Work Jerks: The 18 Most Annoying Things People Do at the Office

Leave a comment and tell us which habit annoys you the most or suggest a new one!

People can be pretty annoying at the office. There is always some chump who is bored of his work so he decides to distract other people. Here are the most annoying things that people do at the office.

The most annoying things people do at the office

1. Listen to music out loud
I always remember when I was studying for university exams in the library. I used to get so angry when people would hook their ipods up to the computer and play it out a loud with absolutely no regard for the other people around them.

Funny story – I remember one time a campus security guard came up to check on things and heard the music playing loudly. He walked up the person, stood in front of them and very calmly said “What the hell is wrong with you? Get out.”

I couldn’t thank him enough.

2. Loud talking on the phone
My girlfriend is a loudtalker. When she gets a phone call she always yells at the person on the other end. I hope she doesn’t read this because she often accuses me of doing the same thing. Either way, it is really annoying when someone yells over the phone and you cannot help but listen in.

3. Arrive late for meetings
This might be my father coming out in me but I get really annoyed when people arrange a meeting with you and arrive late. What’s worse, however, is when they do it all the time. If you are late for meetings all the time it shows that you don’t value other people’s time and it conveys a lack of respect.

4. Eat other people’s food
So you had a nice meal for dinner and you brought the leftovers for lunch at the office. You are trying to be healthy and not eat out for lunch but when you go to the fridge to get it someone else has already eaten some. Annoying.

5. Spread rumors
I don’t know about you but around the end of high school I got pretty sick of gossip. I got sick of hearing what so and so did and I got sick of talking about them behind their back. People at the office love to spread rumors even if they know it is going to hurt the person they are talking about. I think talking lies and gossiping is one of the most annoying things people do at the office.

6. “Borrow” money
I don’t mind shouting people lunch. I love eating with other people so if you are a few bucks short I will be happy to meet the gap. However, what is annoying is when the same person keeps asking for money all the time; money they never pay back. Similarly, there is always someone in the office who eats all of the group pizza and only chips in a couple of bucks. If you borrow money make sure you pay it back.

7. Ask for help they don’t need
How many times have you been asked to help someone out with a tight deadline only to see them typing away on Facebook or chatting in someone else’s office later that day. If you ask someone else for help make sure you need it and don’t abuse their kindness.

8. Send emails that threaten to kill your family
Have you ever got one of those chain emails that said that you whole family would die unless you forwarded it on to 10 of your friends? If you have then you will know how annoying they are. I am not superstitious but I, for some reason, cannot bring myself to delete them! Do me a favor, next time you get one of those emails don’t send it to me.

9. Post photos of me at work functions on Facebook
Everyone is on Facebook. And the annoying thing about Facebook is that groups of my friends that I would like to keep separate start to overlap. If you are one of those people who take photos of everything that happens in your life and then post them on Facebook the next day please make sure you ask the people in the photos if they mind being “tagged”. I’m not sure but I think it might even be a crime to do it without permission? (anyone know?)

10. Pee on the seat

Creative Commons License photo credit: jACK TWO

One thing I really don’t like is when you rush into the toilet stall to do your business and it is covered in someone else’s pee. Then I have to spend a minute or so wiping off someone else’s urine and covering the seat with toilet paper. Filthy!

Here is a rule you should all introduce to your co-workers – if you are standing up don’t use the sit down toilets. Use the urinal. That way there is little to no change your going to get it on the seat.

11. Not washing your hands
When I am in the bathroom with the other guys and I see them walk out without washing their hands I get pretty annoyed. We all have to share equipment; photocopiers, pens, coffee machine, fridge door, etc. This is not the 18th century. Wash your damn hands!

12. Ordering around seniors
This has never happened to me but I know of a guy who gets really frustrated when the juniors at his office give him orders even though they have only been at the firm for a few weeks. If you are new to the place then chances are you don’t know as much as you think you do. Even if you do know better, the act of telling people that you know better is pretty sad. If you want to make suggestions do it sparingly and with some class.

13. Bragging, boasting and general carrying on
Ever had a work mate who pulled off a big contract and then proceeded to remind everyone else of it for the next six months? It is annoying. People respect humble people… oh… and no one cares.

14. Dissing my lunch
I like to eat healthy. I like to bring my lunch from home a few days a week. No I am not gay. No I am not having money troubles. I am working on my gut. Are you?

The reverse also applies. If you are a healthy person please do not go up to the guy eating a hamburger and tell him how evil he is. Lead by example, not by guilt.

15. Managers who over “manage”

Creative Commons License photo credit: Ric e Ette

I think we can all relate to this one. We have all had managers who are way too keen to manage everyone. They are either far too enthusiastic or far too anal. The best managers are like martial arts teachers – calm, confident and empowering.

16. Chewing gum with your mouth open
How many packs of gum can one person fit into their mouth anyway? I am always really turned off by the person hacking their mouth away on a piece of gum so that everyone can hear it. The really annoying thing about sounds like chewing is that once you hear it you cannot cancel it out of your head. Even in a noisy office your ears will pick it up and listen in!

17. Taking credit for my work
Ever spent a whole afternoon working on a project only to have someone else take the credit for it? It is very annoying but at the same time it can be very humbling.

“Give all credit to others. Take all of others faults upon yourself. This is happiness.” – Shantideva

18. Making assumptions
My girlfriend often tells me how people treat her differently when they find out she hasn’t been to university. They think she’s dumb. She isn’t. She also tells me that people often don’t give her more “intellectual” tasks at work because she is a woman. It can be really annoying when people make assumptions based on your age, sex, marital status, race, etc.

What annoys you?

Now its your turn! Leave a comment and tell us what is the most annoying thing that someone at your work does?

top image:Creative Commons License photo Paul Nicholson

23 thoughts on “Work Jerks: The 18 Most Annoying Things People Do at the Office

  1. My favorite is the co-worker who loves to sing, but they can’t hold a note to save their life. You want to be nice, so you struggle through it.

    When you finally do tell them to knock it off, their face turns angry and sour at the same time. As if to say how dare you criticize my singing.

  2. Oh my goodness, how right you are. I haven’t been in a workplace for a very long time but your post brought back memories.

    14. Yes! If I want to have three BLTs with extra bacon for my morning snack, that is my business!

    18. Re: university. I won’t even get started on that one, but ditto.

    My (husband’s) addition: Listening to their problems. Somebody’s always complaining about their car or their boyfriend or their ingrown hair. Enough!

    Anyway, great blog. Made my day.

  3. I like it! I have a BOSS (woman) my direct superior, who chews gum LOUD, very loud, all day. It’s annoying, frustrating, maddening! And I can’t say anything ’cause gotta be respectful….

  4. What drives me crazy at work is a person who asks me to follow up on something and then does it herself. She makes me and the agency look disorganized and unprofessional.

  5. You were right on with #5 – Office gossip. People really need to get a life and not engage in rumors. #4 – Eating other people’s lunch really intrigues me. I’ve heard about this so often, and yet, in my 21 yrs working for a large govt agency, I’ve never actually experienced it as a victim or a witness.

    The comment by Theresa: similarly, my high-level manager would require some data from me, without telling me he’s also asked 2 others to get the same info. So we unknowingly end up duplicating our efforts, so long as the manager gets his reports. Oy vey.

  6. I have 1 coworker that I can make an entire list of my own for. I will try to tie them in with your order as much as possible.

    1. Do not sing, whistle, or drum with your finger loud enough for others to be distracted due to your lack of attention.

    2. Learn proper phone manners. If you call someone, they will answer by saying “Hello”. Do not reply “Yeah….” the proper response is “Good morning / afternoon” then go about your conversation

    3. Do not stand and watch over anyone’s shoulder while they work, unless specifically asked to do so.

    4. Do not talk with food in your mouth. Not only do you sound like a moron, you also turn your food into a projectile that can land on someone. That is just plain gross.

    5. Do not make up and insist on using nick names for everyone. If people want to be called anything other than their given name, they would tell you.

    6. Don’t assume everyone agrees with your preferences. Just cause you want Chinese for lunch doesn’t mean the whole group must bow to your whim. You don’t have to throw a tantrum when you don’t get your way.

    7. If you don’t know how to print a file, make copies, or save a file from email, maybe you aren’t qualified for your job. Go find something you are capable of.

    8. Don’t play deaf, if the guy on the opposite side of the office can hear the boss calling you, so can you. Don’t pick up the phone and pretend to be on a business call just to get out of something.

    9. No I don’t want to be your friend on facebook or myspace. If it were up to me, I wouldn’t work at the same company as you. Don’t assume people like you just cause they work with you.

    10. There is air freshener in the bathroom for a reason, USE IT.

    11. We don’t need your cute little names for the bathroom, you needn’t announce you are “dropping the kids off” or that you “will be in the office”. A simple I’ll be right back would suffice.

    12. You aren’t the only person in the office. When you need something from the IT or graphics department don’t rush them or stand and wait for your issue to be resolved. They are busy guys and will get to you in the order they received it.

    13. You are the only one that laughs at your jokes. No one else thinks you are funny. Keep it to yourself.

    14. The conference room is not your cafeteria, people need that space for meetings with clients who don’t need to smell the remnants of your lunch. If you don’t want to eat in the cafeteria, eat at your desk.

    15. You are not the owner, the manager or anyone else of importance. Don’t pretend to be anyone’s superior just cause you are in a different department.

    16. When eating, chew with your mouth closed, we don’t need to see or hear that.

    17. Just cause you said something might look good to the graphics guy, doesn’t mean YOU made the flyer look good. You had a half-assed idea and had no idea how to implement it. Its the graphics guy who made it happen that made it look good.

    18. There is no need to announce every aspect of your personal life. My life is not impacted in any way by you getting a sandwich, or hearing about your ulcers. You need to learn to just SHUT UP.

  7. I’ve been working in this reasonably small office for 3 months now, and the receptionist is slowly grinding away at my nerves. She is the most unbearable personality ever. She makes a problem out of every single thing, and she has to always be making some sort of noise. She grumbles and complains under her breath about her tasks, about the computer, about customers… ABOUT EVERYTHING. And when she is not grumbling, she still talks out loud… or hums… or sings…
    she is constantly making noise… she likes the sound of her STUPID VOICE.
    I just want to throw my monitor at her stupid head.

  8. Tapping. Loud tapping.
    Your working and a coworker taps their foot and it hits against the chair making an annoying sound. The more excited/stressed they are about something the faster the tap.
    Throwing up crumpled scrap paper at them helps but it would be nice to go a whole day without hearing the constant tapping.

  9. Overuse of “cc” in emails.

    My inbox is flooded all day long by being cc’ed on every little thing, even projects I have no attachment to just to keep us “in the loop”

    Really, friggin annoying

  10. worked for a grocery store, night stocker, and had someone eating our dinners, snacks, ice cream even if you had eaten part of it they would eat most of what was left, fixed it by adding a couple of drops of liquid exlax… no problems after that……

  11. Hey IT dude, its a few years down the track now hope everthing is better at your work. Sounds like this staff member was really REALLY a problem for you, hope it got sorted out and acted on.

  12. Here’s one that was left off that is very annoying. Colleagues that hum while working. That can get to you especially when they hum the same thing over and over each day.

  13. You and I ought to get together and go bowling, because I think we work with the same person. Whenever she asks me to follow up on something and the answer is not what she wants to to hear, right in front of me she’ll ask someone else to follow up on the same issue. The great part about it is that someone else’s answer is always the same as mine! I hate her.

  14. When someone thinks they are helping you by “doing your work”…. Then complains about how much work they have to do…

  15. I’d like to see you sign up for the military, see how that is, then come back to your comfortable office job…

  16. Wearing too much perfume or cologne in the office.
    Carrying on a conversation that is not work related with a co-worker outside your cubicle for an extended period of time.
    When a co-worker asks too many personal questions.
    Stealing someone’s food or drinks. (this has happened every place I worked)

  17. “Stealing someone’s food or drinks. (this has happened every place I worked)” –> So true. I just don’t get it. It’s one of the things I don’t miss now that I work from home.

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