What annoying and unproductive things do your co-workers do?

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This topic contains 36 replies, has 15 voices, and was last updated by  Karen “Kari” Uhlman 7 years, 9 months ago.

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  • #160643

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    I’ll start with two of my own:


    “It’ll only take a minute.”

    The dreaded phrase that says, “even if you have a moment to mutter ‘NO,’ I am going to blatantly ignore you anyway and then expect you to do things for me.”


    Empty Inquiries

    A rhetorical question is one which doesn’t require an answer. An irrhetorical question is one which your co-worker waits for you to answer, but it’s irrelevant because he only asked so he can follow up with the answer to his own question.

  • #160715
    • Conducting personal tasks, such as cooking, grocery shopping and coffee runs, on work time
    • Talking loudly, to no one in particular, while uisng swear words.
    • Loud personal phone calls.
    • Inappropriate attire for workplace.
  • #160713

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Lol. That reminds me: microwaving popcorn. Every place I have ever worked there is someone who always eats popcorn for lunch.

  • #160711

    Well, I enjoy the smell of popped popcorn.

  • #160709

    Ann McFarlane
    Participant

    This is REALLY a pet peeve of mine … I’m working on my computer – they walk into my office and just sit down and start talking. No “got a minute?” No “working on a rush?” and then they start talking about non-work item .. like how busy they are!

  • #160707

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Lol. There was one guy I worked with years ago who did that every day.

  • #160705

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    The talking loudly is a good example. Some people are just intent on talking THROUGH the officle walls. This is really the #1 driver behing telecommuting!

  • #160703

    Boundaries

  • #160701

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    He didn’t seem to recognize the invisible boundary around my officle. I explicitly and implicitly told him that he was disruptive. Didn’t matter. I probably should have had the corporate security guards detain him.

  • #160699

    Sounds like he had no respect for you and your workload. I’m sorry you had to experience this.

  • #160697

    Ann McFarlane
    Participant

    Karen – in my experience, the people that do this are avoiding work at all costs. They do get to honestly say .. I talked to so and so, and so and so, etc., to make it seem like they are working; and they complain about being overloaded – but they are not the ones with all the work. I’ve met at least one of these these people in pretty much every office I’ve worked in. I have always wanted to say .. well, if you didn’t run around and complain about the work, you’d have time to do it! I really wish I were the type that could do that!

  • #160695

    You’re right. To respond with well, if you didn’t run around and complain about the work, you’d have time to do it! would probably get me in trouble for being discourteous to a co-worker. If they ever complained about being overloaded, it might be an opportunity to help them, but you’d have to confirm that the person is ready for coaching. I’d ask questions that offer information to clarify the situation…Oh, so you are unable to get your tasks completed accurately and on time? Have you spoken to your supervisor about this challenge? It might help the employee identify some possible actions to fix their perception of their workload.

  • #160693

    Terrence Hill
    Participant

    I like Karen’s list, but here are a couple of mine:

    • Insisting on holding “face-to-face” meetings when a quick huddle or discussion would suffice.
    • Insisting that you cannot use social networks to resolve problems or research issues.
    • People who refuse to use Instant Messaging or simple collaboration tools like MS Communicator.
    • Multiple layers of approval for everything, including simple communications.
    • Prohibitions like no travel, no training, no awards, no telework, or no changes in the way we work.
    • Managers who say they want to improve communications by sending a memo to staff, then returning to their closed offices, never to be heard from again.

    I could go on, but one of my other pet peeves in long, tedious postings on social networks.

  • #160691

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    LOL! Where do I start with my response? The one that really annoys me is the refusal to use simple messaging and collaboration tools. You’re so right.

  • #160689

    William Lim
    Participant

    I enjoy the smell of popcorn only if I can have some. 🙂

  • #160687

    Susan Pcola-Davis
    Participant

    What a question to stir up a Friday? Picture our office with connecting cubicles (no sound proofing). Here are some of my co-worker’s unproductive and annoying things that occur on a daily basis; 1. Personal phone calls coming in on a very loud cell phone with a barking dog as a ring among other ring tones. 2. Yelling over the cubicles instead of getting up and walking over to the person. 3. Upon entering the office for the work day, immediately goes to the bosses office and fills her in on everything personal that occurred over night, since she left work the day before. 4. So what time do you start work, no one knows. 5. Saying they will complete some request and never does it and never says they aren’t going to do it (empty promises) 6. “Not my job” 7. Subordinates eating lunch with the boss in the bosses office (everyone else is in their cubicle) 8. Whispering vice going into an office to discuss “secrets” 9. Prima donnas 10. I could go on but I won’t

  • #160685

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    LOL!!!

  • #160683

    Terrence Hill
    Participant

    OK Chris – You asked for it! I have 2 minutes to add one more. Employees with multiple portable devices on their belt. Why? Because the government issued device is inadequate and the government IT folks have not figured out how to capitalize on personally owned devices. What a waste of resources! The only person who benefits – phone companies.

  • #160681

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Or how about the guy with the Bluetooth earpiece in all day long even when he isn’t talking?

  • #160679

    When a colleague of mine comes to my workplace in the morning the moment I happen to sit there, and starts talking without a work-item agenda.

  • #160677

    Terrence Hill
    Participant

    That too! Talk about pretentious! Some people wear them all day, as if they are too important to miss a phone call. Like his haircut and mustache, this is so 90s!

  • #160675

    Rhonda Cooper
    Participant

    This is definetely my biggest, people who IM each oother al day about the latest game scores, tv shows or anything that’s not work related.

  • #160673

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    An agenda is too much work for these people.

  • #160671

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Esp. conversations about what happened on Dancing with the Stars.

  • #160669

    Amanda Blount
    Participant

    Someone already mentioned this one, but it is a big pet peeve of mine… The person who talks to themselves all day, really loudy and expects you to answer questions they throw in the air!!!

    Example — (Really loud talking) Damn this internet. I can’t get to the _____(whatever). Hey, what is the problem with the damn internet today? (on and on it goes like this all day)… Hey, I asked, “Does anyone know what is wrong with the internet?” —

    I hate that soo much!! People like this do not get the hint that they are attention snobs! All the attention must be on them all day long, or they get louder and louder! I used to wear my music, and for some reason that was a policy put in place and we couldn’t do it anymore. Gosh… I am so glad I don’t work beside that person anymore… I really did not like her at all.

    AND —

    “Reply all” when it is not needed.

    AND —

    SPAM mail at work.

    AND…..

    People who get caught using porn at work, get fired, then complain it is unfair. REALLY??? ARGHHH!

  • #160667

    Amanda Blount
    Participant

    Hate long meetings which could have been solved with one e-mail.

    BUT — On the flip side… I love those 2 min stand up meetings!

    Oh My gosh, I want to telework so badly!!!!

  • #160665

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    I hate when people call meetings as a tactic to get work done that they should be doing or should have done.

  • #160663

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    That is a good one!!! So true.

  • #160661

    John Evans
    Participant

    Personal phone calls during work time, running into the manager’s office to whine about some trivial thing every day, stalling and taking twice as long as needed in order to avoid work top my list.

  • #160659

    Erica Schachtell
    Participant

    chris, i see this all the time. i had better not think about it too much or i’ll get upset…

  • #160657

    Corey McCarren
    Participant

    Popcorn for lunch? That’s new

  • #160655

    Henry Brown
    Participant

    Having Teleworked for several years, in a different time zone than the supervisor, and a majority of team members, It was rather annoying that a significant number of conference calls/teleconferences were scheduled with no apparent realization that some of the team members worked in different time zones.

    Team lead would schedule a teleconference at the beginning of their work-day in the Eastern Time zone which made for some interesting conversations from the people working in the Pacific Time zone. I would be a millionaire if I got a dollar for every conference scheduled at 1:00 PM in Eastern Time zone which was right at the beginning of my lunch break when I worked in Central Time zone….

  • #160653

    Tim Howell
    Participant

    I try to avoid meetings as much as possible but when we do have them… there are a few things that I do not like during them.

    • When people are late.
    • Side Conversations.
    • Someone who has to give their opinion on every single things.
    • The person who plays on their phone the entire meeting.

    Most of my other dislikes have already been said in other posts but I have a couple additions.

    • When people talk about work when you see them outside of work.
    • The boss that turns every little problem into an emergency.
    • People that work excessively long hours but do not get anything done.
    • People that leave Sticky Notes on my desk (they must not have heard of email)
    • When someone comes into my office and just stands their until they are acknoleged (usually happens when I am on a conference call or important phone call).

    I will stop there because it is early and I do not want to start off the mornign with a bunch of “I hates”. Maybe you can do the flip side next 🙂

  • #160651

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    You made me think of when employees act frenetic just to look busy and productive.

  • #160649

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Classic!

  • #160647

    Chris Cairns
    Participant

    Great list! You’re absolutely right about the boss that turns every little problem into an emergency. Very unproductive. Just creates unnecessarily highly-charged environment that is counter-productive.

  • #160645

    Allison Primack
    Participant

    Here are a few shared on GovLoop’s Facebook:

    Penny van Zandt: I have co-workers that cut their fingernails at work. I mean take care of that at home; grosses me out.

    Jen Bhartiya: it’s more the boss we have issues with

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