Thursday, January 15, 2009

Are you an annoying co-worker?


Image from Emotional Freedom Technique

In my monthly work health newsletter, I came across this interesting list of "How not to annoy your co-workers". Some of them are totally obvious but then some of them were things that I actually do. Oh no! I chalk it up the George Carlin quote, "Have you ever noticed that anybody driving slower than you are is an idiot - and anybody driving faster is a maniac?" Here's the list with my commentary:
  • Loud talking, laughing and playing voicemail over a speakerphone.  Voicemail over speakerphone should a be a punishable offense.  However, some people (perhaps moi) have voices that naturally carry, and can only control it to a certain degree, barring a voice operation. And stop laughing!  Work is not supposed to be fun!
  • Strong perfume or cologne, body odors, bad breath, or food at your desk.  I totally agree with the first three items, but food?  I have a huge pantry and a fridge at my desk and am CONSTANTLY eating.  This annoys people?  I'm always offer them snacks...
  • Coming to work sick and spreading germs. I take the daycare line and stay home only if I have a fever, diarrhea, vomiting, etc.  Otherwise I would have missed the last month and a half of work!  Cough!
  • Being messy in common places and careless with equipment. Agreed.
  • Whining, making excuses, and reacting defensively. No whining allowed!  What are we, in kindergarten?
  • Talking too much about your personal life or non-work topics. Some people give way too much information. Other people are way too private. There is a line where you can be work sociable and not gossipy or gabby or a total robot.
  • Excessive personal phone calls or use of the Internet. Oops, definitely guilty as charged on item two there.
  • Personalized cell phone ring tones and interruptions, especially in meetings. We have a company policy about using cell phones and they do still ring sometimes, but most people have them on vibrate.
  • Tapping pencils, clicking pens, and other noisy habits. I've been know to smack the keys on the keyboard pretty hard, especially when I'm mad.  It's just typing in forte!
  • Rude or sarcastic responses, always being late.  Me sarcastic?  Never!  And I always come in late, but not to meetings.

They did provide some helpful hints in how to deal with an annoying co-worker.

If you choose to confront an annoying co-worker, find out first if you are the only one bothered and if you can do something to avoid being affected.  Be honest and constructive, and let the person know how you are being affected.  Be clear about what you want, and pick the right time and place for the conversation.  In all likelihood, the person is unaware of the impact of his or her behavior.

And if you come to me with any of these, I can see right through you.  The fridge stays!

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