It's a new year and we can all pretend that that makes everything fresh and new, but the reality is that those other humans you work with can be downright annoying. I asked my readers for the things that annoy them most. Do you do any of the things on this list?
1. Personal grooming at your desk. From cutting your fingernails (slightly tolerable) to clipping your toenails (never acceptable) to flossing, these things should not be done at your desk, ever. Maybe in the bathroom, but never at your desk.
2. Abusing the "reply all" function. Only reply all when all need to read your reply. Never ever, not in a million years, should you hit reply all to say, "please take me off this distribution list."
3. Not cleaning up after yourself in common areas. Even if there is janitorial staff, you shouldn't be leaving your lunch mess on the counter.
4. Trapping your co-workers with chit-chat. Watch for those hints that they are done talking, like saying, "I need to get back to work," repositioning their chairs, or making mad leaps for the door. If you follow someone into the bathroom, you have gone too far.
5. Trying to get your co-workers to join your latest fad. Whether it's essential oils, or the latest self help seminar, it drives your co-workers nuts. And if you're making money off this, your boss may be extra annoyed.
6. Your beeping phone. Does it ding every time you get a text? Can others hear it? The gods of cell phones gave us a silent vibrate option. Use it, embrace it, love it.
7. Hijack the music. If you want to listen to your own music, podcasts, or the latest sports game, use your headphones.
8. Oversharing. Your co-workers want to know things about you. How was your commute? What did you think of last night's television show? They don't want the details of your messy divorce.
9. Speaker phone abuse. Is there a reason you can't pick up the phone and talk? Does the person on the other end know that they are on speaker and 15 other people can hear what you are saying? Pick up the handset, or use headphones.
10. Bring your germs to the office. Lots of us come to work when sick. If you must, use the best hygiene possible, throw your used tissues in the garbage, avoid other people, and wash your hands all the time.
11. Playing supervisor. This person isn't the boss, but likes to act like it. "Have you turned in your time card? What are you working on?" If it's not your job, don't ask.
12. Microwave abandonment. Do you put your lunch into the microwave and then go back to your desk while it's cooking? Because if you do, you probably fall into this category, because those microwave dinners only take 2 minutes to heat up and you'll lose track of the time, annoying everyone else who is waiting to heat their lunch.
13. Always right. You're not. You make mistakes, so don't argue everything to the death. Admit your errors and move on.
14. The narrators. These people need to keep a running conversation with themselves or things stop focusing. "Ok computer come on, let's go. Oh my goodness I can't type today. I hope I remember to stop for gas after work or I might not make it home. Well this is certainly strange, I wonder why it says this and not this other thing. Man, am I hungry. I can't believe it's only 10:00."
15. Medical TMI. Your co-workers are compassionate people, but they don't need to know about your toenail fungus or the details of your colonoscopy prep. Try to use a phone behind closed doors when you need to call your doctor to explain the color of your phlegm.
16. The health food nut. Are you telling people they shouldn't eat what they are eating? It doesn't matter if you're right or wrong, it's none of your business. No one wants to hear you wax poetic about the virtues of kale smoothies. No one. Be quiet.
17. Using annoying lingo. "I have an ask for you," no you don't, you have a request. And don't say, "We have a burning platform here," unless there is actual fire. Otherwise, you should just say, "we have a problem."
18. Unaware of strong smells. From the person drenched in cologne to the person who cooks fish in the microwave, you should be sensitive to your co-workers' noses. Not every person will like every lunch, so there is some give and take here, but be considerate. And as a general rule, you should use a lot more deodorant (unscented) than cologne or perfume.
19. The lunch thief. If you didn't buy it, it's not yours. Even though no one will notice the tablespoon of salad dressing you just took out of the fridge, it's not yours. Buy your own lunch.
20. The brown noser. If you're constantly sucking up to the bosses and throwing your co-workers under the bus, you're a horrible person. Stop it.
What are your wishes for a better office environment in 2015?