Working is for chumps. But we all have to do it. It’s either that or panhandle on the streets, and most of us prefer to at least sit inside eight hours a day and have a health plan. The only reprieve is getting to surf the web and click on articles like this one during the work day. Working is boring, stressful and unrewarding. It’s like going to day prison. Most of us are overworked and underpaid to say the least. But the worst pain to endure is having co-workers.
Co-workers can be so annoying that you start wishing that you had pursued a career in grave digging. They can be so repugnant that you think that the human race is actually moving backwards. And they are so demoralizing that you totally understand why the psychiatric profession is booming. There’s no way of getting around irritating people. Even if you work from home, you still have to interact with co-workers. They’ll call you, text you and e-mail you. They’ll fax you and snail mail you. They’ll Facebook friend you and Skype you. There’s no escape. This list is dedicated to the worst ways that co-workers get under our skin, on our nerves and drive us to the brink of insanity. If you thought Office Space had some characters, wait until you get a load of these personality types.
15. The Family Bragger
The family man (or woman) is constantly bragging about their kids. They think their kids are the most talented in the world – and they think you want to hear all about it! It’s so maddening for the listener because you get exhausted from having to constantly feign interest. You make so many fake smiles that your cheeks hurt, and you look at so many Little League pictures that you want to throw acid in your own face just so you’ll be blinded and won’t have to look anymore. The worst part about this person is that they don’t reciprocate. They couldn’t care less if you went skydiving or hooked up with Jennifer Aniston.
14. Cheer Bear
Remember Cheer Bear, the Care Bear that was always cheerful no matter what? Well, every workplace has its Cheer Bear. It’s the person who is upbeat to the point of insanity. When the group has to stay late, they get excited that you can all order takeout Chinese. When there’s a pay freeze, they promptly remind everyone that you’re all lucky to have jobs. And when you just want to be alone first thing in the morning and sip your coffee and wallow in self-
pity, they run in with a warm “Good morning!” This person just doesn’t understand what a bad mood is, and that misery loves company. They should be the most loved person at work, but they are usually the most hated.
13. Bathroom Wrecker
One of the worst things about work is sharing a communal bathroom. Whether it’s a bathroom that’s full of stalls or a powder room set-up, there’s no privacy to be had. What’s grossest is that every workplace has one person that just wrecks the bathroom. Their bowels are like clockwork, and they make it stink to high heavens. Their bowels are so predictable that everyone knows when they are going to make their pit stop – and everyone knows their smell, too. They are the two-flushers, the toilet paper hoggers, and the least likely to wash their hands.
12. Drama Queen
The drama queen is one of the most annoying people at work. Every action they take at work has a big story to go with it, from the stapler running out of staples to their phone call with IT. People dread having to see them on a Monday morning, because they are like a nonstop news reel telling everyone about the drama that happened over the weekend. They come in with stories about how their cat was sneezing, how they almost got a speeding ticket, and how they ran out of shampoo. This person has more close-calls than a firefighter. And they believe it is their duty to share them all. The most annoying part is that this person isn’t satisfied just telling one co-worker what happened. They tell and re-tell the same story all day – and you get the privilege of hearing it ten times.
11. Cell Phone Addict
The cell phone addict is glued to their phone. It’s like work is an interruption of their social life. They are constantly texting, Tweeting and making phone calls. It’s actually amazing that they manage to hold onto their jobs, because we know they aren’t doing any work. It’s also amazing that they make it into work in one piece, because you know they are on their phones during the drive in. Their digital drama becomes your problem because you can’t hold their attention long enough to get them to turn in a report, respond to an e-mail or answer a quick question. It’s only a matter of time before companies find some way to jam personal cell phone service for workers. When this happens, the cell phone addict will go into withdrawal worse than a broke crackhead.
10. Smelly Dude
OSHA demands that each workplace provide a safe environment for employees. But they’re real lax about enforcing personal hygiene issues. Working often means being in close quarters with people, and you can smell others’ bad breath and B.O. The worst offender is the one who wears the most cologne. You can smell these people around the corner, and their scent lingers long after they leave. They actually think they are performing a public service by treating everyone to their enticing aroma. In reality they are turning everyone’s stomach. It’s like they have to work to pay off their perfume debts.
9. Always Late Person
You show up at work and do your job. You might not be Superman, but you’re adept at TCOB. That’s why you get so angry at people that are chronically tardy. They come in late, turn in reports late, and don’t return phone calls until it’s too late. They just can’t get their act together. They pretend like they have the worst luck in the world, and that the cosmic forces are somehow preventing them from doing things in a timely fashion. Their tardiness is legendary and it would almost be funny if it didn’t impact you. When they don’t do their work, you have to pick up the slack. Ain’t nobody got time for that.
8. Constant Complainer
Everyone likes to complain at work. It’s cathartic and a real bonding experience. But some people take complaining to another level, because they never stop. They are always a great big ball of negativity. They bash the company on everything from pay to the quality of the water. They trash talk co-workers. They rehash events in the media, and only highlight the worst news. Talking to them makes you depressed. The only good thing about complainiacs is that you can always count on them to be a captive audience for when you want to vent.
7. The Food Hound
Some people can’t go one hour without eating. It’s like they think they’re at the movies, and are forever munching on popcorn and Twizzlers and are slurping soda. They open food packages with the delicacy of a raccoon, and they crunch like a mule eating an apple. They also abuse the microwave, and send fumes of Lean Cuisine and Hot Pockets around the office. This person is also the first to complain about how fat they are, and how they can’t seem to lose weight.
6. The Laugher
It’s said that laughter is contagious – but not when it’s at every little thing. And certainly not when the laughter is annoying. Every office has a person whose laugh is like nails on a chalkboard. It might be high pitched, it might be booming, or it might be a feminine little tee-hee. But it’s always grating on your nerves when you hear it. The worst part is that the person who has the most annoying laugh is also the person who thinks everything is just so darn funny. You become so annoyed that you want to warn others not to show this person any memes or tell them any jokes.
5. Music Buff
The music buff thinks they are the official D.J. of the office. Somehow they always manage to commandeer the radio and play the worst crap imaginable. If your office doesn’t have a communal radio system then you aren’t in the clear. This person will simply hold their own personal dance party in their cube and blare their music. They also think they are a music aficionado and will tell you the background of every song on their hit list, like that the Hall and Oates song “Rich Girl” was based on a man who was heir to a pancake fortune. This person makes you wish you were deaf.
4. Bossy Pants
The bossiest person at work is never the boss. It’s usually some underling who has elected themselves to be the “class mom” and thinks it’s in their job description to tell you how to do your job. They find the most picayune error, and run to draw your attention to it. They also like to post notes in the office to “clean up your mess” and “return the hole puncher when done using it.” If they could, they’d make you fill out a bathroom pass. These people were probably hall monitors when they were in high school. The only thing that makes them tolerable is knowing that they are too stupid to realize everyone hates them.
3. The Social Butterfly
For some people, work is their whole social life. They don’t get enough attention from their friends and family at home, so they use work to fill the gap. The cleaning lady is their best friend, and they have four work husbands. They bring in cards to celebrate everything from someone’s birthday to “Hump Day” – and make it their mission to track down everyone in the department to sign the card. They can be a great ally, but mostly they just get on your nerves. Here you are, trying to crunch some numbers at work or talk with a client while this person practically runs a counseling center out of their workspace and has an endless parade of friends coming and going for a shoulder to cry on or some good advice.
2. The Quitter
You know who the quitter is – it might even be you! It’s the person who is always threatening to quit. If the paid time off policy is changed, they scream “I’m so outta here!” If their desk is moved, they declare “Let’s see how this company can do without me!” And when they are reprimanded, they show you a draft of their letter of resignation. Yet this person never quits. They’ve been with the company for years, and will probably die there. They have no resume in reserve, much less any real intention of quitting. You get so tired of hearing their hyperbole and a half that you are tempted to sabotage them at work so that they’ll get fired, and then at least you won’t have to hear about the whole quitting nonsense anymore.
1. Typhoid Mary
Have you ever noticed how one person gets sick all the time? Their immune system is so weak that you start to wonder if they’ve contracted HIV. They are always just about ready to get a cold, have a cold, or are just getting over a cold. And they also get every stomach bug, virus and bacterial infection that’s going around. What adds insult to injury is that they come into work sick; this person has never taken a sick day in their life. They cough up phlegm and sneeze snot all over the place. They spread their germs – and get you sick. This person is patient zero and needs to be quarantined.