Work colleagues are a special—and sometimes evil—breed unto themselves. Friends are chosen, and family can be ignored, but coworkers are in a different category altogether. These cubicle-bound Redditors decided to narrow the office annoyers down to “that guy”. The one annoying workmate that makes going to work an unbearable experience.
So, "that guy" at my work is John. He's very special. Here are some of the amazing things John has done and said. He asked a female coworker how much she weighed. He asked others if he could buy a wife on the internet. He wondered why he got a ticket for parking in front of a fire hydrant. But wait, there's more.
John has left unopened/opened yogurt in his desk drawer for days and then ate it. John will eat an entire loaf of bread out of the bag. He holds a slice of bread in the plastic and eats it to prevent crumbs. He will leave fruit sitting on his desk for over two weeks while he's on vacation and then ask where it went.
He runs his own personal business while at work. He's special. We love him, but sometimes it's just really weird.
There is this guy at my work who runs all the time. I don't think anything he does is important enough to justify it, but every time he's going to someone's desk, he'll break into an awkward combination of walking and running. His hand is usually on his chest, normally clutching a file.
Then, when he gets to you, he'll put his hands on your desk and stretch his legs like he's preparing to run a marathon. I've never seen anything like it.
I used to work for a federal government agency. There was a woman who'd been there since the Carter administration. Not a joke: She'd actually worked for President Jimmy Carter, who was President while my father was 14 years old.
Her job had long since been made irrelevant by Google News Alerts, but her boss was a political appointee position, which meant nobody stuck around long enough to go through the arduous process of firing her. I eventually asked my own boss about her, and she replied that at this point, everyone was just waiting for her to retire.
Because she was incredibly rude, and because her job didn't matter anymore anyway, an agreement was finally reached in which she would "work" from home.
Her entire job—which she was inexplicably terrible at—was to do a google news search of our agency and email any notable links to her boss, who would then correct the terrible job that she'd done before forwarding those links to any relevant people in our office. Here’s where she gets really annoying.
When her boss was out sick or on vacation, she would have to send that email to me. Apparently, this was beneath her. So, she found a way to work around it. She would send the email to our office administrator and tell her to send the email to me.
You know that bit from various sitcoms where a married couple aren't talking to each other, but they're sitting at the dinner table saying things like "Tell your father to pass the salt". "Dad, mom wants you to pass the salt". It was a digital version of that, and it drove me insane.
We have two annoying people in our office. The first one is a higher-up who is almost never at work and no one knows where she goes. We call her "bigfoot" since there are the occasional reported sightings of her. The other is her spy.
She's the type of person who will do laps around the office to report back to Bigfoot about what everyone is up to. She has fittingly been dubbed "the drone".
We had a take-food-from-fridge guy. He would straight up eat your lunch, especially if you had any sweets: cake, cookies, brownies, etc.
Of course, he wouldn't nab your food if it was healthy or boring, and he didn't do it all the time. When he did, he just ignored you or dodged complaints with "It's been here for a week" or, "Actually, I brought it today," or "I didn't do it". Yes you did, because coworker so-and-so saw you.
Alas, he was middle management and a grade-A brown-noser, so he never got punished. Of course, someone finally got some revenge and hit him with the classic "laxatives in the brownie" routine.
Apparently, he spent a collective six hours on the toilet and could be seen hilariously running from the floor of the shop to the employee bathroom with his hand holding his cheeks together. Too bad I wasn't there that day. That was really too bad. But guess what?
The next week we got a lecture from HR and the general manager about labeling our food when it's in the fridge, how long it can stay in there, how we need to keep the kitchen clean, and how we can't leave food overnight. HR then referred to an "incident" where someone ate food that had either gone bad or been contaminated, and how it was a health risk to the office/store.
The food thief then gets up and says how having a fridge is a privilege and not a right, and how we need to respect the rules of the office or else we will lose the fridge. When he sits down, the HR lady says, "No, the fridge is a right and it's staying, please disregard that last comment". Muffled laughter was heard all around.
This guy at my work just messes with the daily workings of our office. For instance, he stops the mail person in the hallway and collects the mail for me. This is fine except we need the mail person to come into the office, otherwise they don’t pick up our outgoing mail. I've told him this time and time again, he still does it every single day.
Sometimes, our printer stops working. It is procedure to contact me to troubleshoot the printer and then—if I cannot fix it—to send out an office-wide email to let everyone know that it's down and a tech is coming in. I have all the proper information to contact tech support. This is the procedure and he knows it. But can he leave it alone? No!
This guy unplugs the printer and emails everyone—not including me—to tell them the printer is broken, then tries to fix it himself. He has broken toner cartridges, caused waste cartridges to spill everywhere, and messed up the paper drawers. Then he will contact the company himself with no serial number or contract number and try to get someone to come to our office.
My job is to format reports and contracts, and he writes up contracts and is supposed to send them to me when they are finished. He emails me 10 times a day to come over and check each thing he's changed in the contract each time. He changed the headers/footers: better call me. He put in some page breaks 10 minutes later: better get me to check them now. I tell him every time to just finish what he's doing, don't format, and leave it to me. He doesn't...But that's not the worst part.
He tells me the most inappropriate stories at work. He once told me how he went out on a date with a woman he picked up in a parking lot, and she turned out to be a worker who tried to get him to pay for her services. Another time he pulled a muscle in his groin and proceeded to tell me how it felt and then massaged the spot for a few minutes afterward saying, "This is the best way to remove the pain if you ever have a groin pull".
I think the man means well, but he's so clueless.
I have an arch-nemesis at work. I'll call her "Ruth" because that's her name.
Remember in fourth grade when the teacher would leave the classroom, and she'd pick a kid to write down the names of everyone who talked while she was in the hallway? Remember the look of unadulterated smugness? That "tiny smidge of power" holier-than-thou face? Ruth is the bitter, frumpy, post-menopausal equivalent of that kid.
Looks-wise, Ruth is more or less a brunette Brienne of Tarth (books, not show) without the skill-at-arms or, as far as I can tell, literally any other redeeming human qualities. If you gave me two hours with everyone who works at my company, I could give you fifty Ruth stories. But here are the first four that came to mind.
A few months ago, the office above ours was doing some renovations. We had a few days of constant drilling and hammering. My teammates and I couldn't hear ourselves think, so we took three laptops and started working in the conference room. Two guys from a different department had the same idea, so the five of us were all sharing the space together.
More than anything I'm grateful for the relative quiet of the conference room. Enter Ruth, stage left. At this point, I should mention that Ruth does not acknowledge you unless she's looking for a confrontation or the opportunity to put you down somehow. Ruth came into the conference room to talk to David, one of the two guys.
I'm sitting and working silently when I hear: "Peter? Peeterrrr?" The first "Peter" is a drill sergeant's bark, nothing inquisitive about it. The second is the condescending "Earth to Peter, Earth to Peter," wave-a-hand-in-front-of-your-face drone that a mom gives to her child. So, I glanced up. "Hmm?"
Ruth has walked to my side of the table and is now leering over me. "Did you not hear David just say your name?" "No, sorry, I guess I didn't". I turn to David, who shrugs. "What is it, Dav-" And then there’s Ruth again: "You know, it's good to listen when people say your name?"
"Excuse m-" But before I can finish she adds: "It's a good habit to get into". She smiles and walks out of the room.
A few months ago, my cubicle-mate walks in with one of those Hershey-mix bags with all the different miniatures. She tells me that our boss gave it to her. Awesome, or so I thought. Things aren't always as good as they seem.
Weeks go by—and most of the candy is gone—when suddenly someone has urgent business near my cubicle. I hear an audible gasp. It’s Ruth and she’s asking me where I got the candy. She's got the bag in her hands. Emphasis on bag, because it's almost empty. There's like four Almond Joys and a Kit-Kat bar in there.
"This candy, Peter". She shakes the bag and rolls her eyes: "Where did you get this?" I tell her where I got it, and she informs me that it is not okay. Ruth says that it's important for her to keep inventory of stuff like this. She then starts scolding me: “We can't have people just take things without asking".
She then tells me she’s going to have to take it. And out the door she goes, clutching five pieces of candy with all the determination of DeMarco Murray at the goal line.
I work on a lot of spreadsheets that I know will be reviewed by hand. Sometimes, there are discrepancies and excel printouts don't match the way the data is presented on-screen. Because of this, it's really important that I print copies of my work to make checks. Unfortunately, I share my printer with some unsavory characters—including Ruth.
One morning, I had a 30-page spreadsheet to print out. I send it to the printer, which I can already hear rumbling. I leave my office, pour myself my coffee, and walk back down the hallway to the printer. It's printed hundreds of pages. This is not good. My document is probably somewhere among the hundreds of copies.
I thumb through the papers quickly, but not one page is from excel. So I get up and glance at the screen listing the queue of print jobs. I click through it over 20 times and see that mine is still in line to be printed. Relieved, I turn around and go to put down the two pieces of paper I grabbed. They're identical. That's when it dawns on me.
She's printed the same document hundreds of times over. Inexplicably, Ruth's suddenly there. And only a foot away from my face. She yanks both pieces of paper from my hands: "Ah! Ah! Ah! No!" I'm completely speechless, startled by both her sudden appearance and how over-the-top her reaction was.
She informs me that those papers are not for me to look at. I agree with her, but she ignores me and asks: "Do you usually look through everyone else's papers?" I try to explain what happened, but she doesn't listen to me. She shakes the paper in my face and repeats: "This is not for you to look at, Peter". I again agree with her.
She says she’ll let me know when my pages are printed and adds: "Do you think you can wait that long, Peter?" I wonder how confidential something can be if you need a thousand copies of it.
One more thing: It's the Monday after the 4th of July weekend. I had a great three days in the countryside, and I'm in an awesome mood. My friend is back from Texas, and we're telling each other about our trips. Ruth walks past our cubicle and doesn't look at us or say anything.
On her return down the hallway, she pokes her head in and asks me, "So you don't like to answer emails?" It should mention that it's 9:04 AM. This is literally my second conversation since my road trip ended. I calmly ask her which email she’s talking about. She tells me it’s the company barbecue.
Apparently, I hadn’t RSVPed. Whoops. I must've been doing something that was actually important. I go and check my email. In it, she says we need to RSVP by July 8th. It was only July 6th.
Here’s my “that guy” story. As a higher-level employee, he seems to think it's cool to come to work at around 10-11, despite our office hours being 9-5. He is loud, condescending, and has a litany of the most ridiculous excuses for missing entire days of work.
According to him, at least five members of his family have either passed or have been hospitalized in the last five months. Also, he is foul. He has ongoing sinus issues that he deals with by snorting loudly every couple of minutes. God forbid he blows his nose. He will wipe his nose on his hand, sleeve, or shirt collar. And the worst part?
He picks his nose in front of people, and then rolls it up into a little ball to flick. He also uses his pen caps to scoop out earwax. He uses his fingers to spread peanut butter on the toast he always burns. He peels scabs and skin off in front of people just to drop it on the floor.
He regularly bites off a piece of nail, and then chews loudly on the piece of nail. He even does this with toenails on casual Friday, although he takes toenail pieces off by hand. At a recent meeting, he popped a zit on his face as he was talking to a conference room full of coworkers. He pushed on it so hard his hands were shaking.
The other day he tracked doggy business on his shoe into my office. He regularly has his fly down. He gets collections of spittle all along his mouth from talking messily. I don't know what to say. I am so repulsed on a daily basis by him.
This woman I work with surrounds herself with cats. There are statues, pictures, screensavers, motivational posters, notepads—they’re all cats. Absolutely every conversation with her eventually leads back to her five cats. If Mittens, Betsy, Kitty, Teller, and Patrick all got burned alive in a house fire, it'd be the best day of my life.
This guy at my office "borrowed" coffee cups. We were cross-shift to each other, so my first day back always started with me searching the plant for my mug. I got him back, and I like to think it was fairly creative. He'd come out on a trade to my shift, and we were in the lunch room together.
I'm not sure where it came from, exactly, but I started chatting with the guy. "Shale, I'm really sorry". Yes, his name is actually "Shale". He asked me what I was sorry for. I told him that someone's been pilfering coffee mugs, and that I assumed it was him. His response was : "HAHAHA NAH BRAH".
I was hoping he would deny it. This was part of my plan. I told him I was glad it wasn’t him. And then I pretended to confess. I told him that I was messing with the thief. I said that I did something to my mug, and I could probably get in a lot of trouble for it. Suddenly he was very curious about what I’d done.
I told him I’d been urinating in my mug for the past months. I was swishing it around, dumping it out, and putting it back in the shift locker. Suddenly he got this really serious face. He said he didn’t think it was funny. I just said that if you're ever curious about who the cup thief is, just check to see if anyone on your shift has urine breath.
I leaned in real close—kissing close—and smelled his breath. He lost it, stomped out, and legit tried to report me to management for "messing with mugs". My only real regret was that I hadn’t actually done that to my mug.
I work at a hospital and our "that guy" was one of our older nurses who had been there for 28 years. She was very prejudiced, very “fattist," and would constantly talk about patients, either in front of other patients or, worse still, in front of the patients themselves.
One of my first interactions with her was her telling me that she was concerned that I had three kids and my husband was a stay-at-home dad. For Christmas every year, our hospital sponsors a needy family. That year, she decided that she didn't like that family and wanted to replace it with my family.
She cornered me and pushed a $60 gift card to a restaurant into my hand, explained herself in hushed tones and told me to tell no one. It was simultaneously an extremely nice gesture and very, very offensive.
You know those people that come into a job like they own the place? We had this woman that was no more than 22 start working with us last year. On her third day of work, she began picking apart every procedure we had and making remarks about how dumb they are. Her first outburst floored me.
She began with, "Why don't you guys use Microsoft Office?" She continued by complaining about our meetings on Monday. Apparently, they needed to be on Friday. One time I was loading paper into the copier, and she started yelling, "What are you doing? That's not how it goes!"
She snatched the stack of paper from my hands and loaded it the wrong way. Not to anyone's surprise, the printer jammed upon use. She tried to blame me, but it didn't work. Another time, we were having a potluck lunch. We all agreed we were going to do a taco bar, so everyone was supposed to bring something taco related.
She tried to make us change it to Italian food the day before, but we all said no because many of us had already purchased or prepared our items. The next day she showed up with lasagne and was super angry that no one ate any of it. I could actually go on forever about her.
She somehow still works with us, but it is actually to the point where it is entertaining to me and my coworkers now. Every day I come home from work with a story about her—every single day! My significant other is now totally into it and looks forward to the pretty much daily updates.
Our “that guy” at work is a talker. A very loud talker. A loud talker whose job appears to be: walk around the office, start conversations very loudly, then interrupt you as loudly as possible.
"Did you see that sports thing? How about that socialist in the white house? Let’s talk about more sports things. How about we awkwardly discuss women like they’re objects? Hey, did you see that other sports thing?"
I don't care Ted, I'm gay and I don't watch sports.
“That guy” in our office has to be different from everybody, and is in your face about how different he is and will not shut up about it. You know that weird guy that everybody made fun of in grade school, but instead of trying to blend in, he thrived on the attention and tried to stand out more?
Now imagine that guy grew up and got an office job, and still craves that attention. Here’s a list of things this guy does on a typical workday. He wears a full 1970's ensemble including giant bell bottoms, a suede vest, and white guy fro. He eats either the world’s worst-smelling canned fish, or the hottest hot sauce imaginable rendering the break room unusable for hours due to the smell. Oh, but it gets even more annoying.
He also drives a smart car and will not shut up about how awesome it is. He constantly talks about his E-Cig and the modifications he's done to it, and his custom flavor mix. He talks openly about the medication he's taking for any range of mental disorders he's invented that day.
He drinks nothing but energy drinks or mountain dew, but makes sure to tell you that the coffee you're drinking is terrible for your body. He will talk endlessly about whatever his new obsession is. This week it's Tiny Houses—wow, how original! The worst part is, he's a family friend of the president of the company, so he'll never be fired—and he knows it.
In my office, we have Angel the micromanager. Back when I was working in data entry, we had a great manager. He was chill as a cucumber. As long as we came to work and hit our output per hour goals, we could chat, take a longish lunch, do whatever. The whole team got along great.
Unfortunately, he was called back to the Army and they had to hire a second in command. Cue Angel the Micromanager. Every little thing was scrutinized and documented. And it wasn't like a "hey, heads up" it was a formal complaint. I got dinged because I had an inappropriate wallpaper on my monitor. My desktop wallpaper!
The talking stopped, the atmosphere was icy cold, and it made you really feel like a worthless piece of replaceable meat. So many people moved departments or outright quit. Of the ones who quit, they all blasted her in the exit interview and cited her as the primary reason.
It took them over two years, but middle management finally forced her onto some other godforsaken team. I've not checked up on them since.
I’ve got a lot to rant about the guy in my office. First of all, he’s useless. The only reason he currently has his job is that we work in the public sector where it’s hard to get fired unless you takes someone's life. Also, he passed his probation completely by fluke, as there was a change in management around his probation time.
He automatically passed. This means I'm stuck working with him forever. We work in an IT team, but I've had to instruct him many times on how to perform basic tasks. For example: He got confused about why a monitor wasn't turning on when it wasn't even plugged in.
We work the same role, but he is literally twice my age and older than our managers. This has led to him to challenging his pay and authority many times, despite being the most unproductive and incompetent person I've ever worked with.
He constantly talks over you when you're in the middle of an explanation. This is so it looks as if he's contributing to a conversation or explanation that doesn't even involve him. Often our users go away more confused than when they arrived due to him.
He also refuses to stick to our work schedule, taking work logs that don't belong to him then under-delivering. And then there’s the constant humming and other random stupid noises. He talks like a simpleton, but his emails are written out in overly-worded HR talk.
This of course makes him very respectable—until you actually talk to him. He tries to power dress around new staff. On these days he tries wearing a three-piece suit. This only happens for the first week they are employed then he goes back to his normal attire.
He also makes up jokey lies about himself, such as how he was once in Gladiators, which was a 90's UK TV show. However, he does this in place of actually talking about himself. I've sat next to him for two years, and what do I know about him? Not a single solitary thing. All I know is the stuff he makes up in order to be funny.
When a manager finally talks to him about his uselessness, and that he needs to ship up, he often goes off in a strop, hardly talking to anyone and sulks. When completing work, he will keep things very vague when you ask for a progress update. Either trying to cover up how little he's done, or so he's the only source of information on the issue.
This is an issue in IT as we all need to know how to do things, but I gave up asking him and backwards engineer half his work. He's sitting right next to me, and all I want to do now is punch that stupid face of his.
The guy in our office is Richard. This guy is probably mid-40s and is a project manager for a little side project that is not even revenue-producing. I agree that he is a little higher up than a lot of us, but he thinks he owns the entire place. What grinds my gears is he micromanages us.
I know what I have to do, and what kind of turnaround time I will have on a task. Do not come and ask me every 30 minutes if it's done. The other problem with him is apparently his olfactory senses are heightened and he asks me and a lot of other people: "Why do you wear cologne to work? Do not wear cologne, it irritates me".
I finally told him yesterday, "I do not wear cologne for your benefit, I wear it for mine, I like to smell nice and not like a hobo. Secondly, you are not the boss of me, and I do not take orders from you. So you need to shut up". Basically, nobody here likes you Richard. If you are reading this, which I know you are from behind your office walls, you need to back off.
Our guy is a delusional, pathological liar. I gave him the nickname Walter Mitty years before the Ben Stiller movie was released. Every story ever told at break, lunch, morning coffee, wherever, is nothing compared to his story. Oh, you went out and caught some fish last weekend? Well, Walter went yachting and harpooned some mermaids. What a jerk.
I would say “that guy” is two women at my office. One is a younger woman—like 24 or so—whose dad has a high-up position here. Also, she was married to another employee on the lower end. She is extremely flirty. Even when she was married she would come up to my office or my friend at work's office and sit there trying to flirt with things like: "I just wish I was prettier".
This woman was in charge of setting up work "fun" events like lunch bowling leagues. Guess who was always on her and her friend's team? My friend and myself. Horrific things such as "teammate group selfie time!" would occur. She wouldn't even put her husband on her own team.
When her husband sort of jokingly complained, she explained that "haha, it was totally random". This would be very awkward and other people at work would constantly tease us about it. Then it took a turn for the scandalous. She eventually divorced her husband and just moved in with his best friend who also works here.
Needless to say, her ex-husband is no longer friends with the guy who she moved in with. She’s a real class act who ruins lives and destroys friendships. I could tell several stories about “that guy” number two. She likes to correct people on everything.
She started as a receptionist and would always have some comment when you walked in to work. "I left those papers Mr Smith dropped by, it looks like you agreed on a price a little too high, no?" She works in a position where they have multiple people sharing an office.
She has been "relocated" repeatedly once the people she rooms with go to the boss to complain about her being in their business all the time. Also, she will openly argue with people, who have their own specialties, about an aspect of that job.
Another colleague, my boss, and I were talking about how to write up a contract and going over the particular laws that applied to a certain stipulation. We agreed on what to do and asked her to send out the changes. She argued that she shouldn’t send out something that was incorrect. Apparently, her husband told her how to do it right.
I calmly thanked her for her thoughts and told her that this was actually what we needed to do to stay within the law. Her reply was: "I really don't think so, are you sure you don't want me to just change it for you how I think it should be? I'll send it out then". Our boss sternly told her to just send it out now—the way it is.
She looked at us with a "well I never" look and huffed out of the room. At meetings, she will be shaking her head in agreement or disagreement while m'hmm'ing when someone suggests something or makes a point. She will put her two cents in about how something should be done and she will be wrong.
She'll do this to executives in meetings when they are going over something to explain to us. They'll just sort of look at her and awkwardly say, "Well, not exactly, but back to the issue". It doesn’t stop at just work things. She'll also incorrectly "correct" people on their diets and exercise. She is impossible.
The guy at our office says stupid things that an over-encouraging and out-of-touch boss would say. Things like "Go team!" and "Let's go team awesome" and "How you kids doing?" The weird thing is that he's my age, I'm his superior, and he only works here part-time.
Also, additionally annoying, he's male and I'm female and when he asks me for advice, he interrupts me or intentionally does the opposite of my suggestion.
This woman in my office always tells you what you are doing is wrong. When someone makes a suggestion about how to improve her own work, however, she will cry and accuse you of tormenting her. This woman complains about everything.
A coworker, after asking the team if we were okay with it, once opened the window. It was reasonable as it was summer and warm. Not to this woman. She says nothing about the window, but then five minutes later, she is loudly complaining about how it is so “drafty in here” and that she is so cold.
We offer to close the window, but she declines. Five minutes later, she’s complaining again. Another coworker gets up and closes the window. She then says there was no need for that. The next day she calls in sick to work—and her reason made me burst out laughing.
Get this: she thinks she has gotten shingles from the draft. All from the window that was open for all of 10 minutes total on a warm summer's day.
That guy at our office is a she. She always has something wrong. First, there’s her boyfriend, who isn't really her boyfriend since he doesn't want a title. They live together and plan on marrying. Then there’s her apparently terrible mom. So many stories about her. Number three on her list is her allergies.
What I can remember is tomatoes, gluten, pesticides, dairy, caffeine intolerance, and I forget the others, but don't worry: She still eats all those foods! She is also slightly overweight and obsesses over being skinny. It doesn’t help that she eats Taco Bell every day with Mcdonald's and tries laser treatments to "blast her fat off".
She also doesn't like gay people because she thinks gay couples who raise children just make gay kids. According to her, it’s because they don't have a role model who is the opposite gender.
“That guy” is the one that stops by each person's office individually to say good morning and spread any possible news: all 40 offices. Someone out today? "His daughter was in a car accident this morning," he'll inform me. Or, "ooh, his wife died last night," because everyone needs to know. "That guy got fired!"
I don't know how he knows these things before everyone else. It's the same thing every single day. And if there's no news, he'll tell you a random story about case law in South Carolina 26 years ago, or that his cat likes peanut butter and olives. "Did you know that Ronald McDonald sat next to me in a burger joint once?". If this isn’t bad enough he’s also a lingerer.
Nice guy, but I really just want to stare at my phone and drink coffee in peace, man.
That guy at our office is a talker. This guy will talk about anything and wants you to stop working so he can tell you a pointless story about this or that. He then wants to know exactly what I am doing, and why I am doing things. I'm not even in his department, and he doesn't understand my job anyway. There is, however, more.
The worst part is, my cubicle/office has me facing away from the door, and he always thinks it is hilarious to come in and try to scare me, or do some Kramer-type entrance. I've taken extreme measures to know when he leaves his desk so I can hide, or at least be prepared.
"That guy" at my office is Mike. Mike is a frustrating mix of arrogance and narcissism. An unending talker with some very obvious inferiority complexes that I'm guessing were instilled by his family. You have to avoid him at all costs, lest he talk your ear off, and you can never escape. I got the feeling his wife doesn't let him talk at home.
Mike will proceed to tell you how the world works on any topic, any chance he gets. There’s a picnic table outside the shop where people take breaks and eat lunch on nice days. I timed it once, he talked nonstop—no interruptions for twenty minutes—at which point he got an acknowledging grunt and continued to broadcast his conversation with only himself to all our, in his mind, intently listening ears for the rest of lunch.
If you're in a meeting with the boss and him, he flips a switch and goes full smarmy guy mode. To give credit where it is due, the guy should be a salesman. As a result, he's in the boss's ear too much, and his ideas get pushed. He programs our database software that has now permeated the whole place.
The problem is he's a self-taught programmer, and he sucks. His database is garbage and if they hired a second-year college programmer they could fix it to work right in a single summer. He has no clue as to how the place actually runs, and his ideas just become a pain in the neck.
His wife works for a doctor she was previously married to. As a result, he spends a lot of time around people with more money than him. Even though he's one of the highest-paid people here, he complains non-stop about not having money. His dad was rich but didn't give it to him, so he resents that.
Apparently, his mom is so unkind that he never visits her at the home. I don’t ask about that. He had a tanning business and once apparently revolutionized the tanning industry, I also don’t ask. He's got a billion-dollar idea that’s going to change the world as soon as he gets the scratch for a patent lawyer.
He was really really trying to bait me on this one, I didn't ask. I hate Mike.
I worked with a guy we called "Irish Jeff". We are on a sales team, and he will call customers and start singing "Oh Danny Boy" while the phone rings. When the customer answers and asks if he was singing, he will say "Well, I am Irish!" Then it escalates.
He will then talk to them for 45 minutes about his Irish heritage and list the names of the boats that originally brought people over from Ireland without letting them off the phone. He doesn't really ever talk about anything he's supposed to be selling. The real kicker? He was born and raised in Texas.
So back in the day, there was this new guy, we'll call him Nick because that was his name. Well, anyway Nick was this loud obnoxious video game nerd that came with somewhat of an odor. I took note that Nick wore this one gray shirt frequently. In fact, I started cataloging his daily wardrobe to see how often he wore it. Turns out he had a consistent pattern.
On Monday it was the gray shirt. This would be followed by Tuesday’s blue shirt. Wednesday would see him returning to the same gray shirt as Monday. If it was Thursday, he’d wear his reddish-colored shirt. Real excitement happened on Friday, which we called “wild card day”. You never knew what he would wear on Friday.
So anyway, on a Tuesday I'm talking to a co-worker about Nick's gray shirt. I'm like, "I'll bet you he wears the gray shirt tomorrow". My co-worker, who doesn’t know the routine retorts, "No way, he just wore it yesterday". So, I managed to get him to wager $10. Wednesday rolls around and sure enough, Nick is wearing gray, and I collect my $10.
Well, word got around that I had cracked the code. I sensed Nick eventually caught on too, and he started changing up the wardrobe.
At the time, I was an intern at a financial firm, and a new hire came in. Let's call him Danny. I was in the contract law department, which was pretty small and we were mostly women. I guess the firm was trying to diversify its law hires, because they hired two male lawyers in the span of a month to replace people who were leaving.
Anyway, we went for a company lunch, and another intern and I sat by Danny. Weirdly, he insisted on getting food for us and putting it on our plates even though we are 19 and 20 years old. The dude wouldn't even let me get my own water. I guess he felt like he had to father us because we were young women or something.
He also was pretty patronizing and made dad jokes despite being in his late twenties or something. Bizarre.
For reasons I'll never understand, my boss decided that hiring a 70 year-old-man—this is not an exaggeration on age—to be our customer service rep was a good idea. I kid you not, this guy will open Outlook, start an email, and type out a change that needs to be done to a policy.
This sometimes includes a 17-digit VIN number—which instead of copying and pasting, he types out. Then instead of hitting send, he hits print and puts the piece of paper on my desk. I've told him before to stop, but he always just says: "This way just makes more sense to me". Even worse? He's downright offensive.
Also, he calls every person of Asian descent an "oriental" and inquires about when they came to this country and then ends the conversation about his two-year stint in Vietnam. It's insanely hard to deal with.
At my work, "that guy" is the management guy that has situated himself to never be fired. The long story of it is that he somehow weaseled his way into a position that doesn't actually do anything. He is supposed to be between sales and management, and has no oversight. Because of that, he has enough power to be dangerous.
He knows nothing about software or technology. If you try to correct him on something, he'll get offended and threaten to fire you. That's why we now refer to individual modules in a program as "buckets" in front of him. As in: "The credits bucket is having graphical difficulties," or, "Did you read the email about the customer wanting additional buckets?"
Additionally, every sales call he goes on he does not actually try to sell anything. His method is best described as "playing hard to get," which doesn't quite work when you're the salesman. At least his fiancee was flirting with every guy during the Christmas party—the same one he claims is a "good Catholic virgin" who he hasn't actually been physical with yet because they are waiting for their wedding night. Yeah right.
With this woman at my office, you ask a question, and you get a 10-minute response that doesn't give you an answer. You hear about three or four clients and their super-detailed issues, including their interpersonal problems.
In addition, you get the complete history of the company's dealing with similar issues. And then she’s like, "So…maybe that could be an issue. We should look into that". Yeah, it is an issue, I knew that already. Certain managers have requested not to meet with her because she's so frustrating.
Most managers cut her off if she goes down one of these insane wandering paths. She also needs to wind herself up before she responds. It’s like this: "Oh... yeah...I find it comes....well, like a few times I....back in 2008 we had a problem....oh, oh....client X first asked us about that in 1994...."
I hate that woman. She’s the only person I have a problem working with.
"That guy" in our office has the unbearable habit of starting conversations about work the second we walk in the door. I like to get in, set my coffee down, put my lunch in the fridge, turn on my computer, and get situated. But no, the minute I walk in it’s: "Well, today we have this meeting and we should get this project going and blah, blah, blah". Every single day.
At my office, we have one guy who regales us with what happened to him during the time he left for home the previous day and the time he just arrived at work this morning.
Did he have dinner? What did he have? Did it give him diarrhea? What did his dinner guests think of the food? Did he watch a film? Do you want to know the entire plot of the film while he tells you to watch it because it's really good? Did he not manage to sleep well? Was there a maniac driving on the road on his commute?
Apparently, the answer is always yes!
We have a new receptionist in our office, and he’s a super nice guy. The problem is he tries way too hard to do the over-professional thing on the phone with customers to the point that he sounds unprofessional.
He crams as many 'go aheads' and 'alrighty thens' as possible into every sentence. Then he makes up weird fancy titles on the fly for the other people up here instead of referring to them by name or by their actual title.
Here’s an example: “Alrighty then sir, what I'm going to do on my end, is I'm going to go ahead and relay this communication to the chemical specialist, so that he can go ahead and get this issue taken care of on his end. Then I will go ahead and speak with the scheduling manager so that we can go ahead and get this problem resolved for you in a timely and efficient manner, alrighty then?”
He then ends the call with: “Alrighty then, sir, you go ahead and have yourself a wonderful day. Alrighty then".
Our “that guy” is the complainer. She can not be pleased by anything for long. She has been with the company her entire life. This is through three or four changes now due to being bought by larger companies. She loudly complains about changes that come down the pipeline and reminisces about how certain things used to be. Every single thing.
On top of complaining about work, she complains about her home life and family. Anyone who sits in her area could update you on what's going on in her house this week. It's an unbelievably different environment when she's out on vacation or off sick. It’s ridiculously peaceful and I look forward to those days all year long.
“That guy” at my work is a certain coworker. She complains every day that it's slow. She constantly says over and over and over again, "Oh, I wish the phone would ring, "If the phone doesn't ring I'm gonna go crazy!" This may be followed by: "Please ring, please ring, please ring". Of course, it's really annoying but it’s not the worst part.
When the phone does ring, she won’t answer it. She makes me answer it regardless of what I'm doing.
“That guy” at my office always opens the door, stands there and looks around, and then finally says "Hello". This is followed by a long pause. I figured out he was waiting to be acknowledged like the most important person on the planet. Then he wants us to grovel at his appearance.
If there’s not enough groveling—and there never is—he wants the following. He wants everyone to stop working, turn toward him, meet his eyes, and proceed with inane small talk. If you don’t do these three things, he will proceed to come up behind you and exclaim loudly, "Good morning, How…Are…You".
I’ll tell you how I am, dude, once you back off.
We have a guy who wears the same clothes every single day. Our office has a casual dress code, so you can pretty much wear anything you would wear to a relaxed family picnic. Jeans and polos type of deal. Some dress nice, but it's just casual. This guy wears the same shirt and pants every single day.
I think we are at day 30 since we actually started counting. One would think, maybe he has OCD or something, and he owns more than one of the same pants and shirt. Nope, there was a stain on the shirt, and it's still there. I just don't see how you can put on the same clothes every day and think "Nah, nobody will notice".
Sure maybe one day in a row if laundry isn't done. But I work in an office with very smart people. We notice.
That guy at my work is a little socially awkward. We all tolerate him because he does generally try to be nice to everyone. But here’s the thing. Whenever anything not entirely literal comes out of his mouth, he prefaces it with, "I'm just kidding when I say this, but..."
For example, a coworker received an old office chair when they started here a few weeks ago. It was ratty already and broke quickly. So, this employee was given a replacement chair from storage, but it wasn’t much better than the first one. The second chair broke within the day.
That guy’s response was, "I'm just kidding when I say this, but she might want to slow down with the chairs". Not so terrible, until he prefaces his fifteenth "joke" that day with the same statement. I'm just kidding when I say this, Bob, but I'm going to sadistically lose it on you if you tell me you're kidding one more time. Or maybe I’m not kidding.
I work in NYC and bike to work. There is a doorman whose only job is to open the back door to let bikes into the freight elevator. He's rude, and takes forever to open the door. He just sits there on his phone watching YouTube videos loudly, then calls you names under his breath when he finally lets you in.
I don't get it. His only job is to open the door and be nice, and he just doesn't do it.
I think I'm “that guy” at my office. Here’s why: I only talk to people when it is work-related items. I don't laugh at the lame office jokes everyone always tells. I encourage people to forget about small talk during meetings and just get on with it. I think forced small talk is very demoralizing. Let’s just stay on topic, people.
There’s more: People who nod at me and ask how I am doing as I walk down the halls, get nothing from me in return. Like dude, I acknowledged that both you and I are here today, but I'm not going to do it for the next 12 times we pass each other in the hall. I know you exist. These things, however, are not the worst thing I do.
My worst behavior is when it comes to people’s complaints. When my coworkers complain about having work to do or being at work, I fire off some rant about being glad to have a job in today's economy. I continue with how I am thankful for the work I have to do, and that I like coming to work as it gives me a sense of accomplishment and purpose.
I get the feeling I am not very popular.
At my desk at work, I have a clear glass water bottle. I'm 24 and in college while the rest of the office is filled with people over 35 and with mostly masters and PhDs. Every day I fill up my bottle at the water fountain, and every day I hear at least three or four: "oooh bottle of Smirnoff " or “is it five o'clock already?!?"
This or some other lame drink-related joke. I've gotten the same joke from the same people for the past year. It wasn't funny the first time. It wasn't funny the tenth time. It's been a year, stop making that joke for the love of god.
There’s this guy near me who keeps snoring at his desk. I discreetly woke him up the first time to keep him out of trouble. I told him that I've been sleepy at work too and that I wouldn’t tell anyone. The second time I just let him sleep until someone else found him. He got discovered by one of the managers in a different department.
Miraculously, the manager also cut him some slack and didn't do anything or mention it to anybody. I'm wondering what happens when he's caught sleeping at work again. He's got a good thing going here. Probably making over 100k, with reasonable hours and good benefits.
He's in his late 30s, single, no kids, I don't know why he's up so late that he'd jeopardize his job like that.
Here’s a type of person that I think is “that guy” at many workplaces. These are people who assume you share their political/religious/social beliefs, and then say really derogatory things. It's super uncomfortable when it isn't just downright insulting.
Then you have two choices: to be the person who "caused a scene" by asking them not to say those things, or you don't say anything and live with the shame of not having the guts to stand up for yourself or others.
There's a lady at my work who says “hi” to me from her cubicle every morning. I say, "How are you Carol?" She always laughs and typically makes a motion as if she's about to off herself. I've seen her fake slit her own throat, fake shoot herself in the head, fake swallow a bottle of pills, and fake snap her own neck.
My favorite is when she fake puts a noose around her neck and pulls the fake rope up and hangs herself. She did that once and then silently stared at me until I got to my office down the hall. I think Carol’s hilarious.
There’s a guy I work with, who started at the same time as me a year ago. He came to my desk multiple times the first day to make sure I wasn't having "computer problems". He then asked me to lunch. Later, he messaged me "Good morning! How's your day been?" He did this for about three weeks straight with no response from me.
I have also had to make it clear multiple times that I am in a relationship. It didn’t matter, this guy would constantly ask me what I was doing over the weekend, or if I had lunch plans. In addition to all this, he also has an annoying laugh. I can't describe it, but it's throaty and from his chest all at the same time.
We call "that guy" at our office “Dozer”. He thinks it's a silly jab from the time we found him asleep on the job, but there is a deeper meaning. In my workplace, our conversations are large, intricate, and greatly entertaining: like a small village.
At any given time, there may be one person talking to everyone, someone sharing a story, a few sub-conversations going on, inside jokes being referenced or made, or any number of intricate details being discussed. Again, think of a lovely little village being built.
Then, out of nowhere, with a single awkward remark—prejudiced slur, or a bizarre bit of xenophobia—Dozer comes plowing through our entire village. He’s crushing and ending everything. The visual of a bulldozer ruining a quaint, bustling village is the only metaphor close enough to accurately convey how it feels.
We sit in a stunned, quiet silence, wishing for a surprise substance test he would surely fail.
The sweetest little old lady works in the office with me and a couple of other people. It's a family-owned business, and she's been here since I was a kid—over 20 years. She's nice, and never steps on anyone's toes or annoys anyone. She sits at her desk and does her paperwork. She only works half the week so she can take care of her grandkids the other days.
In addition to this, she has survived throat cancer and the subsequent treatment without missing much work at all. She has also never complained about any of it. She is the embodiment of a sweet, hardworking, tough old gal. But, for the love of god, when she clips her fingernails in the office, I just about lose my mind.
I used to work at a large insurance company, and there was one guy, Steve, who would not stop complaining. Absolutely nothing was good enough for him. We got hired at the same time, and the company had a very generous pay/benefits package and he would constantly raise his hand during employee orientation and complain about every aspect he could.
Copay for doctor visits? Inexcusable! Company matches only 80% of 401k contributions? What a sweatshop! And then there was vacation. “We only get three weeks of vacation a year? I thought this was America, not North Korea!”
It got so bad, the branch director had to come and spend thirty minutes explaining to our new hire class that our company spends as much or more than our competitors on employee satisfaction. They were slyly hinting that we—meaning him—should be very thankful for our benefits.
Another story is when we were learning a new aspect of property insurance. For this, we were given two weeks of training. On the last day, we played a fun jeopardy-type game and the class was evenly split between two teams. One team got an answer partially right and won the game: a grand prize of jolly ranchers.
This guy went completely bananas about how unfair it was, even though the rest of us were laughing. A buddy of mine drove him home that day. Out of curiosity, I texted him that night to see how long the guy complained for. I got a text back: "He wouldn't shut up for twenty minutes! I almost pulled him out of my truck and left him there at a stop light!"
The guy also couldn't handle criticism of any kind. Every week, management would meet with employees and kind of do a pro-con of your performance and offer light criticism. This guy would have a heart attack. Everyone within a 10-meter (32 ft) radius could hear every word of his, and he would be shamelessly defending himself when all he had to say was "OK, I'll do my best to improve this or that".
Management soon had to do his weekly meetings in a conference room because he would turn everything into a full-blown argument. One other really annoying thing he did was stop working for the last hour of the week. Our boss left at five on Fridays and the rest of us worked till six. In his mind, this means an hour of free time on Fridays.
We were all working very hard, and he would wander around and chit-chat with everyone about nothing at all. I guess some people get old without growing up. This guy was in his mid-twenties but acted like a nine-year-old. I'm shocked he lasted a year.
Here’s a tip for success: Working is a privilege, not a right, and the "Well, I'm here, aren't I?" attitude gets old really fast.
That guy at my work is my boss. He replies to all emails and ends his reply with ”...bob”. Always the same, ellipses and all. This was every, single, email. Some examples are: “Great, thanks for the proposal...bob”. “Please make payment on your unit soon...bob".
To make matters worse, he can't spell, and he doesn't capitalize anything either. Aside from that, he also tried to light up in my car when I gave him a ride back from the local tire shop during work. The windows were even rolled up. He didn't even ask: just went to light up during a legit five-minute car ride.
I told him my car was a smoke-free zone—because, you know, I don't smoke—and he got offended that he couldn't smoke in my car. In addition to all of the above, he thinks that anyone found on the wrong side of the law, even named John Smith, is an immigrant because they're the only ones who commit unlawful acts.
Right now it's 30 degrees Celsius (86 F) outside and as muggy as a sauna, and he has the heat set to 25 C (76 7 F). It's the middle of freaking summer. I can't stand him. He laughs like I'm ten miles away and won't hear him otherwise. His teeth are more yellow than a lemon.
He constantly makes fun of everyone and says bad stuff about customers and employees behind their backs. His cars are filthy, and have half-eaten food everywhere. There’s trash all over the place, just caked-on dirt on every surface. I absolutely cringe if I have to sit in those cars. Bob, I detest you.
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