Workplaces often get described as a battle of good and evil. A demanding boss or a jealous co-worker who make your professional existence miserable. These people are actively harming you, and your career can suffer because of them.
Yet, not all co-workers who get on your nerves are bad people. These colleagues are often nice and the kind of people you wouldn’t mind hanging out with during happy hour now and then. You wouldn’t mind if it weren’t for that one really annoying habit of theirs that makes you want to lock them in the supply closet and throw away the key. You know, that one thing that they always do that causes you to take a deep breath and go for a walk just to get away from them now and again.
As we learned about co-workers who need to tone down the cologne or perfume, many people don’t realize that their behavior is annoying. They’re not trying to get on your nerves … but they do. In order to let you vent, we’ve put together a list of some annoying behavior you’re likely to witness while on the clock, whether in an office, in a retail store or construction site. Where two or more co-workers gather, annoying behavior follows.
Some co-workers don’t realize that they’re annoying, but they are. Why? Because they’re:
Always saying the wrong things.
The unknowingly offensive co-worker isn’t necessarily performing an action directly to you. Often the words coming from their mouths are natural to them but grating to you.
- Lingo fanatics: Please avoid relying on business lingo to get your message across. Every industry has jargon, but some words should be used sparingly if at all: value add, circle back, synergy, ping, think outside the box and manage up. (Feel free to add others in the comments.)
- Uhm, like, you know, like, uhm: Verbal fillers (uhm, like) are not often heard on radio or news broadcasts because they don’t add any substance to what’s being said. They are just placeholders until the speaker can get the right words out. A few “uhms” or an occasional “like” are acceptable, but if they comprise the bulk of your spoken words, try to weed them out. You don’t sound knowledgeable to your co-workers and they are more focused on how you’re speaking than on what you’re saying.
Annoying co-workers often mean well, but they don’t realize that they’re do-gooding is a nuisance on you and your checkbook.
- Always celebrating something: The resident party planner is always looking for a reason to buy a card, buy a cake, get a gift or throw a party. If you’re the one responsible for these activities, make sure everyone is on board and that you’re not overdoing it. People don’t like being pressured into contributing if they didn’t have a say in the event, and they certainly don’t want to be doling out cash to their co-workers several times a month.
- Peddling cookies and magazines: When children are raising money, the funds are probably going to a worthy cause that people don’t mind donating to, if funds permit. However, don’t be known as the person who has a new product to push every semester — especially if you’re sending around your adorable child to do the selling.
Some etiquette you learned as a child can come across as overly formal, such as never putting your elbows on the table or wearing a baseball cap indoors. While certain rules can be discarded, others should be observed for the sake of co-workers.
- Gum popping and chewing loudly: If you are chewing gum, have the decency to keep your mouth closed and not make a loud popping noise. That startling, incessant pop is breaking your co-workers’ concentration. If you’re chewing any food, remember to keep your mouth closed. No one needs to see the contents of your mouth.
- Cracking knuckles: Although cracking your knuckles can be therapeutic, it’s as jarring as popping your gum. The strange noise and inevitable sighs of relief after should be done away from your colleagues.
These are just a few of the annoying habits your co-workers are oblivious to. You can probably list a dozen more. Let us know what annoying habits make you silently scream throughout the day and how you’ve handled them. Feel free to print this out and tape it up at work. Or maybe just leave it casually on someone’s desk so they get the hint.