Oh, the little things. They shouldn’t matter as much as they do, right? After all, there’s war and famine and crushing poverty in various places around the world, which means that our tiny little problems shouldn’t bother us like they do. That’s what I keep telling myself, anyway. But then someone decides to poke me, and then poke me, and then poke me some more, and eventually I find myself wishing I were in a war just so that I’d have an ironclad excuse for shooting someone.
So, in honor of the little things that are often the difference between happiness and white-hot fury, here are a few tiny actions you might be doing that are almost certainly driving your colleagues completely insane.
Answering Phone Calls During Meetings
Sending texts is plenty annoying, but that seems too pedestrian to mention here. Besides, everyone does it, so you aren’t being any more annoying than everyone else. But if you’re actually picking up the phone without leaving the room to say, “Yeah…uh huh….uh huh….uh huh…yeah,” you are making the people around you actively want to shove you down the mail chute.
Consistently Showing Up 5-10 Minutes Late
Being occasionally late is one thing. Being occasionally really late is only one thing, and fairly excusable since sometimes there’s a traffic accident. Being consistently slightly late, however, means that you are consistently choosing to not care enough about the people you work with to meet them when they ask you to. It’s hardly the end of the world – but then again, being whacked in the head with a cattail isn’t the end of the world either.
Paying Your Vendors Late
This won’t annoy any of your immediate colleagues, but it will make your vendors look for any opportunity they can find to work with you as infrequently as possible. I suppose that patience builds character, but really it just builds a patient character, and not all your vendors want that. In fact, many of them have told me that they would be perfectly happy with an ‘impatient yet fully paid’ character.
Putting Your Feet Up On Your Desk While Talking Face-To-Face With a Colleague
I suppose I should have said “while talking face-to-feet with a colleague,” but that phrase isn’t part of our vernacular yet. This one happens to be the inspiration for this article, since I know several people who have told me of their colleagues’ habit of positioning themselves during office visits as though preparing to deliver a ridiculously slow roundhouse. You probably don’t mean anything by it if you’re doing it, but good luck convincing the people you’re doing it to of that.
There are more, of course – chewing gum really loudly comes to mind – but we’ll stop here for now. I would like to mention that I wrote this entire article with my feet on the desk and a stack of overdue bills by my left shoulder. Now all I need is for someone to schedule a meeting so I can show up late and spend the whole time talking to my mom. I love my mom, and I owe her a call.
What did I miss that annoys you?