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Biggest Pet Peeves in the Office

Biggest Pet Peeves in the Office

By Joe Issid


It’s time to vent a little.

Even the most tolerant and patient person can be driven to madness when forced to share an office with a loud eater or someone who doesn’t bathe frequently enough. We are perhaps driven to exasperation because we feel powerless against these forces, conditioned to believe that we can’t change who we work with. But that is a fight reserved for another time. Today, let’s unwind a little and list the many ways that other people have made our work lives just a bit more unbearable. Let’s admit it: a little catharsis is never a bad thing. Here are some of the people who have inspired this piece:


Useless meeting scheduler

Not every decision within the organization needs to be made by committee. If your knee-jerk reaction to a situation is to schedule a meeting, you may be guilty of this.


Doesn’t respond to emails

I work in an organization where the overwhelming majority of my colleagues spend 8+ hours a day sitting in front of a computer. As such, I find it hard how someone can justify never responding to an email.


Doesn’t understand how to use email

Maybe less annoying than the person who doesn’t reply to email is the person who doesn’t know how to use email properly. The “to” and “cc” fields are not interchangeable; please learn how to use them appropriately.


Guy who leaves his fingerprints on my monitor

Despite the fact that I hand you a pen every time you come to visit me, you never fail to leave your fingerprints on my screen when you point at something.


Comes to work sick

This is possibly my greatest pet peeve. I have been fortunate to have always worked for organizations that provide paid sick days to their employees so there is rarely an excuse to come into work when suffering with a contagious illness. For everyone’s sake, please stay home.


The 9-to-5-er

This may sound somewhat unreasonable but I believe in producing quality work even if it means working extra hours. I don’t fault people for leaving promptly at 5pm; but make sure you aren’t letting the clock determine how you perform at work.


Me first

If you are happy to take the credit when things go well, you can be sure that no one will be supportive when you fail to take responsibility when things go badly.


Always late

A former colleague used to arrive late to work every day. He was repeatedly warned by his manager that this was not acceptable. He continued to arrive late to work. Understandably, he was eventually fired for coming in to work late every day. Don’t be this guy.



I always grimace when I am handed a printed agenda when I walk into a meeting. I am especially unimpressed when said agenda is also being displayed on the large screen at the front of the room. Please, think before you print.


Mass communications

I rejoiced when my current employer restricted the use of internal mailing lists. I am finally free of being copied on hundreds of emails that are not at all relevant to me.


The suck-up

Nothing makes me more uncomfortable than when someone is trying to curry favour with me at work. One word for you: don’t. 

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