It’s inevitable that we might feel some kind of way about the people we spend up to 10 hours a day with (or more) in the small confines of an office or that lovely maze of cubicles. Aside from the usual annoyances such as the coworker that is rude, nosy, a butt kisser, or the cynic, there are all types of horrible things our “work family” are guilty of committing on a regular basis by people due to cultural differences, ignorance or they are just plain rude.
Here are 5 of the worst offenses causing us to have a strong dislike for or even hate our coworkers:
1. You Stink
Let’s just jump right into one of the most sensitive yet offensive issues first – hygiene that isn’t on point. Many of us have walked past that one person in the halls and damn near lost your lunch when catching a whiff of that odor and while I understand some people may have a “natural odor”, I’m talking about stink and funk.
There are some coworkers who come to work that way and it makes me angry to think that they believed a little perfume or cologne was a good substitute for soap and water. But hygiene doesn’t just stop at showering and body odor.
Do you know how hard it is to have a conversation with someone whose teeth look like they dined on a gallon of butter and the breath is burning off your eyebrows? Do you know how hard it is to ignore all those little white fellas on someone’s blouse or jacket knowing those aren’t lint balls?
The odoriferous coworker makes it very hard to concentrate and you can’t help but dislike them so if this is you, we need you to get your hygiene act together.
2. Disrespecting the kitchen/breakroom area
Our breakroom is like our little piece of heaven while grinding away in the office. This is where we escape for a quick break to grab a snack or refill our coffee, catch up on a little water cooler gossip or just stare out the window wondering why we’re still there. It is our common area and often times, pretty small so it should be treated as an area of solace.
This is not your home. I repeat, this is not your home so if you are used to leaving food in the sink instead of using the trashcan or garbage disposal, can ignore the spilled coffee and sugar on the counter or think you have a magic fairy that comes and refills the K-cup machine with water, wipes up your spills from the floor, refills the ice cube trays, and washes your dishes, you are delusional. Messy and nasty is one of the worst things you can be around people you have to work with and you are driving the poor person with O.C.D. absolutely crazy.
How about those delectable meals you bring to work and reheat in the microwave? It amazes me how many coworkers think it is okay to bring in tuna (fish) or some pungent ethnic dish, enveloping the office with those unwanted aromas. Even worse, rarely is the food covered so the next person waiting gets that smell and food particles mixed in with theirs.
People should consider the airplane test. If you were on an airplane would you eat something around others in a small space that smelled like that? If not, think about this the next time you want to bring that tuna casserole to the breakroom microwave that is used by many others. Oh, and let us not forget the popcorn burners which is by far the worst because it smells like burning body parts!! Did you know there’s actually a setting just for popcorn on the microwave which eliminates the guessing game?
3. Desk Grooming
For the most part, simple things such as a quick brush through of your hair or a woman touching up her lipstick is acceptable but some of our coworkers take things too far. If anyone thinks a quick spritz of perfume or cologne is okay, you’re dead wrong but there is one form of grooming at your desk that grates on the nerves of many people (myself included) and that is the sound of nails being clipped.
I’m not talking about the one off nail that broke or got snagged on something, but the 10 finger desk special is unacceptable and totally disgusting. So you might be thinking as long as someone is clipping with a trashcan nearby, it is okay but we all know flying pieces of nail aren’t exactly precise with where they land and the thought of a piece flying my way makes me cringe let alone hearing that repetitive sound. I work with a guy that does this about once a week and I’m wondering if he’s heard me ask “Eew, who is clipping nails” but realized he probably does and just doesn’t care. I can’t stand him for this reason alone.
The same goes for nail filing and the ultimate act that annoys the hell out of your coworkers is flossing your teeth where once again we have to worry about where those little food particles are being strewn, so please remember your workspace is not your personal grooming station so cut it out.
4. The Bathroom Criminal
I can’t speak for the men but I’m sure they have a different set of gripes when it comes to how their cubicle buddies carry on inside the bathroom but from a woman’s perspective let me say this – we can be some of the nastiest creatures on earth.
It makes my skin crawl to know that I’m working with some pretty nasty women who often “forget” to flush their waste, paper seat cover, tampons, or little purple pills (you read that right). Then of course we have the women overestimating their squat game who miss the toilet altogether getting the seat cover and even the toilet handle.
I’ve walked into some pretty horrific sights and this is one of the reasons it takes women so long in the bathroom. By the time we kick open a door and peep inside to make sure a stall is consumable, grab some tissue for the handles and go, it’s been a couple of minutes. And how about a courtesy flush? Since we can’t really light up a match and people are sensitive to
But oh….there’s the biggie that cannot be forgotten. That coworker that completely misses a step after using the bathroom and walks right out the door without washing their hands!
Where do these people come from?? Is there some policy in the employee manual we can refer them to or what?
Some people “forget” to flush… waste, tampons…. Forget to get rid of the toilet seat cover…pee/poop on the seat…courtesy flush is a bonus…not only for the stall but the bathroom overall. Go back to the airplane theory and space and ask yourself how you feel walking into a stall after someone has let out what smells like a years worth of waste?
How about the ones who use a paper towel to open the door to avoid touching the handle but can’t take that extra step and throw it in the trash so on the floor it goes?
5. Mr./Ms. Sticky Fingers
One of the worst feelings is being around people you can’t trust and the workplace is a thieves’ playground looking to take anything that doesn’t belong to them from pens to chairs to staplers to cell phones and by far, the most common-lunches. How much of a douche can you be to actually go inside someone’s lunch bag, sorting through all other items, to steal a Lean Cuisine Lasagna entrée? True story, it’s happened to me several times.
By no means is this list all conclusive, because I could name about a hundred more offenses that have me wishing a coworker would disappear down the elevator shaft such as the ones who refuse to fix copier jams and simply disappear, or the container scrapers who act like that Yoplait yogurt was a gourmet meal, and of course the speaker phone abusers. Believe me, we can do parts 2-7 with this topic but here’s the main point:
We don’t have to be friends with the folks we work with but we can at least be respectful.
Your workplace is not your home. You may be able to take your kid’s lunch with no repercussions, walk around with open mouth sneezes, engage in a marathon fingernail and toenail clipping or use the toilet several times a day without flushing but that is your home – not your job.
Sometimes I’m sitting at my desk, slowing crying inside after hearing some of the disgusting things going on around me and if it weren’t for my earbuds, probably would have lost (a little more) of my mind by now.
Just don’t be a jerk.