Last year, FacilityBlog presented a visual identification guide to annoying co-workers in the post, “FRIDAY FUNNY: Every Office Has One.” Here’s an updated description, provided by Christine Lambden and Casey Connor, authors of the new book, Everyday Practices of Extraordinary Consultants.
Who is the most annoying person in your office? Or is it you (heaven forbid)?
• Pontification Person—This person goes on and on, telling you what he or she is going to say, saying it, and then telling you what he or she said.
• Um Person—To avoid losing control of the conversation, this co-worker fills every pause with “Um,” not realizing he or she might be able to think better when not talking.
• Too Much Detail Person—The authors could elaborate on this one, but then, of course, that would be contributing to the problem.
• 50,000-Foot-Only Person—He or she is eloquent when you talk about the big picture, but refuses to allow anyone to get into the details, which we all know is where the real work gets done. “Unless you’re the CEO of a multinational corporation,” say Lambden and Connor, “you have to be willing to work at any altitude.”
• Hypnotized-by-E-mail Person—Wireless technology can be a lifesaver, but there’s something defeating about presenting to the tops of people’s heads because everyone at the conference table is hunched over his or her laptop.
• Buzzword Person—“This employee is annoying in meetings, team rooms, and in cubicles,” say Lambden and Connor. “In fact, this person is just plain annoying all the time.”
• Foul Language Person—Much like Buzzword Person, this co-worker is too lazy to think of the right words to express what he or she is thinking, if, indeed, he or she is thinking at all. This person isn’t trying to impress you with his or her knowledge. “They aren’t trying to impress you at all,” Lambden and Connor note. “They don’t care what you think of them.” Refreshing on some level, but probably not a person you’d want on your team.
• Reiteration Person—The only contribution this person makes is to restate what already was said. So, basically, he or she actually has no contribution to make.
• Too Busy to Be Prompt Person—He or she always is late to work and every meeting, clearly lacking time management skills. Nobody can be working on something important all the time, after all.
• Can’t Control the Meeting Person and Arch-Nemesis Wants to Take Over the Meeting Person—There has to be some balance between the out-of-control ditherer and the maniacal meetings dictator, doesn’t there?
• Secondary Conversation People—Your best material often isn’t riveting, but staffers at least could pretend to care. But Lambert and Connor point out these workers “only are annoying if their conversation is less interesting than the meeting.”
• Disagrees With Everything Person—“This co-worker honestly believes he is just being practical, or serving as the voice of reason, or playing devil’s advocate,” the authors point out. “This may be true sometimes, and even helpful occasionally, but when it becomes a habit, everyone else just tunes them out.”
• Obscure Metaphor Person—This employee is as annoying as “the fool in a troupe of Morris dancers,” say Lambden and Connor. “See? Wasn’t that annoying?” How do you help your employees handle interpersonal workplace annoyances big and small? Do you have any suggestions on maintaining the peace and comfort of colleagues who have to share space in trying times?