Picture this: Your train was cancelled, so you decide to drive to work. The traffic is awful, but you manage to find a carpark and make it to the office just in time… only to be stopped by Cheryl the office gossip, who doesn’t. Stop. Chatting.

Please Cheryl, I haven’t even had my coffee yet, you think, as she follows you to the kitchen. Once there, you find your favourite mug has been used. Not only that, but it has been left in the sink amongst the wet food piled in the drain. Gross.

Not a great start to the day – and it’s only going to get worse. Those Friday knockoff drinks couldn’t come soon enough.

I’ve worked in both big and small offices over the years. Both have their advantages, both have their absolute pain points. To let off a little steam, I thought it’d be fun to compile a list of my top office pet peeves.

Let me know in the comments if I’m missing any of your top ones.

#1: People who enter the elevator before you’ve exited

It’s not going to leave without you. Just give me a minute to get out before you come barging in, please. It’s claustrophobic being in there as it is without you bearing down on me.

#2: Noisy neighbours

Whether it’s obnoxious phone calls, loud music, chewing gum with an open mouth or slurping drinks, nothing is more frustrating when you’re trying to work. Especially if a deadline is looming.

#3: Poor kitchen etiquette

Dirty dishes in the sink, wet food in the drain, or the worst: lunch theft! Who does that, seriously?

#4: Bad hygiene

Clipping your nails at your desk is never okay. Neither is farting or burping and giggling about it afterwards. Yes, it’s natural, we all do it – especially if the office has decided to do a free burrito day – but could we at least pretend to have an air of decorum? Also, don’t forget to use deodorant. Thanks.

#5: Pranks

This one has a few exceptions, but please don’t Jell-O my stapler. This ain’t the Office and I’m not Gareth Keenan.

#6: Emails

When someone writes a farewell email and CCs the entire business. Who are you? Or the king of all email faux-pas: the dreaded Reply-All. Nobody cares!

#7: Temperature control

Confession time: I am one of the worst for this. I am always cold. In one of my old offices where I had no choice but to accept my fate, I’d come to work (even in the height of Australian summer) with a jacket, and in winter I’d use a heat-bag to defrost. In my current office, I’ve come to a semi-compromise.

#8: When the bathroom is a hot mess

How does this even happen? I heard a horror story recently from a friend. Someone in their office had taken a #2 and left it in the sink. In the female toilets. Why? I’d hate to see what their bathroom at home looks like.

#9: Whingers

I can appreciate the irony in this one considering isn’t that kind of what I’m doing now? But seriously. If you don’t like something, stop complaining and do something about it. I don’t work in HR so I’m not paid to listen to you and I’m not your nanny, either.

#10: Passing the buck or taking the credit

Don’t give me more work because you’re too lazy to do your job. Especially if you’re still going to try and take all the credit later. Maybe when I was 22 I’d keep quiet about this sort of thing because I was young and nervous, but I will call you out now.

+ + +

I’m currently on annual leave until the 26th. I’m enjoying the break so far. By the time I’m back in the office, I’m sure I’ll have a list of pet peeves for home instead. I can already think of my first one… but more on that another day.


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