More True Tales of Annoying Coworkers

Monday, September 18th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Here are more True Tales of Annoying Coworkers, submitted by Dallas Morning News readers. Names have been omitted to protect the innocent, but you know who you are:

The Burned Popcorn Guy

Years ago, I worked with a gentleman who made popcorn in the
microwave every afternoon – overcooking it and burning it every single time.
There is no other smell in the entire world that lingers in an office like burned
microwave popcorn. One afternoon, I decided that I would like some popcorn
and popped a bag in the microwave. Since I am never able to finish a bag I asked "Joe" if he would like some of my popcorn instead of popping his
own bag. He later came back to my desk asking me what brand of popcorn I used since it
was the best he had ever tasted, to which I replied, "I didn't burn it". Joe
never overcooked a bag of popcorn again!

Carpool excuses

At my job, most of us car-pooled and, in nearly every case, our members were dependable, showed up on time,
kept their cars clean and got us to work on time. However,
one time we made the mistake of replacing one of our members who moved
away with our new receptionist. She was rarely on time and made all
of us late to work. To make it worse, my bosses never accepted the
excuse that the car-pool made me late! One day, she started having an
excuse for not driving on her appointed day, and would call me just
before time to leave and I'd have to drive in her place. This went on
and on, and we were all getting tired of it, when she announced that
she was moving and gave her two-week notice. (We all celebrated, to
say the least.) It was finally her last day to work and was also her
day to drive. I was surprised when I saw her pull up that she was
actually going to drive that last day. But, I should have known! She
marched up to my door and announced that she was getting a flat, and
could I drive.

A dream job?

The smokers have been the worst co-workers, but at least now they have
to go outside to smoke. I had a woman co-worker for awhile who smoked
constantly and drank coffee from a thermos. She brought the "coffee"
from home and that "coffee" would make her so sleepy, she would fall
asleep. So, she got paid for drinking, smoking, sleeping and most of

The clipper

A co-worker of mine used to remove his shoes and clip his toenails at his desk, into the trash. He did this even while others were eating, and saw nothing
inappropriate about it.

Ha, ha, real funny

About four years ago, the maximum security prison I was working
in as a correctional officer was on lock-down status. I was assigned
to fetch an offender in one of the dorms housing 56 inmates. The two
officers manning the security desk let me into the housing unit but
failed to let me out. My immediate thought was they had a warped
sense of humor and that I was being paid back for an earlier
disagreement. Fortunately, another officer came and found me banging
on the door yelling to be let out. I'd recruited a number of inmates
to signal the two officers through the dorm's camera system. They
were dancing up and down on the tables waving their arms. I was
fortunate the inmates were good natured that morning. Banging on the
door and yelling with inmates dancing on tables waving their arms must
have been a sight.

The King of Gossip

I've worked with this guy who's nice and intelligent, but he has a
nasty little habit: he's a compulsive gossip. The information he shares is very sensitive. Although most
of the information is reliable (because it comes to pass),
it's very bad for morale. For instance, we had a co-worker who was going
through a very difficult time in her marriage. When he
came to my office to tell me about it, there was a gleam in
his eye as if he relished in all of this person's
misfortune. By now, I'm thinking to myself, "I've got to
get this person out of here if only for my own sanity."
So, it happened. When he became bored and reached a
plateau in his position, I convinced him to focus on other career opportunities. He applied for
a transfer to another city and was
approved. I was very happy. I actually started to enjoy coming to work

What's that again?

I sat on the other side of a cubicle from a man who SPOKE VERY LOUD! I was
privy to his personal life as well as his work. He loved to use the
speaker phone so I could hear both sides of the conversation.
I went through his prostrate surgery, his recovery, his request for
Viagra and details about being so sick on a trip that he was
blowing blood out of his nose (heard that story repeated way too many
times). I listened to his customers complain, his wife
about her day, planning his vacations, etc. He once got a call from someone
trying to sell him a trailer. He listened to the whole pitch, then made
some comment about how he isn't in the market for a trailer and has no
idea why the guy called. But he sat and listened to the whole pitch!

Revenge of the berated

I once had a co-worker who was very high strung. He would fly off the handle at every inconvenience that occurred. He would berate anyone whom he did not get along with and insisted on calling every
female "lady" instead of their name (even when he knew her name).
I began to amuse myself by playing practical jokes on him whenever I
could. My greatest joke was when I moved all of the numeric keys over one
position on his computer. Since he was a "henpecker" at the keyboard, he
would lean over to type a 6 and get a 5, or an 8 and get a 7 and so forth.
After numerous explicit words and a call to the help desk, he
discovered the joke, but not without turning several shades of red.

Too good-natured?

My co-worker in the adjacent cubicle has a shrill, obnoxious cackle that she constantly broadcasts at unbelievable decibels. I suspect her continuous, guffaw-filled yammering
is a disorder. After careful consideration, I've determined she employs this
inhuman laughter as punctuation in her conversations. Whereas you and I would
have the tacit period at the end of a sentence, she trumpets a boisterous
hee-haw. Literally, every time she speaks, she laughs. "Looks like rain
today," she says. Then, "HA-HA-HA-HA-HA!" "I sure could use a cup of coffee," she announces. Then, "TEE-HEE-HEE-HEE!" Who laughs like that outside of comic strips?

Queen of Excuses

Where do I begin? What's the worst? It's not the CLICK, CLICK of her long fake nails on the keyboard OR her high-pitched girlish giggle OR her cell phone ringing (yes, she
answers it). The ultimate, number one annoying thing(s) are the EXCUSES! Excuses
for EVERYTHING! Whatever it is – she has an excuse for it! We have
heard it all ... She's running late? Not coming in? No follow-up on
projects? Well, a flat tire (four at last count), two new batteries, her child
lost her keys, her ex-boyfriend stole her purse, her child threw up on her, daycare
problems, very secretive personal problems and the list goes on. We have coined several nicknames for this person – our favorite is "Excuse Queen."