As I’m talking to my son over the weekend about a few of the annoying things he does that he has no idea bother other people I’m forced to reflect on a few of the annoying things my colleagues have done to me over the years and some things I no doubt do to others. Here are a few things you do that annoy the hell out of your colleagues to which you are oblivious.
Tell lame jokes – You think everyone loves a good joke but the key word here is “good”. Are you an encyclopedia of jokes? Do you have a natural knack for remembering every one liner told to you and then regurgitating the same joke over and over again to every colleague that passes by your desk? Do you laugh uproariously at your own joke even though you’ve told it twelve times? In closed company do you sometimes whisper the inappropriate joke about Stevie Wonder’s blindness or Polish people’s alleged stupidity. You do? Yeah, knock that mess off!
Sigh before smoking – Do you sigh before getting up from your desk on the way out for your 4th smoke break before lunch as if to convey, “Boy I wish this addiction didn’t have such a hold on me. I sure feel bad for not working.” It isn’t your smoke break that annoys everyone so much as your feigned sigh of remorse. You know you don’t care that we’re working while you’re toking away and we know you don’t care either!
Yell in Your Emails – Ever had a boss or colleague send you an email like this? “This report isn’t bad but WE CAN DO BETTER! ALPHABETIZE THE COLUMNS AND SEND EVERY MONDAY MORNING FROM NOW ON!” Easy Mr. Furious! While you think you’re just trying to emphasize your request, your use of all caps comes across as angry shouting. Chill! Your yelling isn’t increasing your employee’s satisfaction.
“Who the F#@k won Survivor last night? – Run for cover because someone is dropping “F” bombs. I know the casual use of “Fudge” helped propel Eddie Murphy and Dice Clay’s comedic careers but you’re in the office now buddy and using it to make yourself look funny or big only makes you look like a vulgarian. Occasionally a well placed “Fu#k may illicit a laugh but we don’t need to hear, “What the f*ck, why the hell is the fu#king printer out of mother fu$king paper again?” Just calm down man!
Zone out – When people start talking to me within ten seconds I usually start thinking about what I’m going to eat for lunch, or for dinner, or what I need at the store later. I usually nod during the conversation at moments that probably don’t make sense and occasionally throw in a grunt of agreement a la Billy Bob Thornton in Sling Blade. Not much time passes before they figure out I’m not even listening to them which obviously gets on their nerves or makes them feel boring and unimportant. Yes, that’s right. My hunger is more important than how we plan to boost revenue!
Not plan ahead – Ever had a colleague call you from the road and ask you for directions on how to get to their sales call and/or to book them a room for the night in the area even though they knew about their trip weeks in advance? Ever felt like sending them an email that said, “I’M NOT TOMTOM OR YOUR F#@KING TRAVEL AGENT!”
Gloom, Despair and Agony on Me – You probably don’t remember this song from Hee Haw but maybe you’ve worked with someone like this. One day your colleague complains about a sore throat, the next sunburn, the next diarrhea (egad), the next a headache, the next a runny nose, the next their sex life (egad x 2), until the cycle repeats all over again. You are the pillar of de-motivation my friend and you are sapping the life out of your colleagues.
What behaviors at work do you do which may annoy others or what are the things others do that annoy you about which your colleagues are clueless?