Over breakfast this morning, Craig shared a story of a really annoying teammate behavior. I agreed wholeheartedly, “phew, that IS annoying!” and then pitched in with another super-duper annoying thing people do. The second begat a third, and the third a fourth, and that’s how my morning cup of tea turned into a rant about annoying team member behavior. Here we go…

The MOST annoying team members…

  1. Ask you for something in a hurry and then don’t use it for days. This is the one that got us started. Isn’t that the WORST! Your colleague tells you it’s desperate, urgent, hair-on-fire important and so you stay up all night, missing your bowling league to get it done. Three days later you see the file unopened on his desk. You could throttle him on the spot. This one belongs to the “My priorities are more important than your priorities” category of crappy team member behavior.
  2. Ask a question that she could have answered with 15 seconds on Google. “Hey, how many locations do we have in Nevada?” your teammate asks innocuously. This causes you to pleasantly and helpfully open the website, find the store locator and type in Nevada. And then you realize that this is EXACTLY what she could have done without interrupting you. This one belongs to the “My co-worker is my man servant” category. It’s up there with leaving dirty coffee cups for you to clear.
  3. Tries to sound smarter than you (and the boss, and Einstein). People who try to sound impressive, particularly when they try to sound impressive in place of actually being impressive drive me NUTS! This is the person who “utilizes a novel paradigm to generate synergistic outcomes” when all he is doing is calling another meeting. REALLY!?! This one belongs to the “Empty suit sitting next to me” category.
  4. Being the one who is chronically late for meetings and then expecting the chairperson to back up and explain what she missed. AAAAAHHH! Meetings are painful enough as it is without having to back track. That goes for the person who is physically but not mentally present too. Someone in a session I facilitated last week started a sentence with “I might have missed this, but…” and proceeded to ask a question about something we had JUST covered while he was on his phone! This one belongs to the “World revolves around me” category.
  5. While we’re on the “World revolves around me” category, I would like to take a moment to share my disdain for the person who walks into the meeting room, remarks on the temperature, and then unilaterally takes it upon himself to adjust the thermostat. (I had to use the male pronoun in this case because for me, the most infuriating is when a man dressed in a 3-piece suit puts the temperature to 55 while I shiver and shake. I’m sure men have the same reaction to women cranking it up to near sauna like conditions so the meeting takes on a Bikram Yoga-like quality.)
  6. Blows sunshine at you while privately slagging you behind your back. Ok, forget it, this doesn’t belong on my annoying list. This one goes straight to the team member hall of shame (I should write that post someday). Passive-aggressive behavior, go to Jail, do not pass GO, do not collect $200!
  7. Playing the martyr while refusing help is another for the list. You know that colleague who is always sighing heavily and looking as though she has the greatest burden of all. But when you offer to help, all you get is a “that’s ok, I’ve got it,” usually in the exact tone of Eeyore. CHOOSE one: you can play the woe-is-me line if you’re willing to accept help OR you can suck it up if you want to get martyr points (where does one cash in martyr points). You can’t refuse help and still get my sympathy.

I’m just getting rolling. Can you add a few to my list? Use the comments section to vent your favorite annoyance!

Further Reading

The Confidence Curse

Working in an Open Concept Office

Read the Damn Pre-Read People!