16 October 2006

GG's Top Ten List...

of things that piss her off at work:

1. We don't have a lunchroom or staffroom, so we eat at our desks. The repulsive symphony of slurping starts at around 11.00am and continues well into the afternoon. And I don't mean you're vaguely aware that someone is having lunch somewhere; I mean you have no choice but to be assaulted by the cacophonous sound of someone slurping their slop from the other side of the room even though you're wearing headphones and have the music at full volume.

1. The smell in the office. Due to the above point, the office reeks of the nauseating stench of rotting fish.

1. Receiving emails from co-workers. This in itself is not a problem. The problem is that the person who sent it then walks over to my desk to tell me that they have just sent me an email. They then stand and wait and look over my shoulder as I open said email. More often than not, I have already read the email, saved the document and started working on it, but this does not deter the eejit from then telling me exactly what they have already written in the email. This makes me see red.

1. Co-workers who insist upon telling me that they have received my emails. Every time I send one. I tried to end that stupidity by attaching a 'request read receipt' to the email, but the person then just walked over to tell me that they had just sent me the 'read receipt' and would stand and wait and look over my shoulder as I opened said 'read receipt'. By this time, I am livid.

1. Monday morning clean up. We are responsible for keeping our own desks and surrounding area clean, as the Clown is too much of a tight wad to pay for a cleaner. He shuffles around and watches us pretend to clean - there's a lot of busyness, but nothing is being done efficiently.*

1. Shuffling! Why can't people lift their fucking feet? It's an absolute disgrace and there's no excuse for dragging your heels about the place.

1. People who have perfected looking busy as an artform, while they are essentially doing nothing and are just wasting time with their inability to focus on what needs to be done.

1. Answering the same question ten times in a row. You asked me, I answered you - no need to go over it again as my answer will be the same no matter how many different ways you word the question.

1. People literally running around the office. Need to get that fax from the machine? Just sprint over there before the paper disappears back into the strange contraption. I have nearly been bowled over by pint-sized people who suddenly appear at top speed from behind partitions, around corners and through doorways. No mean feat, as I am almost double their height. And a superhero.

1. People knocking the back of my chair as they walk past. If you could see the huge space behind me, you would agree that there is absolutely no reason in a rational world why this would happen.

1. The Clown hacking up his lungs and coughing. He usually wears a facemask, but appears to have decided that he doesn't care if we're witness to his bushman's hanky.

1. A co-worker who clears his throat loudly and incessantly. I timed him the other day and he was barking every 45 seconds on average. (He is also guilty of being one of the major slurping culprits.)

1. Excessive and blinding fluorescent lighting.

1. The random yet very oft-occurring teeth cleaning that takes place in the kitchenette.

I was rewriting something the other day and came across sick building syndrome, which I had never heard of before, but perfectly describes the general sense of malaise in this office. A guy I used to work with once said that this company is where gaijin go to die. He may well be right.

* As I write this, the third different person in as many minutes has just wiped down the table next to me.


  1. Hi GG, your post today had me laughing, but I know how annoying all those things can be. Maybe you should try Wonder if they have the Japanese equivalent to this?

    I'm with you all the way on shuffling feet (WHY do people do that?), and hacking up a lung. The husband of one of my landladies does that every morning around 7am under my window. It's the most disgusting thing I've ever heard and I just want to slap him and yell STOP IT! Why can't people do that in the privacy of their own bathrooms?

    I also want to put a stop to that silly running around that people seem to do here. Women especially. It seems so degrading to me.

    And finally, I think I work in a "sick building." They're actually not all that uncommon in the U.S. Buildings are made almost entirely out of manmade materials that give off toxic fumes, especially carpets. Since working in my building, I have developed asthma, and I'm sure it's related to "sick building" syndrome. It was remodeled shortly before I started working there, and people seem to be constantly sick.

    Anyyway, hope you're doing OK without the smokes. I'm sure it's not easy, but hang in there! It will be worth it to get those things out of your lfie!


  2. The depressing thing is that I understand every single one of your pet peeves! The "running around thing" is apparently to show that sufficient importance is being placed on the task at hand...but like you, I think it's absurd!

    I also intensely hate the lung hacking...but I seethe with even more disgust when I hear the teeth sucking that middle aged salarymen are so prone to do...grrr

  3. It's probably a good thing that individual people grow old and die. Imagine if they didn't. Nothing would ever change.

  4. That's a funny list. I found the one about receiving emails from co-workers especially funny. That's because I used to be the perpetrator... until I became the victim on not one but many occasions. It is rather annoying. Obviously, I've stopped that bad habit.

  5. at, that website was hilarious and i am considering sending out some emails right now!
    i've come to the conclusion that a lot of people don't have much self-consciousness. i'm probably the other extreme, so when it comes to coughing and the like, i try not to do it very loudly.
    see vk's comment re the running. interesting, but it doesn't make it any less annoying! i agree that it seems degrading to be scurrying about like that.
    interesting also about the 'sick building' theory. from a psych point of view, i've worked for plenty of toxic companies and i hold management responsible for negativity around the office, as management dictate the workplace culture. i guess buildings could cause physical symptoms if they're very dusty or there's asbestos, or something.
    thanks, doing well without the smokes. i thought people might think this post was me being crabby because i've stopped smoking, but the reality is, these things pissed me off even when i was smoking! i started this list a couple of months ago and added to it as things came up, and i've already started another.

    vk, it is a relief to hear i'm not the only one who is peeved about some peoples' personal habits. i know some of them are cultural differences, but it doesn't mean i have to like them. i haven't heard teeth sucking! how extraordinary. er, and gross.

    forty_two, are you saying you want me to die? :)

    yteh, that was a lesson well learned! from that whole list, the email thing makes me absolutely furious. there are plenty of other bad habits that are a lot more fun. find one of those and do it well!

  6. Nevermind what the building is made from, you've got all those germy people harking up lung cookies , brushing teeth and eating in work spaces slurping food about with recirculated air conditioning, yuck, are the Japs big on handwashing as a matter of interest?, great list by the way.

  7. old man, i haven't noticed a great interest in handwashing here, which doesn't sit well with my ocd-like handwashing practices. although restaurants always provide moist towels to wipe your hands before you eat.