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Ways to Annoy Your Coworkers

Updated on April 21, 2022
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Efficient Admin (aka Michelle) loves hiking in the mountains and good food. She works as a Project Assistant for an engineering firm.


There are many reasons why people love working at home. They love the work and don’t like the bad office politics, the interruptions, or many annoying behaviors that are distracting during a work day in the cubicle life. Some behaviors are just plain rude. Just for the record whenever the words “you” or “your” are used in this article, it is not you personally who is reading this article. It is used in the plural sense, and thank you for stopping by.

Consider yourself blessed if you have a home office that you utilize for your job. You have your private quiet space versus a noisy cubicle with too much traffic. This article is not meant to sound negative or judgmental, and I know it is a blessing to have a job, but listed below are a few distractions and annoyances that may be common in many office work environments today and ways to annoy your coworkers. If none of these behaviors get on your nerves, then you are blessed and more power to you. To eliminate these actions from your everyday behavior will increase the likelihood you will not be one of the annoying people that nobody likes. The following are typical ways to annoy your coworkers.

In A Cubicle Environment

  • Chewing your food with your mouth open. The loud crunching of the Doritos and Cheetos and carrots and apples should be saved for the lunchroom. It is better to take a quick 5-minute break and go to the lunchroom to do all your crunching, slurping, and smacking.
  • Clipping your fingernails.
  • Loud obnoxious coughing / gagging, all day long. If you are not feeling well please go home, or at least go home to work.
  • Your radio noise. Maybe nobody else likes your taste in music, plus they are trying to work and concentrate – get some headphones.
  • Your noisy wave machine. See above - maybe to you it is relaxing white noise, but to others it is electronic static noise from where they sit – get some headphones.
  • Loud talking over the cubicle walls – it is much more polite to pick up the phone and dial the extension and then speak to the person.
  • Loud personal phone conversations.
  • Loud, screechy, high-pitched, hyena-like laughter several times a day.

In The Kitchen

  • Taking the sugar or creamer spoon and stirring your coffee with it, then putting the spoon back in the sugar or creamer bowl, which now it is all icky and caked for the next person to enjoy.
  • Leaving spills on the floor, where someone could slip and fall.
  • Leaving spills, food debris, empty sugar packets, and empty creamer packets in little piles on the counter and not wiping them up.
  • Leaving your coffee mug and other dirty dishes in the sink, thinking one of the “girls” will clean it for you.
  • Heating strong, potent, or smelly food in the microwave which makes the whole kitchen stink and at the end of the hallway they are asking what the heck is that smell?
  • Forgetting about your lunch in the company refrigerator and the mold starts growing on it. This is especially gross when your food is in a clear plastic bag or container and everyone gets to watch the show unfold. We now have a policy at our office – Don’t Ask Who it Belongs To. Just Throw It Away, Container and All. Right Now.
  • Not checking if the dishes are clean in the dishwasher and proceed to add the dirty dishes with the clean dishes.
  • If you take the last of the coffee, p-l-e-a-s-e turn off the coffee pot so the pot does not get burned so at the end of the hallway they aren't asking what the heck is that smell?

How many more times today will you ask?
How many more times today will you ask? | Source

In The Bathroom

  • This is going to sound really mean -- Cutting big giant farts while doing number 2 -- Stop It. At least if someone else is in the bathroom with you. I realize we are all human and sometimes you just can’t help it. Maybe you ate something bad and couldn’t help it. But keep in mind it is just plain nasty. I’m sorry.
  • Leaving clumps of toilet paper for all to see. If the toilet doesn’t get it all the first time, please flush it again.
  • Ladies - I am sorry this may sound crude, but you know who you are. Stop leaving the toilet seat nasty if you are at that time of the month. Please check the toilet seat, and clean it if necessary before you leave the stall.
  • Leaving used paper towels laying on the floor because you missed the trash can. Please pick up your debris and throw it away.

In The Hallways

  • Conducting a 20-minute conversation about personal stuff or football outside someone’s cubicle who is trying to concentrate and get their work done.
  • Saying Hello and asking how you’re doing 5 times a day. What was my answer the last 4 times you asked me how I was doing today?
  • I am on a mission when walking down the hall. I must talk to a manager about a pressing issue – right now. Or I must make a quick copy for a meeting – right now. If you see me pass by your office, don’t bellow my name and expect me to have a 15-minute conversation to solve your problem. If it was so important to begin with you should have called or emailed me about it before you saw me walking down the hall.

Bad Bosses

  • If you tell your employee five (5) times that they are entitled to their vacation and they should go ahead and make plans because you are approving their vacation time off, don’t tell them 2 weeks before their approved vacation that you have a project due and they can’t take all of their vacation days after all. Especially if it is an hourly worker bee you are talking to. That BS is way above their pay scale.
  • If you tell employees that you want to learn the process in place, then listen to them and try to go with the flow. Don’t become obstinate and stubborn and refuse to be a team player, as well as argue and refuse to listen because you don't like the way things are done.
  • Here you are, all worried about meeting your “numbers” for the quarter. The Executive Staff looks at the “numbers” every quarter, and you act like you are so concerned it. Well I have a 8-inch stack of customer reports that you need to approve before I can invoice them. It is, after all, your hard and fast rule that absolutely no customer reports leave that office without your approval. I have carried the stack into your office and told you I have in my hands about $100K worth of revenue if you would just read these reports and approve them to send to customers. I have asked for approval for the last 3 months and you haven’t done nothing yet. Put down the bottle and do some work.

If the door to the conference room is closed, you can pretty much bet there is a meeting in progress.
If the door to the conference room is closed, you can pretty much bet there is a meeting in progress. | Source

In Daily Work Issues

  • Every time you receive an email with pertinent detailed information you expect someone to explain all the details in the email to you because you “didn’t have time to read it”.
  • You never read your emails because you’re too busy doing…whatever you do…and we have to always tell you there was an email sent out about it.
  • You knew for the last 4 weeks this project was due today, and now all of a sudden on a Friday afternoon you want me to help you get the brunt of it complete? Your lack of togetherness does not constitute chaos in my life (but being the people pleaser that I am I usually stay and do it anyway and get some overtime).
  • Poking your head into a closed door meeting to see if this conference room is taken. In most offices, there is a high probability there is a conference room calendar that shows all the available and booked rooms. If the door is closed, there is a 99.9% chance someone else booked this room and a meeting is in progress.
  • You hijack a conference room because your meeting is going over the allotted time. Who cares if someone else has the conference room booked right after you and they need to start their meeting. This is a sure fire way to get on everyone’s bad side. For Sure. Especially if the admin ordered catering for the next meeting and needs to set up the food in the room you are hijacking.
  • Then there is the proverbial backstabber -- the backstabber doesn't think people will notice, but oh they do. Keep bad mouthing people and trying to throw others under the bus to make yourself look good and you will for sure have no invitations to the team building lunches nor the power lunches. Or to the coworkers weekend BBQ. Ditto for the busy-body gossips.
  • If you give me a 30-page Word document you want formatted (i.e. line spacing, fonts, bullets, headers, footers, page numbers, adding charts, cover sheet, updated table of contents), first of all I need a MINIMUM of 1 hour to accomplish this. Do not tell me you have to leave in 30 minutes to take it to the customer site. Secondly, after I spent a few hours formatting this document and email it back to you, do not say to me that you added pricing to the document as well, except it was not in the document I just formatted. NEVER make revisions while I am formatting. We need to work from the same document. UNDERSTAND?? Why is this so difficult for you to understand?

This content reflects the personal opinions of the author. It is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and should not be substituted for impartial fact or advice in legal, political, or personal matters.

© 2012 Michelle Dee


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