HR Strange But True!
April 19, 2007

Driving to work this week, we heard a talk show host describing ways to determine whether you are an annoying co-worker. We couldn't find the article referred to, but we did stumble across a bonanza of Web pages devoted to identifying and/or dealing with annoying colleagues. In no particular order, here is the lowdown on five of our favorites:

Title: Quiz: Are you the annoying co-worker?
Purpose: See title
"7. The questions you ask at meetings are preceded by long monologues about your views and accomplishments ...
9. You bring in dishes that you tried to cook -- but didn't turn out quite right -- as 'special treats' for your co-workers ...
12. You send flurries of e-mails to the rest of the company telling them what you are doing. (e.g., 'If anyone needs me, I'll be in the bathroom.') ...
15. You assume your co-workers are fascinated by your personal problems and exploits ..."
Source: Kate Lorenz,

Title: Annoying Co-worker
Purpose: A blog to let people vent about annoying co-workers
"PIA! You're here! I know your parents didn't name you PIA, but we did. It stands for Pain In the Ass, which you are. You are an INTERN. If you never showed up again, would anyone care? Quit flitting around here like you are a hotshot saving the day and get a clue. You are not our MVP. You are not our equal. You aren't even our favorite intern. If you EVER tell one of us again that you are NOT going to do something we ask, I am going to puke all over you." -- undercover brother
"Just because you came from New York City doesn't mean you're 'worldly' and have experience that the rest of us 'uncultured' co-workers couldn't possibly comprehend. So, you couldn't make it in banking in the big city and decided to grace us with your presence in this profession. Has it occurred to you that just about everyone in this office has more experience than you? If NYC is so great, and this 'dump' can't compare, move TF back. Buh-bye." -- Equally Important Person
Source: Annoying Co-worker

Title: The 20 Highly Annoying Habits of Co-workers
Purpose: Advice to keep you from becoming the annoying co-worker
"1. Listening to voice mail on speakerphone -- Get a headset or pick up the receiver ...
17. Choosing a 'neat' cell phone ring -- In offices where cell phone rings are tolerated ... cell phone ring tones that deviate from the normal range of "phone" tones can be annoying. Why? After the 15th rendition of 'Take Me Out to the Ballgame' your colleagues will begin gathering, mob-style, to chuck your little neon Nokia right out the window. Again, think vibrate option, or stick to the more conventional ring tones ..."

Title: The Top 10 Reasons I Hate My Annoying Co-Worker
Purpose: A cathartic rant for the author, apparently
"10. Her makeup -- I'm not sure how it's possible for someone to have such bad makeup every single day. I've never worn it, but there are millions of women who come in looking OK to very good. However, she'll come in and have her eyebrows shaped like an upside down 'V'. One day she turned around and looked at me and I thought I was looking at a pumpkin face -- I had to turn around and look away so I wouldn't laugh in her face ...
7. Her incredibly loud personal phone calls -- For a woman with no volume control on her voice, it's no wonder that her personal phone calls are something that the entire office can hear, and since I sit a cube away, I can hear them as clear as a bell. She literally yells while she is on the phone and I sit there with my head in my hands wondering why I am subjected to this. I've learned way too much about this lady's personal life, much more than I ever wanted to know through those calls ..."

Title: Annoying Co-worker (video clip from the BBC's The Catherine Tate Show)
Purpose: Hilarious exchanges as one worker baits another (warning: includes a few colorful words)
[We can't do it justice -- to watch it, click the link, below]
Source: Metacafe

Do you have a particularly juicy story about an annoying co-worker? Well, don't keep it to yourself. E-mail it to and we may include it in an upcoming issue of HR Strange but True! Be sure to tell us how you would like to be identified.

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