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6 Annoying Office Cubicle Neighbors And How To Handle Them

6 Annoying Office Cubicle Neighbors And How To Handle Them

When you spend 40 hours a week in an office with the same group of people someone is bound to start getting on your nerves. If you’re like me, you may silently endure it for a while, allowing that one annoying thing to bother you a little more each day. But if you’ve been there, you know that ignoring it doesn’t do anything to solve the problem—little by little, it just makes you unhappier and less satisfied with your job.

So instead of silently fuming, it’s time to stop being annoyed and start taking action. Whatever it is that’s driving you crazy, there’s something you can do about it. Here are 6 annoying office cubicle neighbors and how to take action to overcome them.

Know-It All Karl

ROSI Office Systems

Description:

You know him – he’s the self-proclaimed smartest person in the room. Not only does he have a solution for everything, he is quick to point out why your idea is the wrong idea. He enjoys talking down to his co-workers because they are inferior in every way.

How To Handle Them:

This may be shocking advice but be empathetic. This co-worker may irritate you but remember that his know-it-all attitude is probably stemming from a confidence issue or some deeper personal issue. Rather than get angry, try empathy. If you are delivering a presentation, selling an idea or heading into a meeting, be confident in your own material. Double check your sources and verify the facts. The more armed you are with knowledge, the less chance the know-it-all has to interject or one up you.

Lazy Larry

ROSI Office Systems

Description:

You know him – he’s been around for a few years but complains constantly about hating his job. Does as little as possible, just enough to not get fired and keep collecting a paycheck. He never caries his weight as a member of a team nor does he contribute anything worthwhile during a project. Yet, he never has any problem accepting the credit courtesy of the people who actually did the hard work.

How To Handle Them:

Don’t let your co-worker’s attitude or work habits become contagious! While it might be unfair that he is putting in less effort than you, remember that this person is building a terrible reputation, while you’re presumably creating a strong one. That means you’re creating professional options for yourself while that person is narrowing his.

Negative Nancy

ROSI Office Systems

Description:

You know her – she likes to dump on every single idea in a brainstorming session or planning meeting. She’s judgmental and critical of new ideas. Her negativity is crippling the office and no one wants to be around her.

How to Handle Them:

At some point, your negative co-worker will complain about something that resonates with you and your circumstance. Do not join in on the complaining. Don’t even empathize. If you bond with her on a negative issue, she will feel that she has found a partner in her distress, and will look for you every time she feels something negative.

Noisy Nicholas

ROSI Office Systems

Description:

You know him – he is so loud that it’s like there is no office cubicle barrier at all. He is oblivious to his co-workers. Whistles, sings, drums on his office desk or plays his music so loud that everyone can hear it.

How to Handle Them:  

If the noise level is affecting your work, then it may be necessary to take him aside and ask if he is aware of the volume of his voice and/or music. This can be difficult and uncomfortable but your colleague might not even be aware of the issue and may appreciate the fact that you’re letting him know. If your colleague doesn’t take it well, apologize and explain that it’s not a personal attack or a comment on his character. Reiterate that your primary concern is that you really need to focus on your work and you think it’s a reasonable request.

Rude Rachael

ROSI Office Systems

Description:

You know her – she has zero manners. Never says please or thank you if you hold the elevator door for her. She barks orders at co-workers and thinks that she is the boss of everyone, even when she is not. Insults spill from her mouth constantly. She thinks and says you are a loser at any given time.

How To Handle Them:

A rude co-worker’s behavior is unacceptable. It’s important to stand up for yourself. Acknowledge the problem in an assertive manner without insulting her and deal with the rudeness as soon as possible; there’s no need to wait until the situation gets truly unbearable. When you fail to address the rudeness, she may treat your silence as acceptance. This can result in the rudeness getting more severe. If the problem persists and is a constant distraction at work, going to a human resources representative or a manager can help you deal with the co-worker by documenting her behavior.

Late Lucy

ROSI Office Systems

Description:

You know her – she cannot be on time for anything. She’s on her own internal clock, which is completely different from everyone else’s. You are constantly waiting for her to arrive for the meeting because she has no respect for anyone else’s time. 

How To Handle Them:

Talking to a co-worker about her perpetual lateness can feel uncomfortable, especially if you like the person. Pull her aside and say, nicely and calmly, how tardiness is impacting the team, throwing off meeting schedules, and so on. Keep your comments focused on the work and stick to the facts. Some employees might actually have a somewhat plausible excuse for being late, too. With any luck, she will begin to see the impact lateness is having on co-workers and adjust accordingly. If not, at least you’re putting the tardy co-worker on notice that you’re…noticing.

Just like office cubicles themselves, annoying office cubicle neighbors come in all shapes and sizes.  Need more advice? Here are some additional tips on how to cope with challenging personalities or chronic complainers in the office.

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