HR Strange But True!
February 04, 2010 recently conducted a survey that found that 39 percent of workers say they feel that they don't fit in with their colleagues. And if the workers' descriptions of their co-workers' oddest antics are any guide, there's no wonder.

The survey asked respondents to describe the craziest things their co-workers have done on the job. Here are some of the oddest responses.

  • Co-worker ate the cheese off the pizza box at a company meeting
  • Co-worker talks openly about flatulence.
  • Co-worker in the cubicle next to me wears 3-D glasses with the lenses removed.
  • Co-worker repeatedly bangs a mallet on the table for no apparent reason.
  • Co-worker whistles 8 hours a day.
  • Co-worker chews tobacco and spits it into empty soda bottles.
  • Former boss brought a baby sippy cup to a meeting and started drinking out of it.
  • Co-worker cleaned fingernails using a counterpart's business card while sitting in their office.

The question is, what should co-workers do if their co-worker's behavior bothers them?

"Today's workplace is made up of many different types of people and sometimes, behavior can come across as being crazy or inappropriate for the office," said Rosemary Haefner, vice president of human resources for CareerBuilder. "Communication is key to dealing with co-workers' behavior that may be impacting your ability to produce good work – for whatever reason. It is important to identify why their behavior is bothering you. Often, having a professional conversation with your co-worker will solve the problem and allow everyone to work in harmony."

If a professional conversation would be too mature/uncomfortable for some workers, has created “Annoy-a-Grams,” which allow workers to tell a co-worker about a bothersome behavior while staying anonymous. As an HR manager, you are probably running through scenarios in which an employee puts the organization at risk by sending something that is offensive to a co-worker, especially since it can be done anonymously. The website's terms of service do state that users are prohibited from sending anything that is unlawful, harmful, threatening, abusive, bullying, or harassing, And the Annoy-A-Gram application itself reminds users “Don't be mean; the purpose of the gram is to alert others of irritating behaviors that you would ordinarily feel awkward about addressing in person.” Do those rules put your mind at ease?

Sources: and

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