make Us Cringe

June 24, 2011  |  

co-worker
They say that with family, you can’t live with them, yet you can’t live without them. Something similar can be applied to your co-workers. You often wish you didn’t have to share compressed cubicles or listen to corny jokes you just don’t get no matter how hard you try, but most businesses can’t survive as a one-man (or woman) show, so you’ve got to deal. But it would be a lot easier to get through a 40+ hour week if your counterparts didn’t have habits better suited for kids rather than suit-wearing, dossier toting, degree holding adults. From sloppy bathroom etiquette to an unnecessary use of slang, we call it, the things that make you go ugh.

 

The Now You See Me, Now You Don’t Worker
This is something that happens to everyone. This co-worker is the one that sees you walking down the hall, sitting near you in a meeting, in the chow line or wherever, and chooses not to speak. Not that you need an exuberant “hey girl hey” from them or anything over-the-top, but a nod, a smile, a quiet “hello,” just an acknowledgment in general would be appreciated, especially if you’ve had closer correspondence with them through team projects, meetings and seating arrangements. But let you bring some snacks or something of use to THEM and voila! They can speak, and boy, will they speak, and speak and speak. Typical…

The Finger-Lickin’ No Good Worker
Take it back to the chow line. This co-worker is that individual that can’t seem to wait on a missing or currently-occupied serving fork and would rather reach into a batch of food with their bare, dirt riddled fingernails and unwashed hands, knowing that everyone is supposed to be eating from that same food. Dang, you can’t even use a napkin at least, man? Eating pizza? They’ll put their dirty hands on two pieces just to grab one, and will go back for second and third servings if they can with those “my germ” hands. Calling them hands-on workers would be an understatement.

The Level 10 Worker
The Level 10 worker is that person that likes to put on a show just because. Tell them some information and they’ll tell everyone else and do so at a megaphone volume. It could be 9 a.m., with most people slowly shuffling in quietly to start a long day, yet you can hear them from another room or a good number of cubicles away, just ON. Telling random, sometimes inappropriate jokes loudly, cursing or whining ALOUD to anyone that’ll hear. They’re simply that overly-crunk person you’d only like to encounter when absolutely necessary, but if you had your choice, you wouldn’t see at all.

The Elevator Straggler
There’s nothing worse than being in a hurry in the morning and not being able to take the stairs. Why? Because people who aren’t in that same hurry like to walk like they’ve got lead in their feet when making their way to the elevator RIGHT before it closes. And while you may not be in the mood to keep the door open for that individual, Susie Q to the left of you sticks her arm out for any and everyone trying to get on at the last minute. Unless you work in the jankiest of buildings, I’m sure there’s more than one elevator going up, or during the end of day rush, going down. So if folks can’t keep up, please keep it moving to the next!

The “I’ll Take Your Cookie” Co-Worker
I know we all get hungry at work. Especially in those occupations that require you to sit, and sit, and sit while staring at a computer all day. Boredom breeds appetite, so that’s why you bring a snack. But the trifling “I’ll take your cookie” co-worker will eat YOUR snack if you put it unmarked in the community fridge cause they’re hungry too, but didn’t bother to bring their own food. Don’t bother asking who ate it or why they would do it, cause everyone’s sure to play crazy. Writing your name on your items might put some fear into those would-be Hamburglers, but some people have no shame. Moral of the story? Keep your snacks at your desk and an eye out for sticky fingered hungry mugs.

The Bathroom Doppleganger
Maybe this happens to just me, but whatever, it’s still annoying. Have you ever used the bathroom, sometime after the post-lunch afternoon tinkle rush, and when you come out of your stall, had someone smile dead in your face and then go in to YOUR just used stall when there are others open?? Not saying that you went in there and tore it up, but during that special time of the month or after a bad run in with some beans and rice for lunch, it’s uncomfortable knowing someone saw you come out of a stall and decided to walk right in behind you.  Cant you wait!? I just don’t understand why someone would pick a bathroom where the toilet hasn’t even completely finished flushing over a fresh choice. But to each their own I guess.

The Random Slang Slinger
This might be a minority-specific encounter, but the random slang slinger is that individual who you could be corresponding with through email, the phone or in person about business. But instead of answering you or finishing the conversation normally, they think it’s necessary to throw in some variation of slang to be relatable, but it’s so corny and forced that it’s irksome. And you’re probably wondering, how do you know they don’t talk like that to everyone and you’re just being sensitive? Oh, you’ll know. Probably because they’ll use some outdated terminology. Cause really, who says things like “word/word up,” “foshizzle” or “homie” anymore?

The Habitual Non-Hand Washer
Ewwwww. This probably has to be the worst habit of your co-workers, and yet another reason to be mad or apprehensive when folks go full paw for that collective bowl of nachos during lunch. It’s gross enough when anyone does it, but it’s both nasty and awkward when a co-worker you are cool with does it, and uses a quick conversation with you as a distraction to make that b-line out the door. And while on the way out, touches the handle and everything else they can with tainted fingertips. But people wonder why it’s so easy to get sick at work. Hand sanitizer is your friend, girl.

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  • LittleSisterIsWatching

    The worst: coworkers that treat a shared office space as their gossip station. They sit there and scream with laughter during their break; oblivious of other people trying to get work done. During their break we just put our headphones in. The super ridiculous part is that there is are empty meeting rooms, two kitchens and even a nice patio for socializing.

  • Guest

    At my job there is a woman who doesn’t wash her hands. To make matters worse she’s my boss. You have no idea how gross it is to take a document from her hand knowing that after she used the bathroom she didn’t wash. To make matters even more gross, she has horrible body odor and on one than more occasion we (in the office) have smelled a fishy odor off of her… -I’m gagging thinking about it-

  • Ms. Lady

    I hate, HATE the co-workers that use having a question as an excuse to look over my shoulder and be all up in my computer screen. Is your question written there??? It's none of your business if I'm reading a Madame Noire article!

  • Don't forget about the coworker who sits at his desk with uncontrollable bodily functions all day long. Passing gas, burping, coughing up phlegm, everything. Disgusting. Workplace pollution.

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  • Ruby

    Don't ask about my weekend or what my husband does for a living or what school my kids attend. It's none of your business.

  • fabchick

    My office is next to a woman who talks to herself. Loudly. I wanna go in there and say bish shut the f up. She’ll say s**t like” oh I am so busy, what’s next” to herself. If u so busy shut the f up and work. Sorry for the vent. She irks me to death.

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  • Prissy

    Do NOT get me started about things that co-workers do to irk my nerves!! LOL.. I swear sometimes folk do certain things on the job just to see how you would react. I promise… Counting down from 10… breathing… and thinking about them bills that need to be paid always help me curb my tongue and attitude right quick… I'll even take a break and go to the restroom to put some water on my face …. Any little thing helps..

    • nicole

      sounds more like YOU are high maintenance, Pissy ehm Prissy

      • AHA

        High maintenance? LOL WHAT? HOW do you get that from wanting to CONTROL your anger in the work place??

  • honeybee

    I hate it when a co-worker heats up fish or seafood in the microwave for lunch. It stinks and it has the breakroom and everything around it smelling like fish. Now that’s just rude.

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  • thatonegirl

    You forget about the co-worker that thinks their the boss just because they've been working for the company for a long time. If you've been working for a company for more than 10 years and still havent moved up then maybe you should find a new job. Sorry just had to vent had a situation the other day.

  • Canari

    I still say homie!

  • Benita

    These bing pop-up ads are irritating!

    Anyway, while all of these are annoying. My pet peeve is the bathroom one. Ugh! I just had someone do that to me yesterday and the sad part was, it wasn’t even a co-worker, it was customer. He was standing there with this visible attitude and I was thinking if he had put half the energy it took for him to be upset and slam the door as he entered the bathroom, he would have realized there was another (better) bathroom for him to use that was perfectly empty and in plain sight.

    • I can understand the bathroom one if you are in an office with only one unisex bathroom. I can't stand the people that feel the need to talk to you while you are handling old and new business and/or blowing it up in the bathroom. I don't want to remember the conversation I was having with my boss when i'm trying to do a number 1, 1.5 or 2.