From college to work, the frustration of dealing with annoying colleagues is a universal experience. I hate to admit it, but I have a temper. Pushed into leadership roles in college, I suffered through having to force my group mates to complete their jobs and essentially turned into a demon. Turns out, certain coworkers make me feel like I’m back in college, forcing people to do the bare minimum as I roll my eyes in annoyance.
To acknowledge the pain of dealing with difficult and annoying coworkers, the United States celebrates National Slap Your Annoying Coworker Day annually on October 23. While we strongly suggest you don’t slap your coworkers, the day provides people with the opportunity to vent about their workplace colleagues.
Annoying coworkers can traverse boundaries, as even work-from-home employees have stories of frustrating colleagues that fill them with rage.
When I asked people to open up about their negative experiences with coworkers, they instantly responded. From small grievances to issues that had employees quitting, here’s what some had to say about their annoying coworkers.
One person spoke about the attitude she brings into work each day and said, “I want to be an octopus and slap around everyone at work”.
National Slap Your Annoying Coworker Day
21-year-old Pranay* was excited to start his new internship as a video editor after he got his bachelor’s degree. Two days later, he sent a message to his friends saying that he quit. Why? Because his employer spent hours sitting behind him, staring at his screen as he worked.
He said, “He and one more guy used to sit behind me to watch what I am doing the entire day”.
Rightfully skeeved out, he instantly quit.
But for others, quitting their job wasn’t an option.
When 26-year-old Riya* joined her new job, one coworker made life exceptionally difficult. The person training her put too much pressure on her and Riya contemplated quitting. She spoke about her experience and said, “For almost a month, I skipped lunches to cope up with pressure. Instead of helping me out, she kept pressuring me”.
Unfortunately (fortunately for the coworker), Riya never got the opportunity to slap her beloved coworker.
While the aforementioned people were struggling with overbearing bosses and superiors, superiors have their own complaints about colleagues as well.
Ananya*, 25, had to suffer through incompetent juniors and she’s also suffered through absent bosses. She said that in her first job her employer would be “AWOL for hours and hours”. She added, “Later, we found that she had enrolled herself for some yoga classes and would do yoga during work hours.”
While that may not have been the reason Ananya quit, it did enrage her.
Meanwhile, Gauri* still complains about her previous coworkers being incompetent and irresponsible. She said, “People don’t think that their incompetence can have an impact on other people’s productivity as well”.
In a special case, 25-year-old Rohit’s* negative work experience eventually lead to him getting a huge raise and being given more stakes in his company. However, it was a tough and frustrating process. Even though he was a coder, he was the most experienced designer on the team.
His advice and suggestions were ignored until deadlines almost ruined the company. He described it as, “I could see that we were heading toward an iceberg but nobody would listen to my warnings. So eventually, after we hit the iceberg, my superiors finally realised that they had underutilized me”.
After a month of non-stop overtime, the company managed to scrape by and deliver a basic product by the deadline.
While Rohit’s efforts were finally appreciated, he resented him and his suggestions being ignored despite his solid ideas.
Even though none of these people slapped the coworkers that drew their ire, they did manage to move on from the negative experience, and found themselves better off.