Friday, May 14, 2010

Are you the annoying co-worker?

10 questions to find out if you irk colleagues.

To make sure you're not the annoying co-worker, take this quiz and hope for the best. (Hint: If you're not the bothersome co-worker, feel free to print out this quiz and leave it where the offending parties will find it.)

Why not? It's not like I'm working or nothing.

1. You're stressed. You're busy at work and your home life is hectic. You walk through the front doors and ...
A. ... do your job, mentioning your stress level only if it's relevant to the conversation.
B. ... sigh deeply until someone asks you what is wrong.

I never mention my stress level at home. It's irrelevant; if you're any kind of professional, home stays at home & work stays at work. If I'm stressed at work, yes, then I'll mention it if someone asks.

2. You had the best wild salmon for dinner. You ...
A. ... tell everyone to order it the next time they're at the restaurant.
B. ... heat up the leftovers in the microwave, allowing everyone to enjoy its pungent aroma.

I'm confused. Given that most leftovers are by nature a little ripe, am I supposed to read it as unacceptable to reheat anything in the microwave at work? Or just "pungent" salmon? I mean, leftover shrimp smells like the ass end of fuck, but if I have a lot left over from the night before, fuck all ya'll, money don't grow on trees for me to go up the street to Burger King every fucking day. Unless you're buying; are you buying? If not, then I'm eating free, and "free" can smell my fucking pungent salmon, and, and, and, if you come in my office between 2-4, you'll probably have to smell my pungent salmon poots too; ain't no "annoying co-worker quiz" question about that, is there??!?! I'd answer B there too, 'cause it's my fucking office; be thankful that I don't come to your office and poot WHICH I HAVE DONE BEFORE.


3. You're a busy person, so ...
A. ... you make sure to get all your work done during business hours so you don't have to take it home.
B. ... you show up an hour late and leave an hour early because someone else will pick up the slack.

Thank you for noticing how busy I am, and please make a mental note that I did not bring it up in any unsolicited manner; I'm not "that guy." My answer is A. Who the fuck is "busy," when they're coming in an hour late and leaving an hour early?

4. Your new ringtone is awesome and deserves to be heard, so ...
A. ... you play it for your co-workers during lunch.
B. ... leave your ringer volume set to high so everyone can hear it every time you receive a call.

How about turning a goddamn cellphone off every once in a while? Here, here's five times when the cellular telephone should be turned off:
1. At your goddamn job. "But it's for emergencies!" You're at your goddamn job; everyone knows how to contact you ... at your goddamn job. Unless you're deep undercover like Dan Tanna.
2. At the movie theater. S the fuck U.
3. Whilst fornicating.
4. At the dinner table. Every meal isn't seafood, so I don't wanna "see food." HAW! JUGGALAH!!!
5. Whilst sleeping.

Otherwise, I say B. I have some beats and shit that I've remixed for the SGM Audio eXchange, so I have an artistic voice (i.e. ringtone) that "is awesome and must be heard."

Oh, and 6. Church.

5. You have new ideas on how to improve certain procedures at work, so you ...
A. ... suggest them to your supervisor and ask for permission to test them out.
B. ... tell everyone that they're doing things all wrong and should listen to you instead.

Hm, yeah, okay, how about C; you give them a try on your own, see the effects, while also using your well-developed judgment skills to make sure that any screw-ups that occur won't be extremely far-reaching, THEN suggest what works to a supervisor? Whatever happened to ingenuity and self-determination in our taint of a country?

6. Your children are adorable. Everyone thinks so.
A. The pictures on your desk are enough proof that you're one proud parent.
B. Bringing your brood into the office so they can run amok and interrupt the workday is an effective way to show them off.

"Bringing 'your brood' ..." Love it. I actually worked under the misconception that this was an actual quiz to discuss those relatively plausible/probable things that people may do to annoy their co-workers. I admittedly was almost thrown by the salmon question. Who, on the regular, is taking their children to work? Whatever happen to school? Remember, that place where people - students & teachers - pretend to pay attention, get tested using methods and criteria that became instantly irrelevant in November 2008 & try not to get shot at?

See, there's this thing I learned in psychometrics - a part of which is how studies are designed, their validity, etc. - that states a very simple rule of quizzes like this, to wit: You don't want to lead your respondent to a specific answer, in the answers you provide. Even if I brought my child to work, I'm not going to want to answer B because I don't consider them a "brood." What the fuck is a "brood," anyway, other than a David Cronenberg film, the Alien-ripoff villains in "X-Men," and Gangrel, Edge, and Christian?

7. You think you're getting sick ...
A. ... so you try to work from home to avoid infecting others.
B. ... but you're determined to show up every day for work, even if you're pale and coughing up a lung.

But wait, in number 3, I admitted what a busy person I am, and how hard I work so I don't have to take anything home.

Seriously, I answer B. I was scarred at an early age of wage-based employment by co-workers that very often "called in sick," only to be seen in the public eye fucking around and doing various non-sick things. I remember being the only person - non-manager, non-key holder, non-register checking outer at night - working the night shift at Movie Time Video on Saturdays, with people waiting to check out in a line that reached all the way back to the pornos, calling my shitty store manager Alyce for help only to have her tell me that she's too drunk to come in and for me to call someone else, except that all my co-workers' phone numbers are in the locked office, so I got to listen to drunk Alyce pretend to try to remember at least one other person's phone number. All this on account of people "calling in sick;" because this happened on a weekly basis, it was at this job where I ended up experiencing the second time (of three) that I'd ever had a gun put in my face. I almost got in a fight with this one punk-ass fucker co-worker there who bragged about calling in sick on me one time to go see a hockey game. After that one conversation, he quit working there. Crazy thing, you'd think it was something I said.

Anyway, I'm predisposed to believe that if I call in sick, I'm shirking responsibility and leaving someone else to do work that I should be doing because it's my responsibility. I call it "bjorking."

8. You find some funny Web sites you want to share with co-workers.
A. You forward only the best ones to a few select co-workers who share your sense of humor.
B. You send every amusing link you come across, certain that a dozen e-mails will not waste your colleagues' time.

I sorta suspect that this point was included only because the author expected that this hilariously entertaining and 100% relevant to every workplace would be emailed across offices. If you clicked the link from where I stole this article, you'd find that very issue hinted at ("Before you stomp over to your annoying co-workers' desks and start dispensing your advice;" "If you're not the bothersome co-worker, feel free to print out this quiz and leave it where the offending parties will find it"). This presents another issue entirely, because really, what's a bigger waste of time, emailing some annoying quiz to your co-workers, or wasting paper to print it out and leave copies where one select individual or collection of individuals will find it?

And again, no alternate option; I don't make it a habit of forwarding much of anything, much less stupid shit.

9. You and 10 other colleagues receive an e-mail from the boss.
A. You decide that your response is relevant only to your boss and reply only to her.
B. You reply to all, even if your message is irrelevant to 99 percent of the recipients.

How does Lewis Black do that thing he does without stroking out? Even thinking about it while typing made my eyeballs quiver.

If your response is only relevant to you and your supervisor (because "boss" is so "prison road crew"), and the email was sent to you and ten other colleagues, then it's relevant only to 17% of the original recipients, meaning it's irrelevant to approximately 83% of the intended recipients. Not 99%. Some people may suggest I get a grip, but look, I remember when this kind of shit used to matter. It wasn't that long ago; it was probably between the time people went from using AOL Instant Messenger and people started saying "LOL" out loud in general conversation. Our syntax, diction and spelling have already become just another set of victims to social entropy; must our math die choking, as well?

AND ... did you catch that sudden gender shift of the authority figure in the A response? "Reply only to her." "Answer only to her." "Answer only to my female superior." "Answer only to my female 'boss.'" "Yes, boss, can I ... trim your minge?" Naw, use the gender non-specific "them;" that's professional.

10. You heard some good gossip that is possibly true ...
A. ... but you don't want to spread rumors so you keep quiet.
B. ... you can't sit on the secret for too long, so you get the word out as quickly as possible.

A. I stay away from all that shit, always have and will. Now, I listen to it ... seems you really can't help it, in some offices. But I have to speak proudly about my capability to not say shit about shit.

Result: If you have more Bs than As, you are an annoying co-worker. The next time you're in one of these situations, stop and ask yourself what you'd like your colleague to do in the situation. Then ask yourself what you'd normally do. If they're not the same thing, err on the side of caution and do unto others as you'd like them to do to you.

Oh, holy shit, I totally have more Bs than As. Granted, that translates into 3-1, and all the rest of this stupid thing didn't apply to me. I can't think of any 50 people that I've ever worked for that this shit applied to. Now, I watch a lot of "The Office," and on that show - on the TV, where fiction is quite prevalent I'm told (even in the news, BA-ZING!) - these questions, and their corresponding B-responses, have manifestation abundant ... on the TV ... where fiction ...


Nate said...

You know what? I'm going to email the author of this article, this article. "He researches and writes about job search strategy, career management, hiring trends and workplace issues." I'm unemployed, and I find myself generally unamused by his attempts to attain such a goal, and it's clear that dude isn't shy about sprinkling around a little nonproductive energies. Lessee what happens; we might have our own .

Rev. Joshua said...

"If you come in my office between 2-4, you'll probably have to smell my pungent salmon poots too; ain't no "annoying co-worker quiz" question about that, is there??!?! I'd answer B there too, 'cause it's my fucking office; be thankful that I don't come to your office and poot WHICH I HAVE DONE BEFORE."

I lol'd.

I didn't really understand that question either, because option A seems douchey and pretentious as fuck. Well, actually "wild salmon" is the pretentious part; the douchey part is assuming that everyone else likes to eat at Chez Pretentious Dick Holster. But people in both of the offices I have worked at here in NYC have reheated food that smelled like they used vinegar to extinguish a garbage fire. And the Cingular call center perpetually reeked of burnt microwave popcorn. So this guy probably works from home.

(I used the word pretentious so often in that paragraph that it because temporarily unrecognizable. I recently learned that the scientific term for that phenomenon is "jamais vu" which is somewhat opposite of deja vu.)

The scenarios in number 3 is pretty wide are extreme. There's no middle ground where you put in the requisite number of hours and sometimes have stuff you'll get to when you get to it? Yes, there is, and that's where I work.

It's time to accept that people do not ever turn their cell phones off. Ever. Follow me on Twitter!

Rev. Joshua said...

"The scenarios in number 3 is pretty wide are extreme." That sentence is awesome.

How about "the differences in the scenarios for number 3 are quite extreme."

Nate said...

>It's time to accept that people do not ever turn their cell phones off. Ever. Follow me on Twitter!

I was at McDonald's yesterday, since about all I can afford to eat from "out" half the time is their rotgut greasy belly-bombs, and the goddamn cashier (a manager, mind you) was "taking my order" - kinda - while on her fucking cellphone. It was definitely a personal call, too.

How she got the order right, I have no clue, because it wasn't like she was paying me any attention.

The best part was, the door leading into the kitchen area has a sign - plastic, engraved, screwed into the door at about eye level - "No Cellular Phones In Work Area." Fucking dick face bitch.

Oh, and 7. While driving