The undesirable habits of work colleagues

I work in an office at close quarters with my colleagues, six of us jammed into a 6-metre square pod.  Designed to encourage a collegial work atmosphere.  Some of the habits of my pod-mates are less collegial than others.  I confess I am neither tolerant nor patient.  I am the Mr Flibberty-Jib from the Little Golden Books of my childhood, irritated by everyday noises.  I’m moving to a new job soon, but I’m sure there I will face similar habits in my next environment.  People are basically the same wherever you go.  Across countries, fields, offices and workshops.


Big out loud belch.  At the desk.  No attempt to cover, disguise or apologise.  Followed soon after by a waft of whatever was for lunch.  Usually curry.


Seems to have a cold all the time and doesn’t know about tissues.  Instead, we snort it back.  Makes my stomach turn every time.  Headphones help to drown the sound a little.  I’d prefer to hold the nose underwater for a good half hour.


It’s a hot day.  Light canvas slip-on shoes.  Canvas is perfect for soaking up all that foot sweat and toe jam.  Easy to sneak them off under your desk, not so easy to tolerate the overwhelming sour stench that permeates the rest of the pod.  The smell lingers in your nostrils long after the shoes have walked home.


The knuckle cracker.  The sound that cuts through the heaviest metal.


Maybe even worse than Feety. Two main offenders, number one is the mad keen exerciser.  The body sweat that the fancy exercise gear is supposed to “wick away”.  It “wicks” as far as the garment and embeds itself deep in the fabric, never to be expunged.  Napi-san is no match for B.O.  It can clean shit from nappies, but not sweat from a runner’s singlet.  Go figure.  Category number two is the “guess what I had for dinner last night” B.O.  Garlic and curry are my favourites.  Herbs and spices that just ooze out of the skin, blended to a paste with a good dollop of sweat and then spread all over.


You know the sort. Rabbits on for ages, around the houses and down the lane, without ever answering the question you had asked.  They can give you chapter and verse on the entire history of why something was done a particular way twenty years ago, yet cannot tell you what you actually want to know.

The Name Repeater

“Oh hello John, it’s Frank here.  John I was just calling to have a chat with you, you see John, I was hoping you could answer a question for me, is now a good time John?”

Ok, so I’m guessing he’s talking to John.  I think John already knows his name is John.  No need to labour the point.

The Desk Grabber

Grabs the desk to haul himself and his chair around the office.  This causes a tsunami-like ripple down the line of joined desks and feels like an earthquake.  Those who have felt a decent shake will understand how this sets the nerves on edge a little.  I’ve dampened my response so much the ceiling could be falling down before I recognise any seismic shaking.

It’s hard to know which is the most annoying.

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