HR Strange But True!
March 11, 2005, the job-search website, has published a list of "10 surefire ways to become a workplace annoyance."

"It's easier than you might think to rub people the wrong way, even when you're sitting at your desk minding your own business," the site warns.

The list was prepared by Jen Star of the Jennifer Group, a New York-based recruiting firm that specializes in placing and maintaining support staff. Among the items:

  • You're loud on the phone. Loud telephone conversations can be offensive to your neighbors, the website says, so try to keep your voice low and even. And keep personal calls short. "Phone fights or, worse yet, phone foreplay can really drive one up a wall after a certain point," Star says. "Remember that you are not in your living room."

  • You're not self-reliant. In other words, you ask for help when you really don't need it. "Giving up on the paper jam after only one try and expecting a coworker to fix it because you know she can does not contribute to good team spirit," Star says. She advises trying everything you can to solve your own problem before involving somebody else.

  • You, um, smell. Be kind to your co-workers by remembering that your scent is important, especially if all of you work in a small, poorly ventilated space. For instance, don't eat eggs or onions in the office. If you smoke, be sure you air yourself out before you walk back in the office. And go easy on the cologne. "Fragrance is a very personal choice, so it should be reserved for those who are close to you, not 20 yards away," Star says.


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