Annoying coworkers make office life miserable.
You know who they are.
Maybe it was something as huge as taking all the credit for a game-changing business idea, or something as small as chewing gum too loudly at their desks. But whatever the reason, we all have coworkers we absolutely hate. And some of us are that coworker -- whether we realize it or not.
It's inevitable really. After all, you can't spend 40 hours a week with the same people day in and day out, trapped together in a confined area and forced to share space and resources, without developing a little bit of acrimony from time to time. We're human beings and bad days and isolated incidents are occasionally expected. But when those isolated bad days turn into regular occurences and start affecting others at work, that's a problem.
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So which traits cause you to hate coworkers (or make you hated)? We've got eleven of them.
1. Being a Slob
A little messy? OK. A tad unorganized and slightly eccentric? Sure. But let's face it, no one likes a disgusting slob.
When your cubicle looks like it hasn't been cleaned since Clinton was in office and the mold from your coffee cup is turning into a sentient being with plans of office domination, you've officially become a slob. Your complete disregard of the company dress code and the curious decision to only shower twice a week has also contributed to your new job title -- office pariah.
No one says you have to be a fashion maven or wear expensive perfume or cologne, but at the very least you have to look presentable and engage in basic personal hygiene so the people you work with can stand to share the same space. And speaking of your space, give the cubicle a spring cleaning, will ya? Having your workspace declared a biohazard is not going to help your chances for a raise come performance review time.
2. No E-mail Etiquette
Are you the "caps lock guy?" The "reply all gal?" Well knock it off!
We are far enough along into the Internet Age that "I'm not good with computers" can no longer be used as a legitimate excuse for email etiquette ignorance. First of all, the caps lock thing? Don't. Just don't. It used to be mean you're shouting, but at this point it means "you're shouting and nothing you say can be taken seriously."
And please, don't just automatically hit "reply all" when corresponding via email. This goes double for those times you're part of a team and you run the risk of typing something inappropriate with your boss on the list, or something that makes a co-worker look bad. Also, don't become a habitual offender when it comes to marking things "high priority." If it's an emergency, fine. But just because you sent it doesn't mean it's automatically a priority.
3. You're Condescending
Knowing what you're talking about is a good thing. Being a know-it-all? Not so much.
Everyone gets it -- you're the smartest person in the room. You not only have a solution for everything, you're all too happy to point out why other peoples' suggestions are destined to fail. But while you were busy being right, something interesting happened -- you alienated your entire team and now no one wants to work with you because they can't stand the sight of you.
There's a way to stand out in a positive light without kicking everyone else into the abyss. Don't stop coming up with great ideas, but use your brilliance to foster the ideas of others and bring them up to your level without drawing the ire of the people you have to work with on a daily basis. If you continue to talk down to people you're bound to get a lot of middle fingers extended up to you in no time.
4. Too Much Information
Too Much Information -- or TMI as the kids are calling it these days -- is a tricky thing.
While most co-workers share a certain amount of personal information with one another and the line between just enough and too much is often blurry, it is still there. For example, it's perfectly acceptable to tell your co-workers you went out to a club this weekend. But telling them you got so wasted the bouncers had to toss you out for your half-naked rendition of Gangnam Style is TMI. The same goes for excessive talk of personal health problems, marital spats, your child's latest accomplishment at preschool no one cares about, and your private phone calls during work that are anything but.
Everyone has their own problems, they don't want to deal with yours too.
5. You're Lazy
Laziness isn't one of the 7 Deadly Sins for nothing.
Every office has at least a handful of these lazy employees. They've been around for a few years, don't like their jobs very much, and therefore do as little as possible -- basically only performing in their duties enough to not get fired and keep collecting a paycheck. So while they might perform the bare minimum, don't look for these workers to carry their weight as part of a team or contribute anything worthwhile during a big project. Yet they never have any problem accepting the credit courtesy of the people who actually did work hard -- hence the reason lazy workers made this list.
We get that you're unhappy, but if work is so bad that you can't see fit to put forth any effort whatsoever, just leave. You're cheating the company, your co-workers who hate you a little more every day, and ultimately yourself. Contribute or be gone!
6. You're the "Stinky Lunch" Guy
This might start off innocently enough, but your choice of lunchtime cuisine can land you in the hallowed halls of office hatred faster than anything else on this list.
We understand everyone has different tastes and people come from all walks of life -- and that includes what we all eat. But if you're in an office environment, you need to remember you're sharing space. Sometimes with dozens and dozens of other people. So when you stick your leftover fish in the microwave for 4 minutes, it's like dropping a stinkbomb right in the middle of the office. And while curry and Tex-Mex taste delicious if you're the one eating it, the rest of us just lost our appetites because that smell is going to linger for the rest of the day.
Bring a sandwich or some soup that doesn't assault the nostrils. Unless of course you want everyone to think about a horrible stench every time you enter a meeting.
7. You're a Backstabber
Want people to hate you? Take credit for something someone else did.
Engaging in office politics is fine (and even expected to a point), but when you start actively taking credit for ideas that weren't yours, you're going to be hated in a hurry. It doesn't even have to involve the theft of ideas, either. Failing to give other co-workers proper credit during collaborative endeavors will give people more than enough ammo to despise you. And rightfully so.
Don't be that person. Even if your deceptions and office politics get you moved up a rung or two on the corporate ladder, that just means the target on your back will be that much more visible.
8. You're a "Debbie Downer"
If you can't say something nice...
Hey, it's not like you have to be all sunshine and rainbows. You're a professional working with other professionals, and it's business not kindergarten. But while not every idea is a winner, you don't want to be the person who becomes notorious for automatically dumping on every single idea in a brainstorming session or planning meeting.
If you're so judgmental and critical of new ideas, eventually people will feel less and less comfortable sharing things with you or in front of you. At that point, whatever new ideas and valid criticism you bring to the table might go ignored because everyone is used to your negativity and no one wants to hear how stupid they are time and time again.
A little constructive criticism -- and some tact -- goes a long way.
9. You're Noisy
Imagine you're sitting in your cubicle fielding a call from a customer. You're trying to calm them down about an order gone haywire, but in the midst of your efforts all you can hear is the person in the next cube.
This one is a biggie when talking about the pet peeves of co-workers. Who among us doesn't have the seemingly oblivious (or worse, just plain rude) co-worker who whistles/sings/hums/chews/plays his music too loud on a non-stop basis? Maybe they're nice people who just don't realize what they're doing, so you don't say anything because you don't want to complain and hurt their feelings. But on the inside you're seething as they use their fingers on the desk to beat out yet another Led Zeppelin drum solo that cuts through you like a knife.
If this is you, stop it. It's rude and inconsiderate. And if you're the one suffering, just let them know in a nice way that it's affecting your work and ask if they can try to keep it down to a dull roar.
10. You Have No Manners
Think there's no room in business for good manners? Think again.
People notice the little things, which is why consistently using "please" and "thank you" are an underrated yet important factor when it comes to dealing with other human being on a daily basis. In an office setting, you're normally in too close a proximity to be rude without major repercussions. That's why manners and basic common courtesy are so important.
So if you're someone who tends to bark orders at co-workers, try engaging in some civility and asking politely. Also, if you do have an issue with a co-worker take him/her aside or behind closed doors. Having a verbal spat in the middle of the office is unbecoming, distracting and unnecessary.
11. You're Never on Time
"Let's wait another five minutes to start the meeting because (insert name of chronically late coworker here) hasn't arrived yet."
Is there anything -- and I mean ANYTHING -- more frustrating than dealing with other people who show absolutely no respect for everyone else's time? In our "Wasting Time at Work" survey last year, 47% of workers said meetings were the biggest time-waster in the workplace, because if someone is late to the first meeting it pushes each subsequent appointment back until there aren't enough hours in the day. If you were hoping to get home early or attend your kid's special event, this can have far-reaching consequences that extend well beyond your cubicle walls.
The answer is simple -- be on time. Write it on your calendar or better yet, put reminders in your phone. It's the quickest way to ensure 1) you won't be late, and 2) your coworkers won't hate you to the point they schedule their own meeting to plan your comeuppance.