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July 24, 2012 / mike54martin

Pet Peeves at Work

There are many things that bug me at work including whiners and constant complainers and critics. I also hate people who don’t know proper meeting etiquette. You know, the ones who arrive unfashionably late and leave early and then spend their few precious moments with us on their Crackberry. Or the others who suck the life out of meetings by dominating the discussion and debating every single issue on the table, just for spite, it seems. Hate is a strong word, but they are getting close.

I actually save my greatest disdain for those people at work who offend my senses, particularly my nose and my ears. I can react a little strongly to those who offend my sight as well, but since I am not particularly well-dressed myself I can let a lot of that go.  I only draw the line at clothing that is too tight or provocative for daily office use. We are not trying to get picked up here, people. And as someone once said about spandex, which is never appropriate at work except for life guards, you can stuff it in but it is going to come out somewhere.

Fashion failures aside most of my pet peeves at work usually relate to people who try and spread their lifestyle over mine at work. Perfume and cologne are great but not in close quarters and I welcome the trend to scent free workplaces. I am not allergic, just easily offended. But what really irks me is what other people bring to work to eat in common areas or re-heat in the microwave. I won’t list everything but fish of any kind is the worst offender and while that first whiff of microwave popcorn smells divine, the fake butter makes the air rancid a few minutes later. Remember we are stuck in this place together for 8 hours a day!!

I also reserve special distaste for people who have not realized that we work in an open concept office environment. We have no walls any more to protect us from your screaming matches with your 12 year old who got picked up by the police, again. We also left the 70’s years ago and if we want to listen to classic rock we can take out our 8 track from the basement. Finally please stop eating those nuts and cruncheroos before I come over there and…. You get the picture.

I realize that everyone is not perfect, even me. But can we please make an effort? Please????

This post originally appeared on my blog at

Mike Martin is an Ottawa freelance writer and author of The Walker on the Cape. For more information please visit

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