Annoying Colleagues


LET me say from the start that all the offices I ever worked in were full of paragons of virtue who did not have one vice between them - ahem. I have to say that because some of my former colleagues read these posts.

Not one of them annoyed me. Not ever. And I’m sure they’d say the same about me. Yes they would.
However... according to a recent survey there are several things that colleagues do that drive the rest of us mad.

Those of you who have ever worked in an office will be able to guess most of the items on the list, from the person who blames everyone else for their mistakes to the one who is always off sick for minor ailments.

But, let me tell you, it’s the little things that stretch nerves to breaking point. There’s the tuneless whistling or singing. You get to a point where you want to shout: “If I hear one more verse of Bohemian Rhapsody, I’m going to find that Galileo and get him to do the fandango all over your head.”

Then there’s the person who you know is not listening to a word you are saying. I found the way to deal with them is to drop something totally out of place into the conversation, like in the script of a bad sitcom.

Me: “I’m free on Friday afternoon if you want to have that meeting then.”
Colleague “Hu, huh,” inspects fingernails and stares out of the window.
Me: “Then we can discuss the soup kitchen for the elf coalition.”
Colleague: “What! ”
Me: “We could talk about the supplement for the next edition?”

Works every time.

Then there’s the person from a company office hundreds of miles away who insists on copying everyone in on their mindless emails. So you get an email from the far reaches of the UK: “Has anyone found my notebook with the daisies on the front? ”

No, it’s not dropped on to my office desk via a Kentucky tornado and if you don’t stop emailing me, you’ll be pushing up those daisies.

My other pet workplace hate was the use of jargon. So when people talked to me about blue sky thinking and pushing the envelope my brain switched off.

Food and drink can be a real bone of contention, like those colleagues who never take their turn in making the tea or coffee and the ones  who take other people’s food from the fridge. Although in all my years of working in offices no one ever stole my pepperoni and grape sandwiches – can’t think why.



Here are  a few other bugbears identified on the survey. People who:

  • Suck up to the boss.
  • Take credit for others’ work.
  • Make personal calls. 
  • Criticise everyone behind their back.
  • They hand over complicated work.
  • Have poor personal hygiene.
  • Have earphones plugged in all day.
  • Never chip in for birthday presents.
  • Always call you when you are on holiday.


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4 comments:

  1. I've never worked in an an office but I can identify with all these things in co-workers I had in a flower shop. The suck ups annoyed me the worst and they were always the same ones who took credit for other people's work.

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  2. I never worked in an office, but some of these things did happen in a retail environment, too. Coworkers can be an issue.

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  3. My last supervisor managed five of those final points, she definitely was annoying. She is the main reason I retired early. As for stolen food, I had a sandwich taken twice. the first was just my lunch. The second was bait. An chopped egg/mayonnaise sandwich with half a container of pepper AND the crushed eggshells mixed into it.

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  4. Oh, there was a hardworking and supportive colleague I adored who also slurped up his food, like an entire avocado (!) and totally gross me out. lol Thanks for the link on some British slang. Interesting! The first one broke my heart.

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