From ignoring personal space to making colleagues uncomfortable – HRM gathers stories about the most terrible March coworkers you can imagine.
They’re making too much noise, they’re eating all your food (who does that?) and they are generally an absolute nuisance. They are BAD COWORKERS. Today I will be your intrepid guide through the harrowing tales of the colleagues that are making a tough time worse.
1. Mr. Too Close For Comfort
My coworker and I have a relationship I’d describe as ‘fine’. Most of the time we get on well. He has a few weird quirks, like waiting outside the office bathroom as I exit. He also refuses to close doors behind him.
His worst trait though is a complete lack of awareness about personal space.
For instance, he likes to take up as much of our shared desk as he possibly can. He stretches out like it’s no big deal, often pushing my keyboard off the side.
You know what? He’s such a bad colleague he deserves to be named and shamed – at least his nickname. It’s Kho. I know, what kind of a name is that?
Unbearably, Kho never listens to my complaints. Anything I say is met with a steely gaze and cold shoulder.
Eventually it got so bad, Kho was moved into his own office, a space where he can spread out as he pleases. I would say good riddance, but I still find him outside the bathroom sometimes.
2. The one who ‘likes to watch’
This story comes from my friend Ben.
Ben and George have worked together for about a year now. Ben works in IT and likes to just get on with his work, George likes to have very loud conversations with people outside the office. It’s ridiculous – sometimes they are just strangers walking by.
When he’s not talking to others, George completely ignores Ben. The first time they worked together, Ben wasn’t even sure George knew he was there. Until lunchtime.
Turns out George really likes watching people eat. Like, really likes it. He has been known to salivate. Ben has taken to sharing his lunch with George because it’s the only way to negate the weirdness of it all.
After lunch George goes back to ignoring Ben or shouting at people.
Where in the world is HR?
Unfortunately in these instances HR may not be able to help. What makes these colleagues the worst is that most of them aren’t technically employed at all, so HR has no jurisdiction.
Twitter is full of stories about them.
Mack says his worker jumped on his computer, added two website bookmarks to sites he doesn’t use and now insists on sharing his chair.
An anonymous Twitter user says two of her coworkers show way too much affection to each other in the office, going so far as to lick each other in front of everyone.
Lastly this story from Mo: “My coworker showed up half an hour late, napped on the couch, got up, threw up, ate a biscuit, then passed out on the floor again. It’s like she’s hungover.”
Okay, you probably get this by now
Chances are you’ve figured out what day it is (April Fools) and what we’re doing here. This is not a story about sociopaths, it’s a story about pets.
Pets are great, but can be terrible coworkers. Or “Khoworker” as I call mine (only a sociopath wouldn’t like that pun).
With more people working from home, our four-legged friends have become our new colleagues. My cat Kho isn’t adjusting too well, and he isn’t alone. Some animals are excited to spend more time with their owners, while others feel their space has been invaded.
George the dog is pretty happy his owner now works from home, though she does wish he’d stop barking at anyone walking by.
The internet has always been stuffed with pictures of pets, but now they sit at (or on) laptops. They’re keeping us company, photobombing video calls and hopefully keeping us somewhat sane in this time.
It wouldn’t be work without at least one bothersome colleague, right?
If you need a guide to coworking with a cat, my advice would be to get them a cardboard box. It was the only way I got Kho permanently off my desk in the end. See fig. 1
Do you have any ‘coworking with pets’ advice? Post it in the comments below.