Coburg Banks | Multi-sector UK recruitment agency

10 Irritating People You Will Find in Every Office (and how to deal with them…)

By Mark Wilkinson | Jan 28, 2016 | Friday Funnies

woman screaming in angerJust like family, you can’t choose your colleagues.

If you’re lucky, you’ll get on reasonably well with most of your team – perhaps from time to time, you’ll have to fake laugh at bad jokes and deal with an occasional snarky comment.

If you’re unlucky, you’ll find yourself surrounded by a bunch of idiots.

Either way, there are 10 irritating people (outlined below) that crop up in every office…

Are YOU one of them?

1. The Chatterbox.

It’s (really) easy to get cornered by the chatterbox.

By asking a simple question like ‘how was your weekend’ you open yourself up to a never-ending conversation about every detail, highlight and feeling they had over the two days.

These chatty over-sharers usually fall into two categories…

  • The negative chatterbox. This person will go on and on about the awful, personal things that have happened over the weekend and throughout their life; completely deflating your mood.
  • The positive chatterbox. The lesser of two evils, this person has a lot of positive things going on and they simply want to share their experiences with others; unfortunately, at your peril.

…and the worst thing is, your boss is bound to notice and lay blame on both of you, if you’ve spent 30 minutes nattering without doing any work.

Or worse still, your boss could actually be the chatterbox – then you’re never going to get anything done.

Deal with it: only ever strike up a conversation if you’re on a break or you have a good excuse to cut things short, so for example, you have a meeting in ten minutes.

2. The Gossip.

irritating people - gossipThe “office gossip” may seem friendly, chatty and sociable, but they’re actually quite dangerous!

They can be male or female (don’t fall for that old stereotype) and will always seem more than willing to share secrets and gossip with you…


Unless you want your personal life spread across the entire office, never trust a gossip.

Remember, if they’re bitching to you about Jon, chances are, they’re bitching to Jon about you!

Deal with it: remain on friendly terms with the office gossip, but don’t get dragged into their bitching (it makes YOU look bad) and never reveal secrets you don’t want the rest of your colleagues to know!

3. The Hyper-Competitive Bitch.

Aaron Paul shouting boooo bitch!I pity you if you find yourself faced with a hyper-competitive bitch (male or female) on your team.

They’ll have their sights on the top spot and are willing to do some pretty shady stuff to get there…

When they need you, you’ll be their best friend, but they’ll turn on you quicker than you can say “you’re a hyper-competitive bitch.”

Typical treacheries include; belittling your work in front of colleagues, tattling on you to management and making constant snarky comments to ruin your self-esteem.

And because they’re often very manipulative, other people in the office might not even spot it!

Deal with it: steer clear as much as possible, but try not to get on the wrong side or into direct competition with the hyper-competitive bitch – but if you do, stay strong! They prey on the weak.

4. The Patronising Persona.

Is there someone in your office who, although at the same job level, treats you like an inferior?

Perhaps they talk when they don’t think you’re not getting their point, or suggest ways in which YOU can improve YOUR work?

It’s incredibly irritating and very common in the workplace.

Recruiter Pro Tip.

Be careful not to confuse the hyper-competitive bitch with the patronising persona.

  • The former is purposely belittling you to further their own career.
  • The latter probably means well and is trying to help.

You may have to use your intuition on this one! Either way, they’re both annoying as hell!

Deal with it: if you’re close enough to tell them to tone it down a little bit, it’s OK to do so – just don’t let yourself get angry and always be professional – so you can’t be accused of being nasty.

5. The Goody Two-Shoes.

Jim Carrey tapping away at his computer, mega fastYou can work hard, put in the extra hours and get all of your work done, but there will still be someone who does more than you – the goody two-shoes. (Unless you are them, of course…)

Probably lacking a social life, they always stays late, get in early and never, ever, ever take a lunch break.

Why is this irritating?

Because they make you look bad! (And they expect you to work the same hours as them).

Deal with it: Make sure your work is done to a high standard and don’t get sucked into their world – most sensible managers will know that employees need a work-life balance to function properly.

6. The Suck-Up.

man with caption - I just stare at my desk, but it looks like I'm workingNot to be confused with the goody two-shoes.

These particularly irritating co-workers are the ones who brag about how much time and effort they’re putting in, and most likely aren’t doing anything more than your average Joe.

You’ll hear them say things like…  “I was here till 9pm last night,” “oh I had to work from home all evening” and “I’m swamped” – usually when the boss is in earshot.

But if you actually watch them throughout the day, they get distracted easily and appear fairly lazy.

Deal with it: question your colleague when they go on about their workload and openly offer to take some work off their hands… they can’t keep complaining if you’re giving them a way out!

7. The Cheapskate.

woman saying 'you're cheap'If you work in a big office, with a lot of people, you may get irritated by the sheer amount of times you’re asked to donate money for someone’s birthday, charity event or similar.

But usually, you do it anyway right? It’s only fair (you’ll get your turn after all!)

What’s more irritating is the fact that there is someone, somewhere in the office (you may not know who they are) who won’t donate OR will give the smallest amount possible, each and every time.

For secret collections, they’ll dig out the coppers and for more open charitable donations they’ll shamelessly just keep forgetting to bring the money in!

Of course, they’ll still get open their own present when their birthday comes around…

Deal with it: there’s not much you can do – you can’t force someone to give money and it wouldn’t be fair if you did! Unfortunately, this is one irritation you’ll just have to bear.

8. The Unsociable Sod.

Tina fey with caption - I hate everyone, I don't want to meet anyoneThis person will simply refuse to socialise with the team.

They’ll eat lunch alone – at their desk or out and about – they’ll never show up to social events, even the Christmas party and/or they’ll put earphones whilst they work, to shut out the entire office.

They’re also much more partial to email communication, even if you’re sat opposite them!

Deal with it:  continue to invite your unsociable co-worker to events and do try to integrate them into the group – that’s all you can do!

9. The Unhygienic Slob.

woman turning her nose up at a smell and spraying air freshenerOk, this might seem a bit harsh, but let’s be honest; this is a really common and annoying trait!

Nothing excuses an employee from showing up un-showered after a night out on the town, stinking of boozy B.O and/or last night’s particularly garlicky garlic bread!

These people really should take a shower, put on some deodorant, mask the smell with perfume – whatever they have to do.

Deal with it: if you’re close enough to the culprit, then say something (privately) but if not, I’d leave it to a manager. You don’t want to look like a bully!

10. Mr. or Little Miss Messy.

the shining - Jack Nicholson purposely knocks down loads of platesYou can tell when they’ve been somewhere, because they leave a trail of debris behind.

Dirty cups, plates and cutlery are hoarded at their desks, they NEVER clean the microwave, even when their soup has just exploded within and the state they leave the bathroom in is both disgusting and, to be honest, a bit confusing.

These people will never learn!

Deal with it: name and shame. There’s no other way. Call them out if you see them leaving things lying around or the microwave in a state or you follow them to the bathroom.

Protect The Naïve Newbie!

Jennifer lawrence looking happy and excitableIt’s probably a little unfair to call the naïve newbie irritating, however if you’re cynical like me, you probably will find their constant optimism just a little bit much to bear.

The naïve newbie will be invigorated and excited by their new environment, walking around wide-eyed and fancy-free.

They’ll question everything, come up with new ideas to make things ‘work better’ (that have probably already been tried) and constantly try to make a good impression, with everyone.

This can be most annoying for a workplace veteran who’s gone through the good times and the bad!

Look after the newbie. They don’t know the rules of the office, they don’t know who to stay away from or what not to say and do. They need your support and guidance!

For more information on how to successfully welcome a newbie to the team, click here.

Recognise these workplace personalities?

Co-workers can be a pain in the arse, right? But everyone has one bad habit (at least) that grates on other people…

Unfortunately, there really isn’t that much you can do about it, except leave (or talk to a Manager, but that’s taking things down a long serious road – so be sure…)

Recruiter Pro Tip.

If you’re having real problems with colleagues at work – perhaps you feel bullied, discriminated against or harassed, then you have two options…

  • Get the hell out of there! Life’s too short to be miserable.
  • Speak out. You can tell trade union officials, HR, your manager.

For more advice on this topic, click here and read the article by NHS Choices.

If something else is bugging you at work and you’re really not happy, then these 10 top tips could help…

Or, if you’d like to read some more tongue-in-cheek Friday Funnies regaling the perils of the working world… click here to subscribe to our blog.

Happy Friday!

PS. If you particularly enjoyed this post, check out this article to find out more…

- Mark Wilkinson
Mark Wilkinson

Mark Wilkinson

Mark is one of the founders of Coburg Banks and heads up the permanent recruitment division of the business.  Every day he helps companies with their recruitment projects, sourcing the very best individuals for their vacancies.  He understands recruitment inside-out.

> More blog posts by Mark Wilkinson

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