The top 30 pet peeves you told us about your coworkers


You're with your "work family" more than your "real family" during the week. When that happens, there are some habits that get under your skin. You told us exactly what those were in this article.

You are with your co-workers more hours than the people you “hopefully” like … your family that is (go ahead … define family anyway you think fit). It’s true … but the problem is you have to be “nicer” to these folks because your livelihood is tied to having a “good working environment.” But, hey, we’re among friends here, right? Let’s just be honest and air out the dirty laundry.

What drives you CRAZY about your co-workers? Here are 30 things you told us in a recent survey, along with some of my own thoughts mixed in.

1. Fake/two-faced people (watch them … they will stab you in the back whenever they get a chance)

2. People who interrupt you (because what they have to say is just so much more important than what you have to say)

3. Gum chewers (love that sound of gum popping)

4. Habitually late employees (not much of a work ethic)

5. Ones who don’t take responsibility for any of their mistakes (even worse is when they blame it on others)

6. Smokers and tuna salad fans (everyone loves bad breath)

7. Messy colleagues (who can’t find things because they keep everything … and it’s unorganized)

8. Pet lovers who only talk about their pets (go to Facebook people! There is a whole world for you there)

9. Self absorbed co-workers (I can’t imagine this ever happens at your practice, right?)

10. Drama queens who go on and on and on (they probably don’t even know that they do this)

More from Lisa Newburger: The top 10 things patients think when they are sitting in your chair

11. Colleagues who constantly borrow money for lunch (I’m a person, not a bank)

12. Social climbers (those who will throw you under the bus to get ahead of you)

13. Ones who want you to sponsor them for every single charity fundraiser (let your kid sell her own crappy candy bars)

14. People who yell instead of holding a conversation when there is a problem (this just in, it’s never appropriate to yell in the practice)

15. Silent ones who don’t say anything verbally, but roll their eyes at you (how rude can you be?)

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16. Anyone using work time to check their Facebook pages instead of working (Go ahead, make your own paper trail to get fired. Postings have time stamps.)

17. People who email me, then talk to me about their email before I can respond (How efficient is that?)

18. The co-worker who doesn't take a moment to acknowledge you and say hello, good morning, smile, or something (love the tense work environment!)

19. The boss hacking and snorting from whatever he picked up from his brats at home. He single-handedly took out half the staff, then had the nerve to question my not charging the day I took off (near death) as a vacation day

20. A fingernail clipper (How disgusting is that? Both the sounds and the sight of it)

More from Lisa Newburger: The top 10 things you can think but never say to a patient

21. An office manager who schedules weekly meetings (same time every week) but is always late to the meetings?

22. Whiners who come in, sit down, and get comfortable for a long whine (Get a therapist!)

23. People who always blame the management for any possible problems

24. Gossips who roam the practice spreading info (often wrong) like to think they are “in the know,” but aren’t 

25. Using the last of something and not ordering more (can you spell LAZY?)

26. Expecting someone else to take out the trash or clean up the operatory (your mother doesn’t work here!)

27. Tappers – people who constantly tap their pens on their desk, phone, coffee cup, etc. (Maybe they should cut down on their caffeine intake!)

28. Improper grammar (“so you wanta ax me sompthin?”)

29. Food chewing, chomping, coffee slurping (what a professional image you have!)

30. And finally … overpowering perfume (can’t you at least know the good stuff from the cheap stuff?)

More from Lisa Newburger: Why your boss is lucky to have you as a part of the practice

Feel free to post this pet peeve list in your break room and see what happens (yes, I like to stir things up.) I am someone who likes to address problems when you see it. Some of you are frustrated beyond belief that you have addressed these issues … yet nothing changes. Your colleague or boss does the same annoying behavior. So … post this. Anything that will help you get “the conversation” started is worthwhile. The goal isn’t to humiliate your colleague. It is to cause him or her to have the “aha moment” where he or she realizes that it’s time to shape up. You are a work family. That includes some responsibilities to be able to play nicely together. What do you think?

Thank you to the readers who sent in their pet peeves for this article. From this list, I can tell … you aren’t alone! I am looking forward to hearing how you have addressed your pet peeves with your co-workers. Email me at

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