From Loud Chewing to Cherry-Tomato Spewing, the Five Senses of Office Pet Peeves
Are you sitting at your desk right now with your earphones in pretending to listen to music while secretly avoiding your annoying coworker? Well, you’re not the only one. In fact, your coworkers annoying behaviors may be stopping you from being able to focus on producing the most amazing work of your professional life.
Some officemates are oblivious to what irks you. Others purposely play into it. Way too many assume that you should gracefully ignore their violation because you are teammates. However, not even brothers would accept some of the things that are taking place in offices. From loud-chewing to cherry-tomato spewing, these are some of the most annoying ways that real employees have gotten under the skin of their peers.
Here are the five senses of office pet peeves and the questions we must ask before taking action.
Sense 1 (Hear)
Some couples use baby language to profess their love. Most do this in private, others in public. Christina, who works at an app company, shared how one of her colleagues, let’s call him “Bob,” talked to his girlfriend for all to hear in the office. “’Watcha doin’ sweeetiiee?’ He would coo into the phone. ‘She’s at work!’ Christina would think. ‘You know that she’s at work!’ ‘I miss wu. I wanna sqweeze wu.’ Bob sang, ‘wittle hunny boo.’” If you want to check whether you could bother a peer, ask yourself: would I want others to join in on my conversation or would they cringe if I asked them to?
Sense 2 (Touch)
We know that we shouldn’t touch our colleagues yet the line seems to be blurry when it comes to whether our food can touch them. Jill, an account executive at a digital agency, described how her supervisor was notorious for chewing while explaining assignments. In Jill’s words, “It was so bad that pieces of potato chip would come flying out of her mouth at me during the conversation. Not only would I be twitching with annoyance of her loud mouth-open chewing, but I would be dodging chips.” If you really must ask yourself if your action will physically annoy your peers, then it probably will.
Sense 3 (Sight)
It should be common sense not to expose all of your tan lines. Yet, Polly Blitzer, founder of BeautyBlitz.com shares how a freelancer hadn’t gotten that memo. “Every day, her tops dipped down…She was very curvy and let’s just say her cups had a tendency to runneth over.” Ask yourself, if you wore that would you feel like Kelly Osbourne in a sea of Charlotte Yorks? Then there was the time when one of my own colleagues brought her lunch in the bold hot pink bag (with images) that she got from an adult toy store. This questionable lunch bag was in the office fridge all day long for everyone’s enjoyment. Let’s be a little more subtle next time.
Sense 4 (Taste)
Typically, when an officemate brings in treats everyone hovers around the goodies. Usually, the person who buys this treat is akin to a modern-day Corporate America Robin Hood. That is, unless someone inconsiderately nibbles on all of the treats. One employee recalls bringing in cupcakes as a treat for her office only to find that someone ate “just the tops of the cupcakes with the icing and left the rest of the cupcakes for the employees.” Just cruel…
Sense 5 (Smell)
Many employees ignore office managers when it comes to their “clean out” or “throw out” policies. Some employees are taking back control. Meet Sarah from Quebec. In a post on Chowhound, she described how her peers and herself planned to take compromising pictures of the fridge “clean up horror,” sending them to everyone in a blast email. This was apparently rather effective. If you don’t want to assassinate your colleagues with a smell then ask yourself, if you AND your colleague would wear a cologne with that scent.
Wherever you work, there will be someone who will prey on your pet peeves. Just don’t let it get in the way of your productivity, happiness, and sanity. To mitigate this pervasive epidemic of poor manners, consider secretly posting this article in your office kitchen or blast- emailing it to others. And if YOU are reading this and suspect that you may be guilty of one of these pet peeves, take it as a subtle hint.
Research contributed by Daniel Vahab.