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Bad Manners That Annoy Coworkers
Monday, 03 November 2014 - 11:22 | Views - 2,575
Working in an office environment has both advantages and disadvantages. You have a group of people working toward the same goal, coworkers to bounce ideas off of, and you don't have to eat alone. However, those same people might have some bad manners that can get on your last nerve.

Always Late
Most companies have schedules with a time each person is supposed to show up for work. This is great as long as everyone is punctual. However, that generally isn't the case. There's typically at least one person who slides in a few minutes after everyone else does. Unfortunately these are often the same people who leave early.

If you are this person, set your clock ahead by however many minutes you are late. If you work with this person, try to have a heart-to-heart about how frustrating it is for everyone else. That probably won't change anything, but it might make you feel better.

Going to Work Sick
One of my pet peeves was sitting in the next cubicle over from someone who coughed and sneezed all day and then bragged about how he'd never missed a day of work. Don't try to be a martyr if you're coming down with the flu. Companies provide sick time, so take it.

If the person next to you is the one who is sick, pick up as many of your belongings and find some empty space to work. You might have to clear this with your supervisor first, but if you put it nicely, she's likely to give her blessing to keep you from getting sick as well.

Dragging Out a Meeting
Meetings are often necessary, but they should be kept as short as possible so people can get their work done. It seems like there's always one person who isn't in the mood to get back to his desk. He's the guy who asks question after question or finds excuses to stay – and keep everyone else – in the conference room. Or he might grandstand just to get attention.

Don't be this person. If you have a question that has an answer everyone can benefit from, go ahead and ask it. Otherwise, wait until later and ask it privately.

It's nice to hear good things about your kids, your spouse, or your golf score, but some people don't seem to know when to stop. If you see people rolling their eyes while you talk about your child making the honor roll or scoring the winning point in last weekend's soccer match, you've probably crossed the line, so stop and ask how others are doing.

When you have a coworker who is guilty of bragging about everything, give him a couple of minutes to share. Then glance at your watch, smile apologetically, and say you have to get back to work.

Noise and Smells
Cubicles save space while providing a sense of privacy. However, if you've ever worked in one, you know that they're anything but private. Noise and smells travel. Private cell phone conversations can make you cringe, and certain smells can make you want to retch. Avoid having a conversation with your doctor's office about personal matters. Dousing yourself in cologne before heading to the office isn't a good idea. And don't bring fish to work if you plan to eat at your desk.

I used to sit next to someone who hummed all day, and that drove me nuts. It took me several weeks to say something, but when I did, she was embarrassed. She didn't realize she was doing it, and when she slipped up after that, I'd give her a look that made her stop. My reaction didn't foster a close relationship, but we were never friends outside the office anyway. Finger tapping is similar. It's a nervous habit that people probably don't even realize they're doing.

If someone in a cubicle near yours is guilty of any of these things, have a private chat. Let her know that you can hear every word of conversation with her doctor. For smells, tell her that certain perfumes trigger your allergies. A decent coworker will apologize and try to do better in order to maintain a good business relationship. When you are faced with one who isn't willing to cooperate, ask your supervisor if you can move to a different cubicle. There might be another employee who isn't bothered by these things.
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