Have you ever wanted to get up during a really boring business meeting and just walk far, far away, and never come back? Have you considered following the North Star to Canada to escape corporate slavery? These are my fantasies, people, and I’m sure you’ve had them too. I know having a stable job in this economy is a blessing, but any person who has worked long enough knows there are certain nouns -people, places, and things – that will make going to work a living hell. Here are some of the biggest workplace annoyances and some solutions to keep you from going off the deep end:
The Nosy Neighbor: Please stop asking me what I did this weekend, we ain’t cool like that. No, I would not like to hear about how your colonoscopy went. Can you not see that I am on gchat/reading my blogs/trying to file my taxes?! A nosy co-worker will ask you a million questions before you even have the chance to take your coat off, and they always seem to pop up in your cubicle asking you questions for no good reason. The worst offense? When you’re late and trying to sneak in the morning, and they yell out “GOOD MORNING! Glad to see you made it in!”
Solution: Be on time; get a privacy screen for your laptop; keep your headphones on at all times, and point to them when the NN begins to speak.
The Slavedriver: The name pretty much speaks for itself. The slavedriver wants you to do all of the hard labor and then will take credit for it. Why are you sending me halfway across the world to bring you coffee, and then asking why I don’t have that spreadsheet ready? The slavedriver talks a good game, but when forced to do actual work will usually fail miserably.
Solution: Remind the slavedriver that ‘indentured servant’ is not in your job description; take a sick day when there is important work that needs to be done; put a voodoo root on the person.
The C.A.C.: For those of you who work for the federal government, I’m not talking about the Common Access Card that you use to login to your computer. No, this is the “Crazy Ass Co-worker”, the person who is not quite right, and you are too afraid to say anything because they might come back to your cube with a sawed off shotgun. They are easily identified by the following characteristics: a vacant stare, talking to themselves, unjustified anger over small things, and a funny smell.
Solution: Avoid at all costs; keep a running list of run-ins with this person, you may be able to use it in court.
The Restroom: Using the restroom at work is a set up because it is the one place where everyone will eventually have to go. Now I’m not shy, but there is something that is just nerve-wracking about trying to discuss the annual report with your boss while you are, uh, “dropping the kids off at the pool.” I prefer the comforts of my own home, thank you very much. And the conversation when you come out will always be awkward. Always.
Solution: Wait until the coast is clear; Use the very last stall to avoid having more than one person in the stall next to you; Use the bathroom at the bookstore across the street.
The Printer: If there is one thing that will NEVER work the way it’s supposed to, it is your office printer. Have to print off that important report for the board meeting? Too bad. Want to scan and send a document to a client? It’s broken. Need to copy your resume when your boss isn’t looking so you can apply for another job? No way, Jose! Printer repairmen must be getting paid something proper, because I swear they are always down on the job trying to fix a paper jam. Work printers are inherently evil, it is embedded in their DNA.
Solution: Buy your own; use the secretary’s personal printer; get a Kinkos’ card
The Office Party: Gird yourself with the armor of God, because you will need it to attend a gathering of your lovely co-workers. Fake laughing at unfunny jokes, inappropriate advances by the weirdo in accounting, and disgusting food (cheeseburger soup, wtf?) are all things you can expect at the company Christmas party. You get extra credit if you are the only black person, and they ask you if you celebrate Kwanzaa.
Solution: Get chocolate wasted beforehand; go with an ally or friend; record the debauchery and leverage use it for blackmail.
Now that you know what work-nouns to avoid, dodge them like the police so that you don’t find yourself on the evening news.