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Tales from the Office: Co-Workers from Hell


No matter how much you enjoy your job, it only takes one annoying co-worker to make you want to take a sick day. We asked PayScale users to tell us what irritates them most when it comes to the people they work with. If you have a co-worker whose behavior makes you want to slam your face into your desk, you are not alone. Read on to find out what horrible habits made the list.

Hygiene Horrors

"I share an office with two other people. One of them clips his nails at his desk. My other co-worker and I like to pretend we're getting hit by the clippings."

"One guy I sat next to used to eat at his desk and he was a prolific mouth smacker. Another had chronic allergies and would clear his throat all day long."

Do You Know What You're Worth?

"This one lady always burped and clipped her fingernails. Gag!"

"Too strong perfume or other strong deodorizers or air fresheners. Gah!"

"One word: farting. Uncontrollable, incessant farting."

"Coughing up phlegm all morning long. Gross!"

"There was once a discussion from the staff about buying the business owner a gift basket of mouth care products. This person's breath was somewhere between annoyance and horror."

Micro-Managers and Unprofessionalism 

"I came to the realization that if you micromanage you are actually showing lack of faith in yourself and your own abilities to hire competent people."

"I actually worked with a girl who wore house shoes and sweats that said 'juicy' on the butt — then she wondered why clients didn't take her seriously or respect her. Also, lazy people drive me nuts, and Debbie-Downers. Womp-womp."

"Sometimes my boss doesn't get his work done and I have to explain it to customers."

"A male coworker called all the women he worked with 'girl'. 'Hey girl' only works for Ryan Gosling, and only if I don't work with him."

"People who miss their deadlines. I love it when people under-promise and over-deliver in that regard."

"My co-worker communicates poorly and then complains he has no impact or influence at work."

"My co-workers is always late for scheduled meetings!"

"It bugs me when my co-worker sings, hums, and eats loudly. I know a play by play of this person's day just based on sounds."

"I can't stand unproductive control freaks and people with anxiety issues who can't handle stress well."

Lazy Liars and Whining Whiners

"I had a coworker once who was nearly crazy (passive aggressive, played the victim, just an emotional basket case). I also had the joy of having the office next to her. One day, about 3PM, I hear someone playing a mandolin in her office. It was her. She had to practice she said. I couldn't believe it."

"There's the tendency to complain to the wrong person. Too many years in management taught me that the first reply to a complaint is 'have you tried talking with him/her about it?' The answer is no about 90% of the time."

"People who refuse to change/accommodate, lazy people, and those who skip meetings. I also can't stand those who lie to make themselves look better."

""My co-worker is consistently five minutes late for work and leaves a minute early each day."

"I can't stand when co-workers say they are 'too busy' to take a lunch, then eat at their desks complaining the entire time. If they'd just stop complaining, they would have time to take a break."

Email Abusers

"I can't stand passive-aggressive group e-mails, especially ones with words in ALL CAPS."

"I hate when I get forwarded a thread of emails that I've never seen before without any kind of summary of what they want from me. You know what these 30 emails are about. Don't make me read them all to figure out what you want from me."

Reading these stories, we are amazed many of you haven't punched your co-workers in the face. We applaud your self-restraint. Well done, professional people. 

Finally, our favorite answer came from Nancy in Texas: 

"They constantly complain that I manipulate them and put words in their mouths. They object to wearing the same clothes all the time, and they don't like living in a suitcase."

Nancy's response made us do a double take, until we remembered she's a ventriloquist. Well-played, Nancy. 

Tell Us What You Think

Do you think you work with the world's most annoying people? Join the discussion in the comments or on Twitter using the hashtag #CasualFriday

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(Photo Credit: Howtogetridofall/flickr)

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