Six types of an­noy­ing co-work­ers in your of­fice

USA TODAY US Edition - - MONEY - Steve Strauss

Ques­tion: I have a co-worker who is con­stantly smack­ing her gum. The worst part is that she is the boss’ daugh­ter, so I can’t re­ally com­plain to any­one. How do I han­dle such an an­noy­ing co-worker? — Char­maine

An­swer: A long time ago, in a work­place far, far away, I worked in an evil king­dom of two-faced liars, jerk bosses and mostly in­com­pe­tent co-work­ers.

Other than that, it was a lovely place to work.

One of these ge­niuses re­ally liked to say the word “like” a lot. It drove us all crazy. That is, un­til the day that we plot­ted our re­venge — err, so­lu­tion. We de­cided that ev­ery one of us would also drop the word “like” into our con­ver­sa­tions with him, like, well, so many likes.

“Like, wow Gerry, that is like, so rude of our man­ager to ask you to, like, work late.” Gerry caught our drift quickly and while he clearly didn’t like it, it solved the prob­lem pronto.

Here are six other com­mon types of an­noy­ing co-work­ers:

1. Nopey

Back in the day there was a clay­ma­tion car­toon called Gumby. Gumby had a dog named Nopey. The only thing Nopey could ever say was, “No!” “Hey Nopey, wanna go for a walk?” “No!” “Nopey, would you like this new bone to chew on?” “No!”

Per­son­ally, I find the most com­mon rea­son that peo­ple en­joy say­ing no is that it gives them a (false) sense of power. By deny­ing you what you want, they si­mul­ta­ne­ously avoid hav­ing to do ex­tra work while also main­tain­ing their sad lit­tle fief­dom.

2. The pig

This an­noy­ing co-worker is gen­er­ally found in the break room. The guy who se­cretly eats your lunch (a very, very com­mon of­fice pet-peeve.) The gal who re­fuses to wash her dishes.

3. The hoarder

I had the best grand­fa­ther in the world. One of his tricks was some­thing he called “The Magic Box.” Pop kept it in the trunk of his car, and when­ever he would come over to visit, he would have all the kids on the block come over to his car. Then he would open the trunk and cer­e­mo­ni­ously open the Magic Box for us. Some­how, ev­ery time, it was al­ways full of candy, and no mat­ter how much we took, it was full the next time he came over too. Magic!

Hey, what can I say? I was 8.

In any case, the point here be­ing that there are a few em­ploy­ees out there who think that the sup­ply closet at work is the grown-up ver­sion of the Magic Box. It never seems to run dry, and they never seem to tire of pil­fer­ing it for per­sonal use.

4. The gos­siper

Is there any­one more in­ju­ri­ous to a co­he­sive work­force than the gos­siper? Makes no dif­fer­ence if it’s true or false, just as long as he or she gets to wag their tongue about some­one be­hind their back.

5. Mr. Clue­less

Mr. Clue­less talks too loud. Or he smells bad. Or he cuts out too early. Or he YELLS WHEN HE EMAILS. Or he thinks his pre­sen­ta­tion is sup­posed to in­cor­po­rate ev­ery sin­gle odd­ball Pow­erPoint trick he has ever learned.

6. The cheap­skate

How can it be that that round of drinks he al­ways prom­ises to buy never oc­curs, or the place he picks when it’s your turn to buy is su­per nice?

Do any of these sound like some­one you know? Prob­a­bly. Let’s just hope it’s not you.

Steve Strauss, @Steve Strauss on Twit­ter, is a lawyer spe­cial­iz­ing in small busi­ness and en­trepreneur­ship who has been writ­ing for for 20 years. Email: sstrauss@mrall­ You can learn more about Steve at MrAll­Biz.

The views and opin­ions ex­pressed in this col­umn are the author’s and do not nec­es­sar­ily re­flect those of USA TO­DAY.


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