In my previous work office, we had a little poster near the pantry of the three wise monkeys. It’s supposed to be a reminder for everyone to prevent rumors, problems and petty arguments among the group: hear no evil, speak no evil, see no evil.
Simple. Direct. Unfortunately, there will always be annoying officemates along the way. Before coming to Japan, I have worked in several offices and met a lot of different people. If you’ve never worked in an office before, you’ll be surprised at how different and colorful the environment can be. Though I’m not sure if offices in Japan also have these types of coworkers, I’m guessing there’s probably a couple from the list below that you’ve encountered. Here are the most interesting and annoying people you’ll meet in your professional life.
Everybody knows this person was only hired because probably his or her sister’s best friend’s brother is married to your boss. And because of that, he thinks that whatever rules the boss has implemented, will have no effect whatsoever on him. Instant immunity, instant smirk.
The Jack (ass) of All Trades/ Show Off
He or she is an insufferable know-it-all who knows something that no one else does–or at least that’s what he wants you to think. Clerk, supervisor, manager, assistant, even the messenger, this person makes a good show of it. What’s worse about this person is that despite his eagerness to help and showoff his or her skills, he will tell other people that he was right, and that you were wrong and what he so gallantly did to fix whatever the problem you came to him for. Let’s say you don’t know the keyboard shortcut about something. He will come to the rescue but will try to keep the solution from you by blocking your line of vision with his torso as he types on your keyboard. And when he’s done, he will leave you without reprimanding you again, just to remind you that he knows something you don’t.
This person is the corporate version of the high school bully. A breed of The Relative and Powertripper is the WORST you may encounter.
The Grumpy Old Cat
This person is the oldest person in the office. He or she goes so far back, that your company building was only probably a kiosk when he started working there. There’s nothing wrong with it, because the oldest person in the office could be the most loyal employee and could be the most dependable of all. However, since this person’s been with the company for so long, he seems to be always right and seems to be caught in another time.
Memo: New office time-in: 8:00 AM
Grumpy Old Cat: Huh. During my time it was 9AM. What’s it for anyway?
Grumpy Old Cat: What for? Why can’t they just spend it on other important stuff? There’s nothing wrong with the old ones.
If this person does not get to your nerves at one point, then you’re probably made of stone.
The Nega- Star
Negative. This person dislikes anything good that happens to his or her coworkers and he feels it strongly. He finds everything in the office as faulty, lazy, ineffective and even stupid. He only sees bad things. Someone gets promoted, he or she raises an eyebrow. You rise, he feels bad. You fall, he parties. Be careful of the Nega- Star, for he or she has a tendency to stab you in the back and mess things up because of envy, doing it faster than you can say “sabotage.”
The most dangerous of all. This person spies on everyone and will sell out if they see that it could benefit them. They’re far worse than gossipmongers because they have built-in filter for information. They pick only those that the upper management will like and those that will make them look better, more loyal and reliable to the management. They have this friendly mask on all the time, to lure you and make you feel comfortable to share information.
The key to an effective, productive and healthy work environment I think, is respect. But still, respect begets respect and respecting others does not mean you always have to let them with their ways. In Japan, where offices will probably have a mix of attitude and nationality, you always have to be sensitive enough about your words, actions and decisions. But as long as you do your work well, and stay focused on your goals, get along with at least some of your co-workers and boss, I don’t think these people will be a problem. You might even learn how to tune them out of your system and just be productive.
Have you had annoying co-workers before? Feel free to share your experiences on the comments below.